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Eating insects: a disruptive food innovation
Announcement of the first international conference on entomophagy in North America.

Montréal, October 16, 2013 – On the occasion of World Food Day, the Future Food Salon Group, in collaboration with the Montréal Space for Life’s Insectarium, announces the First International Conference on Entomophagy in North America. Eating Innovation: The Art, Culture, Science and Business of Entomophagy will take place at the Montréal Space for Life on August 26-28, 2014. Conference conveners Dr. Elke Grenzer, Director of Culture of Cities Centre, and Dr. Aruna Antonella Handa, Founder of Alimentary Initiatives, invite abstracts for papers on the research, promotion, distribution, culinary preparation, and business of insects as food. “This essential reflection on how we produce and consume food fits perfectly with the commitment to biodiversity by Montréal Space for Life. Here at the Montréal Insectarium, we have over twenty years of know-how in entomophagy. It’s an avenue we must continue exploring in order to reduce our ecological footprint on the planet,” said Anne Charpentier, Director of the Montréal Insectarium.

“Eating insects represents a disruptive food innovation: it re-conceives a pest as food. Insects are a sustainable source of nutritious protein requiring less water, land and producing fewer emissions in the production process. Many edible insects also have omega-3 fats and key minerals as well as being low in cholesterol. They can be ethically euthanized, economically raised, and are suitable for both individual and industrial farming,” said Aruna Antonella Handa.

“With an interdisciplinary and cross-sector approach to the study and dissemination of research on entomophagy, this conference will be the first international forum to take place in North America with an open call for submissions from people worldwide working to make edible insects palatable, sustainable and socially profitable across cities,” said Elke Grenzer.

“I anticipate exciting contributions to the knowledge base of farming microlivestock,” said Jakub Dzamba, Founder of Third Millennium Farming. “This congress is decades overdue,” added entomophagy veteran, Dr. Robert Kok of McGill University.

Participation at the Eating Innovation conference

Interested contributors are invited to propose papers until January 31, to address scientific and social scientific research gaps, public engagement, farming, financing across the non-profit and for-profit sectors, and the business case for emerging industry leaders. “Far too many aspects of this important subject remain unexplored. This conference will address that,” said David Gracer of Small Stock Food Strategies, Rhode Island. Interested contributors may submit their abstracts on the Eating Innovation website ateatinginnovation.com

The Future Food Salon Group hopes to provide travel grants and accommodation bursaries to ensure that everyone who wants to attend the conference can participate. Interested sponsors are invited to contact the conference conveners.

Suggested Topic Areas:
Sustainability & Organics • Nutrition and Food Security • Culture and Insect Rearing • Insect Production & Processing into Food • Regulation and Marketing of Food Insects • Culinary Innovations • Aesthetic Representation of Edible Insects

Members of the public will be invited to creatively engage with insect eating at the Future Food Salon Montreal, a public event, Wednesday August 27, 2014. “There will also be an opportunity for artists to challenge existing aesthetic paradigms,” added Han Zhang of Han-Studio, who will be curating the Discovery Room of art and film at the conference. Tickets will be on sale in June 2014.

Information: eatinginnovation.com