The conference was held from 14 to 17 May and jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR). Dr. Guido Bosch and dr. Thomas van der Poel welcomed 75 attendees and explained the possibilities and challenges of processing insects to proteinaceous ingredients for animal feed. The Laboratory of Entomology discussed aspects of insect rearing and the Product Design and Quality group focussed on fractionation of insects for human food purposes and consumer acceptance. With over 450 participants from 45 countries, the conference was a great success.
FAO estimates that the world needs to increase its food production by 70 percent by 2050 in order to serve a global population of 9 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.
During the three-day conference, representatives from farmer’s associations, decision-makers from national and regional government, universities, and research centres, and the food and feed industry came together to exchange experiences and to facilitate the development of a new food and feed sector that can contribute to a more sustainable global food security. In preparation for this Conference, FAO and the Wageningen UR have made an exhaustive compilation and critical review of available literature and data covering the many issues involved for using insects for food and/or feed into a comprehensive report: “Edible Insects: prospects of insects as food and feed”. The main outcomes of the conference can be found on the following website.
During the opening of the conference the new "Journal of Insects as Food and Feed" by Wageningen Academic Publishers was launched. Dr. Alan L. Yen will be the Editor-in-chief of this new quarterly Journal. The proceedings of the conference will be published in this journal. For further information please click visit the Journal’s website.