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Science & Technology

Are insects and fake meat the future of food?

May 5, 2017 | Comment icon 53 comments



Anyone for a delicious grub stir fry ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Candorwien
Scientists have indicated that we may need to make some major dietary changes over the coming years.
In a new report published in the journal 'Global Food Security', researchers highlighted the impact that our ever-growing reliance on livestock is having on the environment.

As mankind's appetite for meat grows, more and more farm animals are needed which in turn produce increasing quantities of greenhouse gas emissions. Solving climate change, it seems, is going to necessitate quite a serious reduction in the amount of livestock being kept worldwide.

One solution, the researchers argue, is to substitute traditional meats with alternatives such as edible insects or even lab-grown meat that can be produced without killing any animals at all.

Insects are actually quite a common delicacy in many parts of the world and are particularly nutritious, pound-for-pound, compared to other types of meat.
"It is very widespread, especially in Asia, and not seen as unusual in those cultures," said Peter Alexander of the University of Edinburgh. "We are not trying to mandate or even suggest some policy that you eat insects every day [but] our work indicates the potential benefits that are there."

Whatever the case however, it is clear that something will need to change sooner or later.

"The developing world is eating more meat as they can afford to do so," said Alexander. "That really is a concerning trend if it continues. If everybody eats meat like an American does currently, then it's going to be very difficult to sustain."

"With current production practices, more than the entire area of the planet would be required."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (53)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #44 Posted by quiXilver 5 years ago
I enjoy snails... and have come to love clams and mussels steamed in say a nice garlic white wine sauce.... or stuffed with seasonings and baked in butter... but they must be steamed or cooked and that took some doing on my part.  To enjoy those, I had to get over some of my utter, instinctual revulsion and aversion to raw oysters.  Man they are nasty to me... they seem alien and horrifying in their essence.. lol some innate wrongness... rofl.  so dramatic my reaction to that food, it's fun. It's still mystifying that my son and wife and anyone is able to relish and adore eating raw oysters...... [More]
Comment icon #45 Posted by Sundew 5 years ago
We already have fake meat, but to name the purveyors of same might result in legal action, so you'll have to guess. 
Comment icon #46 Posted by quiXilver 5 years ago
i see what you did there... and it caused me to laugh. thanks mate!
Comment icon #47 Posted by oneshot_me 5 years ago
So how much gas does a cow have than a bison?? They use it be in the millions and now it's cows so how much different is it really?? And not just them but all over the world when the cow has replaced the other animals
Comment icon #48 Posted by Sundew 4 years ago
No worries!  
Comment icon #49 Posted by Sundew 4 years ago
A relevant question is how much methane do insects generate? Individually it's minute, but collectively there is probably a lot more weight of insects on the planet than there are cows and maybe humans and cows combined. Beetles alone make up 3/4s of all animal species on earth if I remember correctly. Herbivorous insects are consuming the same material as cows and digesting it, likely with gut bacteria to break it down (certainly termites are known for this), so if this reasoning is to "save the planet" from cow farts it's likely misplaced. 
Comment icon #50 Posted by WoIverine 4 years ago
The real question...would you eat insects, or people first? That is, if you had no other choice. Bob's Burgers might take on a whole new meaning.
Comment icon #51 Posted by WoIverine 4 years ago
Vietnam, Cambodia, cats and dogs on the menu!
Comment icon #52 Posted by Sundew 4 years ago
We DO eat a lot of arthropods: crab, lobsters, shrimp and so forth, they are sort of the insects of the sea (with a few extra legs). Perhaps it's a cultural thing, while I love seafood, I have no desire to eat insects. I saw plenty for sale in Thailand, but I opted for the critters from the sea, which were also plentiful and very tasty. The mud crab was especially good. 
Comment icon #53 Posted by Frank Merton 4 years ago
Through much of Asia fried insects are often seen on street-side stands being fried ready for consumption.  They are like crunchy hot salty (and spicy if you want) bits of fried potato.  The most common is grasshoppers.   There are cultural variations -- for example the Thais relish cockroaches, but the Japanese find the idea of fried cockroaches repulsive.  I guess that is because they are ugly -- but it is easy enough to fry them in a batter. I avoid them because the street vendors put on too much salt -- much as I avoid potato chips except the ones made here in our compound where the woman ... [More]


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