Skip to main content

Sustainable Proteins? Values Related to Insects in Food Systems

Abstract

Developing large scale production systems for farmed insects to supplement or replace feed and food ingredients from vertebrate livestock is often heralded as a more sustainable way to produce animal protein than currently used livestock production methods and is receiving increased interest from a diverse set of stakeholders ranging from political decision makers, environmental interest groups, farmers, industry and scientists. This is hardly a surprise, as sustainability has been widely embraced as a broad and inclusive political (ideological) as well as managerial (practical) framework. Ideally sustainability is a balance between a one-sided focus on productivity and profit on the one hand, and uncompromising demands for nature preservation and calls for radical changes in the agricultural production on the other. But there are different views on how to strike that balance – to some extent reflecting different values – which in turn gives rise to different challenges on how insects can contribute to food systems around the world.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-74011-9_13
  • Chapter length: 13 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   229.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-74011-9
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   299.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   299.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

References

  • Abbasi T, Abbasi SA (2016) Reducing the global environmental impact of livestock production: the minilivestock option. Journal of Cleaner Production 112:1754–1766

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Alexandratos N, Bruinsma J (2012) World agriculture towards 2030/2050: the 2012 revision, ESA working paper no. 12-03. Food and Agricultural Organization of The United Nations, Rome

    Google Scholar 

  • Bosselmann K (2016) The principle of sustainability: transforming law and governance. Routledge, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Broom DM (2001) Evolution of pain. Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 70(1):17–21

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Broom DM (2014) Sentience and animal welfare. Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International, Oxfordshire

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Eisemann CH, Jorgensen WK, Merritt DJ, Rice MJ, Cribb BW, Webb PD, Zalucki MP (1984) Do insects feel pain? A biological view. Cell Mol Life Sci 40(2):164–167

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Elwood RW (2011) Pain and suffering in invertebrates? Inst Res Anim J 5(22):175–184

    Google Scholar 

  • FAO (2011) Mapping supply and demand for animal-source foods to 2030, by T.P. Robinson & F. Pozzi. Animal production and health working paper no. 2. Rome. http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/i2425e/i2425e00.pdf

  • FAO (2015a) Insects for food and feed. http://www.fao.org/forestry/edibleinsects/en/

  • FAO (2015b) The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015. Rome: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4646e.pdf

    Google Scholar 

  • FAO (2013) The contribution of insects to food security, livelihoods and the environment. Rome: FAO

    Google Scholar 

  • Gahukar RT (2011) Entomophagy and human food security. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science 31(3):129–144

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gamborg C, Gjerris M (2012) For the benefit of the land? Ethical aspects of the impact of meat production on nature, the environment, and the countryside. In: Potthas T, Meisch S (eds) Climate change and sustainable development. Ethical perspectives on land use and food production. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, pp 202–206

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gamborg C, Sandøe P (2005) Sustainability in farm animal breeding: a review. Livest Prod Sci 92:221–231

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gamborg C, Larsen JB (2005) Towards more sustainable forestry? The ethics of close-to-nature forestry. Silva Carelica 49:55–64

    Google Scholar 

  • Gerber PJ, Steinfeld H, Henderson B, Mottet A, Opio C, Dijkman J, Falcucci A, Tempio G (2013) Tackling climate change through livestock – a global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome

    Google Scholar 

  • Gjerris M, Gamborg C, Röcklinsberg H (2016) Ethical aspects of insect production for food and feed. J Insects Food Feed 2(2):101–110

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Goodland R, Anhang J (2009) Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are… cows, pigs, and chickens. World Watch Institute, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Halloran A, Roos N, Eilenberg J, Cerutti A, Bruun S (2016) Life cycle analysis of edible insects for food protein: a review. Agron Sustain Dev 36:57. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-016-0392-8

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Halloran A, Vantomme P, Hanboonsong Y, Ekesi S (2015) Regulating edible insects: the challenge of addressing food security, nature conservation, and the erosion of traditional food culture. Food Secur 7(3):739–746

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Halloran A, Hanboonsong Y, Roos N, Bruun S (2017) Life cycle assessment of cricket farming in north-eastern Thailand. J Clean Prod 156:83–94

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hardouin J (1995) Minilivestock: from gathering to controlled production. Biodiversity and Conservation 4:220–232

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hartmann C, Shi J, Giusto A and Siegrist M (2015) The psychology of eating insects: A cross-cultural comparison between Germany and China. Food Quality and Preference 44:148–156

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hekler EB, Gardner CD and Robinson TN (2010) Effects of a College Course About Food and Society on Students’ Eating Behaviors. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 38(5): 543–547

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Henry M, Gasco L, Piccolo G, Fountulaki E (2015) Review on the use of insects in the diet of farmed fish: past and future. Anim Feed Sci Technol 203:1–22

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • House J (2016) Consumer acceptance of insect-based foods in the Netherlands: Academic and commercial implications. Appetite 107:47–58

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ilea RC (2009) Intensive livestock farming: global trends, increased environmental concerns, and ethical solutions. J Agric Environ Ethics 22:153–167

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jongema Y (2015) List of edible insects of the world (June 1, 2015). Waageningen UR. http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Expertise-Services/Chair-groups/Plant-Sciences/Laboratory-of-Entomology/Edible-insects/Worldwide-species-list.htm. Accessed 17.01.17

  • Kanerva, M (2016) Meat eating as a practice and the acceptance of radical change. In Olsson, I.A.S., Araújo, S.M. and Vieira, M.F. (eds.) Food futures: Ethics, science and culture. Proceedings of the EurSafe 2016 conference in Porto, Portugal 29 September – 1 October. Wageningen Academic Publishers

    Google Scholar 

  • Lindström N (2012) Förhållandet mellan praxis och teori inom etiken, Lund Studies in Ethics and Theology 16

    Google Scholar 

  • Makkar HPS, Tran G, Heuzé V, Ankers P (2014) State-of-the-art on use of insects as animal feed. Anim Feed Sci Technol 197:1–33

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Maxey L (2007) From “alternative” to “sustainable food”, in Maye D, Holloway L and Kneafsey M (eds.): Alternative food geographies. London: Elsevier, pp. 55–75

    Google Scholar 

  • Miech P, Berggren Å, Lindberg JE, Chhay T, Khieu B, Jansson A (2016) Growth and survival of reared Cambodian field crickets (Teleogryllus testaceus) fed weeds, agricultural and food industry by-products. J Insects Food Feed 2(4):285–292

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Nel WP, Ward JD (2015) Towards a rational sustainability framework. Sustain Sci 10(3):515–520

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Norris K, Potts SG, Mortimer SR (2010) Ecosystem services and food production. Issues Environ Sci Technol 30:52–69

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ong ASJ, Frewer LJ and Chan M (2017) Cognitive dissonance in food and nutrition – A conceptual framework. Trends in Food Science & Technology 59:60–69

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Oonincx DGAB, van Itterbeeck J, Heetkamp MJW, van den Brand H, van Loon JJ, van Huis A (2010) An exploration on greenhouse gas and ammonia production by insect species suitable for animal or human consumption. PLoS One 5(12):e14445. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0014445

    CrossRef  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Röös E, Patel M, Spångberg J, Carlsson G, Rydhmer L (2016) Limiting livestock production to pasture and by-products in a search for sustainable diets. Food Policy 58:1–13

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Sala S, Assumpcio’ A, McLaren SJ, Notarnicola B, Saouter E, Sonesson U (2017) In quest of reducing the environmental impacts of food production and consumption. J Clean Prod 140:387–398

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Sherwin C (2001) Can invertebrates suffer? Or how robust is argument-by-analogy. Animal Welfare 10:103–18

    Google Scholar 

  • Smetana S, Mathys A, Knoch A, Heinz V (2015) Meat alternatives: life cycle assessment of most known meat substitutes. Int J Life Cycle Assess 20(9):1254–1267

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Smith JA (1991) A question of pain in invertebrates. Inst Lab Anim Res J 33:25–31

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Sneddon LU, Elwood RW, Adamo SA, Leach MC (2014) Defining and assessing animal pain. Anim Behav 97:201–212

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Söderbaum P (2014) The Role of Economics and Democracy in Institutional Change for Sustainability. Sustainability 6(5):2755–2765

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Steinfeld H, Gerber P, Wassenaar T, Castel V, Rosales M, de Haan C (2006) Livestock’s long shadow – environmental issues and options. Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, Rome

    Google Scholar 

  • Steinfeld H, Mooney HA, Schneider F, Neville LE (eds) (2013) Livestock in a changing landscape. Volume 1: Drivers, consequences, and responses. Island Press, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • The Lancet (2013) Executive summary of the lancet maternal and child nutrition series. The Lancet. http://www.thelancet.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/stories/series/nutrition-eng.pdf

  • United Nations (2015) The sustainable development agenda. The United Nations. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/

  • United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2015) World population prospects: the 2015 revision, key findings and advance tables, Working paper no. ESA/P/WP.241. United Nations, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • van Huis A (2013) Potential of insects as food and feed in assuring food security. Annu Rev Entomol 58:563–583

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • van Huis A, van Itterbeeck J, Klunder H, Mertens E, Halloran A, Muir G, Vantomme P (2013) Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security, FAO forestry paper 171. Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, Rome

    Google Scholar 

  • Verbeke W (2015) Profiling consumers who are ready to adopt insects as a meat substitute in a Western society. Food Quality and Preference 39:147–155

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Wheeler T, von Braun J (2013) Climate change impacts on global food security. Science 341(6145):508–513

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christian Gamborg .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Gamborg, C., Röcklinsberg, H., Gjerris, M. (2018). Sustainable Proteins? Values Related to Insects in Food Systems. In: Halloran, A., Flore, R., Vantomme, P., Roos, N. (eds) Edible Insects in Sustainable Food Systems . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74011-9_13

Download citation