Insects to Feed the World

From 14th-17 May 2014 I was lucky to attend the conference Insects to Feed the World in Ede, The Netherlands.

Here we were 450 people from 45 countries, all gathered to talk and share our research, business ideas and challenges faced in the edible insects sector.

Here’s a picture from the opening of the conference. The atmosphere was electric as the whole audience was excited about all of the talks that were to come over the following days.

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I met a whole host of people from entrepreneurs, architects, PhD students in sustainability and biology to experts in agriculture and EU policy makers.

Over the course of the conference we talked about:

  • The challenge of the ‘yuck’ factor when trying to encourage people to eat insects
  • Introducing edible insects in countries where sustainable sources of protein are scarce
  • Testing the safety of new species of edible insects (e.g. pathogens)
  • Changing EU (and worldwide) legislation to make it easier to breed insects for human consumption.

But, on to the fun bit!…

Our hosts kindly prepared lots of interesting appetisers for us to try during the breaks and I got to take a few pictures of them when I wasn’t busy networking.

Freshly cooked mealworm balls! I would like to try and make these myself, as they are easy to hand out and won’t be a problem for people who are squeamish about seeing legs. Meaty and nutty.

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Quiche with a mealworm topping. They have quite a subtle taste, but add a nice crunch :)

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It looks like everything I ate was made of mealworms, but actually I tried some silk worms cooked in soy and mirin, plus some crickets, locust salad, several dishes with wasp larvae….I was too busy eating them to take pictures!