Insects as Food for Capitalism – The Entomophagy Frontier in Laos, Thailand and beyond(PDF)


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Are insects the food of the future, alleviating world hunger and ecological issues? In this book, based on extensive field research in Laos and Thailand, the author suggests otherwise. He describes local transformations in ‘entomophagy’ and explores differences between South East Asian and Western food cultures before presenting a deconstruction of the widespread ‘insect solution narrative’. Empirical observations are discussed mainly in the light of the World-Ecology approach, seeing the exploitation of humans and nature as inextricably intertwined. The main argument targets the commodification of edible insects and related resources, denoted by the central concept of the ‘entomophagy frontier’.
Unfolded along the lines of the distinction between wild-collected and farmed insects, it holds that the emerging entomophagy industry tends to reinforce the problems it addresses by ignoring their structural causes: social inequality, systemic unsustainability and ultimately the insatiability of capitalism.

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About the series

Developments in the field of area studies — goaded by the analytical deconstruction of world regions from their geopolitical sense — have deeply affected the knowledge production from societies and cultures located in the politicized compartmentalization of the globe. With this series, the editors and authors wish to contribute to a reformulation of sensibilities in area studies which emphasizes the epistemic value of contextualized knowledge production. Starting with the notion of Southeast Asia, books published in this series will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of regionality based on a multidisciplinary approach. The series represents an outlet for young scholars intending to publish their degree theses; and for established scholars who are looking for a place to republish out-of-print books. We also encourage scholarly collectives from the regions to publish collaborative works or edited volumes on topics that usually will not attract the attention of big presses due to their transdisciplinary orientation.

About the author

Andrew Müller, M.A., studied Sociology/Social Sciences and Area Studies with a focus on Asia at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is now an independent scholar and journalist.

Editorial Board

Prof. Caroline S. Hau
Prof. Vincent Houben
Prof. Boike Rehbein
Prof. Barend Terwiel
Dr. Xue Li
Dr. Benjamin Baumann
Dr. Daniel Bultmann