The Crown Prince Couple of Norway visited the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) at Ås, just outside the capital of Oslo, on Thursday of last week. During the display of the exhibition, ‘no insects – no food‘, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon were offered food made from crickets, flour beetles and grasshoppers.
While the Crown Princess politely refused to eat food made from crickets and grasshoppers, the Crown Prince ate a slice of cake containing flour beetles during the visit. Brownies garnished with flour beetles did, however, not tempt Mette-Marit, but Haakon showed courage and tasted a slice of the insect-cake. After His Royal Highness tasted the cake they got a briefing about how important insects are to take care of the Earth’s biodiversity. Students explained that the insects are needed for a variety of purposes, such as food production and animal feed, but also as a future source of protein for humans.
The couple had a hectic programme at the university and learned about some of the research that goes on there. Some of the topics discussed during the couple’s tour were, among other things, antibiotic resistance, insects, urban agriculture and the DNA of plants and animals. Outside, Her Royal Highness got the opportunity to control a robot named Thorvald.
The visit ended in the university’s newly built high-tech barn, where they were given insight into how a modern cow barn is furnished with automatic feeding and milking robots. They also watched a milking robot which both adheres to the udder and performs the milking automatically. A robot can operate a barn with about 60 cows.
Norwegian University of Life Sciences has around 5000 students. Having a history dating back to 1859, it is the second oldest institution of higher education in Norway, after the University of Oslo.