Woven Newsletter No.3 – December 2015

It has been another busy year for those involved with edible insects, with major developments in EU regulation and growing interest from consumers, retailers, governments, investors and media. We’ve also had the first World Edible Insect Day, and a spectrum of pioneering insect-based products, both conceptual and consumable.

Please send any contributions for the next newsletter to harold.stone@woven-network.co.uk. Thanks to Peter for all his work on the previous newsletters.

Merry Christmas, and see you in 2016.

— Harold Stone (Editor)

Call for Abstracts

Our conference, “Insects as Food and Feed: The Way Forward”, is seeking contributions.

The conference is co-hosted with the Royal Entomological Society and the University of Nottingham, and is calling for contributions that present ideas and data about the solutions or ways forward to current problems.

Contributions are invited from those working across the diverse areas related to insects as food and feed: the social and natural sciences, commercial organisations, those in legal or policy-oriented roles, and other related fields.

The conference aims to reflect the highly interdisciplinary nature of the area.

Potential participants are invited to submit a proposal for either a 15 minute oral presentation (with 5 minutes for questions) or for a poster presentation, to address the central theme of the conference: what is the way forward for insects as food and feed? What innovative solutions can you propose? Do you have evidence so far of how a particular approach is working well? What can your particular take on the subject offer to help move the debate forward?

To submit a proposal, please follow the link below:


Deadline for submissions is 26 February.

Insects in the News

IKEA’s innovation lab created a Crispy Bug Ball (pictured right) as part of their Tomorrow’s Meatball project.

They join a growing number of retailers showing interest in edible insects, others including Wahaca and Selfridges.

Whole Foods Markets will also start selling roasted crickets early next year.

Howard Buffett, grandson of famed investor Warren Buffet, has co-founded i(x) investments with Trevor Neilson. Their plan is to invest “in early-stage and undervalued companies that are working on issues such as sustainable agriculture”. Accordingly, they are already investing in cricket farming.

Mealworm meatball

The fourth issue of Journal of Insects as Food and Feed has been published. Among the articles is an interesting review of the terminology surrounding “entomophagy”, co-written by the Nordic Food Lab team. Read it here.

Critter Bitters

There has also been a range of successful crowdfunding campaigns, with Eat Grub and JIMINIS both joining the market of cricket flour energy bars.

A pair of New York designers have also created Critter Bitters (pictured), cocktail bitters made with toasted crickets.

Johanna Kelly and Cameron Marshad’s documentary film The Gateway Bughas been successfully funded. The film will focus on the US edible insect industry, and should be released around March next year. Watch the trailer here.

LIVIN Farms launched their pioneering kitchen mealworm hive. Having quickly exceeded their funding goal, they are looking at donating hives for educational purposes. See more.

Business Survey

Some of you may recall being interviewed by Nick about your insect related business or business idea, and this helped him to build a picture of the emerging sector for the presentation to the Global Food Security Programme group last year.

We aim to update this in time for the April event so we can present a picture of how things have progressed and highlight gaps in the market.

We will be in touch with all the entrepreneurs we know of over the coming months to get a few key facts from you that we can collate for everyone’s benefit.

We will respect commercial sensitivities of course.

— Nick Rousseau (Managing Director)

Past Events

Axon Lawyers held a seminar on 25 November, focusing on the legal aspects of alternative sources of protein. The slides have been made available on slideshare – click here.

The University of Oxford hosted an interdisciplinary workshop on insects as food and feed on 4 December. For those of you who were unable to attend, slides have been made available here.

2016 Events

EntoCall #4 (Teleconference)
Date to be confirmed

February 18
Insect Production, Processing and Legislation Workshop (Wageningen)
Hosted by the International Insects Centre. Lecturers will be from Wageningen University and Research Centre, HAS University of Applied Sciences and NGN.

April 11
Insects as Food and Feed: The Way Forward (Nottingham)
Joint meeting of Woven Network, Royal Entomological Society and the University of Nottingham.

Image Credits: Space10, Critter Bitters

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