SLU news

Launch of new cookbook, a step forward for sustainable food security in Africa

Published: 02 November 2023

In a remarkable event held at Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe, the "Edible Insects: Food for the Future" cookbook was unveiled, shedding light on the untapped potential of edible insects in African cuisine.

Beyond the culinary delights it offers, the book begins by outlining key food safety considerations when handling insects as food. Additionally within the preparation for consumption practices, the book converges traditional practices, kitchen stories and modern rules of science to highlight key food safety steps.

The launch event was attended by a diverse group of stakeholders, signifying the importance of this culinary shift. These included Linia Mawire - Programme Officer at the Swedish Embassy in Harare, Prof. Cecilia Onyango - the Deputy Director of AgriFoSe2030 programme, a representative from Chinhoyi municipality, a representative from the Standards Association of Zimbabwe, edible insect collectors and traders, Chinhoyi municipality and Chinhoyi University management.

The ceremonial launch of the cookbook was carried out by Prof. Taurai Bere, the Executive Dean of the School of Wildlife, Ecology, and Conservation at Chinhoyi University. In his address, he underscored the need for Africa to re-embrace edible insects as an integral part of their diet, harnessing the rich culinary and economic opportunities they present.

Leading the charge in this endeavor was Prof. Robert Musundire, the project leader, whose rallying cry echoed through the event. He passionately advocated for the incorporation of edible insects into the African diet, emphasizing that Africa possesses all the necessary resources to combat food insecurity, including these extraordinary and often overlooked protein sources.

Edible insects have also become the catalyst for change, bringing newfound hope and opportunities to the lives of collectors and traders. This transformation has empowered collectors and traders, enabling them to dream bigger, invest in their children's futures, and secure a more comfortable life. What was once a means of subsistence has evolved into a thriving industry that not only contributes to food security but also enhances livelihoods, empowers families, and brightens the prospects of the next generation.

This cookbook builds upon the first edition's success, presenting an expanded array of edible insect products and recipes. The Edible Insects: Food for the Future cookbook continues the journey of the first cookbook, Secrets of African Edible Insect Cookery, which was launched in 2021 alongside another edible insect cookbook, Les Delices de Mikese, developed through the combined efforts of L’Association des Femmes d’Affaires du Congo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and the sustainable development consultancy agency, BKind Konsult AB.

The AgriFoSe2030 programme (funded by Sida - The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) the driving force behind this culinary revolution, is dedicated to advancing the understanding of sustainable agriculture and food security in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in South and Southeast Asia. The "Edible Insects: Food for the Future - Secrets of the African Edible Insects Cookery Volume II" cookbook launch event marked a significant step towards transforming African culinary traditions and promoting sustainable food practices.

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Ng'endo Machua-Muniu

Communications Lead, C&E team
Stockholm Environment Institute
Telephone: +46 (0)70-316 80 30