Nottingham hosts Woven Network Conference: “Insects as food and feed: the way forward”

UK ‘Ento-preneurs’ will meet to tackle the future of protein in food and feed at the first Annual Woven Network Conference, Monday 11 April at The University of Nottingham.

The planet’s population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, and current food production will need to almost double. In 2013, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation stressed that a new approach to food production was crucial if we are to avoid future shortages. Their suggestion: Edible Insects.

Woven Network is the UK consortium for Insects as Food and Feed – with a focus on connecting businesses, researchers and others working on the role of insects in the human food chain.

Around 2 billion people around the world already consume insects as part of their regular diet due to their high nutritional value, versatility and flavour. But it is their sustainability credentials that has lead the UN to highlight insects as the potential future of food, requiring minimal resources to farm and producing substantially less waste than conventional livestock.

Despite the obvious benefits, western society is yet to adopt the practice on a large scale. With our influence over farming R&D and investment, the UK can play a pivotal role in developing the infrastructure behind insect farming for the benefit of future generations.

A growing number of entrepreneurs & researchers here in the UK have been looking into our aversion to insects in the food chain and how they can change our minds. Woven Network and RES presents an opportunity to share learnings, collaborate on building public awareness and affect government regulation concerning the industry.

Attendees and speakers include;

  • Josh Bentham and Harry Harrison from Mophagy – EU insect distributer for the renowned Entomo Farms
  • Christine Spliid, creator of Crobar by Gathr Foods – Best new concept winner at the World Food Innovation Awards 2016
  • Matt Anderson and Adam Routledge from Edible Bug Farm – Winner of the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award
  • Shami Radia and Neil Whippey from Eat Grub – with their imminent release of a new insect cook book
  • Indroneel Chatterjee and Janine Dermody from Oxford Brooks University – On the Neuro-science behind our disgust for eating insects in the west
  • Jonas House from Sheffield University – Examining the willingness of EU consumer to switch to eating insects
  • Maureen Wakefield – Senior applied Entomologist at FERA and Andrew Salter, Head of Nutritional Sciences at The University of Nottingham – Shed light on how research and industry can work together

Tickets are now sold out, however you can keep up to date on the Woven Network website, and follow the action on Twitter by following @WovenNetwork and using #wayforward16.

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