About this Research Topic
In recent years, interest in using insects as a source of food has grown considerably based on the increasing number of research papers being published, and the growing number of insect farming operations and processing plants being developed.
Broadening the use of insects as food offers a feasible means of addressing famine and malnutrition. Insects provide high levels of protein and the food products derived from insects are relatively cheap and easy to produce. This makes insects an appealing food source for populations of low-income countries where the tradition of insect-eating is already present, as insects can provide safe and sustainable sources of high nutrition that are broadly accessible to the global population. In high-income countries, edible insects hold a high potential for appeal if sustainability continues to be a driving force in food production.
We wish to revive interest in the use of insects as valuable food sources, especially for populations suffering from food shortages and malnutrition. However, it is important to emphasize that insect farming and production can reduce the environmental footprint of animal husbandry compared to other animal sources, and thus provide a positive impact on climate change. In addition, the wider use of insects as food can reduce the pressure on wild species. Efforts to increase the sustainability of production in the light of the circular economy should be encouraged. However, food safety during pre- and post-harvest insect processing should not be neglected.
This Research Topic welcomes Original Research papers and Reviews of literature. Potential themes of this collection that may be addressed (but are not limited to) are:
• The potential of insects to increase food security;
• The role of insects as food sources in preserving biodiversity;
• The sustainability of insect farming with a particular focus on land use, greenhouse gas emissions, water footprint (Life Cycles Assessments are highly encouraged);
• The safety of insect-based food products from farm to fork (viruses, bacteria, parasites, allergens, anti-nutritional substances, contaminants);
• The nutritional value of insects, with emphasis on the fact that insects can supply critical nutrients to low-income populations;
• The potential of insects as alternatives to other animal-based food products.
Keywords: insect farming operations, sustainable food source, food security, insect-based food, food safety, insect farming
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.