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APBI 290: Insects for Food and Feed
APBI 290
Section: 001
Instructor: Dr. Yasmin Akhtar
Office: TBA
Office Hours: TBA
Class Schedule: TBA
Classroom: TBA
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion


Insects as food and feed is a 4-credit course. The course aims to provide an understanding of the benefits of entomophagy including health, environment and livelihood. The course will discuss the challenges encountered to develop insects as a new protein source for food and feed. The course will also include insect rearing methods, preparation and processing of insects and incorporating them into different dishes. Aspects of entomophagy are explored through student reviews of recent research articles and presentations to the class.

The course is taught by lectures and presentations (1-2 hours/week), laboratories (2-3 hours/week), and some field trips

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to

  1. understand the nutritional benefits of insects compared with animals
  2. understand the environmental and ecological impact of using insects as food and feed
  3. understand the various methods of harvesting insects
  4. appreciate the roles insects have played in entomophagy
  5. understand the challenges of incorporating insects in food and feed
  6. learn several ways to incorporate insects into different dishes
  7. critically assess and objectively critique the primary scientific literature on entomophagy
  8. appreciate the quantitative dimensions of entomophagy
  9. understand the role of insects as a sustainable food source


There is no assigned textbook for this class. Most of the readings will come from the primary literature. Assigned readings will be posted online well in advance of class or discussion. Students are expected to have the readings completed well before coming to class.


The course will include a combination of lectures, discussion groups, and ‘key skills’ labs that will teach you the field and statistical tools used by entomologists. A strong emphasis will be placed on independent reading and discussion groups. Papers will include both classic papers and modern treatments or examples. Many of these papers will be discussed in class, but not necessarily all. Students are expected to have read and studied all papers prior to coming to class.


The proposed mark distribution (subject to modification by the instructor);

Midterm exam 20%
Final exam 30%
Quizzes 10%
Presentation 20%
Labs (preparing meals based on insects in FNH kitchen) 20%
  • Exams: will cover the content and ideas from lecture, assigned readings, and discussion. Exams will likely contain true-false questions, multiple choice questions, short-answer questions, essays, and ‘fill-in-the–graphs’.
  • Labs: Labs will mainly be based on some experiments dealing with meal preparation based on insects. Some field trips are also involved. Points will be awarded for attendance, participation and lab reports.
  • Presentations: Your papers must critique a journal paper published within the last two years and related to some area of entomophagy. For each session, points will be awarded for performance, with an emphasis on preparation, engagement, and quality of participation (not on quantity or volume!).
  • Quizzes: Tasks or quizzes will be assigned (sometimes spontaneously) during class time or lab. In general, the tasks will be designed to ensure you have done the readings and following what is going on.


Introductory course in biology/entomology/nutrition.

Relationship to Faculty and University Priorities

This course will be especially valuable to students interested in pursuing careers in food and nutrition, food security, and entomology.

This course will also attract entomology-oriented students in Biology and Forestry. By putting insects in the food chain, we can also attract FNH students. The 2002 External Review suggested that the Faculty improve teaching efficiency by taking on courses that more broadly serve the university and undergraduate community. By attracting students from other faculties, this course will definitely improve teaching efficiency according to the External Review (2002). This course will also provide an excellent fit with the popular 3rd and 4th year courses APBI 327, and APBI 428.


No additional library resources are required