Insect Protein as Food

It is widely accepted that by 2050 the world will host 9 billion people. To accomodate this number, current food production will need to almost double. Land is scarce and expanding the area devoted to farming is rarely a viable or sustainable option. Oceans are overfished and climate change and related water shortages could have profound implications for food production. To meet the food and nutrition challenges of today – there are nearly 1 billion chronically hungry people worldwide – and tomorrow, what we eat and how we produce it needs to be re-evaluated. Inefficiencies need to be rectified and food waste reduced. We need to find new ways of growing food. –  Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security – FAO

Australia is well placed for a thriving insect farming sector that is focused on growing high quality, nourishing insects for people to eat. In Australia insects for food is listed as a ‘non-traditional food’ as opposed to a ‘novel food’ which allows the farming and sale of insects.

There are of course many traditionally eaten insects in Australia that our indigenous peoples still partake in, whether that be Bogong moths in Act and NSW, Honey Ants or the famous Witchety Grubs of the arid zones.

To ensure we develop a thriving and world class insect farming industry that feeds the people, IPAA is on the front foot to propose regulations that insure the bugs, the farmers and the customers are well taken care of, and meet all the best farming and food safety standards.

The below information is from the FSANZ website in regards to novel foods records of views.

Edible insects 

Zophobas morio (super mealworm),

Achaeta domestica(house crickets),

andTenebrio molitor(mealworm beetle)

  • Non-traditional food
  • Not novel food
Non-traditional in Australia and New Zealand. No safety concerns identified. Labelling of true nature of food required.

A link to the Code and Enforcement contact details are available on the FSANZ website at

Specific food safety laws related to the production of insect protein for human consumption

There are currently no food safety laws in Australia that relate specifically to insects. However, insects sold as human food (or food products containing insects, for example, a muesli containing crickets) have to comply with current Australian food laws, such as country of origin labelling and nutritional information requirements.

Why eat insects?

Insecta taste great, are quick to cook and are a nourishing way to get your protein punch. Grown right they are also an environmentally responsible way to get protein, that does not need large tracts of land, and water.

Gram for gram, or kilo if you’re a serious insect connoisseur, insects  offer a truly respectable, plentiful (and cheap) protein source. That said we wouldn’t recommend just eating any bug off the street and to check where and how the insects you’re putting on your plate was grown. It’s important to avoid insects that might have been exposed to pesticides and other pollutants (e.g. herbicides), and what they were fed over their lifetimes.

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