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International Seminar Series: Insects as “Future” Food – Who Benefits?
Title of Presentation: Insects as “Future” Food: Who Benefits?
Speaker: Gina Hunter, PhD, Associate Professor of Anthropology (SOA) at Illinois State University
Presentation Overview: In this presentation, I discuss edible insects from an environmental and social justice perspective. Over the past decade, there has been increasing interest in edible insects as “the future of food” in North America and Europe. New insect food products are marketed as especially nutritious and sustainable protein sources. Around the world, development experts have argued that edible insects can provide a solution to global problems of food shortages, malnutrition, and natural resource overexploitation, as well as providing a potential income source for small-scale entrepreneurs in even the most impoverished communities (FAO 2010). This “solution narrative” not new (has a long history in the West) and deserves critical scrutiny. The inequalities of the global capitalist food system make it unlikely that insects can provide an alternative and sustainable food source. Using examples from around the world, I discuss the possibilities and pitfalls of insect foods development.
Speaker Bio: Gina Hunter is a cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Her scholarship includes research on women’s health in Brazil, pedagogy, and ethnographic methods.
Series Overview: The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political and social topics.
Series events have become one of the most popular internationally focused events on campus and continue to draw ever-growing crowds of students, faculty and community members. Audience members are given time at each event to raise questions to enable a two-way participation and learning.
International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public, and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The fall 2017 series will focus on food justice and sustainability.