Conference on Insects to feed the World 2014 Wageningen

  • Conference Call
  • The Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­sity and Research Cen­tre and the Food and Agri­cul­ture Orga­ni­za­tion of the United Nations (FAO) is kindly invit­ing you to par­tic­i­pate in a Con­fer­ence on Insects to Feed the World, held May 14 – 17, 2014 in Ede, Nether­lands at the Hotel Reehorst.

    Con­fer­ence Theme

    The Poten­tial of insects as human food and ani­mal feed is assur­ing food secu­rity. The over­all objec­tive of the con­fer­ence is to pro­mote the use of insects as human food and as ani­mal feed in assur­ing food security.

    FAO esti­mates that the world needs to increase its food pro­duc­tion by 70 per­cent by 2050 in order to serve a global pop­u­la­tion of nine bil­lion. Ani­mal feed pro­duc­tion is increas­ingly com­pet­ing for resources (land, water and fer­til­izer) with human food and fuel pro­duc­tion, urban­iza­tion and nature. Sev­enty per­cent of the world’s agri­cul­tural land is already directly or indi­rectly ded­i­cated to meat pro­duc­tion. With a grow­ing world pop­u­la­tion and increas­ingly demand­ing con­sumers, can we still pro­duce suf­fi­cient ani­mal pro­tein in the future? Urgently we need to iden­tify alter­na­tive pro­tein sources, and insects have great poten­tial in con­tribut­ing to global food security.

    Aims of the Conference

    Specif­i­cally we would like to:

    • Get an overview of the cur­rent sta­tus of insects as food and feed.
    • Iden­tify con­straints in the devel­op­ment of insect food/​feed sec­tor (e.g. legislation).
    • Pro­mote inter­ac­tions among stake­hold­ers in the insect value chain.
    • For­mu­late rec­om­men­da­tions to increase the impact of using insects as a food and feed source.
    • Con­tribute to stan­dard­iz­ing method­olo­gies for analysing nutri­tional com­po­si­tion of insects.
    • Pro­mote gath­er­ing (inter)national data on the pro­duc­tion and trade of edi­ble insects.
    • Estab­lish (inter)disciplinary net­works among rel­e­vant partners.
    • Cre­ate global aware­ness of this neglected food & feed source.

    Back­ground Information

    More than 1900 species of insects are eaten world­wide, mainly in trop­i­cal coun­tries. There are a num­ber of advan­tages of using insects as pro­tein source above live­stock prod­ucts, among which:

    1. insect being cold-​blooded, con­vert­ing feed much more effi­ciently into edi­ble product
    2. emit­ting less green­house gases and ammo­nia than con­ven­tional livestock
    3. requir­ing less space to pro­duce protein

    Nutri­tion­ally, edi­ble insects con­sti­tute high qual­ity food for humans, and feed for live­stock, poul­try and fish.

    Increas­ing expen­sive feed ingre­di­ents such as fish­meal, soymeal and grains can eas­ily be sub­sti­tuted by insect meal. Lar­vae and pupae of Black Sol­dier Flies, House flies and Yel­low meal­worms are good can­di­dates while at the same time these insects can trans­form organic waste into high qual­ity pro­tein prod­ucts. Bio-​regeneration of waste would solve an envi­ron­men­tal prob­lem con­sid­er­ing that glob­ally one third of our food is not used. In trop­i­cal coun­tries most insects are col­lected from nature, but can we con­tinue to har­vest them sus­tain­ably? Or to sat­isfy demands world­wide, do we need to farm insects as mini-​livestock? The feed indus­try may want to change their cur­rent pro­tein ingre­di­ents with insect meal, but then they need to be pro­duced in large-​scale auto­mated mass-​rearing facil­i­ties that pro­duce a sta­ble, reli­able, and safe product.

    Because insects until recently were not con­sid­ered as feed or food in the west­ern world, leg­is­la­tion needs to be devel­oped and food safety issues addressed. Con­sumer accept­abil­ity is not just about per­ceived envi­ron­ment ben­e­fits and price, but gas­tro­nom­i­cally inter­est­ing prod­ucts need to be developed.

    Insects have the poten­tial of becom­ing an impor­tant new food and feed item both in trop­i­cal and west­ern coun­tries, but this requires close col­lab­o­ra­tion between pub­lic and pri­vate part­ners and R&D orga­ni­za­tions. We may be at the brink of the emer­gence of a new food/​feed chain and a new sec­tor of insects as food and feed.

    To fully real­ize this poten­tial, much work still needs to be done by a wide range of stake­hold­ers involved in the insect value chain, both from the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor. First we need an overview of the cur­rent sta­tus of insects as food and feed. Sec­ond we need to dis­cuss the way for­ward with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the aca­d­e­mic world, gov­ern­men­tal bod­ies, pri­vate com­pa­nies (insect rear­ing, feed­stock, and cater­ing), and inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions. In this way we hope to be able to con­tribute to the use of insects as food and feed worldwide.

    Pub­li­ca­tion Opportunity

    It is also pos­si­ble to present a man­u­script to be pub­lished in a spe­cial edited vol­ume or in a spe­cial issue of a jour­nal (still to be decided). The key note speak­ers will also con­tribute to this spe­cial edited vol­ume of spe­cial issue, which will be pub­lished by Wagenin­gen Aca­d­e­mic Pub­lish­ers. The edi­to­r­ial board will decide whether your man­u­script would qual­ify to be included. Down­load the guide­lines for authors Insects to feed the world.

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