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Let ‘Em Eat Bugs

For those who haven’t heard, cattle and pork are threats to the environment. The farms that raise them are foul greenhouse gas offenders. Better, say our superiors, that we settle for a nice bowl of insects instead.

A recent New York Times opinion feature headlined “​​The Joy of Cooking (Insects)” looks at “​​our broken food system and the three chances you get to help fix it – and save the planet – every day.”

“​​A growing tribe of environmentalists, academics and entrepreneurs are arguing that edible insects must enjoy a wider acceptance to help create a more sustainable global food system,” says the Times.

“It’s time for bugs. Whether you regard them as agents of filth or sources of nutrition, integrating more of them into your diet … is among a suite of dietary changes that we urgently need to consider to deal with food insecurity, biodiversity loss and climate change.”

The World Economic Forum claims “eating insects could reduce climate change” since “our consumption of animal protein is the source of greenhouses gas.”

The same organization has also said “we need to start nurturing – and eating – weeds,” which “can be nutritious and tasty, if we know which ones to pick.” Again, the greenhouse gases emitted by animal farming is the reason we need to go on a North Korean diet. Just another sacrifice we have to make to keep Gaia healthy.

The phrase “let them eat cake” has been attributed to Marie Antoinette. Whether she or an unnamed “great princess” of France said it, its disregard for hungry and sometimes starving peasants was clear. The royal class was going to continue to dine sumptuously, at least until they lost their heads in the revolution, and the rest were going to have to do with less.

Aside from a few adventurous eaters among the West’s ruling class, we don’t expect bugs and weeds to become part of our moral superiors’ daily provisions. They will continue to eat beef, pork, fish, and, yes, cake. These are the elitists who fly the world in private jets while insisting the rest of us stay home to minimize our carbon footprints. Who will continue to take daily showers and cool themselves with air conditioning as they tell us those are luxuries we can’t have.

Meanwhile, the deplorables just might be force fed some nasty chow. A study a few years back observed that there might be “consumer acceptability barriers” in “some regions” to wormy dishes, and therefore bugs might have to be put into meals without you knowing it: “Perhaps as an ingredient, e.g. in pre-packaged foods,” the study said.

As the website Watts Up With That? noted, “Packaged food is already substantially contaminated with insect waste, the FDA allows shocking levels of insect contamination in everyday foods.”

In short, the rules are not for those who would shove insects down our throats. But the bounty of the earth is. They believe it is running out, so they want to keep it for themselves. We have to lower our living standards so they won’t have to give up modern comforts and indulgences. We have to be happy with worms.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

10 comments

  • Cost, the economics, is the real bottom line. Cricket flour ($41/lb on Amazon) makes a good chocolate chip cookie, but at gourmet prices that no government is going to subsidize and slip into the food supply unnoticed. Insect protein is several-fold more expensive to produce than animal protein, and will never be cheaper than plant protein because insects need to eat plants. Eating plant proteins directly makes the most sense, and is the current trend. Pesticide residues from controlling insects may be the more worrisome contaminant than some harmless insect parts in the food supply. When I buy an organic celery and find a worm crawling inside the stalks, I figure if the worm is not dropping dead than the food is safe for me to eat. Not an issue to get too whacked out of shape about.

  • FROM THE ‘THEY FORGOT TO MENTION THAT’ LIST
    The reasoning to get deep in your life and bar producing meat to eat or go to silly measures to dispose of biological waste is based on the false assumption that methane is a by-product of its cultivation and is a “green house gas.”

    Methane is an irrelevant greenhouse gas outside of the laboratory and in the atmosphere because it only absorbs and retains Earth’s otherwise escaping long-wave energy in two very specific short radiation bands @ 3.3 & 7.5 microns of the electromagnetic spectrum, where that energy in those narrow bands is also absorbed by water vapor. Water vapor is 5000 to 10,000 times as prevalent in the atmosphere as methane and has long since saturated the absorption factor in those narrow spectral bands leaving virtually no energy for which methane can compete and certainly not enough to worry about increased levels of methane capturing. Stated another way, the only source for methane capture of energy in the atmosphere has long ago been exhausted by humidity. What it can do in the laboratory (25 times more energy absorbent than CO2) without competing gases absorbing IR radiation, it cannot do in the atmosphere because there is no energy left to capture in those bands in which it only absorbs energy that might otherwise escape Earth.

    For the reasons stated, fear of methane affecting climate change is scientifically illusory.

    Read more aggregate of the science involved from these sources (math & charts, if you are interested) —
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/11/methane-the-irrelevant-greenhouse-gas/

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/01/whit_house_methane_madness.html

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/10/stop-the-devastation-of-peoples-lives-by-speculating-with-no-data-remembering-cattle-and-methane-emissions/

    • Now don’t go using teal science. That confuses lthe non-technical people who only listen to junk, pretend science.

  • Gad what a depressing article. For me I will raise tomatoes and lettuce and live on that – no bugs for me. I am trying to learn how to raise vegetables in a small area, lots to learn.

  • “A growing tribe”

    These nuts have always been around. The only difference now is they use global warming as a reason. I love it when they get press, because the “ick” factor is so huge for most people, it makes the bug eaters seem kind of insane. Which they are.

    • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329362886_Open_Access_Farming_of_insects_for_food_and_feed_in_South_Korea_tradition_and_innovation_Insektenzucht_fur_menschliche_und_tierische_Nahrung_in_Sudkorea_Tradition_und_Innovation/link/5c04b77ba6fdcc1b8d50a1d8/download

      “Edible silkworm pupae, known in Korea as “beondaegi” and seen as a valuable byproduct of the silk industry have been part of the local food spectrum for centuries. Edible crickets on the other hand, represented in Korea primarily by the species Gryllus bimaculatus and Teleogryllus emma as our research has shown, are relative newcomers and have been under cultivation in Korea for no longer than about 20 years. Silkworm pupae on account of their widely appreciated nutritional qualities can be obtained fresh at local vendors or in canned form from most supermarkets. Recently when Viagra-like effects of silkworm extracts were demonstrated in male rats, uses of silkworm pupae as material for the pharmaceutical industry have been added to their role as a human food item. Edible crickets, however, find their greatest acceptance as feed for domestic animals like pigs and poultry as well as increasingly farmed fish. The amount of cricket flour as a protein-rich additive to conventional flour types in the baking industry is expected to rise as is the number of farmed crickets and people employed in the cricket farm sector, generally. The total amount of crickets produced currently in Korea is dwarfed by the amount of 10 tons of silkworm pupae annually, of which 2 tons are specifically reared for the purpose of food and feed. To produce approximately 35,000 “beondaegi” 1 ton of mulberry leaf fodder is required, but 200,000 crickets can be reared on the equivalent of 100 kg wheat bran plus 80 kg of corn.”

  • This is sure to upset those IDIOTS from PETA want us to all go Vegan all over this Global Warming/Climate Change Scam

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