Print 105 comment(s) - last by tastyratz.. on Feb 25 at 2:38 PM

  (Source: John S. Dykes)
Insects may replace livestock meat such as beef and chicken by 2050

Those accustomed to the Western world tend to consume livestock like cows and pigs as a protein-rich meal source. But with the human population on the rise, it's becoming more important to seek out new nutritional food sources that can satisfy a large population without being as harmful, expensive, and hard to raise as livestock. The solution? Insect meat.

Marcel Dicke and Arnold Van Huis, professors of entomology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, have already started promoting the consumption of insects in the Netherlands. They started their work in the 1990's, and at that time, many citizens of the Netherlands laughed at the idea of eating bugs. But as time went by, they became more accustomed to the idea, and in 2006, a "Wageningen - City of Insects" science festival was created to encourage the consumption of insects. Approximately 20,000 visitors attended the festival. 

Now, Dicke and Van Huis are making the argument for Westerners to jump on the bug-eating bandwagon as well. It may not seem obvious, but insects are already apart of our daily diet. In the United States, the average citizen consumes approximately one pound of insects annually through foods such as chocolate (which the FDA allows 60 insect fragments per 100 grams) and peanut butter (which the FDA allows 30 insect fragments per 100 grams). Insects are mixed into other foods as well, such as fruit juices. 

Even though insects are already part of our diet to some degree, Dicke and Van Huis see bug meat as being an alternative to meats such as beef and pork. Between 2020 and 2050, researchers predict that Westerners will consume insects regularly as an answer to our increasing population needing more meat-related resources. In fact, beef may become a luxury food item like caviar by 2050.  

In 2000, the human population was at six billion people. This number is expected to grow to nine billion people by 2050, which means there will be greater need for meat production. The problem is that livestock poses many problems as it is, and increasing the amount of livestock will only make environmental and health issues worse for humans. 

Increasing livestock production would have several environmental consequences, such as having to increase the amount of agricultural acreage "at the expense of rain forests and other natural land." Pastures already use up 70 percent of all agricultural land. Also, livestock produce greenhouse gas emissions like ammonia per pound of body weight, resulting in at least 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Insects, on the other hand, are comfortable in close living conditions, which means that raising them would not require as much space, and insects do not produce a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Many believe that eating bugs would be a worse alternative, since they are known for being dirty and disease ridden, but according to researchers, less than 0.5 percent of all insects are harmful to humans and over 1,000 species have been identified as edible. Besides, bugs raised for food are grown in hygienic conditions.  

In addition to environmental and health-related consequences, increasing livestock production would be costly. According to The Wall Street Journal, ten pounds of feed produces one pound of beef, three pounds of pork, five pounds of chicken and as much as six pounds of insect meat. Since insects are cold-blooded, they do not require as much food as livestock, who need to eat more in order to keep a warm body temperature. Not only does livestock require more food, but more water as well. It takes about 10 gallons of water to produce two pounds of meat. 

Yet another problem with livestock is that it can be wasteful. After processing the meat, 30 percent of pork, 35 percent of chicken, 45 percent of beef and 65 percent of lamb is inedible. Only 20 percent of a cricket is inedible after processing. 

While some U.S. restaurants, such as the Mexican restaurant Toloache in New York, serve an insect-related dish, more are expected to do the same throughout the country, slowly replacing meat in sauces and meatballs as well as other foods like quiche. Many who have had insects to eat describe the taste and texture as "nutty." 

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Never happen
By yxalitis on 2/21/2011 7:51:20 PM , Rating: 5
We westerners eat, what, 4 types of animals 90% of the time?
Sheep (well, Lamb).

All the other sundry animals contribute a teeny proportion of our diet.
Yes you CAN get goat, kangaroo, buffalo, turkey/other assorted poultry, fish of all sorts, etc.
But most meat sold is of the first 4 types.
Sooo, any report trying to tell me the vast majority of people are going to start eating insects has to tell me how to overcome that massive cultural inertia..cos I aint buying it!

RE: Never happen
By Gio6518 on 2/21/2011 9:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
Hit up Fuddruckers you can get a Buffalo, Elk, Wild Boar, or Ostrich Burger...

RE: Never happen
By callmeroy on 2/22/2011 9:19:30 AM , Rating: 2
I can vouch for buffalo -- honestly one of the best burgers I've ever had in my entire life (it wasn't from Fuddruckers though). I've never tried elk , but I've heard from someone who tried ostrich and said it was quite tastey. Supposedly ostrich is one of the healthiest meats you can eat too.

RE: Never happen
By FITCamaro on 2/22/2011 10:58:47 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah buffalo is pretty good.

RE: Never happen
By nstott on 2/22/2011 10:59:54 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Never happen
By headbox on 2/22/2011 11:41:54 AM , Rating: 2
I had bison steak last night- MUCH leaner than beef and tastes just as good. No gristle/fat to cut off. Even better is elk, but I doubt any of you Chairborne Rangers have a freezer full of that.

RE: Never happen
By FITCamaro on 2/22/2011 12:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
I've had venison. It's delicious.

Never elk though.

RE: Never happen
By Bubbacub on 2/22/2011 1:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
its just turkey service pack 1.

buffalo is good. i've always wanted to eat a crocodile steak. should be able to get one at glastonbury in summer.

RE: Never happen
By tastyratz on 2/25/2011 2:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
gator is one of my favorite meats but it has to be prepared properly and you need a good quality gator meat. The tail is the best part the rest is not so great, and cheap meat tastes literally like swampwater.
Fried is the best way too.
Buffalo is amazing, I personally hate venison because its too gamey but that's me. I regularly eat turkey as well.

We already eat a lot of bugs but do not specifically target bug sourced meals. We might see loosened regulations someday on whats allowed when its hygenically raised to be mixed in (i.e. taco bell beef oats turning into beef grasshopper)

I am not opposed to the concept of insects but find it as a replacement is unlikely.

The majority of the population is in dense cities while perfectly good agricultural land is still available. More agriculture means better rural densities. Many of those recyclable byproducts can be used as fertilizer.

RE: Never happen
By HrilL on 2/22/2011 4:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
ostrich is the they sell I haven't had. Elk, Venison, Quail, Dove, Bore, Pidgin(Not the same as City Pidgins), pheasant, and Antelope are just some of the many food animals I've enjoyed. All of them are good when prepared properly. We really should diverse our diets more and start to enjoy many more of the food animals the wold has to offer us.

RE: Never happen
By Stoanhart on 2/21/2011 9:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Way to not think it through.

There isn't going to be some magical, voluntary switch to bugs. What will happen is that as a couple billion more people show up, and a few billion more enter the middle class and start consuming oil and meat, and oil production decreases as all of the easily accessible stuff has been used up, the price of oil and any energy intensive food like meat will skyrocket. When you're at the super market and a single steak costs $30, but an "all protein burger patty" (bugs) costs $1, I think I know what you'll choose, especially if it tastes decent.

RE: Never happen
By bigdawg1988 on 2/22/2011 12:32:32 PM , Rating: 5
Haven't tasted a bug yet (ants excepted) that wasn't nasty and disgusting. I thought this was just a humor article at first. I've eaten bugs (field training), and other than ants (surprising lemon taste!) bugs are freaking nasty!! You have to cook them to charcoal just to keep from gagging.
How expensive do you think it will be to get rid of the guts and shells and only keep the protein? Is there some kind of processor for that?
I'll take a $30 beef steak over a 10cent bug any damn day. Cow patties are free, but you don't see anyone fighting over them, do you?

RE: Never happen
By jhb116 on 2/22/2011 6:47:47 PM , Rating: 3
Excellent point - I'm not sure I like this idea but I haven't really tried it yet - that doesn't mean it is crazy.

I have a problem with
"Since insects are cold-blooded, they do not require as much food as livestock, who need to eat more in order to keep a warm body temperature. Not only does livestock require more food, but more water as well."
Body temperature is only one factor in how much energy an animal needs to survive. You can't make broad assumptions like this based one data point. I thought the information surrounding this dumb statement made a convincing argument as to why we will end up following this path, however, this one statement damages the credibility of the figures surrounding it. I'm sure one can find many examples that would refute this statement.

RE: Never happen
By AnnihilatorX on 2/22/2011 4:23:53 AM , Rating: 3

RE: Never happen
By Ammohunt on 2/22/2011 2:40:59 PM , Rating: 3
feed the grain to the bugs feed the bugs to the fish!

RE: Never happen
By Paj on 2/22/2011 8:12:39 AM , Rating: 2
lol @ no fish or seafood whatsoever

RE: Never happen
By Iaiken on 2/22/2011 10:11:25 AM , Rating: 4

You mean those countries that have reasonably sized populations considering their resources?

Let the Chinese eat bugs as a reward for going along with Mao's overpopulation stupidity...

However, India better keep that butter chicken flowing... NOM NOM NOM!

RE: Never happen
By FITCamaro on 2/22/2011 10:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah you will never convince me to eat grasshopper as a meat source.

RE: Never happen
By Adonlude on 2/22/2011 11:42:37 AM , Rating: 2
Ill try anything twice. I don't think ill go a third time with insects though. Why did they have to mention meatballs? I love meatballs!

RE: Never happen
By Camikazi on 2/22/2011 4:46:52 PM , Rating: 1
If you get passed the whole insect thing, it's not bad, I have tried candies and chocolate covered, scorpions, grasshoppers, crickets, worms (meal worms they looked like) and ants and they are pretty good. Was even able to trick a few friends to try them and once they liked what it tasted like they were able to overlook the insect part and kept asking for more. Would have them around more myself but they are expensive novelty items now :/

RE: Never happen
By bah12 on 2/22/2011 11:07:49 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed overcoming the social stigma is hard. A comedian once said about Milk, "tell me that wasn't a drunken bet between 2 buddies in a barn".

It is certainly odd what we consider gross. I love dairy foods, but thinking logically it is kind of gross. No other animals I know consume the lactation of another species (barring some forced exceptions when humans step in to use one species as a surrogate). And like others have said shrimp, lobster, crab, crawfish. They are all essentially insects, hard exoskeleton, meaty insides YUM!

Guess what I'm saying is you can't be too sure, as some of the "normal" stuff we eat is kinda gross if you really think about it.

RE: Never happen
By FITCamaro on 2/22/2011 12:12:03 PM , Rating: 5
As children we drink milk directly from our mothers body. How is milking a cow, processing it, and drinking it gross? Milk is a nutritious beverage that provides our bodies with many nutrients just as it does for baby cows. Other species don't drink the milk from any other species because I don't think there's any cows that would be comfortable with a baby wolf, bear, dog, cat, etc trying to drink its milk.

RE: Never happen
By BansheeX on 2/23/2011 5:21:34 AM , Rating: 1
And yet you ignore a couple of points against milk. There's the fact that no mammal continues to drink milk past infancy. There's the fact that all milk is different in composition. Cow's milk has twice the casein as human milk, a concentration which may trigger problems in some humans. Milk is flash heated to make it shelf stable but at the cost of altering proteins and making it more allergenic. And every ethnicity but whites have a higher than 50% rate of lactose intolerance.

RE: Never happen
By Schrag4 on 2/22/2011 3:33:10 PM , Rating: 3
My brittle. I don't understand. I've been drinking plenty of...malk?

RE: Never happen
By Camikazi on 2/22/2011 4:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
Milk is not required to keep bones in good health, it's just an easily accessible way to go about it.

RE: Never happen
By geekman1024 on 2/23/2011 4:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
malk, while I don't know what beverage it is, surely has very low to no content of Calcium.

Crunch some lime stones if you wanna some strong bones.

RE: Never happen
By geekman1024 on 2/23/2011 4:03:40 AM , Rating: 3
We. Eat. Carcasses.

'Nuf said.

RE: Never happen
By EricMartello on 2/23/2011 6:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
No other animals I know consume the lactation of another species

Actually, not true. There was a situation where a parrot was drinking milk from a dog that just gave birth, and the dog regarded the bird as a puppy.

RE: Never happen
By nstott on 2/22/2011 11:31:30 AM , Rating: 4

That's what you think, Homer. Thank Cass Sunstein:

RE: Never happen
By PaterPelligrino on 2/23/2011 7:36:04 AM , Rating: 2
Most everyone eats far more protein than is strictly necessary. The FDA states that the average active male adult can only use 50 grams (@2 ounces) of protein each day as protein. Anything in excess of that amount gets broken down into sugars and waste. The sugars are either burned off as energy or converted into fat. Metabolized protein produces more harmful waste products than carbs, so it's an inefficient source of energy. And then you get protein from many sources in your diet.

I'm a very active male - 6'4", 195 lbs - and I eat no more than a total quarter pound of animal protein a day with no nutritional problems whatsoever. I like meat and fish, and if that's the reason you eat it fine - I'm certainly not a veggie fanatic - but the idea that a guy needs to eat large quantities of meat each day to stay healthy is mistaken.

I came across this reference to "rabbit starvation" the other day. It seems that a diet of nothing but very lean meat, like rabbit, will kill you almost as quickly as eating nothing at all. Check it out:

population control
By Ben on 2/21/11, Rating: 0
RE: population control
By IntelUser2000 on 2/21/2011 9:44:10 PM , Rating: 1
It would be fine if the advances in science allows maximum retirement age to increase, rather than having more of the older retired population but less children. So the short term replacement for that happens to be more children.

As for other responses and this article. You guys do know they say the reason for starvation is due to disproportionate distribution of food rather than "lack of food?" America does consume/waste way too much food that could be better reserved for future "headroom" or to satisfy other nations.

RE: population control
By frobizzle on 2/22/2011 11:55:35 AM , Rating: 2
Bugs as food? No way!!

To solve the problem, what we really need is Soylent Green!

RE: population control
By madoka on 2/21/2011 9:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
You don't have to preach population control to advanced countries - they already know. For example, Japan and Korea are actually shrinking.

It's much harder to convince the one billion people in Africa to stop. Their average IQ of 70 is going to have some serious implications for the future:

RE: population control
By theapparition on 2/22/2011 11:20:20 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct. Some contries populations are indeed shrinking.

Actually the governments of those countries, and even in the US and other industrialized nations, are trying very, very hard to STOP population shrinkage. They want you to have many children.

On the surface, population control seems like a good idea. More food and resources to go around, sutainable jobs without too much competition, etc.

But unfortunately most governments have based thier economy on a growing population model. For example, Social Security (which isn't solvent in the first place) would crumble overnight without future larger generations being taxed and paying into the system. Japan in particular is facing a major crisis with it's pension and retirement system due to limited population regression.

We need to stop the ridiculous SS system now. What else do you know that only pays out when more people get in, and falls apart when they ditch out. Yep, it's called a pyramid scheme, and SS is just a legalized pyramid scheme.

RE: population control
By ARoyalF on 2/21/2011 9:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
If you mean people who can't feed their children, I wholeheartedly agree. We've all seen documentaries where some animals are completing for some dwindling food source. I wish I could say people will be different.

RE: population control
By DarkElfa on 2/22/2011 9:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
Africa?! Tell the people in India to stop banging like asshats, Jesus, they already make up damn near 1/4 of the world population.

RE: population control
By FITCamaro on 2/22/2011 11:02:28 AM , Rating: 5
Only certain ethnic groups are expanding. The Caucasian population world wide is shrinking.

In the US, the government does nothing to encourage people to be responsible. If you have a kid you can't afford, you get so much in government benefits that its not an issue for the most part.

Get rid of subsidizing irresponsibility and then people will be responsible. Getting pregnant while not married or at least in a committed relationship used to be a shameful thing.

Let Star Trek TNG solve our problems...
By Brandon Hill on 2/21/2011 7:54:28 PM , Rating: 5
Food replicator :)

By YashBudini on 2/21/2011 10:45:08 PM , Rating: 4
Really? I'm surprised nobody has said it yet. Isn't this where the phrase, "Tastes like chicken." came from?

I do have a question though. If we Soylent Green some vegetarians can they be sold as "organic?"

By geekman1024 on 2/23/2011 3:57:38 AM , Rating: 2
don't go complaining "Why all my meals taste the same way?"

By acx on 2/22/2011 4:43:25 AM , Rating: 5
Why not just eat beans instead? Same protein in more palatable form. We already have many forms of textured soybean products for vegetarians.

RE: Beans
By Helbore on 2/22/2011 6:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
Increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to excessive farting.

RE: Beans
By Murloc on 2/22/2011 6:59:06 AM , Rating: 1
soya is killing the rainforest. Not a solution.

RE: Beans
By Ammohunt on 2/22/2011 2:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
After sampling a number of different Soy meats i think i would rather eat bugs.

Where's my science???
By DNAgent on 2/21/2011 8:12:37 PM , Rating: 5
I will be greatly disappointed at the state of food technology in 2050 if we can't grow filet mignon in giant vats.

Beef a luxury item like caviar? How about so common we eat it for three meals a day .

Bring on the progress!!!

RE: Where's my science???
By corduroygt on 2/22/2011 12:00:25 AM , Rating: 2
Screw vats, I'd be disappointed if we don't have food synthesizers by that time. "Computer, make me a sandwich!"

RE: Where's my science???
By lightfoot on 2/22/2011 6:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
"Based on your shopping habits, chili seemed to be a more statistically robust option." - Durga

How about NOT.
By 91TTZ on 2/22/2011 9:39:10 AM , Rating: 5
I really don't care what some bug activists have to say about this matter, I don't like the idea of voluntarily eating insects. Also, they're focusing only on their specialty and not seeing the complete picture.

Instead of assuming that the Earth needs constant unrestricted population growth and then claiming that we all need to start eating insects because there's not enough space/resources to eat meat, why don't we look at the root cause which is the unrestricted population growth? If people would plan their lives a little bit better, a lot of these problems would be non-existent. For example, if someone doesn't have the money to raise and feed a child, they shouldn't have a child. Also, it's a bit selfish to think that the world needs 8 of your offspring.

Competition for resources causes problems. The more people and less resources, the more problems you're going to have.

RE: How about NOT.
By Belard on 2/22/2011 8:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
1 - bugs are high in protein. You dont need to eat a whole lot... but you'll be welcome to your 1/2pount bug burger. :)

2 - Automation... yes... Most likely, the legs get thrown away, and the body (including the crunchy parts) are grinded up. Think of Chicken strips... and hot dogs.... same thing.

3 - Before modern times... bugs was a natural part of our diet.

4 - I don't want to eat bugs.

5 - In many countries, eating cats and dogs is as normal as eating chicken and lobster here.

RE: How about NOT.
By edge929 on 2/25/2011 12:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
To add to your point, education is generally regarded as the "solution" to poorer country's population problems. I'm not in total agreement with this but can see the logic in it.

If each person only has 2 children, there wouldn't be population problems. I'd be in favor of extreme action along the lines of death for you or the child (born or not) if you exceed 2 children per couple. Yes, I know it's extreme but let's be honest, population wars are just a matter of time unless extreme measures are taken.

By JamieH on 2/22/2011 8:45:30 AM , Rating: 3
A lot of the 70 percent of agricultural land used for pastures is amongst the most environmentally friendly use of land by humans. Much of this land would require significant use of external energy sources, fertilizers, chemicals and irrigation to turn into crop land. I like how they only show one side of the story and tell about the green house gas emissions by the grazing animals, but fail to mention the green house gas absorption of the pastures themselves. Not saying there is an exact balance, but pastures are far more representative of a natural ecosystem then many other human practices. One of the key imbalances is the fact much of the biomass (cattle) is shipped to cities for consumption and waste products produced by this consumption are not returned to the pastures.

So let's turn pastures into inefficient crop production land, followed by inefficient systems to grow insects and process them for human consumption. I am not against the consumption of insects, but I am against these overly simplified attempts to show it as a more efficient food source. In small quantities this might be the case.

By ppardee on 2/22/2011 5:01:33 PM , Rating: 5
And what happens if you have a containment breach? If enough cattle to feed 100 people gets out and you have to round up a few dozen dozy hoofers. If enough grasshoppers to feed 100 people get out, they're going to eat the all crops, grass, clothes, cars, houses, roads, sign posts and cattle in the surrounding area before turning on the nekkid, transportation-less, disoriented masses like in some B-rated horror movie.

Nice concept...
By bobsmith1492 on 2/21/2011 9:54:06 PM , Rating: 3
... but it will never work in America. Sure it's more biologically efficient, but that's not going to sway many people while looking at a menu at their favorite restaurant.

"Juicy, tender sirloin steak"
"Fried grasshopper - extra crunchy!" *Environmentally friendly!

RE: Nice concept...
By YashBudini on 2/21/2011 10:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
Your argument could well mean they would not be a main course, but as far as munchies are concerned crunchy always works, especially if its salty.

Of course when that happens the box will say "GREEN" but the definition will be different.

Whatever happened to chocolate covered ants anyway?

RE: Nice concept...
By Camikazi on 2/22/2011 6:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
Ants are still sold, along with worms, crickets, scorpions, grasshoppers and butterflies!

They are a bit expensive though, but good.

Since insects became main food source...
By geekman1024 on 2/22/2011 3:20:14 AM , Rating: 2
skin of Western man will turn green like frogs.
Thus the Dawn of Orcs.

RE: Since insects became main food source...
By chick0n on 2/22/2011 11:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
what about the Human and Undead ?

By Camikazi on 2/22/2011 6:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well humans are the non insect eaters, and undead will result from a virus present in certain food insects that will convert parts of the population.

Rehashed 'news' from the past
By ZachDontScare on 2/22/2011 2:58:14 PM , Rating: 5
Earth biscuits and bark munchers have been saying this for decades. This 'new' research is just a rehash of the same topic they were pushing in the 60s and 70s. Back then we were all to be eating bugs by now.

But its all based on a basic ignorance of economics. In particuarly, one basic truth these researchers dont understand, and their peers back in the 60s and 70s (ie, population bomb) didnt understand - that man is a producer.

People are capable of producing more than they need, unlike, say a cow. More people does not mean less food, it means more food, because more people will be producing it.

This is basic, simple economics. Which, unfortunately, is lost on about 99% of academia.

By Sahrin on 2/21/2011 8:53:58 PM , Rating: 4
As long as you can make me some Locust Bacon, I'm in.

Is The Netherlands....
By Helbore on 2/22/2011 6:52:49 AM , Rating: 2
....not in the West then? I mean, the article says that these professors did this in the Netherlands and now want people to take it up in the West. But isn't the Netherlands in Europe and isn't Europe part of what we consider "The West?"

RE: Is The Netherlands....
By Ammohunt on 2/22/2011 2:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
perhaps the research was done in the Dutch East indies?

new name...
By qwertyblue on 2/22/2011 5:09:29 AM , Rating: 3
Bugsatarians... because y'know eating anything else is environmentally unfriendly

Ratburger anyone?
By ians55 on 2/22/2011 9:19:15 AM , Rating: 3
From the "Demolition Man".

We Eat Insects Already??
By carage on 2/23/2011 7:02:10 PM , Rating: 3
Could someone please explain why are there insects allowed in chocolate, peanut butter, and even fruit juice?

By thatmikeguy on 2/22/2011 10:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
Watch Fat Head if you have Netflix!

Really, I hope that people do not become that dumb. Look, you NEED animal fats (look it up). It really is that simple. Your cells and muscles depend on it, yes saturated fat AND cholesterol (some amount of both types). This has been proven over and over again. Save the cows sounds as dumb to me as save the bugs may sound to you. Well, people wake up and quit eating this bologna, bug-flavored Bologna!!

In other news...
By The Raven on 2/22/2011 11:53:10 AM , Rating: 2
...I could be the western world's newest vegan!

Soylent green is the real solution
By Kary on 2/22/2011 1:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
With 9 billion people there should be more than enough soylent green to feed everyone!

Gee Population problems?
By Belard on 2/22/2011 9:20:00 AM , Rating: 1
And yet... each child is a "miracle"?!

In 40 years, our population will grow another 50%?! get in a airliner, and when flying over the USA - notice how much "country" is farms and pastors... to feed us humans.

Well, theres always PEOPLE, plenty of meat there... right? That is NOT healthy.

BTW: there are places in the USA that serve bugs - seen them, not touching them. And if you eat lobster or crabs... well, count the legs. Yep, they are basically really big water spiders... filed with white bug meat. Same body structure.

Mass production?
By ElementZero on 2/22/2011 9:23:50 AM , Rating: 1
Only problem I see with this is that when you kill a cow or chicken, you get a lot of meat from it. When you kill a grasshopper, you would only get a little bit of meat from it. So there is an enormous amount of work that would have to be done to kill enough grasshoppers and harvest the meat in order to get back to the same amount of meat you would get from a cow or chicken. I dunno, perhaps they can automate it somehow, but I don't think too many meat farmers are going to be jumping into this too fast "I can't wait to do more work and still get paid the same amount!"

By Spind on 2/22/11, Rating: 0
RE: Sad...
By ShaolinSoccer on 2/22/11, Rating: 0
Maybe, I don't know
By piroroadkill on 2/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Brandon Hill on 2/21/2011 7:24:22 PM , Rating: 5
Screw that!! I don't care how expensive it gets, I will still buy/enjoy all the steak I can get my hands on.

Cue "Four times the steak" commercial

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Joz on 2/21/2011 7:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, I will eat steak if I have to poach cows for it!

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By spread on 2/21/2011 7:40:28 PM , Rating: 5
America has plenty of cows, but they don't have much steak on them bones.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By s d on 2/22/2011 3:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
ummmmm, cockroaches ... real meaty ... bon apetit ... ;)

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By michael67 on 2/22/2011 6:10:15 AM , Rating: 5
Actually I have eaten bugs from when I was small, and it is actually real good food.
You just have to put out of you mind that your eating bugs.

Aboriginals and other non-western parts of the world have bugs as a standard food source, and before we came there, It's just what you learn to eat.
My mother a anthropologist lived whit me, when i was 5 for a year with a Aboriginal tribe.
She was studding the impact of western culture and standard on to native people.

Living there, the village had access to western food and meat, still bugs ware among the main standard dish, as it was just real good to eat, and even now when i go to Australia I still eat grub's as they are just so good to eat, and I even take them frozen home.
And Customs is a bitch tho, as its hard to get in to the country, it helps tho that they are packed, with approved Australian Food Administration text on them, but life one's that are the best are forbidden to import. :-(

But if you never have learn to eaten them, i can understand people freaking out of them, but to me they are like candy.

About 15 years a go in Amsterdam there was a restaurant that served bugs as the main course, and they got government approval to open, and the Dutch FDA is even stricter then the US one, many type of food that is approved in the US would never get approved over here.

So i had the fried grasshoppers, they take of the head and legs and fried them in a wok whit other vegetables, just replaced the meat whit bugs, and it tasted real good

And all the dishes that ware served, ware actually a recipe from a native dishes, from all over the world.

But i think the biggest problem is that bugs are associated whit bad food, as they eat everything, and they appreciate specially rotten food that would make us sick.
(good thing, most of you don't know what chicken and pigs eat, because the restaurant and food industries waste they feed them is actually not that far of what bugs like to eat)

And most people actual like a bug type of food, "scrimps" are just bugs that live in the sea, but as you learn from childhood that they are a good food source you eat them, bet you if you never had seen them before you would not eat them.

And think it will come as a food source to the western world to, properly first disguised as a extra ingredient of sausages ore so, and over time in more types of food.

Me, as I learned to eat them when I was a child have no problem whit it, but properly most of you will do tho, but only if you know, if you don’t you properly even like the taste.

But when it come to food, ignorance can be bliss ^_^

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By mcnabney on 2/22/2011 9:39:32 AM , Rating: 2
Good post. I have also had a number of insects prepared as delicacies and I didn't have a problem with eating them. Hell, I know what it is like to NOT have food, so I will eat almost anything.

However, the best-case solution to using insect protein in the West is likely to get it approved as a food additive. Just as people don't want to easily identify the animal they are eating now (even drumsticks are only vague reminders of legs), they don't want to see what is clearly a cricket abdomen and thorax on their plate. Once insects are Hot-Dog-ized there are better chances of adoption. So I essentially think that they might have a future in processed foods, but not make headways into the 'in the case' meats that we are culturally inclined to purchase and cook on the grill.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By pwnsweet on 2/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: Maybe, I don't know
By superPC on 2/22/2011 12:29:23 AM , Rating: 5
if we can grow muscles, fat, and other tissues from stem cell, why not just grow meat in a bioreactor like what we've been doing for years for human skin? it won't be as complicated as growing a full organ and if done en masse it may be cheaper and less impactful to the environment than ranching.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By shiftypy on 2/22/2011 3:26:19 AM , Rating: 2
Bioreactor would still need energy (which regular food gets directly or indirectly from the sun) and nutrients. Both you could get using oil, but thats a dead end

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By AnnihilatorX on 2/22/2011 4:36:05 AM , Rating: 2
Cell culture has much more efficient use of energy in terms of % lost to enviornment, than having a middle stage, e.g. cow chewing grass to extract energy; then say directly providing the cells with glucose.

However glucose production will have to be ramped up if you want to grow enough lab meat to feed human.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By superPC on 2/22/2011 6:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
glucose can be made synthetically from other plants or plants waste product (in principle, cellulose could be hydrolyzed to glucose) not just from corn or sugar cane. and if meat are grown synthetically that would free up lands for all other plants.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Flunk on 2/22/2011 9:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
They're working on this.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Amiga500 on 2/22/11, Rating: 0
RE: Maybe, I don't know
By wordsworm on 2/21/2011 7:37:01 PM , Rating: 5
I don't mean to disrespect Tiffany here, but I don't really buy those numbers entirely.

I've been living in Korea for awhile now and have also lived in other parts of Asia. They would not accept the measurement of waste on the animals as Tiffany posted. For instance, they grind up the bones of animals such as pigs and cattle. That bone meal can make a mighty tasty broth which has a load of calcium. In Indonesia, they like to eat the organs as well: lungs, heart, brains, etc, that westerners normally avoid.

I think maybe next time they ought to do a paper on soylent green... now there's a rich protein source that's usually wasted.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Brandon Hill on 2/21/2011 7:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think the source article is looking at animal "waste" from a Western perspective. I mean, you'll find people here that are into eating pigs feet, pig ears, chicken feet, chicken necks, etc...

But that's not the norm.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Harinezumi on 2/21/2011 8:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
What about hot dogs, sausage, spam, and similar processed "meat" products?

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Brandon Hill on 2/21/11, Rating: 0
RE: Maybe, I don't know
By invidious on 2/21/2011 9:44:47 PM , Rating: 2

"snap into a slim jim"

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Parhel on 2/22/2011 8:15:55 AM , Rating: 2
I kind of like his version better.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By wordsworm on 2/21/2011 8:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
I understood that. I was just saying that the study could have taken into account that much more of the animal is edible. That we choose not to eat it is another issue altogether, and different than what the article states (either through Tiffany quoting the article or her own input).

Then we have the portions which are used for other purposes: pig skin for foot balls and leather for many wearable and upholstery products, etc.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By AnnihilatorX on 2/22/2011 4:19:02 AM , Rating: 2
Chicken feet are great. They are called Pheonix Crawls in Chinese food terms for a reason

I can't stand Duck tongue though.

The only parts inedible for a cow is probably hair, feet, ears and eye. Heck in Chinese cusine you can even eat the penis.

Aye, westerners wastes a lot of animal bones. Bones are a source of natural MSG which make tasty soup.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By sviola on 2/22/2011 8:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing is wasted in the meat industry. All animal parts are used for something (there are parts that are used for processed meat, e.g. sausages and hot dogs, and parts that are used for fertilisers, other type of foods - they use collagen to produce jellow -, heck, even tooth paste has some meat derivative in it).

There are 2 things that are vital for survival of our society (the whole world) as it is: meat and petroleum. Both are used extensively in almost every industry and nothing is wasted from both. To stop using meat means to rethink the food and pharmaceutics industry. To stop using petroleum, means rethinking, energy, plastics, paint, clothing and many other industries. And this is what many that argue against those don't get: the world is dependant on both! There is no feasible option to either in the short term (maybe even in the medium term), but there are ways to improve how things are done to prevent suffering from the animals, that is something that should be looked.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By banthracis on 2/21/2011 8:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
Rational behind the argument is incorrect. The world population may be estimated to increase by 50% from current pop, but the majority of the growth will be in third world or developing nations, not the West.

The US Census bureau is estimating a ~33% increase in pop by 2050. even then, this is just a 100 million pop increase, or in perspective only 3.3% of the projected 3 billion increase.

With that info, I seriously doubt in the west at least, meat will be a serious issue. Especially since America still has so much unused space in the interior.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Strunf on 2/22/2011 7:38:14 AM , Rating: 2
The EU population by 2050 will either be the same as today or even less... families with lots of kids are really an exception today.

On developing they still have plenty of ways to increase there production with more efficient means.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By nafhan on 2/22/2011 8:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
If the rest of the world wants meat, American beef could become a popular luxury export, which would drive prices up even if American consumption stays about the same.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By abel2 on 2/21/2011 7:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
Processing the 'meat' off of insects seems to be even more inefficient in my mind.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By yxalitis on 2/21/2011 7:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, gee, you know they just eat the whole insect....

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By JonnyDough on 2/21/2011 10:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
Poultry has long been known to be much more efficient at producing body mass for what it eats than pigs and cows. Cows are horribly inefficient, despite having all those stomachs.

Cows are already not often pasture raised, which is not only horribly sad for the cows - it makes for poor quality meat.

There is a better, more sustainable solution to this problem - we could STOP MAKING BABIES LIKE IT'S 1547!!!

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By lolmuly on 2/21/2011 11:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
tell that to africa, the rest of the world has leveled out pretty well over time.

in fact if we aren't careful we will go the way of japan and face cultural extinction.

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By Silver2k7 on 2/22/2011 12:26:13 AM , Rating: 2
I think we will grow steaks in a lab, before we see any grasshopper burgers...

RE: Maybe, I don't know
By thatmikeguy on 2/22/2011 10:35:58 AM , Rating: 2
Like on Better Off Ted! That was a great show.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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