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Meat the Food of the Future

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the clean-your-plate dept.

Earth 705

Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that rising food prices, the growing population, and environmental concerns are just a few issues that have food futurologists thinking about what we will eat in the future and how we will eat it. In the UK, meat prices are anticipated to have a huge impact on our diets as some in the food industry prognosticate meat prices could double in the next five to seven years, making meat a luxury item. 'In the West many of us have grown up with cheap, abundant meat,' says Morgaine Gaye. 'Rising prices mean we are now starting to see the return of meat as a luxury. As a result we are looking for new ways to fill the meat gap.' Insects will become a staple of our diet. They cost less to raise than cattle, consume less water and do not have much of a carbon footprint. Plus, there are an estimated 1,400 species that are edible to man. 'Things like crickets and grasshoppers will be ground down and used as an ingredient in things like burgers.' But insects will need an image overhaul if they are to become more palatable to the squeamish Europeans and North Americans, says Gaye. 'They will become popular when we get away from the word insects and use something like mini-livestock (PDF).' Another alternative would be lab grown meat as a recent study by Oxford University found growing meat in a lab rather than slaughtering animals would significantly reduce greenhouse gases, energy consumption and water use. Prof Mark Post, who led the Dutch team of scientists at Maastricht University that grew strips of muscle tissue using stem cells taken from cows, says he wants to make lab meat "indistinguishable" from the real stuff, but it could potentially look very different. Finally algae could provide a solution to some the world's most complex problems, including food shortages as some in the sustainable food industry predict algae farming could become the world's biggest cropping industry. Like insects, algae could be worked into our diet without us really knowing by using seaweed granules to replace salt in bread and processed foods. 'The great thing about seaweed is it grows at a phenomenal rate,' says Dr Craig Rose, executive director of the Seaweed Health Foundation. 'It's the fastest growing plant on earth.'"

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Hey, just market bugs as (5, Funny)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887055)

Land Lobsters.(They're both arthropods) Then you can charge a premium for them.

Re:Hey, just market bugs as (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887065)

But why? If human kind managed to get most of the way to today without McDonald's 'burgers', could we not go back to fruits and grains and the occasional wooly mammoth of our ancestors?

We know a lot about nutrition - we don't need animal protein to survive. Although, personally, life without an Egg McMuffin may well not be worth it.

Re:Hey, just market bugs as (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887087)

Although "Mosquito McMuffin" does have a certain ring to it....

Re:Hey, just market bugs as (3, Interesting)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887115)

I have managed to ditch fast food for the last 3yrs, lost some weight and don't miss it one bit.
However, I am a carnivore and I will not give up my Chicken, red meat and the occasional Pork item(usually bacon or sausage).

Re:Hey, just market bugs as (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887255)

I suppose you could try and eat like your ancestors. Do you want to live like them too?

I think that's the part people are missing here. It's like a bunch of people at the SCA or Ren fair acting like they all would be Lords and Ladies when in fact they would be the nearly starving peasants.

Re:Hey, just market bugs as (4, Interesting)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887485)

I've had chilli flavoured oven baked mealworms, very tasty, similar to savoury popcorn. Locusts aren't bad either, although a little overly-crunchy in parts. Termites, ants, various mosquito/midge types and even arachnids are popular in various parets of the world. Far more efficient to produce than cow too.

Obligitory (5, Funny)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887147)

Soylent Green
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

Re:Obligitory (2)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887313)

Soylent Orange [amgals.com]

Re:Obligitory (1)

No2Gates (239823) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887405)

I say that when they have these car accidents that are caused by morons on cell phones, that we "get the scoops" like in "Soylent Green" and remove those individuals from the gene pool, plus help serve others by providing nutrition.

Re:Hey, just market bugs as (4, Interesting)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887285)

Land Lobsters.(They're both arthropods) Then you can charge a premium for them.

I think that would complete the circle. Lobsters used to be called the cockroaches of the sea. They were considered just barely good enough to give to your slaves.

Re:Hey, just market bugs as (1)

NoiseCounsellor (2668963) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887449)

"They will become popular when we get away from the word insects and use something like mini-livestock" Carlin saw it coming, I guess: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h67k9eEw9AY [youtube.com]

Not for me (4, Funny)

paintballer1087 (910920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887057)

No lab grown meat or bugs for me. I'll just stick with good ol' Soylent Green!

Re:Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887075)

These are probably Soylent Yellow and Blue.

Re:Not for me (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887101)

i hear that soylent green is pretty tasty.

Re:Not for me (5, Funny)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887165)

But of course the taste varies from person to person. (Oblig.)

Re:Not for me (2)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887177)

it varies from person to person

Re:Not for me (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887213)

And you are getting...?

It's really pretty obvious (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887067)

Under-abundance of meat
Over-abundance of humans

If you convert the over-abundance into the under-abundance, they balance themselves out.

Easier solution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887071)

I just don't eat meat. That said, my parents raise grass-fed cattle so I could get beef for cheap if I cared to.

If you ask me (3, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887077)

Our population just topped 7 billion; if you ask me, there is already too much meat.

Re:If you ask me (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887145)

But there's always the supply-chain problem: how do we get it into supermarkets?

Re:If you ask me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887201)

Advertise a "meat sale"?

Re:If you ask me (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887227)

Well its fairly easy. Big sign over the supermarket.

"Free Sex This way"

Re:If you ask me (5, Funny)

originalmouse (2450446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887355)

"Free tickets to the blue collar comedy tour" should attract most of the Eloi to their doom.

Re:If you ask me (1)

dyfet (154716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887163)

I gather thats a vote for solyient green

Rejoice everyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887081)

... Krabby Patties are going to become VERY real!

http://en.spongepedia.org/index.php?title=Krabby_Patty

Re:Rejoice everyone... (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887125)

I have watched enough SpongeBob to at least try them. SpongeBob has wet dreams about them. I have only had wet dreams about girls. Krabby Patties just HAVE to be damn good if they are giving boners.

Arthur C. Clark would be proud (3, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887085)

Prof Mark Post, who led the Dutch team of scientists at Maastricht University that grew strips of muscle tissue using stem cells taken from cows, says he wants to make lab meat "indistinguishable" from the real stuff,

Why stop there? Why not use human muscular stem cells? Then it could be branded as Ambrosia Plus.

--
BMO

Re:Arthur C. Clark would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887141)

HAHAHAHA, that just reminded me of Futurama! I will post ANON so I can mod you +1

Re:Arthur C. Clark would be proud (0)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887171)

HA! Indeed, if I had mod points I would too.

Re:Arthur C. Clark would be proud (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887429)

Think of the creepy dinner parties those wealthy enough to run their own batches will have!

"I put a lot of myself into this dish, I hope you enjoy it!"

You already eat bugs; get over it (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887105)

'Things like crickets and grasshoppers will be ground down and used as an ingredient in things like burgers.'

Um, yeah, you just go on thinking thats a "future tense" activity. Maybe not intentionally, maybe a lower percentage...

Re:You already eat bugs; get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887137)

Maybe not intentionally, maybe a lower percentage...

And that makes all the damn difference. I'm not going to intentionally eat bugs, and I certainly wouldn't eat any food if I knew that it often came with insects...

Re:You already eat bugs; get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887369)

Yeah well there is a difference between flour with a few bugs ground into it and an insect burger composed almost entirely of insects. Even though a lot of insects don't taste that bad in limited quantities, I can't imagine the smell or texture of a bug-burger, ugh. Yes, I'm sure it could be spiced up to mask everything but that really isn't natural food, now is it?

I'd rather just not eat meat that eat insects. Hell, I practically do that anyway, only eating meat once or twice a month for the nutrients that are otherwise hard to get in a vegan diet (for health reasons, I don't mind killing animals for food).

Or just dont eat meat (2, Interesting)

malignant_minded (884324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887111)

You dont have to eat meat and if it became a smaller portion of peoples diets all the better. The grass lands that these animals use are enourmous for your return in meat. I would say chickens and goats are a better option for people than cows. If sanitation was a top priority for towns they could focus on making sure families all were feed from a small local farm with no polution into the water or soil like the estrogen issues of large farm runoffs were have today.

Re:Or just dont eat meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887233)

You dont have to eat meat and if it became a smaller portion of peoples diets all the better. The grass lands that these animals use are enourmous for your return in meat. I would say chickens and goats are a better option for people than cows. If sanitation was a top priority for towns they could focus on making sure families all were feed from a small local farm with no polution into the water or soil like the estrogen issues of large farm runoffs were have today.

i agree here. We're not vegetarians, but we used to be. But meat still isn't high on our radar except for the occasional fish or chicken. Sometimes beef from good quality small farms. We eat meat about 1-3 times in a given month. One doesn't have to go completely vegetarian, but cutting down on meat is a good idea I think.

but but but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887121)

I thought we'll 3D print our food powered by (private) space-based solar arrays?

Meat gap? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887123)

What is this meat gap?

The human body does not require meat. There are some amino acids that humans have to consume from animal sources, which include milk or eggs.

If this is talking about what to replace meat with, then this is somewhat of a moot point, since there is a dietary change required anyway (i.e. there is no thing to replace meat with that is not just as thinkable as another). For example, we could just be eating more carrots.

If less meat gets consumed, there will be more food available to humans overall, since the ratio of food used to food gained (by converting plants etc. to meat via e.g. feeding a cow) is about 10.

Re:Meat gap? (3, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887327)

Meat is easy.

If you dump animal proteins then you actually have to know what you are doing. Otherwise you can do permanent damage to yourselves. If you're going to be a vegetarian then you need the tribal knowledge to back it up and most Westerners simply don't have that.

Also, if we let all of corn fields go fallow, the cows could live off of that. We can't. That's an important detail that's missed here.

Cattle used to be semi-wild animals that just wandered around and mostly fended for themslves. It's the same for grazing animals in general.

A lot of effort and fossil fuel goes into turning grasslands into something that a human might be able to eat. Even if we repurpose the American midwest to direct human feed crops, a lot of high tech effort has to go into it.

Re:Meat gap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887401)

I've been vegetarian for over two decades with following no real special diet. I hope people are buying the bullshit you're shoveling.

Re:Meat gap? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887517)

It's not bullshit. If you ate nothing but salad every day, you're not going to get the same nutrition that you would from eating a lot of meats.

The vegetarian/vegan forums are all full of people who go on a fad vegan diet and end up not feeling well or having other issues because they did not adjust their diet properly.

While most people eat terribly, meat is a very easy source of calories and protein. To get the same from veggies you need to pick out the right stuff. A lot of people don't understand that.

Re:Meat gap? (3, Informative)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887339)

"The human body does not require meat."

Yes it does. At most I could accept that due to our technology we can (hardly) substitute meat with something else.

"For example, we could just be eating more carrots."

If you thing you can exchange the protein needs of a growing human being out of carrots, you are beyond salvation.

"If less meat gets consumed, there will be more food available to humans overall"

Fat American standard is not "humans overall". About 90% of human population eats meat in quite a reasonable proportion.

Re:Meat gap? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887389)

What is this meat gap?

The human body does not require meat. There are some amino acids that humans have to consume from animal sources, which include milk or eggs.

If this is talking about what to replace meat with, then this is somewhat of a moot point, since there is a dietary change required anyway (i.e. there is no thing to replace meat with that is not just as thinkable as another). For example, we could just be eating more carrots.

If less meat gets consumed, there will be more food available to humans overall, since the ratio of food used to food gained (by converting plants etc. to meat via e.g. feeding a cow) is about 10.

Humans are omnivores. We need meat to survive - to be accurate, we need a balanced diet of meat and plant matter (veg/fruit) to survive.

Soylent Green! (2)

skdffff (140618) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887129)

It's people. Soylent Green is made out of people. They're making our food out of people. Next thing they'll be breeding us like cattle for food. You've gotta tell them. You've gotta tell them!

Re:Soylent Green! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887301)

you ruined the fun. You should of said the government is having a conspiracy. Mc Donalds do not have pink slim, it made out of soylent green

As a heavy meat eater (2)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887131)

there are lots of way to dress up vegetables to make even meat eaters drool all over. Just look outside of the western culture for some recipes. Unfortunately for some its too much work/time to cook up some Curry or Thai so they'll just stick to SPAM.

Meat prices are high... (5, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887139)

...because a bunch of foolish politicians decided making fuel from corn would be a good idea. Once that stops we'll go back to raising beef on non-tillable rangeland and pasture and finishing it with a small amount of inexpensive corn.

Soylent Green!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887143)

It's PEOPLE!!!! :-)

The EU is safe from insect burgers (4, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887149)

The EU has a deliberate policy of remaining self sufficient for food. Euro haters love to rage about the huge grain mountains and heavy farm animal subsidies, but the whole point of them is to make sure the EU will always have enough farming capacity to feed itself should the need arise.

We will never allow ourselves to get to the stage where we don't have enough meat. Yeah, India's population will keep on increasing, but it won't matter much to us. The population of Europe is stabilising and even falling in some places. The third world will carry on starving until they have enough education to limit the number of children they have, but the EU will just keep transferring money from the rich to subsidy for farm animal meat for the rest of us.

Re:The EU is safe from insect burgers (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887245)

Yep, the end of meat is nowhere in sight. I can buy two chickens for six euros, that's five days of curry, fajita, teriyaki sushi, adobo, and plain old gravy dinners.

Re:The EU is safe from insect burgers (1)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887329)

...the EU will just keep transferring money from the rich to subsidy for farm animal meat for the rest of us.

Until that banking crisis forces a different path...

Ironically, people that tow-the-line on sustainability are often the first to fool themselves that taking from the rich isn't subject to the laws of sustainability either. In the long run, that strategy isn't any more sustainable than farming for animal meat if you aren't doing to measure and sustain them, the population (of rich folks) will be overused and collapse just like any other. Putting your head into the sand and ignoring this and continuing to exploit that resource because it always worked in the past is just yet another form of the ignorance that sustainability folks rail against in the general population...

Just sayn'

Re:The EU is safe from insect burgers (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887435)

The rich are the class that can most easily be taxed sustainably. Unlike the lower or middle classes, you'd have to tax them by a hell of a lot to force them down into a lower class.

Re:The EU is safe from insect burgers (2)

originalmouse (2450446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887421)

also, since when is "food futurologist" even a thing? i could see maybe "food futurist" but the former implies knowledge of the future instead of utterly blind guessing. why list insects first any way? the majority of the US population would only ever think of eating "Free Range Land Lobster" if there were literally no other alternative to starvation. that said, i'd eat lab grown meat now. actually sounds like it might be leaner and less hormonally twisted than the beef you already get commercially here in the states.

poory written title (2, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887169)

Meat the Food of the Future

Maybe I'm getting old, but I just cannot fathom 'meating' my future food. Well.. maybe if it's apple pie.

Re:poory written title (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887461)

Maybe I'm getting old, but I just cannot fathom 'meating' my future food.

Hey, what's the problem, earthman? [youtube.com]

I put the over/under of soylent green jokes at 50 (2)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887175)

and the over/under of future food overlords jokes at 12.

I don't see this happening in the US. (4, Insightful)

Scorch_Mechanic (1879132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887187)

So long as we in the US continue to subsidize corn and raise livestock on it, meat will remain in easy reach of residents of the united states. That's not even considering how an entire huge segment of the population would take the news that they can't do big barbecues anymore. I'm not saying this is a good thing, I'm saying this is what I anticipate will happen.

Re:I don't see this happening in the US. (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887239)

You know, even grass fed meat isn't all that cost prohibitive when you think about it. Yeah, it's slightly more expensive but it's not like I would stop eating it all together if the corn subsidies were eliminated.

I'm guessing a lot of people would do the same because, well, most Americans hate vegetables and limit them in their diet as much as possible.

Re:I don't see this happening in the US. (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887345)

The land that now grows corn to feed cattle used to feed the bison directly. That grass was able to sustain bison herds the size of a small country. This all happened without any human management. So the idea that we all have to get used to Tofu is a little silly.

Re:I don't see this happening in the US. (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887357)

"I'm guessing a lot of people would do the same because, well, most Americans hate vegetables"

The sad point is that most Americans seem to hate meat too. Anything that is not properly "processed" so it doesn't look like it was a portion of a leaving being prior to reach the supermarket tends to look "ugly".

Idiomatics (5, Funny)

FrankDrebin (238464) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887191)

Hungry? Get some grub.

Re:Idiomatics (1)

vigour (846429) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887291)

Hungry? Get some grub.

I wish I still had mod points for that.

Re:Idiomatics (5, Funny)

SpeedBump0619 (324581) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887431)

'They will become popular when we get away from the word insects and use something like mini-livestock (PDF).'

Hivestock.

Another crystal ball post (1)

ocean_soul (1019086) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887193)

Seriously? When did /. begin copying idiotic and arbitrary predictions from mass media mediums?

Re:Another crystal ball post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887289)

Since a week ago. You must be new here:)

Re:Another crystal ball post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887353)

When Taco left,

and /. wont last long at this rate, it is rapidly filling up with lefty junk

MFG, omb

If we had Hitch Hiker's Food. (1)

craznar (710808) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887207)

We could say "Meet the Food of the Future".

There is no reason to starve (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887209)

If people only eat as much food as they need there will be enough for everyone.

Re:There is no reason to starve (5, Insightful)

Ignacio (1465) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887303)

There already is more than enough food produced to make everyone on the planet fat. The problems are distribution and cost.

subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887221)

Seriously? They would rather eat crickets than raise fish?

what they mean is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887225)

they want you to be more stupid and less evolved because they want you to eat less meat....
as to rising prices well just buy Canadian farms on mass now that the wheat board is done with and give out wheat to your nation freely....screw canada our illegal treasonous govt sold us out.

Who Took My Cheese? (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887235)

I need some cheese once in awhile on my veggie burrito.

Playing Games With Names (2)

resistant (221968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887237)

The marketing problem with insect consumption for Western audiences could probably be addressed by focusing a non-objectionable label on one particular kind of insect, much in the way that "beef", "pork", "chicken" and "fish" are labels for specific kinds of animal. The relatively innocuous term "cultured grasshopper meat" sounds a lot better than the generic term "squashed, processed bugs", for example. Once the idea of eating bugs ... pardon me, "cultured insect meat" gains traction, acceptance for this new food will naturally expand over time to other insects.

Admittedly, I expect the idea of eating yucky wormies will catch on very, very slowly indeed with Americans, no matter how enthusiasts try to make them sound appetizing by frying them up or making delicious-looking meat pies out of them. Personally, worms will always make me think of the squishy, nasty messes on the sidewalk after a hard rain, and I'll smack anyone who tries to get me to actually eat them.

Incects/bugs... (2)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887241)

"Plus, there are an estimated 1,400 species that are edible to man."
Edible doesn't mean tasty. I am open to the idea as I eat spiders in my sleep, but there are some that don't look to tempting and I would most likely get very hungry before eating one.
I like that term as well: 'mini-livestock' I think it will stick hahaha
I think we can make the switch, but I am sure it will be the pussy switch just like Vegetarians. Open up there freezer and what do you see? Veggie-BURGER, meat substituted STEAK and all other kinds of crap that are vegetable based, but looks and tastes like meat. And the therapist said "I" was in denial?

Conservation of Energy, and Meat (-1, Redundant)

Andrio (2580551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887249)

Every calorie of energy that powers your body came from the sun. "Producers" (plants, anything with photosynthesis) rearrange hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon into glucose, where that energy gets stored. Let's say a cow eats some grass, that energy from the sun that the plant had stored transfers to the cow, and adds to the cow's biomass. Now let's say you eat that cow; the energy transfers to you. And if a lion eats you, that energy transfers to the lion.

It's very neat and elegant, but there's something not so many people realize. Every time energy gets transferred from one source to another, only 10% of the energy makes it through and contributes to the animal's biomass. The other 90% is lost to entropy. 10% of that initial energy of the plant makes it to the cow, thus 1% makes it to the human, and .1% makes it to the lion.

So you see, meat is pretty wasteful as food for humans, especially since we really don't need much (if any) of it for nutrition. Literally, you could feed 10x more humans with plants than you can with meat; that's not my number, that's the what the law of conservation of energy says. Most of the wheat, corn, soy, and oats that the US produces goes to feeding farm animals that get eaten. Unfortunately, due to government subsidies, the real cost of meat never (directly) impacts us. If they took government subsidies away, the cost of meat would skyrocket, and less affluent people wouldn't be able afford much of it. Things would be "balanced." This would also effectively kill fast food, as it would become too expensive. So basically, it'll never happen.

Re:Conservation of Energy, and Meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887479)

You're a short-sighted fool. Here's the huge problem with your tunnel vision: Humans need far more than energy to survive.

Besides, that energy that you think gets "lost" doesn't simply disappear. It feeds into an entire ecosystem that supports more than humans.

Re:Conservation of Energy, and Meat (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887483)

The 'waste' factor depends on the terrain you're working with. Trying to grow any kind of a food crop on fairly steep hills is pretty futile, while cows or sheep are happy to graze there.

Re:Conservation of Energy, and Meat (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887497)

Every calorie of energy that powers your body came from the sun.

Nope, I eat cows fed specially-engineered seafloor vent Archae. Stuff costs more than osmium per ounce, but it's worth it just to have a counterexample to this claim.

McDonalds putting worms in their burgers?!? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887279)

Anyone else here old enough to remember the panic when an urban legend [snopes.com] spread that McDonalds was using ground earthworms in their burgers?

Well, multiply that by a hundred and guess why no food company or restaurant in their right mind is going to be jumping on this bandwagon anytime soon.

I, Caveman (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887295)

So, interestingly enough... I caught an episode of Morgan Spurloch's new docu/experiment.

In the episode I saw 2 people leave, and one essentially go crazy from lack of protein. What happened first was the smallest thinnest woman probed to be the most incapable of dealing with the extreme lack of meat protein and fat. She voluntarily left when the "tribe" failed twice to kill an elk. Strangely enough the supposed semi-pro hunter of the group voluntarily left second. He couldn't deal with the frustration of failing to kill an elk with a spear and atlatl. Morgan kept trying to kill a muskrat, but also couldn't remain patient enough to land a killing blow.

The weirdest thing was how the sanity of the vegetarian played out. She consistently tried to brainwash the other tribe members by constantly complaining about animal meat. IIRC she successfully swayed the tiny girl that left to not eat any of the fish they caught because none of the other tribe members would remove the head... Yes. She refused dire nutrients because it had a face on it and the vegetarian brain-washed here into essentially starving until she volunteered to leave from lack of food and partial dehydration.

The next morning after the semi-pro hunter left, a few of the tribe members (including the woman that got her feet wet and complained about being cold while intentionally avoiding huddling around the campfire) set out early to stalk the elk herd. Back at camp, the vegetarian did literally nothing for the tribe; however she made herself a nice salad of grass and leaves... ROFL. The other members at camp started building a drying rack in the hopes the hunters brought back some meat to preserve.

The first atlatl strike missed the target and almost startled the herd into fleeing, however the second guy landed a beautiful shot to the neck of a large buck. They waited a few moments until it collapsed then went in for the kill. I was proud to see the woman (I think her name was Manu) make the kill shot by puncturing the elk's lung. All 4 members of the hunting party became extremely emotional about killing the large majestic mammal.

They performed a small ritual, thanking the animal for its sacrifice, then proceeded to draw and quarter it. They hauled over 200lbs of fresh elk meat back to camp for all of the tribe to share... except the vegetarian.

The vegetarian immediately began complaining that they had murdered an animal to consume. She began gagging in what I believe was an attempt at spreading a mass hysteric type social reflex (think of a yawn and how it seems to spread). Then came the complaints about how gross it was to butcher it in the field, and she wasn't going to eat any it because it was against her beliefs.

Here is where they pan to the actual scientists running the show. They began to discuss the ramifications of tribe members that refuse to contribute to the tribe, and how in ancient times there were rules to compensate for the lazy and belligerent. Next they began to discuss how if the "experiment" continued how she would rapidly become emaciated and essentially starve to death from lack of edible plant proteins in the wild.

So, the moral is that animals need to die for homo sapien sapiens to survive in our modern bodies as they evolved. Over the last 3 years I have been cutting out plant protein/sugar as my staple and replacing it with animal protein/fat. I feel 100x healthier and happier than I have in over a decade. As long as there are ungulates I will never return to plants as my staple diet. If that means poaching, so be it. Humans require animal protein/fat to be healthy. It's scientifically proven.

So does that mean (1)

jedirock (1453977) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887307)

We have to put Texas out of business? It would get rid of the Eastern Texas courts too!

Help me out here, I'm a bit confused (3, Funny)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887309)

Is the BBC turning into The Onion? Or is the author just plain daft to start with?

Substituting the words "mini-livestock" in place of "dead insects"? What the fuck are these Brits smoking?

I know crushed-up insects may pass for a semi-decent gourmet meal by British culinary standards, but here in America I'll stick to my 97% lean ground beef and REAL pork chops, thanks.

Re:Help me out here, I'm a bit confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887379)

I agree with you on the bug thing and I'm a Brit. As for the rest of your comment quit being such an ignorant asshole.

Re:Help me out here, I'm a bit confused (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887419)

97% lean ground beef is sad. The fat is what makes it taste good.

Re:Help me out here, I'm a bit confused (5, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887427)

It worked for rape seed oil, err, I mean "canola" and for mechanically reclaimed meat in place of "lips, ringpieces and bits of meat blasted off the bones".

It will work for grasshoppers.

A much more accurate prediction (2)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887311)

In the future, people will eat essentially the same things we eat now. Rising prices for meat will cause meat producers to make more money, which will cause more people to raise more livestock for meat, which will cause meat prices to stabilize at a supply/demand equilibrium.

Environmental concerns will become less and less important to people as people learn that human concerns are less and less important to environmentalists. Practical conservation efforts will regain the environmental mainstream, overthrowing the hairshirt doomsday environmentalism that peaked in about 2005.

Futurists and futurologists (?) will continue to predict "interesting" futures, because no one writes an article about you when you say things will stay about the same.

FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887325)

I AM NOT EATING ANY GODDAMNED FUCKING BUGS, YOU LIMEY COCKSUCKERS!!!

I think I speak for everyone. (By which I mean everyone in 'Merica, or Amercia as Romney calls it... which is the only nation that matters to me, as I am an American...) We fought a fucking war, (two actually) against these assholes so we wouldn't have to listen to them or do what they say. Let THEM eat bugs, I'm fine with that. We can ship them all the cockroaches they can eat.

I'm not eating that shit, and if I had to kill each and every last Limey piece of shit on the planet to ensure I can still enjoy a 100% pure beef hamburger, and that my Chicken McNuggets were still 100% pure McChicken, I think I'd be fine with it, so long as I, myself don't have to do any of the icky, actual killing since, once again, I'm an American. I don't like to get my hands dirty with actual... work, especially something likely to involve... ew... blood...

That's what DRONES are for. :^) Remote-control semi-autonomous head-shot... BOOM! 2 points!

To be fair though, if people in the UK are considering adding bugs to their diet, that'd probably represent an improvement on the typical British food, from what I've heard.

Re:FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU (1, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887441)

To be fair though, if people in the UK are considering adding bugs to their diet, that'd probably represent an improvement on the typical British food, from what I've heard.

Says the man from the country that gave us the drive through fast food joint and the 52 oz "medium" soda.

tonight, you shall taste MAN-FLESH! (1)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887335)

I'm really looking forward to the ethical discussion surrounding the consumption of lab-grown or 3D-printed human flesh.

If you can clone your own muscle tissue and grow it in your basement under heat lamps, is there any reason why you shouldn't put it on the grill with a little gorgonzola?

More Bullshit from the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887341)

More Bullshit, these idiots don't have a clue and the BBC is spending TaxPayer money sponsoring then and giving them a voice

They are all really sad that Shale-Oil has solv ed the energy problem, but never mind, lets get on with the next Malthusian scare.

Hint, we havn't begun to farm efficiently yet, and the EU is HUGE and Brussels are paying for set-aside ie Farmers dont grow a crop!

Idiots all,

MFG, omb

Beh. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887343)

Well as it stands now, with current food production there's enough room for another 3 billion people. With africa effectively producing nothing, the same still stands. If Africa ever fixes it's problems it would turn into the bread basket of the world again. But that would require a few thing, first among them getting over their petty squabbles. Second environuts and their anti-green revolution [wikipedia.org] agenda will have to get off their high horses, and third will probably require world wide intervention to stop all the damned wars(see the first point).

I can already hear the cries of "but over-population and all those families having large numbers of children" guess what? In europe, and asia the same thing happened too. The same still happens in parts of asia, because death at childhood due to disease/accident/birth is still the number one killer. But it's more so true for the middle east, and Africa. You raise people up, you reduce the number of children people need to have to "help out on the farm" as it was. Isn't industrialization a grand thing?

squeamish [..] North Americans... generalize much? (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887363)

I am Dutch but am living in Mexico right now, and have been living there since early 2004. In Oaxaca, Mexico, one can eat grasshoppers. I've done so on a few occasions, and it's not bad on a taco with guacamole. So it's certainly not in all of NA that people are squeamish about eating insects..

Futurists (4, Funny)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887383)

Companies hire ethicists when they want to do something unethical, and people call in futurists, to come up with ideas that have no future.

Why would meat price rise ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887385)

We have already too much meat locally. The only way meat price could rise, is by stopping intentionally cattle growing, the dream of some of the green, but there is no reason really. in EU/US many surface are available for cattle growing and we are subsidising farmer to NOT grow wheat and other stapple food (to maintain price). The reality is that if there was no subsidy in EU for example, the price of wheat, milk, and meat would crash down because of surplus.

Can't help but wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887391)

Remember when Starbucks had to admit they were using crushed, ground-up bugs in their "drinks"? Maybe it wasn't actually for the "coloring" but actually contributed to the nutritional content of the "beverage", in the hopes that they can sneak that in there, and that when they start telling people, sorry, cows have too great an environmental impact, you have to start eating bugs now, and we cry "NEVER!!!" they then reply, do you eat this, this, or this? Do you drink this, that, or the other, (where the "this" is Starbucks Frapacrapos, or whatever)? and we answer, "well, of course, they're yummy" they'll reply "well, you've already been eating bugs for years, what's the big deal?"

So the real question is, how many of the "natural flavors" in our various foods are actually being used to "beef up," as it were, the nutritional content, rather than as flavorings, hiding behind their ability to disguise whatever it is they're putting in our food as just harmless "natural flavors"? How disgusted will we be when we learn that so many of the things we've been happily scarfing down for years, maybe even decades, once crawled on 6+ legs, and/or had gossamer-like wings?

So gross!

Doubling meat prices means starvation (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887437)

The poor cannot afford to pay double for meat so they will starve. That will lead to civil unrest. If we can't afford to feed the poor then society will break down.

Re:Doubling meat prices means starvation (2)

Richard_J_N (631241) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887469)

No it doesn't. They'll just have to turn (mostly) vegetarian. Meat isn't a requirement for a balanced diet.

Chicken Little (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887457)

Lab grown meat is probably in our future, but I have seen these insect eating predictions a few times before since the middle of the last century and somehow we are still producing enough proper food for everybody. OK, except India and north east Africa. They still don't produce enough food for everybody and probably never will, since they refuse to reduce their populations to sustainable levels. Well, I suppose their populations are at sustainable levels, just not the kind of sustainable that the rest of us would consider sustainable...

Malthusians never learn... (4, Insightful)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 2 years ago | (#40887501)

We will find a way to continue to produce food efficiently, mostly for the reason that it is very profitable to do so.

Slimy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40887507)

Yet satisfying!

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