I received an invitation from SEARCA i.e. the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture to deliver a module on edible insects at a summer school in the Philippine. SEARCA was founded in 1966 and is one of the oldest among 24 specialist institutions of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization. Since then, SEARCA has been working to strengthen institutional capacities in agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia.
The module on edible insects was part of Food Security Center (FSC) 2019 Summer School entitled “Transformative Changes in Agriculture and Food Systems”. More information on the in total three summer school modules organized by the Food Security Center of the University of Hohenheim, Germany, can be found here.
I didn’t feel bored despite the very long flight from Germany to the Philippines as I was reading an interesting book on board. I love history & culture books and the book “An Illustrated History of the Philippines” by Jose Raymund Canoy with its color images, maps and a detailed timeline is quite a compelling read — perhaps enough to get even those disinterested in history hooked. I highly recommend this book to anyone planning a trip to the Philippines. For a detailed book review please refer to the link here . On the first day of my module I attended a talk on “ICTs in Agriculture and Agribusiness: Past Development, Current Status, Perspectives, and Development Needs” which was given by Prof. Reiner Doluschitz, Director of the Food Security Center (FSC) in Hohenheim, Germany. The talk was part of the “Agriculture and Development Series Seminar” organized by the Knowledge Management Department of SEARCA.
After the seminar, I invited the students to watch a documentary on entomology in South East Asia and following the screening, they had the opportunity to enjoy some insect snacks that I carried along with me from Germany, thanks to my friend Folke Dammann and his start-up Snack-Insects.
During the one-week long “Edible Insects” module, I explored with the students insects as alternative sources of subsistence and protein. I shared with them research results indicating their nutritional benefits. I talked to them about the reasons why we should ditch beef burgers and eat insects instead. For instance, the favor we would be doing to our already depleted lands and natural resources and the reduced levels of green house gases that we would produce. We also had a view on entomophagy’s history and culture vs. the Western perception towards insects consumption. I also introduced them to insect for food and feed production systems. As a closing activity, the students divided in teams and developed their own business pitch to promote edible insects.
Read the full article here.