EXPO is trying to feed the planet.
And we have an answer.

Maybe it sounds weird but...

2 billions people are eating insects every day!
The human consumption of insects as food is called ENTOMOPHAGY.







Insects are already eaten in a lot of places around the world:
45 countries in Asia, 36 in Africa, 37 in South America.
In most cases in these countries insects have been eaten by man since prehistoric times
and continue to be an item of the human nutrition in modern times.



Mexico

Through century-long observations, life cycles of insects have been well documented ever since the pre-Columbian indigenous people in Mexico, who harvest insects according to plant life, moon cycles, and seasonal changes.

Congo

When staples are scarce, insects become important sources of food. Caterpillars are popular during the rainy season, when hunting game and fishing become difficult. 96 tonnes of caterpillars are consumed annually in Kinshasa alone.

Thailand

In many Asian countries migration patterns help the spread of entomophagy. In Thailand labour workers from northeastern zones migrate to south, including Bangkok, and lead to 81 estimated insect species for consumption.

Laos

Laos consumes 150-200 species of edible insectes, of which the red palm weevils are especially popular and highly prized delicacy. Many aquatic species can be found year-round, while some non-aquatic ones are available on a seasonal basis.



The United Nations and FAO are actively promoting entomophagy in the Western world,
to raise awareness around the food of the future.

Recently in Europe, also thanks to this campaign,
some countries have introduced insects in their food market.





iceland

“Jungle Bar” is an icelandic protein bar made with dates, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds, chocolate and cricket flour.
On Kickstarter 648 backers pledged $27,806 to help bring this project to life.

France

Into the Auchan shopping center in Montpellier the food of the future was offered to the customers. People entering in the supermarket were invited to taste an aperitif made with cricket or silkworm.

united kingdom

In London there are three “insect restaurants”, where Thai-inspired menues are served, featuring classic dishes and traditional ways of incorporating insects into unconventional and flavoursome creations.

And...what about Italy?

This year the Universal Exposition is hosted by Milan.
Its title is “Feeding the planet, energy for life”.
It should be a great opportunity for Italy to explore this topic
and increase the interest about it.



There are insects in the Future Food District at Expo 2015

BUT it’s not possible
to taste or buy them.

visitors can only see examples of food made with crickets or scorpions.





WHY THIS?

Italian law is unclear.

it defines as food every substance which is prepared for human consumption (REGOLAMENTO N. 178/2002). Insect are part of what is called “animal production” (REGOLAMENTO N. 834/2007) but they haven’t been used as food in the italian culture in the history, so today they can’t be insert into the italian market
(NOTA DEL MINISTERO DELLA SALUTE) .





Beyond laws, WHAT DO ITALIANS THINK?

We have investigated the topic at Expo and using an online questionnaire.
We found out that common people are really curious about this topic
and they want to know more about it.



OUR INTERVIEWS

was meant to select the most various target we could find.




Surprisingly, together with the picky ones who were disgusted,
there were lots of curious people, ready to taste new kind of food.

What People Are Saying

  • Be forced to eat bugs? I would be better off dead!


    DISGUSTED

  • We should try every kind of food:
    if you don’t try you will never know if you like it or not.


    CURIOUS

  • I would like to know how an insect tastes!


    INCLINED

  • Before eating something, I want to be sure it looks good!


    SUSPICIOUS

Curious people have a reason to exist.

Entomophagy topic is starting to be explored by some experts
like professor Roberto Valvassori, that we met at Expo,
and Giulia Maffei and Giulia Tacchini who organise conferences
and workshops about edible insects.

WHY ARE EXPERTS DOING THIS? WHY SHOUD WE EAT INSECTS?

BECAUSE INSECTS ARE GREAT!

And for many reasons!



SUSTAINABILTY REASONS

pollution

If you take the same weight of insects and cattle, insects produce 60 times less greenhouse gas (Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide) than beef cattle.

water consumption

Insects rearing is water-saving: breeding crickets requires about 2.000 times less water than beef cattle, being good for the planet and for the economy.

ECONOMICAL REASONS

Cheap and widespread

Insects are an endemic resource: edible species are present everywhere in the world, and their rearing is a low-tech and low-capital investment that offers entry even to the poorest countries.

Feed-to-meat conversion

Insects rearing also allows to save money on feed: its feed-to-meat conversion rate ((how much feed is needed to produce a 1 kg increase in weight) is much convenient than any other meat.

NUTRITIONAL REASONS

proteins percentage

Traditional meat is the most important source of proteins in Western world, but average insect meat contains almost three times proteins more than cow one.

amount of iron

Insects are also an incredible source of minerals, expecially iron (Fe): in 0,1 Kg of caterpillar meat there is almost 10 times more of it than in the same weight of beef cattle.




SO NEXT TIME YOU WILL FIND A FLY IN YOUR SOUP,

ENJOY IT!