Due to the increasing cost of animal proteins, food and feed insecurity, population growth, and increasing need for protein-rich food in the developed and less developed countries, alternative sources of protein-rich food are highly needed. Scientific research has shown that edible insects are a very rich source of proteins and other nutrients. Hence, insect consumption might help revolutionaries’ food and feed insecurity and thus replace the conventional animal source. This work assesses the potential of insects as food for humans and feed for animals and gathers existing information and research on edible insects. The assessment is based on the most recent and complete data available from various sources and experts around the world, because lack of a complete data on edible insects reduces consumer confidence and limits integration of edible insect consumption with other food sources. Considering the nutritional, economic, and ecological advantages of edible insects over conventional livestock, much attention should therefore be given to their method of collection as this will help improve their availability. This could be achieved by improved conservation or by raising them as a minilivestock. Considering the economic, nutritional, and ecological advantages of this traditional food source, its promotion deserves more attention both from national governments and assistance programs.
Part of the book: Insect Physiology and Ecology