Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Large-Scale Edible Insect Farming Needed to Ensure Global Food Security

Published: Friday, May 10, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, May 10, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Scientists tackle problems of feeding the ever-increasing global population and providing them with enough animal protein.

Insect farming can be compared with mini livestock farming. It is environmentally friendly, does not require much land and produces high-quality nutrients. Furthermore, as a new sector of the food industry, it will provide a livelihood for large groups of people. This is the basic message contained in the book Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security, written by researchers at Wageningen University and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO). The book will be launched in Rome the 13th of May.

In their book, the authors provide an overview of the latest and most complete data from literature and experts. At least two billion people currently consume insects on a regular basis. More than 1,900 edible insect species have been identified, including beetles (31 percent), caterpillars (18 percent) and bees, wasps and ants (14 percent).

Research has shown that insects are highly nutritious, healthy and full of proteins, and many species contain as many unsaturated fatty acids (such as omega 3 and 6) as fish. The environmental benefits of insect farming are manifold: insects are much more efficient at converting feed into edible body weight than chickens, pigs or cattle. Furthermore, they emit 50 times fewer emissions than traditional livestock and ten times less amonia. In addition, there is less risk of animal diseases being transmitted to humans.

Whether or not we eat insects (‘entomophagy’) is largely dictated by culture and religion. It is part of the staple diet in many regions. Here in the West, we tend to brand such behaviour as ‘disgusting’ and ‘primitive’. The authors of the book think that a lot of effort will have to go into devising communication strategies to promote the consumption of insects. Non-Western consumers will have to reinstate insects as a useful source of nutrition rather than copying Western eating habits. New processing methods must be developed to overcome the resistance on the part of Western consumers. These may include grinding the insects or extracting their proteins so that insects cannot be recognised as such anymore.

The scientists concerned envisage a lot of hard work before large-scale insect farming becomes a reality. There will be numerous challenges regarding industrial automated farming methods, processing and preserving techniques,  conducive regulations and legislation, and gastronomy.

Despite the existing wealth of knowledge on the advantages of producing and eating insects, the authors want to see prompt, simultaneous answers to four serious questions. More documentation about the nutritional value of insects is needed in order to promote them as a healthy alternative. The effects on the environment must be clarified in order to compare this form of farming with conventional livestock production. There needs to be more certainty about the social-economic benefits of insect farming, particularly with regard to food security in the poorest sections of the population. And finally, a clear and comprehensive system of international regulations must be devised to smooth the path for investments to encourage this new branch of the industry and enable international trade in the sector to develop to its full potential.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Low-Cost, Portable NQR Spectroscopy
A researcher at Case Western Reserve University is developing a low-cost, portable prototype designed to detect tainted medicines and food supplements that otherwise can make their way to consumers. The technology can authenticate good medicines and supplements.
Chemical Used to Replace BPA is Potentially Toxic
This study is the first to examine the effects of BPA and BPS on brain cells and genes that control the growth and function of organs involved in reproduction.
Toxic Pollutants Found in Fish Across the World's Oceans
Scripps researchers' analysis shows highly variable pollutant concentrations in fish meat.
Weight-loss Supplements Containing Raspberry Ketone May Be Harmful
New study by the researchers suggests that raspberry ketone may have several adverse effects.
Quantifying C. botulinum Spores
A study from the Institute of Food Research has provided new evidence on the background levels of spores of Clostridium botulinum in raw food ingredients that is helping the food industry deliver safe chilled foods more sustainably.
Single Molecule Detection of Contaminants, Explosives or Diseases
A technique that combines the ultrasensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) with a slippery surface invented by Penn State researchers will make it feasible to detect single molecules of a number of chemical and biological species from gaseous, liquid or solid samples.
Should I Throw Away Food Once a Fly Has Landed on it?
Flies can be a substantial annoyance and may also be a potential health risk.
New Year, Old Beer
A bottle of Alexander Keith’s beer has been keeping Dal Engineering prof Andrew MacIntosh busy at work this week.
Sensor Detects Toxins Leaching from Plastic
Engineers from Massey University have developed a highly sensitive device able to detect synthetic compounds that leach from plastic food packaging into the contained food or beverage.
New BPA Detection Tests
Scientists from the JRC developed fit-for-purpose analytical methods for the determination of bisphenol A and 12 similar substances (analogues) in food matrices to support possible future monitoring studies.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!