Nordic Food Lab to serve insect snacks at first global conference on edible insects

May 15, 2014 by Prof.dr. M (Marcel) Dicke, Wageningen University
Nordic Food Lab to serve insect snacks at first global conference on edible insects

The famous Nordic Food Lab from Denmark will be serving a number of unusual insect snacks during the first global conference on edible insects, organised by Wageningen University and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). On 15 May, the non-profit research organisation from Copenhagen, which aims to promote diverse and tasty food, will be offering delegates a range of insect delicacies at the start of the conference dinner.

Nordic Food Lab conducts research into new food alternatives on the basis of local availability. Insects play an important part in their research. The researchers focus on specific preparation methods to turn the into tasty dishes. The insects being used include crickets, grasshoppers, moths and bee larvae. Various cooking techniques are explored for each insect, from frying to fermenting and from boiling to frothing. The aim is to expand the range of flavours and develop new ideas and methods that will satisfy even the greatest connoisseurs.

Insects have a surprising pallet of flavours. In an interview in a recently published book entitled The Insect Cookbook - Food for a Sustainable Planet, René Redzepi, top chef in the world's best restaurant Noma (also in Copenhagen but independent of the Nordic Food Lab), recalls his reaction when he first tasted a meal consisting of ants from the Amazon. He had what he describes as a 'wow moment', and was amazed that such tiny creatures could produce such a fantastic taste sensation. Since then, he has used indigenous Danish insects in many of his dishes. Now that culinary research institutes like Nordic Food Lab and top restaurants like Noma are using insects, they are literally starting to appear on our menus.

First global conference

The first global conference on edible insects, 'Insects to feed the World' from 14-17 May, highlights the latest developments in scientific research, entrepreneurship, gastronomy and policy about the use of insects for feeding both humans and animals. The 450 delegates from more than forty countries will present their research data, visions and ideas about the huge potential of insects and opportunities for businessmen and governments to start farming these 'mini livestock' for the production of animal protein and healthy oils. The basic principle is that insects will generate a sustainable solution to the increasing demand for animal protein caused by an ever-growing world population. Wageningen UR and FAO are organising the international 'Insects to feed the World' conference in Conference Centre De Reehorst in Ede.

Two billion people have been eating and enjoying insects for decades, just like people eat prawns in the Western world. The Insectenkookboek (Atlas Contact 2012) and The Insect Cookbook – Food for a Sustainable Planet (Columbia University Press 2014) written by the Wageningen authors Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp and Marcel Dicke, contain more than thirty recipes that anyone could make at home. The ingredients are on sale in Dutch delicatessens, warehouses and online. In addition to recipes the Cookbook has ample background information and interviews with influential people like Rene Redzepi and Kofi Annan.

Explore further: Today's insects to be tomorrow's grub - food experts

Related Stories

Today's insects to be tomorrow's grub - food experts

May 14, 2014

Will locusts feed the world? The voracious flying insect, capable of swarming in millions and stripping fields of crops, has long been associated with hunger. But if a major conference gathering food experts and entomologists ...

Bugs are food of the future, UN says

May 13, 2013

Beetles, caterpillars and wasps could supplement the diets of billions of people globally and help feed livestock, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Monday, calling for more investment in edible insect farming.

Insect community driven by plant hormones

May 13, 2014

Plants are not solitary, defenceless organisms but rather the centre of a vibrant community consisting of tens or even hundreds of insect species. Plants possess a wide range of defence mechanisms that are activated in response ...

Insects: A must for a protein-rich diet

May 14, 2013

Arnold van Huis is an expert on tropical insects specialised in pest management and biological control based at Wageningen University. He advocates growing insects as feed for livestock and for human consumption. Here, van ...

Maggots may provide protein for future animal feed

April 2, 2014

Relying on proteins from fast-growing insects such as maggots presents many advantages, but we need a better knowledge of these protein sources before they can be turned into animal feed

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.