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Synopsis: Although two billion people already eat insects in the world, these ‘green’  sources of protein are not incorporated into Western diets. Insect protein is healthy,  nutritionally valuable, has great potential as a component of urban circular systems of food  waste management and Western uptake could mitigate potential declines in entomophagy  in other markets. Tilly will talk about some of the opportunities (and barriers) that may  support integration of insect protein as a more widespread conventional food product in  the west. This work has its roots in the MSc thesis projects of the ‘Eat Ento’ IDE team* and  of Pauline Vaskou, now Corporate Sustainability Manager at Tesco PLC. A school-based  investigation surveying >150 London children, aged 6 to 15, and >100 of their parents and  an online consumer survey with over 1000 mainly British and French consumers, have  given some insights into the potential for this market in the West. This work supports the  idea that incorporating insect food into our diets makes not only environmental but also  business sense. Young children and pre-teens could represent a substantial market  segment, though this is as yet unexplored. Multiple marketing strategies, such as  education, reducing the visibility of insect parts or peer-to-peer marketing would facilitate  the adoption of insect food in the ‘mainstream’ arena. * see this video for their 10 min  summary

Bio: Tilly Collins is a Senior Fellow in the CEP with wide interests  and an appetite for life (including insects). After a lively 10 years  in fashion and event management, she re-trained as an  entomologist and now oversees teaching of the quantitative  skills and ecology in the MSc programme. She publishes in  several fields and has an increasing interest in the decision-  making that will make green spaces in urban areas more  sustainable and valued for their many benefits. For the past six  years she has also been part of John Mumford’s Risk  Management Team contributing to field data flow and  management and analysis for Target Malaria.