Woven Network Newsletter – Jul 2020

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Here’s the link to July 2020 newsletter, available to all (past issues can be viewed here).

This Issue’s Contents:

  • Webinar Series
  • ADAS Stakeholder Survey – Insects as Feed
  • Products
  • Home insect production
  • Containerised black soldier fly production
  • Largest cricket farm to be built in Canada
  • Roslin Technologies & SEEDS Capital invest in Protenga, Singapore
  • Publications

To sign up to this free monthly(ish) newsletter–designed to keep you up-to-date with everything happening in the Insects as Food & Feed sector–click here.

For our members, links to previous members-only communications will be posted under In-depth Articles (for which a membership will be needed to access).

Woven Network Newsletter – Jun 2020

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Here’s the link to June 2020 newsletter, available to all (past issues can be viewed here).

This Issue’s Contents:

  • New Webinar Series from 19 June
  • World Wildlive Fund – Commission to develop a Roadmap for insect farming for livestock feed
  • Novel Food Update
  • Importation of Insects into the UK
  • Food and Feed Sustainability from the IPIFF
  • Market Study of Black Soldier Fly
  • New product in United States
  • Entomics changes name to Better Origin
  • BeoBia to launch Re_ in July
  • BSAS Industry Prize finalist
  • Insects in the media
  • Publications

To sign up to this free monthly(ish) newsletter–designed to keep you up-to-date with everything happening in the Insects as Food & Feed sector–click here.

For our members, links to previous members-only communications will be posted under In-depth Articles (for which a membership will be needed to access).

Woven Network Newsletter – Feb 2020

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Here’s the link to February 2020 newsletter, available to all (past issues can be viewed here).

This Issue’s Contents:

  • UK Entomap
  • Woven Network – helping you connect with others
  • Food waste available as feed substrate for insect farming
  • Chemical Engineer – issue 944, 2020
  • Algae invade insect space
  • Bread from cricket flour
  • NACIA call for volunteers
  • Meetings
  • Publications
  • Insects at Chiang Mai market

To sign up to this free monthly(ish) newsletter–designed to keep you up-to-date with everything happening in the Insects as Food & Feed sector–click here.

For our members, links to previous members-only communications will be posted under In-depth Articles (for which a membership will be needed to access).

Novel foods in the UK – innovation and safety, sustainable food production and the evolving regulatory landscape

This event in January provided an opportunity to promote the benefits of farmed insects as a novel food/food ingredient and argue for a balanced approach to protecting the consumer. The event focused on the regulations relating to novel foods and how these might change in the light of Brexit.

While there was some speculation and expression of interest in a more flexible and less cautious approach, this has to be balanced with the continued need to protect consumers from risky products entering the market and the benefits of retaining the ability to sell into Europe.

I gave an impassioned presentation about insect protein and the tricky situation the sector finds itself in in the UK, given both the transition from former Novel Food Regulations to the new ones which now require insect material to be explicitly approved, the on-going situation where we are waiting to hear which insect products will be approved by the European Commission (and which of these will only apply to products developed with proprietary processes), and how the UK will diverge from the EU post Brexit in its rulings about Novel Foods.

Clearly there is scope for the UK to become a location that can allow more innovation on the basis of products that are intended for the UK market, and then once they are established and there is a good basis of evidence of their safety, the company could seek approval from the European Commission for approval to enter their market.

This presentation was reported in Food Navigator.com with a headline referring to the safety of insects as food.

A more comprehensive report of the meeting is available in the members section of the Woven website. A PDF copy of the briefing document for the whole meeting may be ordered for £95 from Westminster Forum Projects.

Nick Rousseau

Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust Report: Farming insects for food – opportunities and challenges

A Nuffield Farming Scholarship report by Adam Banks, published recently, explores the opportunities and challenges for farming insects for food in the UK. Through meetings with academics, entrepreneurs and industry organisations around the world he has built up a picture of the current state of the sector and proposes ideas about what the future might hold. There is mounting evidence that a diet enriched with insects may be beneficial for health and the environment. Although Western dietary prejudices are difficult to overcome, a recent YouGov survey found that a third of Britons expected insect consumption to be commonplace by 2029 and this mirrors industry forecasts, which predict strong growth for the sector over the next decade.

Despite the number of companies around the world that are rearing insects for human consumption is increasing rapidly, almost all insect-based food products sold in the UK contain insects which are imported from North America, South East Asia or other European countries. There appears to be a good opportunity for local producers to command an increased domestic market share. The sector should further benefit from new EU novel food legislation which has specific provisions for insects. Although disruptive in the short term, these regulations, which are explored in detail in the report, will serve to increase safety standards and public confidence going forward.

Despite this optimistic outlook there are still significant technical hurdles to overcome, a lack of automation means labour costs are high and efficiency is further reduced by the small scale of most farming operations. Furthermore, large European insect producers have lobbied successfully for favourable policy changes in Brussel. Outside the European Union, the UK stands to fall further behind its European competitors without similar support.

The report concludes that insect agriculture has the potential to help the UK achieve the goals of a future national food strategy and that government support will be essential to create an environment in which the sector can thrive.

The full report can be accessed here or found under our Resources/Reports (accessible to Woven members).

Woven Network Newsletter – Jan 2020

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Here’s the link to the very first newsletter of 2020, available to all (past issues can be viewed here).

This Issue’s Contents:

  • Novel foods in the UK – innovation and safety, sustainable food production and the evolving regulatory landscape
  • From Novel Foods Team for Government Food Safety Policy
  • Insect farming around the world
    • Species being farmed
    • Countries hosting insect farms
  • Agriprotein sequence black soldier fly
  • Celebrity endorsement for Entomophagy – Prue Leith
  • Practical promotion of edible insects in Zimbabwe
  • Meetings
  • Publications

To sign up to this free monthly(ish) newsletter–designed to keep you up-to-date with everything happening in the Insects as Food & Feed sector–click here.

For our members, links to previous members-only communications will be posted under In-depth Articles (for which a membership will be needed to access).

Woven Network Newsletter – Dec 2019

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Here’s the link to the last newsletter of the year, available to all (past issues can be viewed here).

This Issue’s Contents:

  • DEFRA taking interest in insect farming
  • Westminster Seminar on Novel Foods
  • Nuffield Farming Scholarship Report – Adam Banks
  • Entotrust
  • Developments in Africa
  • Rural Development Programme for England
  • UAE Foodtech Challenge
  • Vaccines from pupae
  • Products
  • Broadcast media
  • Meetings
  • Publications

To sign up to this free monthly(ish) newsletter–designed to keep you up-to-date with everything happening in the Insects as Food & Feed sector–click here.

For our members, links to previous members-only communications will be posted under In-depth Articles (for which a membership will be needed to access).

Woven Network at AquacultureUK 2020

Be Part of the Exclusive AquacultureUK 2020 Insect Pavilion

Please find here (AquacultureUK 2020 Insect Pavillion Deck) details of the options for exhibiting or sponsoring our presence at AquacultureUK 2020.

Places on the Insect Pavilion are very limited so do get in touch ASAP as they will be filled on a first-come (well, first-to-firmly-commit) first-served basis.

We hope to demonstrate the strength of the emerging sector.  Whether or not you need to add to your order books, your support will help our collective cause.

We have offered a range of options for participation.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Woven Network Newsletter – Feb 2019

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With the start of the new year, Woven has fully kicked back into gear and is in the process of creating greater value for its membership.

Here’s the link to the very first free newsletter of the year, available to all (past issues can be viewed here).

This Issue’s Contents:

  • New members of Woven Network Expert Panel
  • Forum open to non-members
  • Trade Fair proposal
  • Membership benefits
  • Black soldier fly on BBC Farming Today
  • Ugandan grasshopper harvest
  • Research Institute for Resource Insects, Yunnan, China
  • Business news
  • ‘Soy Alert’ Friends of the Earth
  • EU hygiene rules for insects
  • Zero Waste Scotland meeting report
  • Events
  • Meetings
  • Publications

To sign up to this free monthly(ish) newsletter–designed to keep you up-to-date with everything happening in the Insects as Food & Feed sector–click here.

For our members, links to previous members-only communications will be posted under In-depth Articles (for which a membership will be needed to access).

Entoveganism: Veganism with a Six-Legged Twist

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In May 2017, health-conscious John Galt decided to try the one diet he had never tried before. Curious about the vegan hype, he wanted to try it out himself, but with a controversial six-legged twist.

“When I noticed really positive changes in my body after about 6 weeks of mostly just eating a plant-based diet, I decided to do it for the rest of the year, but incorporate insects into my diet as a larger percentage of what I was eating,” explains Josh.

There are three main reasons that people try a vegan diet, because they love animals, for environmental reasons and for health reasons. While Josh doesn’t have a problem with people who eat meat or animal by-products, he believes that a vegan is both healthier and more ethical, however his main drive to entoveganism is his own personal health.

“Insects are the most sustainable form of animal protein,” Josh explains. “The comparison between 1kg of cricket protein (which can be grown literally in a concrete box) vs 1kg of beef product is incredible. The contrast between the amount of feed, water and land needed to produce it, plus the difference in the greenhouse gasses – insects win hands down.”

His original 6-month entovegan trial lead to him adopting this diet and lifestyle full time. He has also been promoting entoveganism on his website as well as social media, however he finds it difficult to imagine a world where everyone was entovegan.

“There would be a drastic improvement in overall environmental health,” says Josh. “Ultimately, there are still many unknowns in the whole Entomophagy industry, but from what we do know, it’s extremely promising as a food source. If toasted cricket chips start to replace MSG-covered GMO corn chips, for example, that’s going to a good thing for people’s diet in general.”

A diet is something extremely personal and can define who the person is. It seems that recently people have become really disconnected from their food – not thinking about where it came from or what it is doing to their wellbeing. Food is one of the greatest variables in our health and it is important for people to reconnect with their food, to have the right to know where it comes from and to be able to choose what they put in their bodies.

When it comes to the ethics of eating insects, Josh strongly believes that there are correct ways to do it. After pointing out that since insects don’t have a central nervous system, it is hard to prove that they are able to feel pain. In addition to this, farmed insects are ethically “put to sleep” usually by placing them on ice or in large freezers where they simply go to sleep and freeze, supposedly painlessly.

“There is less argument about the moral virtue of eating insects than there actually can be about eating commercially grown vegetables plants are also shown to respond with “feelings” to music or anger, but the biggest issue is that harvesting vegetables and grains actually kills innumerable small animals like field mice, bunnies, birds and reptiles.”

There is still so much that we don’t know about insects and are just now beginning to explore. Are there cures for diseases in entomophagy? Are there bugs that are high in antioxidants? Are there superfood insects? Is there an insect with a fast life-cycle that is the perfect nutritional profile for humans?

“Entomophagy just about acceptance,” Josh concludes. “100 years ago, lobster was the food of poor people and prisoners. Now it’s eaten by Jay-Z and Beyoncé paired with $1,000 bottles of bubbly. Insects are far more sustainable than lobster, and arguably even more nutritious.”

For more information on Josh and Entoveganism, click on the banner below:

Core tenets of the Entovegan philosophy