As the global population increases, so does the global demand for protein sources, with the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Food shortages will be a big livelihood issue for people. Demand for animal protein is expected to grow by 70-80% from 2012 to 2050, and the current animal production sector is already causing significant environmental degradation. Thus, the United Nations is calling for the consumption of insects, an alternative protein that consumes fewer resources and has less impact on the environment. But in many countries, there is no culture of eating insects which is a large barrier to promoting edible insects.
As a matter of fact, 1,681 insect species are eaten by over 2,500,000,000 people daily in 113 countries. Insects are tasty! That’s why people eat. Insects are disgusting, and that’s why people don’t eat them. It's simple but challenging. Some people also eat insects because insects are healthy and nutritional compared with beef.
WHY IT MATTERS
Consuming insects is not only tasty but sustainable. That’s why I’m trying to persuade people to eat this disgusting food. It matters in the UK. Because developing the edible insect industry can help enhance the food system's resilience. It cost less feed, land water and time while providing more protein in a humane way.
Thus, it can help businesses reduce carbon footprints and help individuals develop a more sustainable diet.
UNDERSTAND THE BUSINESS
The policy environment is not healthy at the moment. The author started to know about this industry through Tiziana di Costanzo, the founder of London’s first insect farm, Horizon Insect: "The FSA novel food consultation is too late and riddled with mistakes. Products remain ‘permitted’ not ‘authorised’ —meaning we are still without insurance and unable to trade." After WOM became a member of the UK Edible Insect Association and interviewed insect farmers, insect food start-ups, food distributors, restaurants and Nick Rousseau, the founder of UKEIA: "We’ve got quite a cosmopolitan market and people are more open to new experiences and food compared to lots of traditional countries in Europe." Many individuals in the industry are gearing up for the full opening of the novel food trade.
UNDERSTAND THE AUDIENCE
People in the UK are diverse and experience different food cultures and rituals. They are open to novelty like sushi & sashimi but don’t accept it initially.
In the past, people resist because of the perception and unfamiliarity of raw fish as a food option, cultural differences and food safety concerns, and the lack of knowledge and understanding about Japanese cuisine and its ingredients. Nowadays, People consume sushi & sashimi because they think it’s low emission and healthy, they know sashimi suits well with sake or they just want to try something different sometimes.
Obviously, people don’t eat insects mainly because they think insects are disgusting, so what can be the motivations for people to consume insects?