When our grannies were born, there were fewer than 2 billion people on the planet. There are now more than 7 billion. Clearly, there are some challenges ahead. These are eloquently illustrated by Sir John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government...
We have got to deal with increased demand for energy, increased demand for food, increased demand for water, and we have got to do that while mitigating and adapting to climate change.
The population is expected reach 9 billion and global food demand is set to rise by 50% in the next 20 years. There is no more land to farm. Over 70% of agricultural land, an area as large as the Americas, is taken up producing the animals we eat. We need to look at alternatives.
So let us explore one such alternative... Bugs for Life - exploring entomophagy.
Edible insects can be as nutritious as traditional livestock and have several key advantages. Compare producing a kilogram of insects to a kilogram of beef. The insects require significantly less land, less food and less space. They also produce lower greenhouse gas emissions and reproduce far quicker.
Sounds good on paper, but how does this work in a real-world setting? That is what we set off to find out.
The Bugs for Life Benin project was created and carried out by four UK-based team members from different academic and professional backgrounds united by an interest in entomophagy and a drive to uncover sustainable solutions to problems such as food insecurity today.
The members include Laura Riggi and Rudi Verspoor, entomologists and evolutionary biologists, Mariangela Veronesi, specialist in international development and sustainable planning, and Craig Macfarlane, environmental science communicator.
The undertaking of this research project was made possible by establishing contact with Severin Tchibozo from the NGO Centre de Recherche pour la Gestion de la Biodiversite, who became our local partner in Benin. Funding was secured through grants by Imperial College Expedition Board, the Royal Entomological Society, along with crowd-funding via Indiegogo.
Please watch our documentary or read our full written report on the project available on this website.
To contact us for further information on this research, or the possibility of undertaking future projects on entomophagy, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
We would love to hear from you :)