Insects Au Gratin - An Investigation into the Experiences of Developing a 3D Printer that uses Insect Protein Based Flour as a Building Medium for the Production of Sustainable Food

DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Soares, Susana; Forkes, Andrew
Series: E&PDE
Institution: London South Bank University, United Kingdom
Section: Design Education in Practice
Page(s): 426-431
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


Insects Au Gratin focuses on the future of food and explores the nutritive and environmental aspects of entomophagy (eating insects), combined with 3D food printing technologies.
The project has been investigating the possibility of using 3D dimensionally extruded insect paste filament as a method of creating foodstuffs, although the notion of printing food is not a new development, the innovation of using insect paste as a build medium is highly novel, this coupled with farming insects could create a sustainable source of food for an increasing global population. Why insects? Although entomophagy is alien to the western society, people in non-western territories eat insects as part of a regular diet. Insects are very efficient at converting vegetation into edible protein, full of vitamins and minerals: four crickets provide as much calcium as a glass of milk, and dung beetles, by weight, contain more iron than beef. Farming insects generates one-tenth of the methane produced by farming traditional meat sources per kg and it uses comparatively little water. The focus of the paper is based upon the development work for two public engagement events as part of Pestival held at the Wellcome Collection in London and the World Food Festival in Rotterdam. The events aimed to explore and debate the potential of entomophagy as a sustainable food source as well as combining with new food production technologies and how those could affect human perception of food and technology.

Keywords: Future food, 3D printing technologies, entomophagy, insect paste, open source


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