Edible Insect Trade Group Advocates Support for Insect Agriculture – NACIA Responds to efforts by Senators Flake and Cortez Masto to Prohibit USDA Subsidies for Insect Agriculture

Edible Insect Trade Group Advocates Support for Insect Agriculture – NACIA Responds to efforts by Senators Flake and Cortez Masto to Prohibit USDA Subsidies for Insect Agriculture

The North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture (NACIA) responds to efforts by Senators Flake and Cortez Masto to prohibit USDA subsidies for Insect Agriculture

December 17, 2018:

Global interest in Insects as Food and Feed was sparked by the 2013 release of a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO): Edible Insects – Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security. Concerns about feeding a rapidly growing worldwide population (estimated to reach 9 billion or higher by 2050 from 7.5 billion today) led to problem-solving around increasing food production in an environment of ever-increasing scarcity.

After a failed attempt to add an amendment to the Farm Bill earlier this year that sought to ban research funding for insect agriculture and insect-based foods, Senator Flake (R-AZ) has now teamed up with Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV) in a renewed effort to frame ongoing research supporting insect farming as “wasteful.” Their proposed legislation (Removing Excessive Dollars to Uproot and Cut Expensive (REDUCE) Government Waste Act) is heavy on puns but light on facts concerning insects.

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Many innovations are misunderstood in their infancy until the scales tip to wider acceptance. In many parts of the world, insects as food and feed are well established. Research shows that insects have been an important part of the human diet for millennia, and remain a protein-rich food staple for billions of people today.Nearby, in Mexico, there are more than 549 known species of insects which are eaten, and comida prehispanica is once again trending.  One of the most well-known is the chapuline, a type of tasty grasshopper which holds deep cultural culinary importance.

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Today, insects as a source of protein for food and feed is a growing industry with over 250 companies worldwide. The insects as feed industry alone was estimated to be worth $900 million in 2016 and is forecast to reach $1.5 billion by 2022 (Mordor Intelligence, 2017). The edible insects market is expected to reach nearly $1.2 billion by 2023, supported by a CAGR of 23.8% per a recent Research and Markets report. There is an explosion of growth in this industry globally and the U.S. lags behind. “The insect agriculture industry has grown tremendously in only a few short years – creating jobs, starting American businesses, and fueling economic growth. All signs point to that growth not only continuing, but accelerating. We would welcome the opportunity to show Senators Cortez Masto and Flake how this new agricultural sector could benefit not just the small business owners and farmers already active across 27 states, but their constituents in Nevada and Arizona as well,” said Robert Nathan Allen, NACIA President.

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Aquaculture: Ÿnsect unveils the results of its insect protein ŸnMeal™ on sea bass

Aquaculture: Ÿnsect unveils the results of its insect protein ŸnMeal™ on sea bass

See below for a press released titled December 12th, 2018 from Ÿnsect: 

Gut health, cumulative mortality and weight gain have been tested with, in the end, outstanding performance. Thanks to the results of this trial, Ÿnsect has further demonstrated its commitment to high-performance premium alternative protein ingredients with nutrition and health benefits for animals and plants.

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Eating Insects Athens 2018 – A Recap of Industry Growth

Eating Insects Athens 2018 – A Recap of Industry Growth

Eating Insects Athens was [insert superlatives here] beautiful. Thank you to everyone who participated in Eating Insects Athens, and to those of you that couldn’t make it but have been a part of my bug family still. I hope you enjoy this little blog post. If you don’t feel like reading, you can check out my recap video here: 

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Edible Insect Markets to Expand in Africa

Edible Insect Markets to Expand in Africa

The sun was shining brightly last Sunday in beautiful Santa Monica as I sat down with a closet friend to enjoy some mimosas and brunch food. Our catch up on life and work was suddenly interrupted as she abruptly stood up and spilled her beverage all over. What caused the frenzy? A cricket had landed on her lap.

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New Research on Small-Scale Cricket Farming in Laos

New Research on Small-Scale Cricket Farming in Laos

Few things perk me up in the morning like receiving an email titled, “New Research on Cricket Farming – Thought You’d Be Interested.” Any contribution to the growing literature on entomophagy is a welcome gift! Last week I received such a message and dove into a great piece called Small-Scale Cricket Farming by Thomas Weigel of Veterinarians Without Borders.

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Researching Insects for Malnutrition: Where Will Entomophagy Have the Biggest Impact?

Researching Insects for Malnutrition: Where Will Entomophagy Have the Biggest Impact?

I love when someone rocks my world with a new point of view, it’s a good day. A great day. Darja Dobermann provided that when she suggested we might be focusing our marketing efforts of entomophagy in the wrong areas. Well, not the wrong areas… but not the most effective ones. We already have countries that culturally accept eating insects (that also have climates to support their sustainable breeding). So why are we trying to force insects on other markets before optimizing those?

Darja is doing incredible work examining the potential for entomophagy in undernutrition, specifically anemia and uses in aquaculture in Africa. In our interview we dig a little deeper into work that will change the world.

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Insects, Italian Cuisine, and “Natural Remedies”

Insects, Italian Cuisine, and “Natural Remedies”

And entomophagy continues to collect momentum in the press! The Digital Journal released a nice piece a few days ago titled, “Are insects better than Italian cuisine? Some people think so!” In it, they discussed a valid point: what we consider food is largely influenced by culture. Something completely normal to you may be offensively gross to eat, from another culture’s perspective.

The article looks in particular at the Bozzaotra bros – a duo selling insects as food to a growing Italian market. Most fascinating to me was the brief (but MASSIVELY CLEVER) quip on regulations that the article contained. As some of my readers know, I’ve been fascinated by the development of the regulatory scene around the growing entomophagy field. I’ve written a few articles about theregulation of insects as food – focusing on the barriers they present. *SPOILER ALERT* The Bozzaotra bros, geniuses that they are, passed their insect delicacies off as “natural remedies” in order to bypass the strict government regulations.

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MIGHTi – Insects to Impact Food Insecurity

MIGHTi – Insects to Impact Food Insecurity

Prepare to be inspired! I’m over the moon about the recent chat I had with one of the wonder-women who founded MIGHTi – a collaborative research project designed to address the multifaceted and systematic factors that contribute to food insecurity in Southern Africa while simultaneously joining a global effort to re-envision food systems in a changing climate.

Needless to say, Rachel is making an impact in food sustainability and had some great stories to share about it!

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Insect Farming is helping Thailand’s Farmers

Insect Farming is helping Thailand’s Farmers

A low, scuttling sound is audible from the six concrete pens in Boontham Puthachat’s home. He is a cricket farmer. His crickets are nibbling on a mix of chicken feed, pumpkins, and other vegetables to grow for the five weeks before they are harvested.

Boontham is a farmer in Thanon Nang Klan, one of Thailand’s poorest regions. Here, farmers depend solely on the rains to either yield a good rice crop or leave their fields dry and barren. But Boontham is different. His family is one of 30 in his village raising insects to satisfy the growing domestic demand (even through many international diners would rather starve than try a fried grasshopper).

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