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      Setting the table for a hotter, flatter, more crowded earth: insects on the menu?

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          The earth’s population is expected to exceed well over nine billion by 2050, and we will need to meet humanity’s need for food, feed, fuel, fibre, and shelter, with a minimal ecological footprint. The ‘9 billion problem’ has implications for how we grow and view food now and in the future. Insects have served as a food source for humanity since the first bipedal human ancestor started walking the African savannahs. Today, insect eating is rare in the western world, but remains a significant source of food for people in other cultures; indeed, over 1,900 species of insects are consumed by more than two billion people in more than 80 countries. Insects can potentially be part of the toolkit to meet humanity’s food security needs in the context of grand global challenges. In this paper I discuss the many advantages of using insects as food and feed, and the challenges that need to be addressed in order to realise the potential of using insects to meet humanity’s food security needs.

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          Food security: the challenge of feeding 9 billion people.

          Continuing population and consumption growth will mean that the global demand for food will increase for at least another 40 years. Growing competition for land, water, and energy, in addition to the overexploitation of fisheries, will affect our ability to produce food, as will the urgent requirement to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. The effects of climate change are a further threat. But the world can produce more food and can ensure that it is used more efficiently and equitably. A multifaceted and linked global strategy is needed to ensure sustainable and equitable food security, different components of which are explored here.
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            Dilemmas in a general theory of planning

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              Global nutrition transition and the pandemic of obesity in developing countries.

              Decades ago, discussion of an impending global pandemic of obesity was thought of as heresy. But in the 1970s, diets began to shift towards increased reliance upon processed foods, increased away-from-home food intake, and increased use of edible oils and sugar-sweetened beverages. Reductions in physical activity and increases in sedentary behavior began to be seen as well. The negative effects of these changes began to be recognized in the early 1990s, primarily in low- and middle-income populations, but they did not become clearly acknowledged until diabetes, hypertension, and obesity began to dominate the globe. Now, rapid increases in the rates of obesity and overweight are widely documented, from urban and rural areas in the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to populations in countries with higher income levels. Concurrent rapid shifts in diet and activity are well documented as well. An array of large-scale programmatic and policy measures are being explored in a few countries; however, few countries are engaged in serious efforts to prevent the serious dietary challenges being faced. © 2012 International Life Sciences Institute.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Insects as Food and Feed
                Wageningen Academic Publishers
                : 1
                : 3
                : 171-178
                [ 1 ] National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250, USA
                Author notes
                © 2015 Wageningen Academic Publishers
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