Food & Hotel Vietnam is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726

Insect Food Industry: Future Food for Humanity?


According to The Guardian, crickets can be considered as “food of the future” when both ensuring food security for humanity while helping to protect the environment.

According to Time magazine, Sylvain Hugel is one of the world’s leading experts on crickets. So when he received an invitation to identify crickets in Madagascar to raise as food for humans, this French expert replied brusquely: “I want to protect them, not eat them.”

Hugel eventually realized the situation is not simple after receiving several emails from ant scientist Brian Fisher at the California Academy. Since the 1950s, nearly 80% of Madagascar’s forests have been destroyed, and every year, another 1% to 2% are burnt down to create room for cattle. Fisher claims that the only way to stop this issue is to discover other human food sources that will lessen animal and deforestation.

“If you want to continue studying crickets, then ensure food security for humanity first, otherwise there will be no more forests to study,” Fisher wrote in a letter to Hugel.

The solution that Fisher offers is to use a food-protein source from the bugs themselves. Currently, more than two-thirds of Madagascar’s people eat bugs as a snack and if they become a key food source, the problem of deforestation for breeding will be solved.

Crickets can completely become the main food because they contain a lot of Protein, Iron, and Vitamin B12. However, the psychological barrier to this new food is very large when not everyone wants to eat bugs to save the environment. Hugel himself took three tries before he dared to swallow cricket food.

“That changed my life,” said Hugel, laughing, recalling how he tried to swallow a cricket three years ago.

Now cricket meal or food from this species has become Hugel’s main source of daily nutrition. He can mix cricket powder with yogurt or fried crickets for a snack.

“There is no way to save the forests and leave the people living nearby, which means we have to ensure food security for the people before we can talk about protecting the environment.” Mr. Hugel admitted.

6-legs Solution

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the agricultural industry will have to increase production by 70% to meet the world’s demand by 2050, thereby feeding about 9.1 billion people. But this is the industry that destroys nature the most when it is causing 86% of 28,000 creatures globally to face genocide.

In particular, the need for livestock to develop the supply of protein from meat makes the environment even more damaged. About 80% of farmland today is used for breed, while they contribute only 18% of the total calories consumed by humans.

Therefore, FAO recommends that people should look for other protein sources that are more environmentally friendly, such as bugs. According to the FAO, species such as grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms are richer in protein or minerals including iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium than beef.

In addition, raising bugs requires less land, water, and food than conventional animals. In particular, the process of raising waste beetles rarely releases greenhouse gases into the environment. In addition, the waste of bugs can be used as fertilizer for the soil, not polluting like cow waste.

Ms. Agnes Kalibata, special specialist for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the FSS Conference 2021, emphasized that raising bugs as a food source will help fight climate change, species destruction, and hunger- current malnutrition.

While 2 billion people in Africa, Latin America, and Asia have eaten bugs, the food is still considered something of an abomination in Europe and North America. But things are slowly changing. Canada’s Loblaw supermarket chain has been selling cricket powder since 2018 while the European Union (EU) has recognized the yellow mealworm as safe for human consumption, thereby licensing the business.

Production of flour worms

Barclays Bank even predicts that the market for protein powder from bugs can reach 8 billion USD by 2030, much higher than less than 1 billion USD today. However, this number is still too small compared to the 324 billion USD of the beef market.

With some more optimistic projections, the figure is put at $710 billion by 2026 for the bug food industry.

Change of vision

According to The Guardian, crickets can be considered as “food of the future” when both ensuring food security for humanity while helping to protect the environment. Studies show that with the same amount of protein, crickets emit less than 0.1% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to cows.

Similarly, it would take farms 112 liters of water to produce 1 gram of beef but this is less than 23 liters of water for the same amount of protein as crickets. Even crickets beat chickens, pigs, or any other livestock animal in terms of environmental efficiency.

Meanwhile, research by Edible Bug Shop shows that if each person replaces a weekly meat meal with bug food, humans can save 100,000 liters of water per year.

However, consuming food from bugs is not easy. One of the challenges is that prices are still too high, which is obvious for new technologies. According to Feed Navigator, the current global production of protein from bugs is about 10,000 tons with prices ranging from $4,250 to $6,066 per ton, much higher than other traditional foods.

Powder, oil, and fertilizer from bugs

However, with investment in technology and expansion of production, the price of protein from bugs may gradually decrease soon. In France, Ynsect has invested up to 225 million USD to open the world’s largest beetle farm in Amiens, with the total output expected to reach 100,000 tons of Protein per year.

In the UK, Entorcycle has received £10 million in support from the government to build a black fly farm on the outskirts of London.

In Thailand, the government is also providing financial support to more than 20,000 cricket farms as an alternative food source.

Besides, the psychological difficulties of consumers are also an obstacle, but the situation has gradually changed when people start to pay more attention to environmental protection.

In addition, Time magazine stated that consumption habits can change and are not as fixed as we think. 500 years ago, Italians thought tomatoes were poisonous. In the 1800s, Americans still considered lobsters as junk food and only used as food for prisoners or used to fertilize plants. Fifty years ago, not many civilizations enjoyed eating raw fish, but now Japanese sushi is a popular food.

“If we cannot find a solution for the bugs, the world will eventually come to an end. But if we have a new direction, then both species, humans, and bugs can survive,” said Professor Monica Ayieko, currently studying in Kenya.

Source: CafeBiz

Food & Hotel Vietnam 2022 promises to bring diverse experiences regarding the ecosystem of reputable suppliers and potential buyers in the Food & Beverage, Hotel & Resort, Restaurant, Bakery and Food Service industries. The exhibition is a platform to meet and connect, thereby extending endless business opportunities. Additionally, Food & Hotel Vietnam 2022 is also a fascinating playground for the chef and barista community with a series of programs and competitions such as Vietnam Culinary Challenge and Vietnam Barista Competition.

Food & Hotel Vietnam 2022
Exhibition date: 07 – 09 December 2022
Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00 daily
Venue: Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC), District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Contact information:
Tel: +84 28 3622 2588
Email: [email protected]
Share this post

Must Read


You may be interested in

Sustaining its leading position in the Vietnamese tourism industry, Ho Chi Minh City remains a top travel destination
The Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department is the main organization driving the tourism industry,...
Advancing connectivity to elevate Phu Quoc into an exceptional international destination. 
The comprehensive master plan for Phu Quoc city, Kien Giang province, until 2040 defines the...
Vietnam and South Korea actively stimulate and exchange tourists
In 2023, during the Year of Korean Tourism, efforts will be made to enhance connections between...
Vietnam’s tourism industry demonstrates significant potential for expansion and advancement.
The Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in Vietnam, Doan Van Viet, has acknowledged...
Visa advantage is “great news” for Vietnam tourism 
The Asia-Pacific Tourism Association (PATA) welcomes visa facilitation policies for international...
The hotel market in Ho Chi Minh City has recovered by more than 92%
According to Savills’ report, in the first half of 2023, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed the...
Vietnam welcomed over 1 million international visitors in July 2023.
July is the first month that the tourism industry welcomed over one million international visitors...
Vietnam businesses benefit from tourism recovery
HANOI: The strong recovery of tourism has helped businesses in the industry prosper. However,...
Nearly 5.6 million international visitors come to Vietnam in first half
Vietnam welcomed nearly 5.6 million international visitors in the first half of this year,...
Vietnam has 103 restaurants honored by the Michelin Guide.
Michelin Guide has honored 103 restaurants/food stalls, including 4 prestigious Michelin-starred...

Subscribe to Our eNewsletters