Insects as Feed and Food
With the world population expected to exceed 9.7 billion by 2050, food production needs to increase by 70%. Food system is under pressure and several national/international organizations found in insects a potential answer to respond to the demand for sustainable and high-quality nutrient to feed a growing population. Therefore, the interest about edible insects is continuously increasing, due to their environmental, nutritional and productive features. Reared insects showed lower environmental impact, higher production capacity and feed conversion ratio efficiency than conventional production animals. Noteworthy, FAO indicated insects as food and feed as a potential and practical answer to the world demand of food proteins.
Insects are part of natural diets of several animals. Conversely, their use as feed in livestock productions is still low due to regulation/laws which do not list insects as an available ingredient. The use of insects’ protein meals or oil could be promoted as substitution of soy-fish-maize-wheat meal-oil in order to lower the environmental impact (use of land, water, sea).
Worldwide more than 2,000 species of insects are consumed as food, mostly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Entomophagy, the habit of eating insects, was abandoned by Western world several centuries ago. Historically, insects were harvested from nature and due to environmental reasons, the harvesting yield in temperate zones was lower than in the tropics, as insects size is smaller, their occurrence is less clumped and they are unavailable in winter time. Insects for human consumption show good potential as nutritive and sustainable efficient source. Nevertheless, cultural barriers could make them difficult to be accepted as food in some countries.
Even if insects seem to pose a low risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases, allergies mostly comparable to those related to crustaceans (invertebrates) may occur. Consumers’ willingness to eat will drive the entire market, even though insect-based food (e.g. whole, roasted, burgers, protein snacks) or already well-known foods supplemented with insect powder/oil (e.g. pizza, pasta, bread, cookies) are in the future prospect of reaching our tables.
In an optic of future food production with lower environmental impact and increased circular economy, insects as feed and food could surely help shifting the world to a sustainable and resilient path, providing an important contribution to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
During the Summer School the main topics "Insects as Feed and Food" will be presented in the European contest. From the legislative structure to the farming systems, focusing on the practical applications of insects as human food and animal feed. Nutritional value of insects and their features will be part of the course in the optic of a progressive increase in animal productions with a decreasing negative environmental impact.
The school will be entirely held online, via Microsoft Teams.
The Summer School aims to increase awareness and competencies about insects as feed and food learning the basic principle and form the students to design future sustainable pathways in the sector. In the next years an increase in insect rearing is expected in order to maintain high nutritional standards to response to human food requirements and population growth.
The course aims to form future professional figures that can be part of this challenge.
Who can apply
Everybody interested in the insect food-feed sectors.
Students, public/private sectors, entrepreneurs, academics.
Bachelor Degree and fluent English.
The organizers reserve the right to cancel the summer school if fewer than 15 students are enrolled. A maximum number of 35 students will be admitted to the school.
Identity Document (*PASSPORT in case you are a foreign student*)
All the documents must be in pdf format, in order to upload them on the portal when required
A 50% discount will be applied to the first 10 enrollments received by PhD students and postgraduates.
12 - 16 July 2021
14 June 2021