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Feeding the Future: Using Insects as Food and Feed

30 October @ 18:30 20:30

Wednesday 30 October, 18:30 – 20:30 (exact timing tbc)
Thinktank Museum, Birmingham

Across the world, insects are being reared as a source of food for humans and as animal feed.

Although using insects as food and feed is not as common in Europe as places like Africa, Asia and South America, this is a fast-growing industry. Investment in this sector has seen a considerable increase in recent years with a many organisations exploring how insects can tackle some of the most pressing concerns facing our food and feed industries. For example, you may have seen energy bars that contain insect flour hitting the shelves recently, or insect-based pet food, but why?

One of the arguments for using insects as food is that they have a good nutritional value, and are high in protein, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals that are harder to obtain from a plant-based diet, like iron and B12.

There are clear indications that insect farming can contribute to improving the resilience and sustainability of food production, requiring comparatively little input in terms of feed, water or space. Insect farms can fit into existing supply chains, from producing additional feed on farms, or utilising surplus products to create value. As we look to address the challenges of feeding a growing human population, while reducing the impact of agricultural production on our natural and management environments, it is important to both improve existing production and consider more novel approaches – such as insects as food and feed. 

  • What are the current issues facing our feed and food sectors? And why are insects a possible solution?
  • Should we be using insect protein in our day-to-day diet? Why not focus on improving plant-based protein options?
  • What are the regulations around farming insects and is it ethical?
  • Is it sustainable to farm insects for food and feed, will farming insects at scale to make a difference?
  • How can we make farming insects a commercial success?
  • Why are so many people excited about insect farming in the UK?

Join us at this exciting and topical panel debate where we will introduce using insects as food and feed and look at the challenges and opportunities faced as this becomes more widely considered.

We are delighted to announce that the discussion will be chaired by BBC journalist, Melanie Abbott. Melanie is a BBC Radio 4 journalist with You and Yours, Woman’s Hour and Farming Weekly. Melanie will be joined by a range of panellists sharing their views and experience and taking questions and comments from the audience.

The debate will take place alongside our annual Insects as Food and Feed (IAFF) conference taking place the following day in the same location. The conference brings together a diverse range of people from across the industry including scientists, farmers, food technologists, lawyers and chefs, to hear the latest information, research, and new developments and challenges that face the IAFF sector. You can find out more about the conference and register here.

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Tickets are available at the bottom of the page and include a drinks token for a short networking opportunity after the debate.

If you are a member of the RES or registered to attend the IAFF24 conference you can access reduced rate tickets. To access discounted member rates, you must be logged into your account before registering.

You can buy tickets until: Friday 25 October

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Thinktank Museum, Event Suite
Millennium Point
Curzon Street
B4 7XG

£8.00 – £12.00


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your basket. Clicking “Get Tickets” will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
RES Student Member
This ticket is for members only.
£ 8.00
RES Member
This ticket is for members only.
£ 10.00
IAFF24 Delegate
£ 10.00
£ 12.00