Insects as “new” foods

Monday, June 6, 2016

Authors: Ágnes Kemenczei, Tekla Izsó, Lajos Bognár, Gyula Kasza


1. Summary
The rapid growth of world population and the scarcity of natural resources are serious problems from an agricultural point of view, therefore, sustainable food production is an increasingly important issue. According to researchers, insects could mean the solution to the impending “protein crisis”, among other things. In recent years, society's interest in the consumption of foods made of insects increased significantly in Europe, but it should be mentioned that entomophagy (the consumption of insects) is not a new phenomenon, because hints of it can already be found in the Bible. Several studies, discussing mainly the advantages and possible risks of insect consumption have already been prepared, however, our knowledge is still very limited. Although legislation is far from being uniform, we have to be prepared that, sooner or later, foods made of insects are likely to become part of our everyday diet.

2. Introduction
Searching for solutions to sustainable food production has become a very urgent task in recent years. One of the possible directions is exploiting the potential use of raw materials and resources not of traditional origin, such as the application of edible insects as foods or feedstuffs [38]. The consumption of insects (entomophagy) has been part of everyday life in several cultures for a long time, even though it may seem like an unusual idea to the European and American population. In the following, we try to find the answer to the questions of how recent insect consumption is, what the laws that regulate it are, and we also consider potential advantages and risks of utilizing insects as foods. The question arises what the consumer attitudes connected to this are, because, in the future, it will probably be necessary to rethink our habits to ensure global food security [38].

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