A "hobo" clown at heart, down on my luck (previously but not now), but eternally optimistic :o)
Aug 20, 2010
Science Scene - What Bugs You?
The raising of livestock consumes two-thirds of the planet's farmland, and is a major source of greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, tons of edible, sustainable protein swarms all around us, free for the taking. In a new policy paper being considered by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Belgian entomologist Arnold van Huis makes the sensible recommendation that the western world eat more insects.
Farming edible insects like mealworms and crickets would produce far less greenhouse gas -- 10 times less methane and 100 times less nitrous oxide -- than the large mammals we currently farm. Insects are metabolically much more efficient, which makes them far cheaper to feed and raise; and, since they're so biologically different from humans, they are less subject to contagious disease scares like mad cow. They are high in protein and calcium, and, with over 1,000 edible species, offer plenty of delicious variety.
In April, the FAO started a pilot locust-farming project in Laos, where entomophagy is not unheard of, but where it's been in decline under the cultural influence of the West. According to the Guardian, 15,000 household farmers already raise locusts in Thailand, and that expertise can be transferred elsewhere.
While this logically and environmentally makes sense to me, I think going to this food source would be enough to turn me Vegan :o)