Trends towards 2050 predict a steady population increase to 9 billion people, forcing an increased food/feed output from available agro-ecosystems resulting in an even greater pressure on the environment. Scarcities of agricultural land, water, forest, fishery and biodiversity resources, as well as nutrients and non-renewable 
energy are foreseen. 

The Contribution of Insects to Food Security, Livelihoods and the Environment


Edible insects contain high quality protein, vitamins and amino acids for humans. Insects have a high food conversion rate, e.g. crickets need six times less feed than cattle, four times less than sheep, and twice less than pigs and broiler chickens to produce the same amount of protein. Besides, they emit less greenhouse gases and ammonia than conventional livestock. Insects can be grown on organic waste. Therefore, insects are a potential source for conventional production (mini-livestock) of protein, either for direct human consumption, or indirectly in recomposed foods (with extracted protein from insects); and as a protein source into feedstock mixtures.

Since 2003, FAO has been working on topics pertaining to edible insects in many countries worldwide. FAO ’s contributions cover the following thematic areas:

  • the generation and sharing of knowledge through publications, expert meetings and a web portal on edible insects;
  • awareness-raising on the role of insects through media collaboration (e.g. newspapers, magazines and TV);
  • the provision of support to member countries through field projects (e.g. the Laos Technical Cooperation Project);
  • networking and multidisciplinary interactions (e.g. stakeholders working with nutrition, feed and legislation-related issues) with various sectors within and outside FAO .


27 July 2016 Scientists have found the next super food, although it may not catch on quite the way kale and quinoa did. A team of scientists from India, France, Japan, Canada, and the National Institutes of Health in America have found that cockroach milk crystals, a nutrient dense substance found in the stomachs of young cockroaches, contain three times as much energy as the equivalent amount of cow's milk. [more]
27 July 2016 Have you heard about the next big food trend? You won’t find it growing in your garden, but you might find it crawling there. Across America, a growing number of restaurants are getting into what food bloggers say will be the next top food trend. But a meal of bugs is high in protein and essential nutrients, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization . The group encourages Westerners to get on the bug bandwagon. [more]
World's first household edible insect farm 7 July 2016 A startup in China has created a hive to grow your own edible insects. The duo behind the project say insects are a valuable source of protein and could help feed the world's growing population [more]

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last updated:  Wednesday, July 27, 2016