Insects provide excellent opportunities as a component of livestock feed for a circular and sustainable approach to feed production. The use of insects as feed component relates to various of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Residual streams that remain after harvesting the insects may be used to support sustainable crop production. Current livestock feed production (e.g. fish meal and soy meal) has a major impact on the world’s climate, threatens biodiversity and competes with the production of food that could be consumed by people directly. Various insect species, such as fly larvae, can be reared on organic residual streams and therefore be used to ‘close the loop’ in agricultural systems. In recent years, insect production for feed has been initiated for aquaculture and pet food, and is now being allowed for poultry and pigs as well. The industry is expected to grow rapidly in the near future. However, as a new agricultural sector there are still many aspects that require further investigation, such as insect health and welfare, but also the health and welfare of livestock fed with insects. Additionally, there are still many questions regarding the economic, legal and societal aspects of insects as a novel feed component. In this course we will approach these themes with an interdisciplinary approach, combining biology, animal science, ethics and economics. International experts on the different disciplines will provide input for knowledge exchange and discussions on the topic of insects as feed component for a sustainable and circular food production.
Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment