Insects in our diet

One big need for the nine billion people of the 21th century will be meat or protein in their diet. Especially if poverty is lifted off successfully, billions of people will enjoy a more protein rich diet than today. Could everybody eat like the Western world does today? Probably not. Greenhouse gasses coming from animal production would rise sharply with potentially grave impact on global warming. Also think of the massive soy been production, which is needed for protein rich animal feed. Great areas of bio diverse land will be offered for the food chain. Looking at the trends of today, the global rise of meat production seems imminent. However, this also stimulates people to consider another source of animal protein, namely insects. Their nutritional value is nothing less than excellent.

Although not strange at all from a global perspective, eating insects gives us in the West the creeps. This could change in the future, when also the West will feel the rising global needs for protein rich foods. Therefore, consider that we also eat shrimps, which are actually the insects of the sea. And we are perfectly happy with that. To overcome the yuk feelings and prepare the Western world for eating insects in the future, in theNetherlands an Insect Cookbook was published. Likewise, a British design bureau presented a sushi kit made with insects to alter people’s primal response to insects on a dinner plate. No doubt that we will see more of such initiatives in the near future.

In de meantime in the West, insects are becoming part of the food chain as feed for lifestock. Chicken and fish are used to insects in their natural diets, so this is not a far fetched idea. A consortium in the Netherlandsis working towards an industry of insect farms for feed ingredients. For parts of the world where eating insects is not a cultural hurdle, the knowledge of insect farming is directly put into practice. The Dutch flying foods concortium has plans for cricket farms in Kenya and Urganda as a new way of generating income for small farmers, stimulating the local market, and increasing the access to affordable and healthy food.

A picture from the Insect Cook Book, featuring a recipe for mushroom risotto with locusts

About Freija Van Duijne

Twitter: @FreijavanDuijne Futuring is my passion. I am fascinated about what the future might bring. Always looking around for leads about the future and open for new insights. I am futurist, trendwatchter and strategist at the The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, a thinktank in the Netherlands. My background is in Human factors psychology. I did my Masters at Leiden University and I did a PhD in Delft University at the faculty of Industrial design engineering. I have been involved in foresight studies since 2006. I am frequently asked as an expert for future studies in area of food, natural resources, health and governance. I am also a speaker and workshop facilitator on futures studies, trend presentations and the many topics that I blog about. My contributions to Futuristablog represent my own personal opinion and is never a statement of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
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