The studies focused on the use of insects have outlined numerous reasons for using insects as food and feed as an important method to increase food opportunities for consumers. Insects have been emphasized as a food source with a low environmental impact due to the limited requirement for arable land and water, low ecological cost, and high-quality protein provision. In Europe and Western countries, insect farming is a growing business in which, however, some critical economic aspects must be recognized. The sector needs to be adequately promoted to rationally exploit the huge amount of potential. As such, the aim of this study was to analyze the recent research on economic aspects related to insect farming for feed and food production with the purpose of providing evidence of the critical economic points in this emerging sector. The focus was mainly oriented to understanding how insect farming can foster virtuous circular economic processes, specifically considering economic aspects on the basis of the limited literature currently available and the circular economic principles. A circular business model approach was proposed to address the entire insect-based feed and food supply chain from a circular economic perspective. In our opinion, the findings underline some economic research questions that need to be addressed in the near future, and the conceptual approach can be individualized to help increase cost- and eco-effectiveness from a circular economic perspective.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited