London, May 12 :
Ever fancied eating insects for lunch? A whole lot of people in the world, especially the impoverished parts, do it. Now it is you turn.
Insects can potentially provide food security to the world, according to Arnold van Huis, an entomologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
He studies the eating of insects, or entomophagy, and is the author of a book titled “Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security”, published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Now, he is organising the first-ever international conference at Wageningen University May 14 to address the question of whether insects can feed the world.
“Insects are still more or less considered a poor man’s diet. It still has that reputation. I hope we can change this perception of insects as food during this conference,” van Huis told the journal Nature ahead of the conference.
For human consumption, the processing is quite important – how to rear the insects, what kind of organic waste to grow them on – because that makes it economically interesting.
“If you look at the social sciences, of course, consumer attitude is quite important. It is not just a matter of taste; it is also a matter of emotions,” he added.
According to Huis, he has seen an exponential increase in interest for insects as food.
“When we published the book last year, it had six million downloads. It just shows the tremendous interest,” he noted.