The residual population growth imposes an increase in food demand, driving humans to practice agricultural intensification on a large scale. Paradoxically, food and feed production may end up causing various environmental problems. At the same time, about 2.37 billion people in the World currently lack basic food security insurance. As a consequence, alternative sources that can substantially address the demand for food and feed sustainably are needed. Insect farming may offer an environmentally friendly solution for mitigating global food and feed challenges. The article aims to explore the potential of insects as sustainable food and feed sources while assessing their environmental impact, offering innovative solutions for global food security challenges. By highlighting the benefits of edible insects, the article supports informed decision-making and promotes sustainable practices. Mass production of edible insects has seen record growth over the decade, and their demand as future proteins is projected to reach up to 3 million tons in 2030. Additionally, insect farming is evidenced to be economically viable. To meet the demand for edible insects, a breakthrough such as the internet of things can be used to scale up production and processing. However, detailed environmental impact assessments are needed to predict scenarios of large-scale insect farming. Life cycle assessments of some edible insect production systems have validated that insect farming has various beneficial environmental impacts. The utilization of edible insects as food and feed is promising for significantly improving food security and the environmental sustainability of food.
In Africa, food insecurity seems to be a continual problem as a result of various factors such as extreme poverty, water scarcity, land degradation, and climate change. As a result, chronic hunger and malnutrition are still prevalent in many African countries. Consequently, the utilization of available and affordable natural food sources is needed to accommodate the energy and nutritional requirements of the people, such as edible insects. Edible insects are abundant and locally available throughout Africa, hence could be utilized as low-cost, nutritious, and sustainable foods. Around 500 species have been recorded in sub-Saharan Africa out of the 2,100 known edible insect species worldwide. The consumption of insects, also known as entomophagy, has been historically practiced by indigenous people of Africa. To date, edible insects are seen in Africa as a good opportunity, particularly for rural households, to improve their livelihoods at an economic and nutritional level. Edible insects are a great source of energy and nutrients – and their rearing only requires a small amount of water, land and feeding resources. Entomophagy may also serve as an ecologically sound control measure for insect pests, such as locusts, that periodically wreak havoc on agricultural fields. The combination of being a highly nutritious food source and having economic advantages made edible insects very attractive in all the African regions. Their promotions into the diet would ameliorate the well-being of the population and boost economic growth in Africa. However, African countries need local and regional legal frameworks to achieve smooth functioning of marketing of edible insects and their products.