Showing results for: Insects
More than three-quarters of the world's food crops are at least partly dependent on pollination and in many regions over 40 percent of the bees and the butterflies are threatened with extinction, according to a new report entitled Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production.
The Cambridge News reports on a recent start-up called Entomics, who are researching and developing the use of Black Soldier Fly larvae as a means of converting food waste into compounds that can be extracted and turned into more useful products.
This ScienceDaily article describes how researchers at Wageningen University and Research Centre have shown that insect oils – currently extracted from insects alongside the desired edible proteins but discarded as a waste product – contain omega-3 fatty acids.
This report, Food Futures, by the UK’s waste agency WRAP, looks at a broad range of food sustainability challenges for the future and at possible solutions.
This research suggests that attitudes towards the use of insects in animal feed and resulting livestock products are generally positive. The paper finds that of those interviewed (farmers, agriculture sector stakeholders and citizens in Belgium), two thirds accept the idea of using insects in animal feed, and in particularly feel positively towards their potential role in improving the sustainability of animal diets.
A decline in meat production combined with further increase in demand could spur businesses to look for alternative food protein sources, said Media Eghbal, head of countries analysis at Euromonitor International when being interviewed by the Food navigator.
About 1900 species of insects are eaten worldwide by at least 2 billion people – not because they are short of food, but out of choice. But for most Western consumers the idea of insects as food is disgusting. However, a handful of entrepreneurial start-ups are working to change this.
New data from Canadean based on a survey of 2000 individuals finds that many people in Britain are interested in trying insects and around 6% say that they would like to eat them regularly.
This Dutch study looks at consumers’ potential preferences for snacks made from a range proteins with lower environmental impact and segments according to their values and attitudes to food. In this hypothetical experiment, people could choose between written descriptions of a range of snacks containing lentils or beans, seaweed, insects or a combination of meat and a non-specified meat substance. The study found that a hybrid meat product may be preferred by many consumers before insects or seaweed. The researchers found that, overall, people who tended to eat more meat were less likely to choose the lentils and seaweed snacks while those who ate more fish were more likely to choose the seaweed snack.
The European Union is funding a project entitled PROteINSECT to investigate the efficacy and safety in using insect protein as a source of animal feed. The project will also investigate the potential for using insects for human consumption. Currently insect protein is only allowed in shellfish feed within the EU and forbidden for other animal feed or for human consumption.
The rising cost of animal protein, food and feed insecurity, environmental pressures, population growth and increasing demand for protein mean that alternative solutions to conventional livestock and feed sources urgently need to be found. Therefore insects as food and feed emerge as a very important issue of today.
This paper looks at the attitudes of different consumer segments to reducing meat consumption / consuming alternatives to meat consumption. It finds that general awareness of the environmental impacts of meat consumption is fairly low, and that while there is some acceptance of consuming less meat or consuming alternatives, this is not the case for all consumers and varies by consumer segment.
A study regarding the efficiency of beetle larvae (mealworms) as a potential protein source was published in the journal PLOS ONE by researchers at the University of Wageningen in Netherlands. The researchers compared the environmental impact of meat production on a mealworm farm to traditional animal farms using three parameters: land usage, energy needs, and greenhouse gas emissions. From the start of the process to the point that the meat left the farm, they found that mealworms scored better than the other foods. Per unit of edible protein produced, mealworm farms required less land and similar amounts of energy.