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Insects Believed to be a Sustainable Food Source

20 AUGUST 2009

German Studies Uncover Insects as Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Traditional Meat Protein Sources-

Food shortages are an unfortunate reality all over the world and growing to become an exacerbating concern in locations like Southeast Asia. The inhabitants of this region have had to endure perpetual meat price increases due to lack of supply and are turning now toward insects as a source of nourishment.

Insects Selling Stall Sighted at Songkhla Province
Deep Fried Insects Selling Stall sighted at Songkhla Province, Thailand

Entomophagy is the ritual of consuming insects as fare and is, in fact, performed throughout the globe – from Australia to Columbia. However, in countries like America the act is normally exhibited in reality television competitions as rather animalistic in nature. Seeing that insects currently resolve the issue of protein famine in deprived regions, various eateries are claiming that devouring these creatures is an environmentally friendly option to traditional meat consumed in North America.

German studies have uncovered that bugs actually convert as much as 44 percent of their food intake into body mass, far above the 14 percent conversion efficiency of cattle; with broiler chicken having almost half the conversion capabilities of a common house cricket. Although this is practiced heavily in other nations, specialists have given serious forewarnings that encourage North American inhabitants to avoid chomping creepy crawlers; asserting that herbicides and pesticides used to keep bugs off plants may brand them as too toxic for human consumption. As an example, a Mexican grasshopper treat – Chapulines – were reported to induce lead poisoning in California in 2003. Allergies to shellfish is also said to pertain to insect eaters, as most insects are physically comparable to shrimp and sea creatures alike.

So the question stands, are insects really a comparable food source to standard Western-consumed meat? The practice may not reach our continent as an accepted mainstay food constituent; however, the significance of insects being capable of proper protein sustenance may position the invertebrates as a practical alternative if food insufficiency does threaten urbanized regions.

 Source: Green Energy News


  • Eating Insects
    Cooked bugs have been a gastronomic delight among Thai people, especially those in the North and Northeast, for more than a century. Incredibly, there are around 200 types of edible insects in the Kingdom. Interestingly, two dozen of them are habitually consumed by both country folk and urbanites alike. Bug-eaters in the old days didn't even know insects were nutritious. They ate them solely because they're addictively tasty, they taste like shrimp, especially grasshoppers. The only thing that makes a grasshopper different from a shrimp is that they can fly.
  • U.N. Urges Eating Insects
    U.N. Urges Eating Insects; 8 Popular Bugs to Try, From beetles to stinkbugs, people in dozens of countries eat insects. A report released Monday by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reminds us that there are more than 1,900 edible insect species on Earth, hundreds of which are already part of the diet in many countries. Many insects are packed with protein, fiber, good fats, and vital minerals—as much or more than many other food sources.
  • Insects may be the answer
    Sustainable and nutritious, it's time insects were seen as another source of protein. The problem is how to make them desirable. In south-east Asia, insects are an important part of the daily diet for millions of people. Crickets, cockroaches and other bugs and grubs are sold across the region by roadside vendors and in smart restaurants. They are harvested commercially and by home producers, providing vital income for struggling farmers.
  • Eat Insects
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  • Cordyceps
    Ophiocordyceps Sinensis has a long history in Traditional Chinese medicine as well as Traditional Tibetan medicine. The hand-collected fungus-caterpillar combination is valued by herbalists, it is used as an aphrodisiac and treatment for ailments such as fatigue and cancer, although such use is mainly based on traditional Chinese medicine and anecdote. O. Sinensis is known in the West as a Medicinal Mushroom, was unaware of Ophiocordyceps prior to 1993. It was then dramatically caught the world's eye due to the performance of three female Chinese athletes, Wang Junxia, Qu Yunxia, and Zhang Linli. Who broke five world records for 1,500, 3,000 and 10,000 meter dashes at the National Games in Beijing. Also, recent research seems to indicate a variety of beneficial effects in animal testing, including increased physical endurance through heightened ATP production in rats.
  • Meat is Not Green
    people can be sceptical when presented about how meat consumption should be reduced to tackle global warming. And you must be wondering why eating meat could cause damage to our Mother Earth.
  • Health Benefits of Eating Less Meat
    You may have already heard that eating too much meat is linked to a slew of health problems, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Since meat is high in saturated fat and cholesterol and low in fiber, it shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that excess meat is bad for you. But there are also many other less-obvious health benefits that come with cutting meat out of your diet.
  • Vegetarian Athletes
    Since meat is associated with protein, it is thought that athletes need to eat meat in order to stay in shape. However, there are plenty of vegetarian athletes who consistently prove this misconception wrong. Just look at the likes of baseball player Prince Fielder, NFL player Ricky Williams, and ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier. Not only are they able to stay in shape on a meatless diet, but they can also experience a slew of benefits which help them stay healthy for their sport.
  • Totally Vegetarian
    The idea that you can help save the environment by refraining from eating meat is relatively new. But, as before, ethical and health concerns also play a role in the popularity of veganism. People doing without meat in their diets is on the increase.
  • Veganism and the Environment
    Veganism & the Environmentby the Numbers: Nearly half of all water used in the U.S. goes to raising animals for food. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat Only 25 gallons for 1 pound of wheat You would save more water by Not-eating 1 pound of meat than you would by Not-taking shower for 6 months. A Vegan diet requires 300 gallons of water per day vs Meat-eating diet which requires 4,000 gallons per day. Animals eat Large quantities of grain, soybeans, oats and corn; however, they only produce a comparatively small amount of meat, dairy products, or eggs in return. 70% of grain and cereals grown in U.S. are fed to farmed animals.
  • Mongolia Nomads
    Mongolia’s nomads have roamed its sprawling grasslands for centuries, pitching their yurts wherever they find pasture for their animals, but now Tsogtsaikhan Orgodol is staying put as part of a scheme to tackle chronic overgrazing. The number of livestock has exploded to more than 40 million. This goes beyond the limits of what is reasonable, even for Mongolia, which is a vast country. 70% of Mongolia’s grassland – which makes up almost four-fifths of the country – is now “degraded”. But herders who cannot command high prices resort to selling large quantities instead, There is indeed overgrazing, especially in the production of cashmere. The problem is that Mongolia exports wool in the form of raw material, particularly to China, so the value-added happens somewhere else. That requires them to produce a lot. If wool were sold more expensively, they would need fewer animals.
  • Antibiotics in Feed
    Several studies on our meats like chicken (both imported and local), beef, mutton and frozen burgers have found an alarmingly high incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in them. In 2005, the USFDA withdrew approval of fluoroquinolones used in poultry (currently used in Malaysia) as this class of antibiotics causes resistant Campylobacter in poultry which are transferred to humans and may cause fluoraquinolone resistant Campylobacter infections to develop in humans. Livestock Farm Practices Scheme (SALT) which is to ensure that farms practising Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP) produce safe and wholesome food of good quality, in sustainable and environmentally friendly conditions. Yet more than half of the domestic chicken harvested from the SALT certified farm in the DVS study were resistant to three classes of antibiotics i.e. ampicillin, sulphonamide and tetracycline.
  • Butter is back
    Many nutritional and cardiovascular experts are saying that butter may not be as bad as once suspected; some even say a little butter could be good in the diet. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is moving to ban trans fats altogether.
 

 

 

  
 
 
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