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May 2022 Newsletter

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Renaming Woven

Because Woven is having a refresh we thought it might be nice to change it up a bit and make us more clear with a new name.

Help us choose!

  • Stick with 'Woven'

  • 'Insects for Human Food UK Association'

  • 'UK Food Insect Association'

  • 'Insect Food Association'

  • 'UK Edible Insect Association'

Work by University of Sheffield Business Management Students

We are pleased to share that three very talented young students spent their Easter break carrying out research for the Woven Network and producing some very useful and informative reports. As you will appreciate, times are hard for the edible insect sector in the UK and yet we need a body to represent us more than ever! Our challenge is to develop a professional operation that adds real value to the sector and reflects well on it through its public platforms. This all costs money and our members are feeling the pinch. So we set the students the challenge of investigating grants/funding bodies, philanthropic/impact investors, CSR activities and Foundations that could be approached for support. We started by imagining how the world could be different in 5 years if Woven were successful in its aims. We will be sharing our "Woven Vision" shortly. We then asked each to look into the different domains and to look for academics doing research that could be relevant and valuable to the Woven Network. The Woven Board were very impressed by the work and found the reports both useful for their own knowledge and containing a lot of valuable leads and ideas. We will be taking this work forward in the coming months and provide further updates in this newsletter. In the meantime, if any of our readers can suggest sources of support, including academics or university departments that are interested in edible insects, protein alternatives, sustainable food solutions, etc. please email your ideas to Nick Rousseau, managing director

Providing cooking lessons on edible insects

Have you ever wanted to learn to cook with insects? If so, you might be interested to know that Woven has been exploring the idea of having online cooking lessons on how to use different insects in cooking and some dishes you can then incorporate into your weekly meals. Atlas Obscura has done one previously with Chef Joseph Yoon of Brooklyn Bugs however this was only really available for people in America due to the act of getting the insects to cook with. We would like to ask if this is something that people would be interested in attending?

Update on Novel Food Applications

Acheta Domesticus: Submitted at end of 2021 and FSA are still verifying the application.. No further response as yet.

Tenebrio Molitor: Work on this application is going forward led by BiiF with Geoff Knott supporting. Aiming to be submitted in July this year.

Locusta Migratoria: Our members with an interest in this insect are having extensive discussions regarding this and have yet to reach a decision. The sticking point is that the cost will increase depending on the number of forms of product that are to be covered (blanched frozen, dried...) and while we agree that ideally we should apply for just one, to keep costs down, we cannot agree on which.

Do get in touch if you have an interest in taking products with these insects into the UK market and would like to get involved in any of these Committees that will determine exactly what is approved for sale.

We remain open to extending the list of insects further if anyone would like to propose additional species. Regarding any transition arrangement, we are expecting developments from the FSA in June.

Nick Rousseau, Managing Director

Taste of London event

Image taken from Taste of London website. Be sure to look out for the Taste of London food festival happening on the 15th-19th June 2022 and you may be able to see an insect or two… More details to follow!

Recent articles

Paper titled ‘Incorporation of novel foods in European diets can reduce global warming potential, water use and land use by over 80%’ This paper details how we can feed the growing population in a sustainable way while also being nutritious through novel food or plant based diets and the environmental benefits of doing this. They were found to reduce environmental threats significantly while still meeting nutrition and feasible consumption constraints.

The podcast from Eat-o-mology with Jordon Ezra King had an episode titled ‘Why you’ll be eating bugs by 2030’ which is really positive to see the conversation of edible insects spreading into mainstream accounts. Give it a listen here or on Spotify.

Featured director - Jo Wise

"More than 30 years ago Jo bred some crickets as a A Level biology project and the rest as they say is history…. Today that school project has evolved into a worldwide business, Monkfield Reptile, specialising in the provision of food (millions of insects a month!), products, and services for the correct care of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates as well as the animals themselves. In 2017 the business moved to a large purpose built site enabling them to expand their insect production on a large scale. Their new site focuses on sustainable insect production, utilising 250Kw of solar energy and a 100Kw biomass boiler. Large investment in heat recovery systems has further reduced energy requirements. Currently Monkfield Reptile commercially produces 4 species of Cricket and a Desert Locust species, as well as supplying Mealworms and a number of other insect species under the Monkfield Nutrition brand.

Monkfield have been watching the developing market in insects for food with interest. With food standard certification in place, they look set to become a large wholesale supplier of dried and milled insects to the UK and Europe.

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