In recent months, the media have been abuzz about a series of studies that describe a looming "insect apocalypse," a steady loss of bugs that would eventually put all life on earth at risk. Now Mongabay, an online magazine that covers environmental science and conservation issues, has launched a four-part series that will examine the science behind these studies to determine whether the conclusions are premature.
Finnish bakery Fazer is marketing loaves of bread made with crickets as an ingredient in the flour, says Food Navigator. The company says the bread has “a crunchy dough to enhance taste and increase mouthfeel.”
Researchers at Washington State University are gathering bee sperm from across Europe to try to save American honeybees from the varroa mite — a key factor in colony collapse disorder, says Ryan Bell in FERN’s latest story with NPR’s The Salt.
The giant U.S. food processor Tyson Foods launched a $150-million venture-capital fund "to invest in high-tech products and services that could refresh its stable of products, which include chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers," reports the Wall Street Journal. One focus of the fund will be alternative forms of protein, a field that includes plant-based foods, insect-based protein products, meat grown from self-reproducing cells and meat from 3-D printers.
Research ecologist Phil Taylor says Americans are great at the farm-to-table side of the food equation "but we're really bad at table to farm" – converting food waste into material that will produce a new round of food. Maggots are the answer, the University of Colorado researcher told Harvest Public Media.
Insects have long been a source of protein in China, Japan, Mexico and tropical regions, but in the U.S. eating bugs has been easy to dismiss as little more than a fad. Not anymore. Over the last five years the edible-insect business has surged, and is now big enough that it has it’s own lobbying firm, reports Quartz.
"Four of the world's most destructive agricultural pests are actually one and the same fruit fly," says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.