Title

Eating Insects: A Community Action Toolkit

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The world's human population has risen exponentially over the last 100 years and is expected to reach nine billion by 2050. Ensuring food security and resource sustainability is of global concern. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization endorses insect farming as an alternative to cattle, pork, sheep, and poultry industries because of their higher food conversion rate. Insect farming requires less arable land, less water, and produces less greenhouse gases than traditional livestock. The practice of eating insects, known as entomophagy, is not a new idea as two billion people around the world include insects in their diets. Unfortunately, insects are not typically considered food in the United States, which means health and safety regulations for insect farming, distribution, and consumption are limited, if not nonexistent. There is a need for the redefinition of insects as a legitimate food in the United States through education, media, and policy. To address this need, we have compiled a toolkit for individuals to promote entomophagy in their own communities. The toolkit includes a resolution, food safety regulation templates, two recipe videos, one promotional video on entomophagy in Montana, two educational videos on environmental and nutritional benefits of eating insects, recipes, and a compilation of infographics. Our target audience is environmentally concerned citizens, as they are the most likely group in the country to be early adopters of entomophagy. Interested citizens can use our toolkit to learn about entomophagy, experiment with recipes, host their own insect tasting event, lobby their local governments to adopt a resolution about integrating entomophagy into their climate actions plans, or work with their local health and safety agencies to adopt regulations legitimizing insects as food. We are in final negotiations with the North American Coalition on Insect Agriculture to host our toolkit online in the public domain.

Category

Interdisciplinary (GLI)

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Apr 17th, 10:40 AM Apr 17th, 11:00 AM

Eating Insects: A Community Action Toolkit

UC North Ballroom

The world's human population has risen exponentially over the last 100 years and is expected to reach nine billion by 2050. Ensuring food security and resource sustainability is of global concern. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization endorses insect farming as an alternative to cattle, pork, sheep, and poultry industries because of their higher food conversion rate. Insect farming requires less arable land, less water, and produces less greenhouse gases than traditional livestock. The practice of eating insects, known as entomophagy, is not a new idea as two billion people around the world include insects in their diets. Unfortunately, insects are not typically considered food in the United States, which means health and safety regulations for insect farming, distribution, and consumption are limited, if not nonexistent. There is a need for the redefinition of insects as a legitimate food in the United States through education, media, and policy. To address this need, we have compiled a toolkit for individuals to promote entomophagy in their own communities. The toolkit includes a resolution, food safety regulation templates, two recipe videos, one promotional video on entomophagy in Montana, two educational videos on environmental and nutritional benefits of eating insects, recipes, and a compilation of infographics. Our target audience is environmentally concerned citizens, as they are the most likely group in the country to be early adopters of entomophagy. Interested citizens can use our toolkit to learn about entomophagy, experiment with recipes, host their own insect tasting event, lobby their local governments to adopt a resolution about integrating entomophagy into their climate actions plans, or work with their local health and safety agencies to adopt regulations legitimizing insects as food. We are in final negotiations with the North American Coalition on Insect Agriculture to host our toolkit online in the public domain.