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Using edible insects to combat food waste

Québec City, June 9, 2022 – Université Laval today announced the launch of the Educational Leadership Chair in the Production and Primary Processing of Edible Insects. The Chair's mission will be to develop training activities in the field of edible insect farming as well as to identify and put into practice solutions to combat food waste through edible insect production.

In Canada, 30% of food is wasted and 58% of food-based waste is lost throughout the production and supply chain. "The use of edible insects for the bioconversion of organic waste into ingredients of high nutritional value for animal feed is an exceptional opportunity to address this food waste, explains the holder of the Chair, Marie-Hélène Deschamps, a professor at Université Laval’s Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences. The upcycling of food waste by insect larvae offers a new eco-responsible approach to reuse organic residues and foster a circular economy that limits the need for external resource inputs. »

The activities of the Chair will focus on three main areas:

1) Education and training, with courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to familiarize future agronomists with this rapidly growing sector, as well as a continuing education program for the various actors in the insect farming sector.

2) Knowledge transfer and leadership, with activities and events such as workshops, talks, and technology showcases, as well as participation in various national and international networks dedicated to insect farming.

3) Research and development to optimize production techniques, upcycle different types of organic residues and develop economic models in line with Québec’s regional specificities. 

"This new chair reflects Université Laval’s commitment to sustainable development and the agriculture of tomorrow, said Université Laval Rector Sophie D’Amours. As the new chair, Professor Deschamps will use her proven leadership to establish and strengthen ties with the insect farming sector and make sure that the solutions developed through the Chair’s work are quickly integrated into the practices of this fast-growing industry."

Creation of the chair was made possible by 14 partners who will provide a total of $635,000 in funding over a five-year period. They are: Enterra, RECYC-QUÉBEC, Sanimax, Aspire, TELUS, Équilibre Protéine d’Insectes, Hagen, Entosystems, Centre de développement bioalimentaire du Québec, Fonds Germain-Brisson, Jefo, Protix, Cégep de Victoriaville’s Institut national d’agriculture biologique (INAB), and Corporation de développement économique Victoriaville et sa région.

Public Affairs Team
Université Laval