Would you eat a grasshopper? This question was just one of many posed by the audience at the evokeAG conference.
Population growth, food security, environmental sustainability and market access are all important and topical challenges. The evokeAG conference held in February in Melbourne and supported by AgriFuturesTM Australia explored these topics and showcased innovation in design and technology for the food and agriculture sector to more than 1200 people.
If you are a consumer of sports supplements and shakes, you may have encountered insect protein in the ingredients. Grasshoppers are a superior source of protein and offer all the amino acids a human body needs. But can we overcome the ‘yuck’ factor to consume this sustainable food source? Hargol FoodTech, one of the presenters at evokeAG, is working to do this and is opening its second grasshopper farm in Israel soon.
Perhaps using crustacean shells to make single-use compostable food wrap is more palatable to you? Sydney-based packaging start-up, Carapac, presented their innovative idea at evokeAg’s Startup Alley. Using prawn, shrimp and crab shells, a waste product from the seafood industry, Carapac are making a sustainable alternative to plastic containers.
Topics throughout the two-day event included developing alternative markets for indigenous and native bushfoods, extracting carbon dioxide from industrial combustion gas to meet the needs of greenhouse growers, and using insects to manage food and effluent waste.
You can register your interest for evokeAG 2020 here.
Image above (from L-R): Matthew Cox (Agriculture Victoria Research), Nicki Marks (Food Innovation Network) and Becky Barker (Victorian Rural Women’s Network) at the evokeAG conference.