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Scientists Advocate Replacing Cattle With Insects

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the beetle-stroganoff dept.

Idle 760

rhettb writes "Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered that insects produce significantly less greenhouse gas per kilogram of meat than cattle or pigs. Their study, published in the online journal PLoS, suggests that a move towards insect farming could result in a more sustainable — and affordable — form of meat production."

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More allergenic? (4, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821082)

Would they be more allergenic though?

I know more people who are allergic to arthropods than who are allergic to beef/chicken/pork.

Not sure why this is so- maybe it's the exposure to dust mites?

Re:More allergenic? (5, Interesting)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821128)

Plus we're not a million miles away from being able to culture meat in vats at this point, which need not produce any greenhouse gases at all if set up right. I know a lot of people in developing countries consume insects as a staple form of food, the squirm factor for western audiences would be quite high however.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro_meat [wikipedia.org]

Re:More allergenic? (5, Funny)

samjam (256347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821170)

Typical human selfishness trying to hog all the life on the planet.

Surely it is more generous to let your protein have a chance at sentience before you eat it - and we must eat it to survive.

I find it very nice that my protein (that I must eat) can walk around, be happy, find it's own food - even reproduce - before it is eaten.

Condemning so much of the protein we consume to a life in a tank could perhaps be the most selfish thing we have deliberately done as a species.

Re:More allergenic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821182)

That's possible the worst argument I've ever heard. Unless you're just joking.

Re:More allergenic? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821420)

you don't want to meet the meat?

Re:More allergenic? (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821232)

Eating is a selfish act. Pretty much all of life is a selfish competition.

Either get over it, or take your argument to its logical conclusion and stop living.

I hope you were just trolling.

Re:More allergenic? (-1, Troll)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821286)

The biggest problem here is why the press (for the purposes of the example I count slashdot as being "press") thinks it needs to publish every single press release of every idiot green-activist scientist who has an cretinous idea for reducing this minor trace-gas (and plant food). I would genuinely be interested to know just how it is that a mortal scientist, with no particular talent, gets a write-up online whenever he farts.

Give us the musings of Feynman types, yes, but Green activists are so utterly boring, you might as well give us the thoughts of Olive from On The Buses.

Re:More allergenic? (1)

VoidCrow (836595) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821448)

I *liked* Olive from On The Buses. Get off my lawn.

Re:More allergenic? (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821352)

I hope the "scientist" was just trolling.

But my point was to check the "green people" whose morals often seem un-bounded

Re:More allergenic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821364)

umm.. Nobody said anything about growing a whole cow in a petri dish. We've already successfully grown meat in lab. There's no reason to also grow bones, brains and eyeballs if we're just growing this meat for food. And muscle is not sentient, so I don't see how this would be cruel to anything.

Stop worrying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821332)

Hakuna matata

Yum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821084)

And they taste better too

Or Ostrich (4, Interesting)

Micah (278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821086)

I've also heard it suggested that ostrich would be a pretty sustainable replacement.

Re:Or Ostrich (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821102)

Interesting, as its meat is rather tasty - do you happen to have anything to back that up?

Re:Or Ostrich (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821266)

Article about ostrich farming. Quite a bit of actual data there.

Strange that it isn't more populr than beef consiering similar flavour, lack of "ick" factor and aparent superiority of ostrich in so many respects but article also speculates on reasons for that.

Re:Or Ostrich (4, Informative)

jadrian (1150317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821116)

Some say the same about kangaroos [nationalgeographic.com] .

Re:Or Ostrich (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821248)

In the short term we also have to factor in the costs of making our fences fucking huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge

Re:Or Ostrich (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821366)

Kangaroo meat is delicious (I'd say more so than beef), but it's just too damn chewy.

Re:Or Ostrich (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821256)

I've also heard it suggested that ostrich would be a pretty sustainable replacement.

I like that idea. Ostrich meat is delicious.

Re:Or Ostrich (1)

bysin (173686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821416)

Ostrich meat is delicious and also healthier for you then cow. Unfortunately its hard to find here in America.

Re:Or Ostrich (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821430)

On a long enough timeline this logic can extend to any other living specie, when you consider that:

- meat is meat, regardless of source

no one is going to eat them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821088)

wow thats the stupidest things ive heard. how are you going to get people to eat those.

Re:no one is going to eat them (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821110)

Remember we have a very tolerant soft drugs policy. In the end it all works out.

Eating them is the NORM (5, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821240)

Eating insects is quite widespread [wikipedia.org] , apart from few areas of cultural oddity (highly visible though; and we do eat other invertebrates), not to mention at least an order of magnitude more efficient from vertebrate farm animals when it comes to transformation of resources into meat.

In the form of industrially-produced meat paste (for a start) it would be probably hard or impossible to taste a difference; maybe military could introduce it to its diets - I imagine grunts can't whine quite as much as a typical consumer, and it would be one good part of the puzzle towards solving this [wikipedia.org] , might get acceptance from there.

As a matter of fact - you all eat insects every day; standards for grain, flour, vegetables, etc. generally speak of "maximum number of insect body parts per unit"

(and feeding the world in a sustainable way - not exactly an Idle-grade material)

Re:Eating them is the NORM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821440)

Eating insects is quite widespread [wikipedia.org] , apart from few areas of cultural oddity (highly visible though; and we do eat other invertebrates), not to mention at least an order of magnitude more efficient from vertebrate farm animals when it comes to transformation of resources into meat.

In the form of industrially-produced meat paste (for a start) it would be probably hard or impossible to taste a difference; maybe military could introduce it to its diets - I imagine grunts can't whine quite as much as a typical consumer, and it would be one good part of the puzzle towards solving this [wikipedia.org] , might get acceptance from there.

As a matter of fact - you all eat insects every day; standards for grain, flour, vegetables, etc. generally speak of "maximum number of insect body parts per unit"

(and feeding the world in a sustainable way - not exactly an Idle-grade material)

Every time I try to figure out what the ratio of gasses to meat for an insect is, I keep getting a "divide by zero error".

Re:Eating them is the NORM (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821452)

Religion is quite widespread, too. That doesn't mean I'm going to drop to my knees and start praying. Some motherfuckers eat dog, for that matter. Doesn't mean there is somehow a justification for replacing my diet with Fido.

Also, there is no shortage of food. There might be a sustainability problem in some parts of the world, but for the most part the majority of land (especially in America) are completely empty and undeveloped. For fuck's sake, we pay people not to grow food, in this country.

If you're in some third-world nation with the option of starting an insect food economy on one hand or starving and dying of malnutrition on the other hand, then go for it. But let's not act like this dippy bullshit is going to replace meat for most of modern (especially western) civilizations. People are more likely to say "fuck that!" and go vegetarian, before they'll start eating insects.

And no, "you all eat insects every day" doesn't contribute to further justification whatsoever. Nobody is a hypocrite for eating food that allows a minimal amount of rat hairs or insect parts per hundreds or thousands, yet showing distaste at the idea of eating flat out insect based food.

If green house gases produced by *man* are really so significant, let's attack the real sources that have viable alternatives already and do much more damage -- like combustion engine automobiles, lawnmowers, airplanes, and industrial waste.

Anyway, there's always a group of jackasses promoting absurd diets with any number of justifications. One day it's all-tofu and the next it's a breatharian diet. Then it's an insect diet.

Simpsons did it (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821384)

Remember the ribwich? [wikia.com]

And how Krusty said in the end when asked what animal it was made of "Think smaller. Think more legs"?

It's all in the commercial, I tell you. Just don't tell people what they're eating, slap a lot of MSG-loaded sauce on it and it will sell.

Greenhouse gas problem. (0)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821090)

It's worth considering that the amount of greenhouse gases by cattle may not be the problem that it's said to be. A lot of greenhouse gases are emitted by lakes and a lot of other sources too.

Add to this the fact that it would be a lot worse if the temperature did turn down instead of up. Starvation and war may be the result when the polar grows or there are years where the temperature limits the crops severely.

Think what would happen if all corn suddenly froze in the US several years in a row. Or that the yield dropped on other base food with 30%. Would make what happened in New Orleans during/after Katrina a breeze.

Re:Greenhouse gas problem. (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821136)

A much bigger problem is the efficiency of food production: to produce one kg of meat you need many kgs of other foods. And while some of those foods may be inedible to humans (e.g. grass), cattle is also fed other foods that are grown specifically for them. Instead of growing cattle food, that same land could be used to grow human food, with a much better overall return.

If you're looking at plain food production per hectare (or even per farmer's effort) then meat is very inefficient. Crops that are human edible are much more efficient.

And for the greenhouse effect: the temperature increase is only a few degrees. Quite small differences, with potentially large impact. When you'd think of a similar but opposite effect it's not that crops start to freeze where it wasn't freezing before - the effect is much more subtle. It's more that winters start to last longer, or in case of global warming, that winters become shorter.

Re:Greenhouse gas problem. (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821220)

Yes, but how many KGs of protein are produced per hectare?

Re:Greenhouse gas problem. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821320)

Via insects - apparently around an order of magnitude more than via cattle. Even greater advantage when it comes to conservation of water.

Re:Greenhouse gas problem. (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821264)

The amount of benefit a human gets from food is not measured in kilograms.

Re:Greenhouse gas problem. (1)

Buggz (1187173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821196)

Think what would happen if all corn suddenly froze in the US several years in a row. Or that the yield dropped on other base food with 30%.

The #1 health issue in the US would be eliminated.

Re:Greenhouse gas problem. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821268)

Kind of what I was thinking. I try not to eat corn any more, though it's damn near impossible since everything seems to contain "maize starch", so I haven't eliminated it entirely.

Re:Greenhouse gas problem. (1)

transfatfree (1920462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821270)

or the government would start subsidizing imports to feed the masses their delicious carbs

Re:Greenhouse gas problem. (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821328)

The problem is not the absolute levels, it is the changes. The ecosystem we live in is adapted to whatever lakes etc. output - they have been doing it for millions of years. The problem is the change - we are suddenly adding a whole lot of extra C02 and CH4 into a system that was (moderately) stable. In the long term, there is no problem: in a few hundred thousand years, a new equilibrium will be found and the Earth will trundle happily on. So if you don't mind a few billion human deaths over the next few generations, there is no problem at all. The Earth is in fine condition - it is only seething humanity that has a problem. And the human race is not at risk - billions will not die. So if you are happy to treat humans as we treat cattle (or insects) there is no problem.

Re:Greenhouse gas problem. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821394)

Some equilibriums [wikipedia.org] would be more comical, in a way, than others...

Human extinction (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821450)

Funny how ideologies overlap.

The move to reduce global warming is (in the US) associated with the left side of the political spectrum, especially with environmentalism.

But there's another strain of thought on the left, also associated with environmentalism: The population control movement [wikipedia.org] , given a boost by Paul Erlich. Even beyond that, there's the voluntary extinction movement [vhemt.org] .

For these folks, catastrophic global warming should be seen as a godsend, and they should be voting for (what is considered) the head-in-the-sand policies of the GOP.

Where's that "fucking retarded" tag, again? (-1, Flamebait)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821092)

Hey, I propose we all eat something disgusting and horrifying, because it's "more sustainable"! (Yes, I know tribes in the middle of nowhere that dance around a fire with their boobies flapping in the breeze all day that have never seen an 'outsider' survive entirely on grub worms or whatever -- I don't care).

I have an idea. How about we attack pollution spewing gas-guzzlers, teh trend of every home owner having a "grass" lawn (very bad on the environment), and corporations dumping waste illegally before we start resorting to eating fucking giant god damn bugs. Also, what's with those giant plastic cups full of piss in the photo? Is that another movement they're proposing? Yum. Giant freaky bugs and cups of urine. The future sounds awesome.

Re:Where's that "fucking retarded" tag, again? (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821126)

It sounds even more awesome than you can imagine. The bugs in the front are locusts. I prefer not to imagine what will happen if we "improve" them as we do with all domestic animals and the improved locust capable of living in let's say across the entire temperate zone gets our in the wild.

In any case - fair point about the lawns.

Re:Where's that "fucking retarded" tag, again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821172)

I think the "stupid" tag will have to suffice.

Re:Where's that "fucking retarded" tag, again? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821308)

Some domestic animals are even incapable of reproduction without our assistance...

Re:Where's that "fucking retarded" tag, again? (2)

jandersen (462034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821302)

Hmm, you come over all emotional. And not all that knowledgeable either.

There is a growing number of people in America that eat insects - why not check it out instead of airing your bigotry and insulting people in other cultures?

What is disgusting is simply a matter of what you are used to; humans being apes with less hair means that we throughout our evolution have eaten insects much more than chordates, so our metabolism is much more at home with insect protein and fat.

Re:Where's that "fucking retarded" tag, again? (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821350)

Insects are arthropods - as are lobsters, shrimps etc. Lobster is not commonly regarded as disgusting and horrible. Can you justify why a land-dwelling arthropod is more disgusting and horrifying than a sea-dwelling one? The insect could very well be a pure vegetarian, whereas many of the sea-dwelling ones we eat are scavengers (e.g. crabs) which flourish on carrion and sewage.

Not a great idea (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821118)

The scientists here have managed to completely ignore one simple but important fact; no one has any good recipes for insect meat. With the meat being so far outside what's usually considered food, that could kill it. Even currying might not be enough to get people to eat this stuff.

Re:Not a great idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821158)

Google "insect recipes" and you will find plenty of them.

It is only because you have been brain-washed by the rightwing media that you believe otherwise.

Hopefully, we will soon see legislation to require the gradual elimination of meat from our diet and its replacement with insect protein. We could start by requiring it for commercially produced processed foods, and later move on to other food types.

Yes I know this sounds icky to some, but over time you will get used to it. It is worth it to save the planet.

- Green Marauder

brainwashed (2)

moxsam (917470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821198)

It is only because you have been brain-washed by the rightwing media that you believe otherwise.

I will use that as my signature from now on, ok?

Re:Not a great idea (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821454)

Quite frankly though, I've never tasted any insect meat that is any better than "neutral taste". But that may be because most insects served in western countries are prepared to leave is as much recognizable as an insect as possible instead of focussing on the taste.

Re:Not a great idea (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821190)

With the meat being so far outside what's usually considered food ...so far outside of what YOU consider food. There are plenty of people around the world who enjoy insects.

Tastes are entirely cultural: the French enjoy snails, Swedes enjoy rotten fish meat... You may or may not like insects, but they're perfectly valid sources of food.

Re:Not a great idea (3, Interesting)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821192)

According to this guy on TED [ted.com] , you eat lots of insects with processed foods already.

Re:Not a great idea (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821280)

A non-squeamish person sometime in the future: "Hey wait a minute guys! This tastes just like chicken!"

Re:Not a great idea (1)

BlortHorc (305555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821402)

A non-squeamish person sometime in the future: "Hey wait a minute guys! This tastes just like chicken!"

In my experience, they tend to taste somewhat nutty.

Re:Not a great idea (2)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821292)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eat-A-Bug_Cookbook [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_Eating_Bugs:_The_Art_and_Science_of_Eating_Insects [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entomophagy#Unintentional_ingestion [wikipedia.org] (try to think about it during your upcoming meals, please)

Any other misconceptions?

Re:Not a great idea (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821408)

You aren't taking into consideration the fact that people have been eating insects for millenia. There is a greater variety of commonly eaten insect species (1000+) than of commonly eaten mammal species (~10). In parts of the world with a history of eating insects, they are a delicacy. There is also a great variety of insect dishes, whether traditional Asian, Native American, or African dishes, and recent recipes created by modern chefs, mainly in Europe.

Then there is the taste itself - insects are arthropods, and hence are very closely related to shrimp, crabs, lobster, etc. A big tarantula (yes, yes, not an insect but a terrestrial arthropod nonetheless) has a taste not unlike a crab, though less salty for obvious reasons.

Re:Not a great idea (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821422)

People eat mycoprotein [wikipedia.org] (non-mushroom fungus). I don't think it tastes of anything on its own, but that doesn't stop a chef making something from it.

oh my (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821134)

Makes me even happier that I am a vegetarian.

Re:oh my (4, Funny)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821242)

*smug*Makes me even happier that I am a vegetarian*smug*

There, fixed that for ya!

Re:oh my (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821438)

Why? I am a vegetarian for reasons that I believe it's better for my health!

So instead it really was:

*shrug*Makes me even happier that I am a vegetarian*shrug*

You'll get used to it (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821138)

Like you get used to eating shrimps and crabs, you'd probably get used to eating all kind of insects as long as scientists growing them bigger...

*Clicking on TFA and looking at the giant freaking COCKROACH*

Ok, I take my words back. I'll never get used to it.

Re:You'll get used to it (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821304)

Crab.. I bought a tin of it a little while back to see if I like it now (didn't like it much as a kid).. I managed to finish it, but I felt like puking half the time. Just ate it because it would have been a waste of money otherwise, and protein is protein.

Re:You'll get used to it (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821312)

On the other hand, prawns are TASTY, so I hope they go more down that route :)

Re:You'll get used to it (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821368)

Of course we can get used to that, but frankly, I don't want to. I like my meat. I am pretty sure my body needs meat. Even if you sold insects in non-retching-inducing packaging, I'd still want meat.

As long as this is not a matter of survival, I'll stick to meat. Simple as that. As long as it's not about my own life, the rest of the world can go... well, you know. And I'm betting 99% of all other humans view this the same way whether they are honest about it or not.

at the resturant (1)

kowala (1707988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821140)

I advocate our insectiod overlords eat us instead.

The vegan mafia called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821146)

The vegan mafia called.

They threatened with tofu ninjas and potato cannons.

They said they have higher efficiency and described resistance as futile. :P

Added Bonus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821156)

Looks like everyone forgot to mention this would probably also help solve America's obesity problem. You'd eat a lot less McDonalds if you KNEW where their meat came from, especially if it came from bugs.

Re:Added Bonus! (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821252)

You'd eat a lot less McDonalds if you KNEW where their meat came from, especially if it came from bugs.

You'd eat a lot less McD if you knew where their meat comes from and how it is processed, handled and cooked. No need for bugs in that particular equation...

Yummy insects! (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821160)

If only we could get over the gross factor.

But then in large parts of the world, I know at least Africa and here in Asia I've also seen them, insects are part of the menu already. Often considered delicacies even. So they're definitely edible.

Buggalo (1)

astroe (985563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821162)

Let the buggalo [theinfosphere.org] roam.

Replace scientists with barf bags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821174)

Hi, i'd like to advocate replacing scientists with barf bags.

The point of meat is that it's meat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821176)

The reason I eat meat is that it tastes like meat, which is tasty. I don't know what these insects taste like (a quick search of the articles didn't find anything, I havn't read them through though), but I bet it's not anything like a deliciously red on the inside piece of cow. There are other sources of necessary proteins, so I don't see what the point of farming insects would be.

I can't wait until lab meat growing becomes mature and industrial. Always getting the nicest piece of the animal, cheaply, with no killing. I love the future...

Eat Them! (4, Interesting)

NZheretic (23872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821186)

"When man entered the genetics age, he opened the door to a new world. What we may eventually find in that new world, nobody can predict."

Countdown to breeding larger insects for human consumption starts in ...

Netherland? (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821202)

Isn't their cousine bad enough?

Yet another... (-1, Troll)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821214)

Example of GWB (Global Warming...rhymes with Rollocks). If I had a pound for every scientific press-release the sub-text of which is that the author is a blithering idiot, I'd have several thousand pounds by now.

Or no meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821218)

Or we could not eat meat.

Or less meat.

Vegetarianism anyone? (2)

BangaIorean (1848966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821222)

Instead of coming up with moronic stuff of this kind, hoping that people will start eating insects, start a vegetarian movement. At least that has some chances of getting implemented.

Re:Vegetarianism anyone? (2)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821340)

What's funny - it is practically impossible to be a vegetarian if eating insects [wikipedia.org] disqualifies one...

Instects could be interesting for fish farming (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821230)

Many fish species naturally eat insects. AFAIK on the other hand current fish farms mostly use smaller wild fishes. Breeding insects coold be used to farm fish eating insects that are either useful for selling to humans or to feed other carnivores fishes instead of the current wild fishes.

Everyday... (1)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821236)

Everyday, our bright future looks more appealing.

Re:Everyday... (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821262)

Yeah, it's getting so bright I need image intensifiers.

Re:Everyday... (-1, Troll)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821298)

As long as the eco-fascists don't take over, you probably won't need them.

Om nom nom (4, Interesting)

Bazman (4849) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821250)

In places where large clouds of flies congregate, such as Lake Malawi, the locals net millions of flies and compress them into little cakes. Handy protein packs. I'm sure they may have some nice recipes.

Use for animal feed (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821254)

Hopefully there will be a lot of (good) jokes about the ability of the average consumer to "stomach" (ha ha) these critters.

However "unappetizing" that prospect may be, why not give them to Fido or Socks? From what I've seen of dog/cat food, it is so heavily processesd, flavored and dyed that they, being unable to read the labels, may not be able to tell the difference. I don't know what other domesticated/farmed animals are fed animal protein (fish farms?) but the amount could be significant.

Just trying to take a "bite" out of the problem of global warming.

Ribs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821284)

So which makes the better BBQ spare rubs? Beetles or caterpillars?

Less antibiotics in our diet (2)

NtwoO (517588) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821290)

It would be quite interesting to know how succeptable insects are for infections if farmed. One of the problems with livestock is the prophelactic use of antibiotics. This has its effect on the symbiosis further down the chain. If insects could provide a untainted protein source, then it shouldn't be too bad. We eat prawns already, don't we?

The Root cause of the problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821296)

...is called overpopulation.

Do you really want to live on a planet along with ~20 billion people, eating squished insects (aka Soylent Yellow (tm))? I know I don't. Why are we trying to make life so uncomfortable, ugly and boring? We likely wouldn't have most of today's problems (like global warming, scarcity of natural resources, energy problems,...) if we had a population of say ~200 million. Maybe not every business would be efficient or possible anymore and technology would probably advance not as fast as today, but would that really matter? Isn't that a much more appealing future?

Re:The Root cause of the problem... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821354)

...is called overpopulation.

Do you really want to live on a planet along with ~20 billion people, eating squished insects (aka Soylent Yellow (tm))? I know I don't. Why are we trying to make life so uncomfortable, ugly and boring? We likely wouldn't have most of today's problems (like global warming, scarcity of natural resources, energy problems,...) if we had a population of say ~200 million. Maybe not every business would be efficient or possible anymore and technology would probably advance not as fast as today, but would that really matter? Isn't that a much more appealing future?

I agree. The more I see articles like this the more appealing (in the long run) a global catastrophe seems. A metor strike, with billions killed, followed by survivors living in reasonable conditions beats an optimal population living in small apartments fed on insects in a global megacity.

Look at the bright side (1, Funny)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821310)

At least they taste better than tofu.

Re:Look at the bright side (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821386)

Maybe, but tofu doesn't taste like much of anything until it's added to a dish. On it's own both the taste and texture remind me of overcooked (soggy) unsalted pasta... not exactly delicious but mostly neutral and unoffensive. (And this is coming from an avid bacon cheeseburger fan) I've only tried the "firm" variety so my comment only applies to that (there are several types available). Generally it's perfectly enjoyable at any decent restaurant and has been consumed for centuries so I'm not sure why it gets such a bad rap.

Cattle is here to stay (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821314)

In the west we continue to produce cattle and eat meat not because we need it , we could perfectly replace it with an array of protein from various source, we do it because we like the taste. And trust me on that one, some insect are not too bad grilled, some are downright disgusting, some are "neutral" , I tried about anything from spider to cricket, to various crawling and creeping stuff, and nothing, nothing can replace the texture and taste of my angus filet.

Gotta love those ivory-tower plans. (0)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821326)

I don't suppose they considered the difficulty in getting people to go along with this idea.

-jcr

How about: less people (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821356)

Maybe we do not NEED to be 7 billion people on this planet. Yea, there I said it.

I'm not advocating genocide, but we would start with (1) two children per family. One child per family causes too big tragedy if that child is lost, and causes cultural strangeness in some countries where the families try to make that one child be a boy. Two is better.

Considering not every family wants two children, and not everyone creates a family, this will stop growth and begin a new process of population reduction.

Next, (2) encouraging traits that cause women to have their children later in life. Education of women, equal employment of women: while it's in the name of women, it also causes them to have their child later in life (late 20-s, early 30-s) rather than early (mid-teens-s to early 20-s). This means about 10, up to 20 years less "overlap" between generations, so slower reproduction means a lesser number of people.

Cap and trade is too easily corrupted, especially with "offsets", even if well intended, so let's face it: (3) we need to reduce some other taxes, and tax greenhouse production at some point, with no possibility for the business filling in papers for offsets. The money from these taxes can then be used by the government to produce additional offsets themselves.

So, just three things in no particular order, I'd gladly see in this world, before we're forced to eat cockroaches. Just saying, mmk?

Re:How about: less people (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821412)

I think the humans who live on this planet (excluding those on the ISS) should come up with a plan for the management of the Earth. The plan should consider factors such as population, energy supply, management of reusable resources, and so on.

But I don't for a minute believe such a plan will work. We got where we are by being bastards and we will die that way too. I am too much of a Heinlein fan to think otherwise.

Re:How about: less people (1)

smittyman (466522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821446)

In addition to that, we consume way too much / person. Look at the number for obese people.

I like to highlight a Japanese custom, if i am remembering correctly. Eat until you are like 70% full instead of eat till you are filled completely.

Also Japan is one of the few countries that have a sorta ecological balans, for example the use of trees (chopping them down etc.). The number stays stable. In contradict with many other countries where we eat / burn / use as much as we can. Resources are limited, we all know it, act like it!!

But do they taste like bacon? (1)

mwbay (167813) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821398)

It might go a long way to help offset famine and food shortages around the world. On the face of it, how could it not be more efficient than raising cattle or pigs.

But I'll stick with steak and bacon, thanks.

We are (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821426)

We are what we don't poop.

How about abandoning meat . (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821428)

its a bitch to produce, bitch to ship, store, distribute. to eat, to digest, and creates a lot of wear & tear on the metabolism while at it. we are at a point in civilization where we do not need to continue habits of a hunter gatherer society anymore. just do away with it, and reinvest all that money and effort to something else that is easier to maintain and less 10,000 BC .

What about genocide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34821434)

How about we just kill some people instead, to remove the overpopulation?

Yeah... (1)

Therilith (1306561) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821444)

Or everyone could just become a vegetarian/vegan.

I know everyone hates the guy who brings this up on every article even remotely related to meat, but there are plenty of benefits (it's healthier, meat is incredibly wasteful to produce and whether or not you agree, some people think that killing animals for pleasure is immoral) and few if any drawbacks (except for the inevitable "But I like BACOOOOON").

Digust people into eating less meat (1)

IAmAI (961807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34821456)

What a fantastic idea! The mere though of eating insects is probably enough to put everyone off meat so we won't have to farm any meat. Perhaps it'll be even be enough to put people off food altogether so we can give all our food to 3rd world countries. World problems solved!
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