Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2013 - Science - 187 pages
Edible insects have always been a part of human diets, but in some societies there remains a degree of disdain and disgust for their consumption. Although the majority of consumed insects are gathered in forest habitats, mass-rearing systems are being developed in many countries. Insects offer a significant opportunity to merge traditional knowledge and modern science to improve human food security worldwide. This publication describes the contribution of insects to food security and examines future prospects for raising insects at a commercial scale to improve food and feed production, diversify diets, and support livelihoods in both developing and developed countries. It shows the many traditional and potential new uses of insects for direct human consumption and the opportunities for and constraints to farming them for food and feed. It examines the body of research on issues such as insect nutrition and food safety, the use of insects as animal feed, and the processing and preservation of insects and their products. It highlights the need to develop a regulatory framework to govern the use of insects for food security. And it presents case studies and examples from around the world. Edible insects are a promising alternative to the conventional production of meat, either for direct human consumption or for indirect use as feedstock. To fully realise this potential, much work needs to be done by a wide range of stakeholders. This publication will boost awareness of the many valuable roles that insects play in sustaining nature and human life, and it will stimulate debate on the expansion of the use of insects as food and feed.

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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