Insect feed for future : perceived pros and cons of insects as feed inSwedish conditions

Detta är en Master-uppsats från SLU/Department of Molecular Sciences

Sammanfattning: A current challenge that Sweden is handling is the amount of food loss and food waste. One way to reuse food waste efficiently is to convert it to feed for insects. Studies have shown that insects such as black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) and yellow mealworms (Tenebrio militor) are the most promising insects to be used as feed, since they can be provided food waste. Furthermore, these insects have a high protein and amino acid content, which can compete with conventional feed. However, one challenge is the legislation, which does not allow food waste to be given to production animals, including insects. This study aimed to identify factors that affect the development of using insects as feed in poultry and pig production in Sweden. A flexible research design was used in this study, where both qualitative and quantitative data were used. An exploratory case study as a method with an abductive approach was furthermore the method choice of this study. The data gathering consisted essentially of semi-structured interviews and, secondarily, a survey. The survey was carried to collect hints of attitudes and opinions about insects as feed among potential consumers. The results showed that most of the respondents from the interviews were optimistic about transforming insects into a feed. It can possibly reduce the environmental impact connected to soy and fishmeal. The insects, black soldier fly and yellow mealworm were considered to take waste managers' role. Still, caution should be taken as to which substrate to use as feed for the insects. There were also split opinions between researchers about whether the black soldier fly or yellow mealworm is the best option for being transformed into a feed. There are concerns about using black soldier fly because it is not a domestic species. Furthermore, yellow mealworms might not be viewed as waste managers depending on how food waste is defined. Other concerns are that it will be challenging to identify and eliminate virus outbreaks from a circular system. Therefore, an essential characteristic of insects is that they function as a species barrier. The results made it clear that feed is rarely discussed in politics. Interest is required from politicians for this to end up on the political agenda. Furthermore, a large-scale production with an automated system is needed to lower the cost. The conclusions from this study are that stakeholders are optimistic about insects as feed. Environmental and social benefits, such as reduced food waste and insects' being a species barrier. Previous studies and our study show that it is mainly preferred to provide insects as feed for fish and poultry as they are part of their natural diet. Since population growth and increased prosperity are on the horizon, and poultry is prospected to be highly demanded, it can be beneficial to invest in poultry production to release pressure on future generations.

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