As last week was National Insect Week (UK), FoodIngredientsFirst takes a closer look at insects as an alternative protein, other nutritional values and today’s progression of entomophagy into the western world.
In 2013 the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization stressed that a new approach to food production was crucial if we are to avoid future shortages. Their suggestion was edible insects. It is their sustainability credentials that has lead the UN to highlight insects as the potential future of food, requiring minimal resources to farm and producing substantially less waste than conventional livestock.
Around 2 billion people around the world already consume insects as part of their regular diet due to their high nutritional value, versatility and flavor. The planet’s population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, and current food production will need to almost double. The human consumption of insects is something which has been widely accepted in many parts of the world including China, Thailand and Japan.
Despite the obvious benefits, the western society is yet to adopt the practice on a large scale, but this may be set to change in the next few years.
A growing number of entrepreneurs and researchers in the UK have been looking into our aversion to insects in the food chain and how they can change our minds. With the influence over farming R&D and investment, the UK may well play a pivotal role in developing the infrastructure behind insect farming for the benefit of future generations.
The Woven Network is the UK consortium for Insects as Food and Feed – with a focus on connecting businesses, researchers and others working on the role of insects in the human food chain. The Woven Network have a number of initiatives put in place to promote insects as food and feed.
Read the rest of Elizabeth Kenward’s story in FoodIngredientsFirst