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UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the other-other-white-meat dept.

Government 626

PolygamousRanchKid writes in with news about a U.N. plan to get more bugs in your belly. "The U.N. has new weapons to fight hunger, boost nutrition and reduce pollution, and they might be crawling or flying near you right now: edible insects. The Food and Agriculture Organization on Monday hailed the likes of grasshoppers, ants and other members of the insect world as an underutilized food for people, livestock and pets. Insects are 'extremely efficient' in converting feed into edible meat, the agency said. Most insects are likely to produce fewer environmentally harmful greenhouse gases, and also feed on human and food waste, compost and animal slurry, with the products being used for agricultural feed, the agency said. 'Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly,' the agency said, adding they leave a 'low environmental footprint.' The agency noted that its Edible Insect Program is also examining the potential of arachnids, such as spiders and scorpions."

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Eat them before they... (-1, Flamebait)

maroberts (15852) | about a year ago | (#43709179)

...first post

"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709181)

I say "Because OMFG, gross!!!"

And You Are Some Magic Insect Sorting Entity? (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43709229)

I say "Because OMFG, gross!!!"

If you live in the United States, you likely already engage in accidental entomophagy. Allow me to introduce you to the USDA's guide to what are the acceptable levels of insects in your food [fda.gov] . Go head and CTRL+F on that page for 'insects.'

Having particularly good eyesight, I don't think I've ever eaten a blackberry that didn't have thrips or aphids on it. Guess what? They're delicious on blackberries!

Of course, getting my Wilderness Survival merit badge on my way to Eagle Scout gave me the opportunity to forage for edible insects and I would actually recommend the fly larvae that attach to grassland stalks and form 'bulbs' around them. Taste like walnuts! Too bad it takes forever to harvest them or I'd make a product out of that for the granola-brains community.

Re:And You Are Some Magic Insect Sorting Entity? (5, Insightful)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | about a year ago | (#43709667)

Yes, but would most people eat a handful of aphids all at once? There's a huge difference between eating the odd insect part or two because they were accidentally introduced in the process and choosing to eat them.

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709233)

Learning Oppertunity!

http://news.nationalgeographic.co.uk/news/2004/07/0715_040715_tvinsectfood_2.html

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (2)

fazig (2909523) | about a year ago | (#43709285)

I actually like the idea. Insects are already a popular protein source in parts of the world.

This reminds me on how some Japanese try to deal with their Nomura's jellyfish [wikipedia.org] problem - starting to eat them.

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43709371)

Every westerner I see trying them on TV is like, "Wow! That's good!!"

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (5, Insightful)

Guido von Guido II (2712421) | about a year ago | (#43709387)

I say "Because OMFG, gross!!!"

We already eat other arthropods, like shrimp, crab, crawfish and lobster.

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about a year ago | (#43709607)

And spiders. Sadly ThinkGeek doesn't sell those any more...

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709641)

It doesn't matter. I think intentionally eating insects is disgusting, and I deliberately try not to think about accidentally eating parts of insects (as another post above mentions). If I was raised to eat insects and such, I probably wouldn't find it so disgusting, but that's not the culture I grew up in.

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (4, Interesting)

slim (1652) | about a year ago | (#43709453)

Pretty much this.

I'll eat pretty much anything. I've had Japanese colleagues play "take the gaijin to the izakaya and gross him out with weird foods", and I won (not that shirako is exactly pleasant...).

But even I find the idea of eating insects a bit revolting. I mean, I'd give it a go, but I'd grimace a bit the first few times.

In order to make any kind of impact, insect-eating would have to become really mainstream. We live in a society where lots of people won't even eat tripe, trotters, tongue or black pudding. Good luck getting these people to eat insects.

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43709489)

I'll eat trotters and black pudding with gusto!

And haggis...? Can't get enough of that!

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (1)

slim (1652) | about a year ago | (#43709601)

I'll eat trotters and black pudding with gusto!

And haggis...? Can't get enough of that!

You, me, and, um, about a third of the British population, based on my gut-feel and no other evidence :)

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (1)

IRWolfie- (1148617) | about a year ago | (#43709657)

Everyone knows white pudding is where it's at

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (4, Insightful)

bagboy (630125) | about a year ago | (#43709495)

When people imagine insects as food they always think that means in some manner of native/raw form. Who says you cannot mix them with other meats or even heat dry and grind them as a powder additive to other foods? The nutrition is what we are looking for here - not necessarily the "grossing out" of folks.

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (4, Interesting)

slim (1652) | about a year ago | (#43709583)

Who says you cannot mix them with other meats or even heat dry and grind them as a powder additive to other foods? The nutrition is what we are looking for here - not necessarily the "grossing out" of folks.

Unless you're going to covertly introduce ground insects to food, people will know. And if they know, they'll be grossed out.

Personal experience suggests to me that at least a third of people in the UK are grossed out by black pudding -- part of our culinary heritage! There's nothing outwardly unappealing about a slice of black pudding. But people have been told that it's made of blood, and that's enough to put them off.

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43709669)

But even I find the idea of eating insects a bit revolting. I mean, I'd give it a go

You have probably already "given it a go". Have you ever had cherry yogurt? Read the ingredients. It usually contains the red dye carmine [wikipedia.org] which is made from beetles.

I have eaten lots of bugs. Once you get past the squeamishness, they are good. Honey ants are delicious. Fried grasshoppers have a wonderful crunch. When I was in Panama, I had sauteed banana spiders that tasted like shrimp.

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (5, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#43709593)

Coincidentally, that's exactly the same thing Hindus say about eating beef. Or half of the world about eating pork. Or 95% about oysters. Or anyone besides the french about "escargots"...

I find the idea gross, too. But there is a differenc between something that is gross and something you've been raised to find gross.

Re:"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year ago | (#43709631)

It's all a question of psychology and what you are used to. I also shudder at the thought of eating insects, but if I engage in a little self-critique I think of the fact that I love eating prawns which objectively look just as "disgusting" as your average insect. The only real difference is that I grew up eating prawns.

Why not Zoidberg? (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43709201)

I started carefully reconsidering my emotional response on insects as food when I really considered the use of the term "mud bugs" for delicious little crawfish. It's totally apt: those little things (and most of the shellfish I eat) aren't really all that un-bug-like. Now I'm quite looking forward to trying some if the opportunity arises.

A sad day (1)

GhigoRenzulli (1687590) | about a year ago | (#43709207)

The day we'll be _forced_ to eat insects. Humans would be at the very edge of implosion.

Re:A sad day (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709339)

You are right, and that day is right around the corner.

Why not eat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709213)

People! They're everywhere, and they're delicious!

There's some excellent fat marbling on some of the North American specimens.

Re:Why not eat... (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43709307)

Well, soylent green sure as hell ain't grasshoppers.

Re:Why not eat... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709347)

There's some excellent fat marbling on some of the North American specimens.

Actually the people found in Europe are the angus of humanity.

Re:Why not eat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709397)

Actually the people found in Europe are the anus of humanity.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Why not eat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709485)

Actually the people found in Europe are the anus of humanity.

Fixed that for you.

You do realize that most of the people who settled the Americas were Europeans, and that includes South and Central America.

Re:Why not eat... (1, Troll)

walterbyrd (182728) | about a year ago | (#43709353)

> There's some excellent fat marbling on some of the North American specimens.

But consider all the chemical crap those things eat. Read the ingredients on a bag of doritos, or a can of coke. Do you want to eat something that has been feeding on that garbage?

Re:Why not eat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709421)

Better than catfish...oh wait, no it's not.

You first (2)

Marrow (195242) | about a year ago | (#43709219)

See the whole part about them eating human waste and slurry and that stuff you just said? Thats why we dont eat bugs.

Re:You first (4, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43709321)

What do you think plants feast on? Then we eat the plants or the animals that eat those plants. It might not be human waste we tend to use as fertilizer, but it's got roughly the same "ick" factor.

Re:You first (5, Interesting)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about a year ago | (#43709585)

I see your point, but as someone that travels a lot to 3rd world conditions to help the poor (Kenya tomorrow), I can tell you that the UN often doesn't think things through well. The problem with this is two-fold: 1) Insects can digest and carry more disease than plants. The fact that insects are animal and not plant allows them to be carriers...like Malaria for mosquitos. 2) The insects are actually crawling around in the crap. Plants aren't. Food needs to be prepared carefully. This care of washing and cooking to the right temperature and separating raw meat cutting surface from cooked meat surface is not well practiced around the world.

While there may be same "value" in this food, I would easily imagine more people getting sick from trying to eat the insects and digesting the bad stuff inside and outside them.

Want to see other bad ideas from the UN, look up their Perma-Culture. While the concept is proven and helpful, try to going to poor people barely growing enough food and convince them to go 4 year with below normal crops in hopes that 7 years from now you will have a bumper crop...oh, yeh, then through in a drought every 7 years and see how much this idea helps.

Re:You first (2)

poity (465672) | about a year ago | (#43709389)

But most of the fish we eat do the same thing.
I don't see why we can't make protein powder from insects. Then you just need some celebs to endorse it and make it cool.

Re:You first (3, Informative)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year ago | (#43709409)

You actually can buy flower wit ground up meal-worms currently.

Re:You first (2, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year ago | (#43709513)

If you eat or drink anything red, you're probably eating ground up insects [wikipedia.org] .

Re:You first (5, Insightful)

slim (1652) | about a year ago | (#43709621)

If you eat or drink anything red, you're probably eating ground up insects [wikipedia.org] .

From that very article: "As of 2005, the market price of cochineal was between 50 and 80 USD per kilogram, while synthetic raw food dyes are available at prices as low as 10–20 USD per kilogram."

So most red things probably aren't coloured with cochineal.

Re:You first (1)

Aguazul2 (2591049) | about a year ago | (#43709553)

See the whole part about them eating human waste and slurry and that stuff you just said? Thats why we dont eat bugs.

Well, your industrial chickens and pigs eat crap like that (ground up waste from other animal production, slurry for pigs, dried for chickens). I'd certainly eat grasshopper, though -- sounds quite nice. There was a programme on the BBC about the Philipines (or was it Thailand) where they are a street snack. Mmmm.

Re:You first (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about a year ago | (#43709565)

Because chicken and pigs are such clean animals?

Parasites (2)

ArtemaOne (1300025) | about a year ago | (#43709227)

I was thinking this sounded like a decent idea, but then remembered how many grasshoppers I've seen with parasites. I don't consider this worth the risk for me personally.

Re:Parasites (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709319)

Grashoppers are best deep fried with a slug of tequilla on the side. Any parasite surviving that means we're in real trouble.

Re:Parasites (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43709351)

Those are wild bugs. Wild animals tend to have lots of parasites and diseases too. However, if we farmed bugs they would be mostly parasite and disease free. Given that bugs need relatively little room compared to an equivalently sized cow or pig, it would be cheaper and easier to raise them indoors... maybe even right in cities where food is needed the most.

Re:Parasites (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43709403)

I think that's the biggest problem by far. For most meats like beef and so forth we have rigorous food safety standards and testing facilities. Adapting those to both the very different biology, very different scale (in terms of physical size, and number of creatures we'd need to test), and very different diseases related to insects is going to be where the problems are.

Re:Parasites (4, Insightful)

Captain Hook (923766) | about a year ago | (#43709469)

You are worried about parasites in an insect but happily eat other mammals whose parasites are far more likely to be evolved to infest us?

Parasites in insects can be dealt with in the same same humans deal with almost parasites in our food, we cooked the meal first.

But why not settle for vegetarianism? (0)

carlhaagen (1021273) | about a year ago | (#43709243)

Why this weird perspective that a "no meat" diet is out of the question? Why even think in terms of eating bugs and insects as a last resort instead of just... not?

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (4, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#43709275)

Because they don't have Whole Foods stores whence to get their environmentally-conscious tofu.

In case you didn't notice, agriculture is difficult in these countries that are ruled by warlords and have intemperate climates.

because meat is tasty (5, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | about a year ago | (#43709289)

There is a good reason if given choice we eat meat , because it is tasty, because we have the taste bud for it. Because our stomach is also made to consume various stuff including meat, we are omnivore, not vegetarian or carnivore. Now why not insect ? Giant Grasshoper grilled and dunked in honey. Eggs from spider. Various insect I tried. They all taste OK-ish. But compared to a good prime ribe steak ? No way they taste as good.

Re:because meat is tasty (0)

simonbp (412489) | about a year ago | (#43709487)

And the truth is, meat actually isn't all that expensive. If it were, maybe there would be pressure for this or other "extreme measures", but as it farming techology keeps improving at a much faster rate than demand for meat. In real terms, meat is cheaper now than at any point in human history, and we should be proud of that.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43709315)

Because insects produce fewer harmful greenhouse gases than what is produced during the manufacture of fertilizer and the planting and harvesting of the plants themselves. This doesn't include the clear cutting required to grow more plants, fresh water used for irrigation, or run-off pollution from fertilizer.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43709381)

It's just nice to have other options in the moral acceptability/environmental impact/deliciousness phase space.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43709699)

Careful, I got flamed just for discussing getting whale meat shipped from Japan.

People just ignore science they don't like, whale brains are used for sonar processing. They are more or less as smart as pigs.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709427)

Humans cannot survive on full veg diet for long.

There are only 2 essential things human body needs: 1) protein 2) fat.

You don't need carbs, you don't need vegs. These 2 are what you absolutely need to survive. Eat only vegs without any protein, and all your muscles are gone within a year. Don't eat any fat for a year and you die.

Humans aren't vegetarian race, and that's why we don't eat that way. Some choose to do so on ethical basis, but these people need to get essential stuff for us that's only got from meat, from other sources, usually pills. Like B12 vitamin. Drop that and you drop dead pretty quickly.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43709467)

Believe it or not there are some fats and protein in vegetables. It's entirely possible (if a bit of a culture shock) to satisfy your dietary needs with a completely vegan diet.

I say that as someone who made some really kick-ass sliders at the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (5, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#43709617)

Humans cannot survive on full veg diet for long.

Never been to India? Members of the Brahmin caste in Hinduism have survived on a pure vegetarian diet for forever. Fat can be had from milk. Indian cuisine prominently features vegetables like lentils that are high in protein.

Surviving on a purely vegan diet has not been possible for the human race until recently. However, there are centuries of evidence to show that populations can survive on a pure vegetarian diet.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709437)

Because we did not evolve to eat a solely plant-based diet, and trying to do so requires eating stupid shit like "tofurkey" and "soyburgers."

Fuck you, if I want something tastes like a turkey or a beef patty, I'm gonna eat a chunk of real turkey or real beef.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709445)

some people such as myself simply cannot be vegetarian. I have a bowel disease that makes it extremely difficult to even eat nuts. meat and bread is basically all I can eat.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (1)

fazig (2909523) | about a year ago | (#43709507)

Veganism would even be better since vast parts of the milk and egg supplies are provided by intensive livestock farming, but the problem is to motivate people for this change.

Even given the proper environment with plenty of food sources from vegetables, to fruit, berries and mushrooms and grain products, from my experience abrupt changes are often deemed to fail. It's better to convince people to become a vegetarian gradually by reducing the amounts of meat they consume until they realized that besides of the taste of animal fat and protein our tastebuds seem to enjoy, meat isn't really necessary to live 'healthy'. I myself had to make this change gradually because I was just that much used to the taste of meat. And to be completely honest I might not even refuse to eat a steak once in a month that originated from a local farm where the animals were treated properly and if I can be sure of this.

Re:But why not settle for vegetarianism? (0)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about a year ago | (#43709665)

The reason is that some cultures, like India, that are predominately vegetarian by choice or situation are often malnourished. While you may be able to maintain health in 1st world conditions and supplement your diet with all kinds of vitamins or special plants, those around the world without a Whole Foods store are suffering from malnutrition that could be avoided with a little meat added to their diet. Ever seen a malnourished child that eat a lot of food. I have. Promote vegetarianism is developed countries, but help those in less developed countries get what they need today so their children get a fighting chance in a hard life.

Picky (0)

allypally (2858133) | about a year ago | (#43709249)

A good rule of thumb is:

If you are going to be a meat eater, don't be a picky one.

Eat cow but not horse? Picky!

Eat crab but not spider? Picky!

Eat dog but not cat? Picky!

Re:Picky (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43709431)

The "pickiness" you criticise is a side effect of the same sense of morality with regards to food that's useful if someone's going to decide to cut down on their meat consumption. I certainly wouldn't encourage people who currently eat meat to drop whatever restrictions they place on their meat choice for a purely aesthetic reason like "I don't want to seem picky".

One thought. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709251)

Human flesh is also edible. Just saying.

Yummy!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709279)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/those-beady-eyed-bugs-are-back-cicadas-spotted-in-northern-virginia/2013/05/12/225d6a78-bb44-11e2-89c9-3be8095fe767_story.html?hpid=z4

How do they taste? (2)

Kelbear (870538) | about a year ago | (#43709299)

If they don't taste good, or if you can't gin up appealing recipes for them, nobody'll eat'em. Aside from countries that are already eating these insects, convincing other countries to cast aside cultural taboos on insect consumption will be difficult. Even if you price them cheaply, there is still a price floor from costs of transportation to bring them to market.

I wonder how you'd market this product? What kind of pitch do you make? Talk up how it's all-natural, earth-friendly, or high in nutrition? One way or another, somewhere on the product you'll have to cop to the fact that you're selling bugs as food, which is a massive hurdle in western countries. The easiest way would probably be to just blend them up, and batterfry them or cover'em in chocolate to get people to ease into the idea of eating them.

I can get over the visuals of eating bugs if you can make it taste good. Escargot doesn't look all that different from some bugs. Ate fried mealworm too (and it was TERRIBLE, like eating pure flour).

Re:How do they taste? (3, Interesting)

Hans Adler (2446464) | about a year ago | (#43709447)

Obviously, in affluent countries you will have to make them expensive, not cheap.

Insects aren't so different from shrimps, and apparently grasshoppers have a similar taste. Here is an article on the taste of insects: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniella-martin/what-do-bugs-taste-like-a_b_901775.html [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:How do they taste? (1)

J'raxis (248192) | about a year ago | (#43709527)

We already eat some insects: Skittles and other glazed candies use the lac bug [wikipedia.org] . Red food dye comes from the cochineal [wikipedia.org] scale insect.

chocolate coated ants (4, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43709653)

If they don't taste good, or if you can't gin up appealing recipes for them, nobody'll eat'em

I accidentally ate chocolate coated ants once. My wife had left half a mars bar neatly wrapped in the console, I spotted it while driving and with one deft movement popped the whole thing into my mouth without taking my eyes off the road. At first I thought I had hair on my face but it soon became apparent some ants were also feasting on the chocolate. I wound down the window and spat the ball of half chewed insects and toffee out the window. For the next half hour if felt like I had hair stuck at the back of my throat.

Re:How do they taste? (3, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#43709679)

Even if you price them cheaply, there is still a price floor from costs of transportation to bring them to market.

I wonder how you'd market this product?

Wrong sales tactic. You need to set the price as high as possible to sell otherwise unsellable stuff. Caviar, escargots, oysters....

Insecticides (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about a year ago | (#43709309)

My understanding is: if you are going to safely eat insects, they have to be specially grown. Wild insects are loaded with insecticides.

Re:Insecticides (3, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43709399)

Wild insects are loaded with insecticides.

This word "insecticide". I don't think it means what you think it means.

Re:Insecticides (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#43709573)

Wild insects are loaded with insecticides.

This word "insecticide". I don't think it means what you think it means.

I take it you've never head of Median Lethal Dose [wikipedia.org]

Re:Insecticides (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709675)

Why not? Pesticides/insecticides are on everything (more than you probably realize). They spray like crazy to kill them. They keep having to come up with newer ones as the bugs have adapted. Which means they are covered in the stuff but not harmed by it. Most of the really good ones that always work are banned (for good reasons). Not because they do not work. But that they work too well. They have really nice long term side effects of things like cancer or nerve disorders.

To make this work they would have to figure out how to grow large populations of insects and make sure they are not contaminated. Then they have to watch out for naturally occurring predators (such as fungus and virus). As the sort of volume you would need to replace things such as corn/wheat is massive.

Also you have to make sure you are feeding things to animals that can eat this sort of thing. For example feeding it to a cow may not be a good idea. As they are into eating grass (corn is ok as it is a grass).

Re:Insecticides (1)

J'raxis (248192) | about a year ago | (#43709691)

Insecticides, like nearly all poisons, are not fatal at sufficiently low dosages. Poisons are frequently rating with a system called "LD50" which tells you what dosage is lethal for 50% of test subjects exposed to it, e.g., the the LD50 of nicotine is 50 mg/kg for rats, 3 mg/kg for mice, and 30-60 mg/kg for human beings.

And a lot if insecticides will bioaccumulate in human beings (being fat-soluble, rather than water-, they build up in human fat tissues), so if a person eats enough of the insecticide, over time they may end up carrying a harmful or fatal dose of it.

Re:Insecticides (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709401)

"Wild insects are loaded with insecticides."

Well, the dead ones maybe. It's not an insecticide if an insect can eat it and live.

Re:Insecticides (4, Informative)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | about a year ago | (#43709509)

Incorrect. Insects have successfully adapted to a wide variety of both natural and man-made insecticides which, though no longer fatal for them, may still be harmful to us.

"UN Says: Why Not Eat More Insects?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709313)

Most people enjoy a good crustacean, not really a giant leap from insects since they are both arthropods.
I guess it is just one of them things that is not generally accepted (at least in the west) because "insects are icky!"

Lobsters (2)

yoghurt (2090) | about a year ago | (#43709317)

We already eat lobsters, crab and shrimp. And you don't have to directly eat the insects, you can process them through a hog to get yummy bacon.

Re:Lobsters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709545)

We already eat lobsters, crab and shrimp. And you don't have to directly eat the insects, you can process them through a hog to get yummy bacon.

And lobsters are just giant sea cockroaches!

That's 8 drumettes per critter, y'all (3, Informative)

rot26 (240034) | about a year ago | (#43709323)

I have been told that roasted spiders taste just like shrimp.

I will never know first hand of course.

So ants can be a source of meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709333)

But how much does it cost to separate 1kg of meat from 2kg of ants?

Re:So ants can be a source of meat (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43709419)

Probably a lot less than getting it from a cow.

Slicing up a full-grown cow is easy, sure, but you're ignoring the years of feeding, housing, medical treatments, etc. that went into making that cow.

Re:So ants can be a source of meat (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43709459)

Why separate them? Just mash the little buggers up and eat them whole. As far as I know, humans can digest or pass every part of an ant.

Purdue bug bowl (1)

anthony_greer (2623521) | about a year ago | (#43709337)

Bugs aren't that bad - anyone in the area when its happening should check out the Purdue University bug bowl event that happens each year on the West Lafayette, IN campus - they have some tasty samples!

They need to market them - at least in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709345)

There's a huge image problem in cultures that haven't traditionally eaten insects. I would gladly try samples and would probably even like them, but even if they were available I would be a bit reluctant to buy them without knowing how to cook them or if I would like them.

Or do they expect me to find them around my house or backyard because I think I would starve if I did that. There are hardly any bugs in the house and I can't spend all day foraging for bugs outside.

I do know in some parts of the world it's common to eat bugs and I've heard they can be quite tasty, but just issuing press releases saying we should eat more bugs isn't going to convince many people in much of the world to change our eating habits.

Enough! (5, Insightful)

Evtim (1022085) | about a year ago | (#43709377)

I have just had enough of all this!!!

Look, if we preserve the way we do things as civilization, there is never going to be enough. Of anything. Ever.

At this moment there is enough food to feed well the whole humanity. Period.
At this moment if we stop our Ponzi scheme of a civilization and continue to develop technology while the need for ever increasing number of people and consumption per person is gone we will have ever more per person. Do you hear me? Finite demand in infinite Universe - is that so hard to understand?

Why is everyone hailing the "green revolution"? What did it do to us? Allowed us what, 2 decades of "phew, we fed the world" warm feeling? While replacing food with tasteless accelerated growth watery fodder! You know, people pay premium prices for "biological food", but in fact this is food. Not biological , just food. The other stuff is different - processed food. This should be the division - food and process food, rather than food and biological food.

Without going into discussion why and what , here is a statement for you - the green revolution did not "save people from starvation" Those people where already there. Understand! Noone started developing the revolution in anticipation of an increasing population. The increased population was already there. It existed, therefore it had food to eat. Instead the green revolution increased the yield so we can throw the food in the sea to keep the price "right". The revolution helped very little (if at all) the actual people that were lived with malnutrition.

So now we will eat the bugs. Then the fungi and the rest of the microorganisms. And then what? "Low environmental impact"? Are you kidding me? So 1 billion people eating beef or 3 billion eating insects - what is the difference. As I said it many years ago here - there is no "low environmental impact" as long as the Ponzi scheme works. More efficient engines - cars get cheaper - people buy more cars. Better plane engines - cheaper prices - people fly more. And so on...ad infinitum.

We are trying to cheat reality! It won't work!! It never does!!! Why nobody hears?! The whole issue is as usual heavily distorted by political and business interests. Why am I surprised...

Re:Enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709651)

>So 1 billion people eating beef or 3 billion eating insects - what is the difference.
The difference is insects don't produce greenhouse gasses. This was directly stated in TFS.

Re:Enough! (1)

fazig (2909523) | about a year ago | (#43709687)

These are makeshift solutions. With an ever growing population all solution we come up with, besides of reducing population and consumption, is rather temporary.

Re:Enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709703)

Sorry, not an infinite universe. And certainly not an infinite earth. 1 billion people eating beef? There just isn't enough land.

Arachnids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709443)

"The agency noted that its Edible Insect Program is also examining the potential of arachnids, such as spiders and scorpions."

Would you eat a bowl of spiders once a day for a month, to get 2 million dollars?

Why not Zoidberg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709455)

I made them myself.

The "ick" factor (1)

sohmc (595388) | about a year ago | (#43709479)

It doesn't matter how ingenious, how wonderful, or how awesome a product is. If people don't want it, they won't buy it.

The US suffers from the "ew, bugs are gross" factor. Until this changes, the US won't adopt eating bugs en mass. This will be a fringe thing until we're basically forced to because meat becomes prohibitively expensive.

Re:The "ick" factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709579)

F that, I would start eating people before bugs!

This is what turns people off environmentalism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709501)

People will cling to their steak when told they must eat bugs to save the planet.

Radical lifestyle change doesn't work. We won't get cooperation by forcing or nudging people towards such ends. If asked, they won't, and if forced, they'll replace the government.

What saves the planet?

1. Nuclear power
2. Zero population growth

The first can be accomplished by getting government's boot off the throat of modern scientists with modern problems to the risks of 40 years ago.

The second can be accomplished by stopping the massive institutionalized subsidies for childbearing and child rearing.

"Let them eat cake!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709523)

At least that is kind of what this sounds like.

Great.... (2)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about a year ago | (#43709557)

This could bring a whole new meaning to debugging code when you mix chocolete covered ants and touch screen computing.

"SOILENT INSECTS IS PEOPLE!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709559)

Ahhh! The great circle of life

UN's prerogative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709587)

and is this really the best use of the united nations? to dictate dietary decisions?

Potential fish feed? (3, Interesting)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about a year ago | (#43709599)

Farmed carnivorous fish right now get fed bycatch, a slurry of little fish of no commercial value that fishermen pull out of the sea. There are many problems with this, one of them being the mercury that concentrates in the farmed fish and eventually humans. I wonder if they would be able to feed on farmed insects, which could be obtained in a much more responsible way, and clean of poisonous metals.

Question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709609)

Which day is Soylent Red day?

We are as ants to these jokers... (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#43709645)

I can just imagine all the billionaire eugenics pushers working through and with the UN like Bill Gates laughing at the filthy peasants eating bugs and lining up for his sterilization "vaccines," just creatures created for his own amusement and pleasure.

Why the fuck not eat bugs? Next up, human shit. There's some undigested corn in there probably!

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43709649)

Because I can't buy insect meat in the grocery store, that's why not.

Cultivation (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | about a year ago | (#43709701)

I assume this is the problem. One grasshopper provides enough for a small snack by itself. An entire cow can feed dozens of people. Which leads to the problem of efficiency. Try to harvest the good bits from an insect, then try again from a cow.
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