Entomophagy is the practice of eating insects as food. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recently promoted the idea of using insects as a valuable food source during emergencies. Patrick Durst, a senior forestry officer at the FAO in Bangkok says, “In certain places, insects can very well be seen as part of the solution to hunger.” According to scientists, crickets, caterpillars, and grubs are a reliable source of protein and can safely be eaten as a reliable food source should no other safe option be available.
Using insects as a reliable food source during emergencies is becoming an increasingly popular means to combating hunger. However, the challenge lies in organizing insect food operations on the ground in countries most in need. There is almost no infrastructure to raise insects as a food source in the countries that need it most and the challenge of transporting large quantities of these insects’ far distances has not been overcome. There are concerns about the safety of eating bugs and dangers that might come with over-harvesting them.
The goal of the FoodFactory Project is to overcome the factors that have limited the success of entomophagy in being a solution to world hunger.
The FoodFactory Projects’ unique approach to reach this goal is the development of a nursery where insects are industrially reared for food, and a plan to implement these nurseries in areas with high starvation rates.
The FoodFactory project approach follows the following development principles:
• Help reduce inequities in neglected areas
By providing in de need for extremely cheap, and possibly free food, currently starving people can become a part of the working community and develop themselves.
• Catalyze increased momentum, scale, and sustainability of change
Feeding young children enough healthy food will make it much easier for them to go to school and concentrate on the lessons. This gives them he opportunity to develop themselves and the area they are living in.
• Collaborate with government, philanthropic, private-sector, and not-for-profit partners
The idea of the FoodFactory is to develop an easy to built and easy to maintain type of factory. Government, philanthropic, private-sector and not-for-profit partners will be asked to built and run the first FoodFactories, maintain them and teach the locals to build and maintain them themselves.
• Favor preventative approaches
Just handing out grain is generally not considered a sustainable solution for malnutrition. Once the people in these underdeveloped areas have been shown how they can actually make enough food themselves, using the FoodFactory, they will become independent, and thus preventing the need for further help from others.
• Leverage support from other sources
There are several hunger fighting projects around. When the FoodFactory succeeds in providing enough food for a certain area, the other hunger fighting projects can switch their focus to an area that not yet has this solution.