I think it is to do with the mix and the nutrition of the total food, rather than the fact that it might contain a few mealworms, sunflower hearts, etc. If you look at the pictures you can see that there are very few of any of these. I don’t think anyone is saying you shouldn’t feed any of these things at all. The problem is if people are only feeding mealworms, sunflower hearts, peanuts or a mixture of things which all have the wrong CaP ratio or too much of them. In very small quantities and combined with other things it can balance out.
The other thing to remember is that these days people keep exotic hedgehogs as pets and some of these foods are probably aimed at them. Possibly the banana chips? Don’t know.
The very best thing we can do for them is to improve and expand the habitat of the wild hedgehogs so that they can find their own wild food. Anything we feed them should only be a supplement. Unlike when they are at Rescues it should not be the only food they eat. So, yes, if we are going to feed them, give them the very best things we can, but not so much that they become reliant on us or the food we put out. I wonder if people are actually leaving too much food out so that the hogs rely on that too much, rather than go and hunt for food for themselves. If they are only using what we feed as a supplement it becomes less important that we get it absolutely right. And we are not going to get it absolutely right. Let’s face it we are not going to follow loads of hedgehogs to see what they eat and then go out and catch those things to feed them. And it would make no sense to do that. There is no food, I imagine, cat/dog food or hedgehog food which accurately mimics what they would eat in the wild. Help them to catch their own food by providing the right habitat. They know what they need better than us – they have been around for millions of years!