|Title||Insects as feed and the Sustainable Development Goals|
|Source||Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 4 (2018)3. - ISSN 2352-4588 - p. 147 - 156.|
Laboratory of Entomology
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Biodiversity - Climate change - Food security - Health - Welfare|
One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations is to achieve food security and improved nutrition. To be successful in feeding the rapidly growing human population, we need innovative changes in food production. The challenge of safeguarding food security is considerable because many potential solutions are incompatible with solutions for other challenges that we face, including climate change mitigation and halting the biodiversity loss. To produce animal proteins, we currently rely to a large extent on feedstuff for livestock that is either suitable as food for humans (e.g. cereals and soymeal) or on a resource that is becoming scarce due to overfishing of the oceans (fishmeal). To set a first step towards a circular approach to feed production, insects provide interesting opportunities as various species can be reared on organic waste streams, including waste streams of food production and manure. This paper discusses the opportunities for using insects as a valuable feed source for the production of livestock. Insects do not only provide excellent opportunities to replace fishmeal and soymeal, but may also have important additional benefits. These include positive effects on livestock health and welfare with opportunities to reduce antibiotic use in livestock production. This is discussed in the integrated context of five of the sustainable development goals. Recent entrepreneurial and regulatory developments underline the opportunities for employing insects as feed. In this development an important indirect effect may be that consumers get acquainted with insects as a valuable and sustainable component of the food chain. This may result in the acceleration of adopting insects as food and thus of producing mini-livestock as a sustainable source of animal protein.