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Sericulture and the edible-insect industry can help humanity survive: insects are more than just bugs, food, or feed

Abstract

The most serious threat which humans face is rapid global climate change, as the Earth shifts rapidly into a regime less hospitable to humans. To address the crisis caused by severe global climate change, it will be necessary to modify humankind’s way of life. Because livestock production accounts for more than 14.5% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it is critical to reduce the dependence of humans on protein nutrients and calories obtained from livestock. One way to do so is to use insects as food. Compared with typical livestock, farming edible insects (or “mini-livestock”) produce fewer GHG emissions, require less space and water, involve shorter life cycles, and have higher feed conversion rates. It has been recently reported that consumption of certain insects can prevent or treat human diseases. This review goes beyond entomophagy to entomotherapy and their application to the food industry.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a grant from Foundation of Agri. Tech. Commercialization & Transfer (No. SA00016446).

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Park, S.J., Kim, KY., Baik, MY. et al. Sericulture and the edible-insect industry can help humanity survive: insects are more than just bugs, food, or feed. Food Sci Biotechnol 31, 657–668 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-022-01090-3

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Keywords

  • Entomophagy
  • Entomotherapy
  • Sustainable
  • Low-carbon diet