Climate Craziness of the Week: Eat bugs, not meat, to "save the planet"

Mmmm....Insect variety plate - Image via - click
From Mongabay: Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered that insects produce significantly less greenhouse gas per kilogram of meat than cattle or pigs. Their study, published in the online journal PLoS, suggests that a move towards insect farming could result in a more sustainable — and affordable — form of meat production.


The rearing of cattle and pigs for meat production results in an estimated 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. With worldwide consumption of beef and pork expected to double by 2020, alternatives are being investigated. Of these, perhaps the most notable has been the development of “in-vitro meat” which is lab-grown tissue not requiring the production of a whole organism. Initiated by NASA as a form of astronaut food, in-vitro meat production took its first steps in 2000 when scientists used goldfish cells to grow edible protein resembling fish fillets. Since then, turkey and pig cells have been used to create spam-like substances, and Time Magazine has included in-vitro meat in its list of the top 50 breakthrough ideas of 2009.

Here’s the fixins:

Five insect species were studied: fifth larval stage mealworms Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), fifth and sixth nymphal stage house crickets Acheta domesticus (L.) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae), third and fourth stage nymphs of migratory locusts Locusta migratoria (L.) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), third larval stage sun beetles Pachnoda marginata Drury (Coleoptera; Scarabaeidae) and a mix of all stages of the Argentinean cockroach Blaptica dubia (Serville) (Dictyoptera: Blaberidae). Currently, T. molitor, A. domesticus and L. migratoria are considered edible, while P. marginata and B. dubia are not. The latter two species were included since they are a potential source of animal protein, for instance by means of protein extraction. These two species can be bred in large numbers with little time investment and are able to utilise a wide range of substrates as feed

Here’s the paper:

Oonincx DGAB, van Itterbeeck J, Heetkamp MJW, van den Brand H, van Loon JJA, et al. (2010) An Exploration on Greenhouse Gas and Ammonia Production by Insect Species Suitable for Animal or Human Consumption. PLoS ONE 5(12): e14445. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014445



Greenhouse gas (GHG) production, as a cause of climate change, is considered as one of the biggest problems society is currently facing. The livestock sector is one of the large contributors of anthropogenic GHG emissions. Also, large amounts of ammonia (NH3), leading to soil nitrification and acidification, are produced by livestock. Therefore other sources of animal protein, like edible insects, are currently being considered.

Methodology/Principal Findings

An experiment was conducted to quantify production of carbon dioxide (CO2) and average daily gain (ADG) as a measure of feed conversion efficiency, and to quantify the production of the greenhouse gases methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) as well as NH3 by five insect species of which the first three are considered edible: Tenebrio molitor, Acheta domesticus, Locusta migratoria, Pachnoda marginata, and Blaptica dubia. Large differences were found among the species regarding their production of CO2 and GHGs. The insects in this study had a higher relative growth rate and emitted comparable or lower amounts of GHG than described in literature for pigs and much lower amounts of GHG than cattle. The same was true for CO2 production per kg of metabolic weight and per kg of mass gain. Furthermore, also the production of NH3 by insects was lower than for conventional livestock.


This study therefore indicates that insects could serve as a more environmentally friendly alternative for the production of animal protein with respect to GHG and NH3 emissions. The results of this study can be used as basic information to compare the production of insects with conventional livestock by means of a life cycle analysis.


No mention if the authors chow down on locusts at lunchtime. My advice: you first.

Of course, if this becomes widely acceptable, I’ll gladly send Al Gore a box of hornets and some ketchup. It’s the least I can do.

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Greg Goodknight
January 10, 2011 6:41 pm

Make mine Homarus americanus.

Pamela Gray
January 10, 2011 6:42 pm

mmmm. Pan fried grasshoppers. Crunchy good snack.

Ale Gorney
January 10, 2011 6:43 pm

[snip – is NOT a valid email address – moderator]

Scott Covert
January 10, 2011 6:44 pm

Insects and their byproducts are already used on our food supply. You eat a lot more bugs that you know.
Absolutely nothing wrong with it as long as you don’t feed the bugs corn like ethanol for fuel.
Hell, shellfish are just sea bugs. Yum!

January 10, 2011 6:46 pm

I don’t mind the idea, in Oaxaca, I ate chapauline (grasshoppers) and gusano de maguey (agave worm) and I have a great homemade spice of chiles, salt & gusano de maguey that is really fantastic. Funny though, they go great with meat. I mean a staple diet of insects is awesome, especially if you are a bird. As a human, I can definately say I prefer pork.

Peter O'Brien
January 10, 2011 6:47 pm

My friend David Mason-Jones has written an excellent book debunking the ‘meat is bad’ myth. He shows that not only is meat ‘carbon neutral’ but that, properly managed, cattle can help sequester huge amounts of carbon in the soil.
It’s called “Should Meat Be On The Menu”.
Check it out at

January 10, 2011 6:56 pm

Who funds these rubbish studies? How about studying how to stop whaling, killing dolphins, slaughtering sharks, cleaning up the oceans. What a bunch of losers!

January 10, 2011 6:57 pm

On the other hand, most edible insects live in tropical regions, and much more warming would be needed for them to spread to places which now boast temperate climate.

Tom in South Jersey
January 10, 2011 7:06 pm

I wonder why they left out termites….

January 10, 2011 7:11 pm

I would rather eat bugs than in vitro meat. Freaky!

The Hobbs End Martian
January 10, 2011 7:14 pm

I think Pork would have more utility than Orthoptera when we descend into a barter economy, and if things get really bad; one can make a quite serviceable soup from earthworms and nettles.

Eric Gisin
January 10, 2011 7:14 pm

I bet the authors are vegies. I’m waiting for the book “growing mushrooms in your outhouse”.

Mark Twang
January 10, 2011 7:15 pm

B-but I’ll only eat ’em if they’re free-range and organic!

January 10, 2011 7:16 pm

Can you get fries with that?

January 10, 2011 7:17 pm

It really is too bad that the Rocky Mountain locust is extinct. I always wondered about the possibility of harvesting them when they swarmed. On the other hand, I believe the Americas (North?) are the only continents without locust swarms which probably increases our agricultural output and reliability.
If they really wanted to do this then perhaps marketing it to bodybuilders is the way to go. They could call it “Bug Paste’ or something – if it is nearly as good as whey then I’m sure they’ll get into it.

Ken in Beaverton, OR
January 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Does this mean that the Dutch will sell off all their dairy farms in California?

Leonard Weinstein
January 10, 2011 7:19 pm

Why don’t we give the farm animals Beano?

January 10, 2011 7:20 pm

Matthew 3:4 about John the Baptist:
“His meat was locusts and wild honey.”

Alan Clark
January 10, 2011 7:23 pm

I wonder if it occurred to them that the people who are expected to cause meat consumption to double are currently eating bugs and would apparently prefer a quarter pounder.

January 10, 2011 7:23 pm

Whether plants are eaten and converted to global warming gasses quickly in a cow’s stomach, or dry up and are burned in a wild fire, or simply die and decompose slowly on the ground, doesn’t it all amount to about the same thing in the long run? How do cows make it worse when you consider that they also produce fertilizer that facilitates the growth of plants, which then absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere? It’s the cycle of life.

Justa Joe
January 10, 2011 7:28 pm

The warmists can eat bugs to their little hearts content, but we all know that they won’t stop there. They’ll be forcing people to subsidize this with taxes, and trying to get them forced onto menus nationwide.

CRS, Dr.P.H.
January 10, 2011 7:30 pm

I ate a newly-hatched 17 year cicada on a bet once, it was OK, but I don’t plan on swapping out steaks & pork chops for them! Ugh!

January 10, 2011 7:32 pm

Humans climbed to the top of the food chain so they don’t need to eat bugs.
The simple truth is that higher CO2 levels are good for plants which increases plant production. That means more food. Bring on the prime rib. 🙂

Steve Oregon
January 10, 2011 7:33 pm

Well maybe insects can feed the starving masses as the needless reduction in farming to curb CO2 is implemented.
Study: No-Till Farming Reduces Greenhouse Gas

January 10, 2011 7:36 pm

In the 1960’s, chocolate covered ants and deep fried grasshoppers were not uncommon tasty snacks, and you can still get them. The grasshoppers tasted somewhat like potato chips except high protein of course. It always amazed me how the locusts eating a crop will be sprayed with pesticides when they would make a high protein food supply instead. I suspect much like my wife, many would rather succumb rather than eat insects to survive even though they are a delicacy in some parts of of the world.

Tim Clark
January 10, 2011 7:38 pm

Well, about the only comment I can muster is this:
I hope that charbroiling beef does cause cancer, because I’d rather die than be forcefed bugs by envirowackos.

January 10, 2011 7:38 pm

Amazingly disgusting and revolting to me.

Lank in the South
January 10, 2011 7:40 pm

I can foresee a great new industry based on the commercial breeding of blowflies and maggots at the sewerage processing facilities of large population centres.
Fattened maggots could be harvested and processed into high protein snacks to feed back to the city slickers who preach the fire and brimstone of climate change fear mongery. Maggot sushi, blow-fly kabbab, and worm stew could be sold in your local gourmet restaurant and perhaps Macdonalds could do a line of magburgers.

Bruce Foutch
January 10, 2011 7:41 pm

Yup. We gota drive this here herd of locusts down to the Santa Fe railhead before the end on the month. Shorin don’t want them low-down cockroach fellers to get there before we do. Now, you buckaroos keep a sharp lookout. We shor don’t want to be ambushed by any of them snake-in-the-grass bug rustlers.

Bob Barker
January 10, 2011 7:44 pm

Why don’t we leave something for our grandchildren and their children to work on. We are using up all of the really swell solutions to AGW before they get a chance :<)

January 10, 2011 7:48 pm

After reading a recent article about the selling of fluoridation of water in the US by using the testimony of doctors, a similar campaign to educate everyone that the AGW religion wants you to eat the pictured plate will make it impossible for global warming to be taken seriously.
The image everyone needs to visualize when global warming is mentioned is a dinner of a plate of bugs (as grossly pictured above). The only people who won’t be grossed out are six year old boys who want to torment their sisters.
Eating bugs is required to reduce carbon dioxide. Renewable energy won’t save the earth, only eating bugs will! Hammer that image home again and again.

R. de Haan
January 10, 2011 7:56 pm

It’s a bunch of crackpots from the Agricultural University of Wageningen riding the AGW gravy train full speed together with the Free university of Amsterdam and the University of Tilburg that recently offered Al Gore an Honorable Doctorate.
In case you’ve planned to send your kids to one of these universities? Don’t, you get them back with bugs on their teeth.

January 10, 2011 8:08 pm

This is the most idiotic study I have seen in a while. Consider:
1) What sort of fencing would be most effective containment for all those free range roaches ?
2) What kind of fertilization scheme would be best to maximize my Tenebrio cow-calf units ?
3) Predict the unit losses on my Acheta crickets due to grizzly predation. Could government trappers provide effective control ?
There are just too many questions which boggle the mind !

January 10, 2011 8:27 pm

So the rich countries of the earth had beef and pork to their hearts content while the poor scraped away at bugs and moss to keep themselves alive. As the new age dawns, the wealth shall eat bugs and must for it is they who must save the planet, The poor on the other hand, locked in countries with no regard for saving the planet, will have no recourse but to eat meat as they will be unable to compete with the wealthy for insect food. Od course this would bring up a new problem in that the reduced herds of cattle and swine would in turn reduce the productivity of all the crops that depend on the fertilizer they produce, CO2 included, to keep insect population at maximum.
My guess is however that this will result in a beef trading scheme. You can eat as much steak as you want, but you have to buy enough insect credits from starving countries to get them to eat your allotment of insects for you. They in turn will have to buy carbon credits to off set the use of CO2 from the crop production needed to meet their insect commitments.
Of course the whole thing gets thrown into chaos when someone gene splices a pig with a grasshopper because that would enable all sorts of things previously impossible to come true until “when pigs can fly”.
What is rich shall be poor again and what is poor shall be rich,

January 10, 2011 8:27 pm

BFL, I see she and I are in the same camp then.
Can you imagine the ads for this?
Come get ‘yer insects! Delicious cold roasted insects!
Multi Layered June bugs and we include the gnats for free.
Horse flies, house flies lets fill our bellies with all sorts of flies and save momma gaia from we shallow gaia member eaters.
Come get ‘yer insects!
*~~and we give you more pure energy ounce per flea than our major competitors, enough daily energy to pollinate the acres and acres of planted food for your all knowing gaia minders, all done by your loving hands with zest, zeal and boundless energy like never before, you’ll be telling all your friends and good for the children too!~~

With due respects to the insect connoisseurs above unless I’m starving I won’t be eating any bugs, thank you all the same. At least seafood has been in a bath of salt water it’s whole life and I unfortunately ‘see’ where my land bugs go and what they consume, ahem.

January 10, 2011 8:32 pm

Before anybody gets a chance:
“Soylent green is bugs, people! Soylent Green is bugs!”

January 10, 2011 8:55 pm

@Justa Joe

The warmists can eat bugs to their little hearts content, but we all know that they won’t stop there. They’ll be forcing people to subsidize this with taxes, and trying to get them forced onto menus nationwide.

I think you’re already too late (see below). The real question remains, what would be the appropriate wine list for a Stewed Silkworm Pupae amuse-bouche followed by a Fried Scorpion starter or main course? Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc? And I always thought the green of ecotards was grass not biliousness.
7 Most Disgusting Insect Delicacies on Earth

Lew Skannen
January 10, 2011 9:08 pm

Funny, I didn’t see much of this stuff at the buffet bar in Cancun.
Next time they stage an eco-conference perhaps someone should set up a stand with this crap and guilt-whip the ecotards into eating some of it.

January 10, 2011 9:10 pm

I prefer a T-Bone next to my baked potato!

January 10, 2011 9:17 pm

Intellectually I can accept eating insects and many survival courses teach you about where to find edible insects if you’re wandering around in the back woods and have to live off the land. Perhaps the palatability can be enhanced by making grasshopper sausage or serving them like shrimp. Shrimp aren’t that much different than insects and I’ve been told by people that slugs taste much the same as escargot (but much cheaper if you live on the wet coast). I think the insect feeding would have to start in childhood to prevent the unpleasant psychologic reactions that many people get when they ponder ingesting insects.
I’ve involuntarily eaten many mosquitoes during my student days working in the NWT. My primary concern is disease transmission through insects as you don’t know where they’ve been so deep frying is a must. OTOH, perhaps soaking them in alcohol like the worm in some brands of tequila is the solution. I’ve had those and they go down well with lime, salt and, of course, tequila. Unless I’m really strapped for protein, I’ll stick to free range beef, buffalo and lamb.

Northern Exposure
January 10, 2011 9:21 pm

What do the statistics say ?
I think it’s something like the average person eats approximately 8 household spiders (unbeknownst to them) in the average lifetime during their “good night’s sleep”.
Mmm… protein.

January 10, 2011 9:53 pm

C’mon. How about a hat-tip to the commenter (I cannot recall who) who has mentioned this at least twice so far?

John F. Hultquist
January 10, 2011 9:55 pm
Mike McMillan
January 10, 2011 10:07 pm

You always wondered what those black spots in you corn chips were.

Andrew Parker
January 10, 2011 10:20 pm

“It really is too bad that the Rocky Mountain locust is extinct.”
Don’t forget the Mormon Crickets. Still plenty of them around, as well as other species of swarming grasshoppers and locust in the Rocky Mountain area. Insects were a major staple for the pre-european inhabitants. The Goshute of the Great Basin sometimes call shrimp “fish cricket.”
@Lank in the South
“I can foresee a great new industry based on the commercial breeding of blowflies and maggots at the sewerage processing facilities of large population centres.”
We’re almost there. Look up Black Soldier Fly. The people who make the BioPod, a BSF based composter, can design industrial sized composting facilities. I assume that if they can process animal waste, they can process municipal sewage sludge, but there there may be some regulatory problems with processing human waste. They recommended converting the pupae and grubs into biodiesel or pet food, but any good food scientist could turn them into a delightful snack for the masses.

January 10, 2011 10:28 pm

Pirran, the things I learn here.
And I didn’t realize that scorpions were classified as ‘insects’.
Had I known this years ago … had to divorce the one I had.

paul statterly
January 10, 2011 11:16 pm

we need to bleach all our skins white so we can reflect sunlight back into space. and we must only eat insects to reduce CO2 from cows and pigs.
if you believe the above, i feel sorry for you. go and marry al gore, he is single again.

Mike in Canmore
January 10, 2011 11:18 pm

Time to solve the green problem once and for all. Let’s turn the greenies into Soylent Green to feed the world.

January 10, 2011 11:25 pm

Mmmmm…. Kentucky Fried Crickets…

January 10, 2011 11:33 pm

If it tastes good, then why not eat it? We eat prawns anyway, which is sort of a water bug.
If I may put on my tin foil hat for a second, this idea seems like trying to turn real meat into a more expensive produce. “Fake” meat, and bugs? You can have it cheap, but if you want a proper steak it will cost you a lot more! So basically, people with nice wages would be able to afford 100% real meat (Al Gore, Mann, the Queen) but people like us will be eating cockroaches. This kind of thing already happens in poor countries, where meat is a luxery. Why wouldn’t I be surpised if this was extended to the first world ‘in order to save the world?’

January 10, 2011 11:46 pm

If it’s OK to make bio-fuels because “they have a neutral net contribution to CO2” then how do cows have a different effect?

January 10, 2011 11:52 pm

I would eventually consider being a veggie if this would become widespread… 🙁

Chris Smith
January 11, 2011 12:12 am

These disgusting Satanists like to play games of making us do unacceptable things. Lying to make the unacceptable appear acceptable. It’s a game to them.

January 11, 2011 12:17 am

I wonder how much greenhouse gases were produced by the vast herds of buffalo, antelope and other ruminant animals which roamed the world before being decimated by man.
And what’s to become of the billions of farm animals after we stop eating them? Are they going to be kept as pets? Or are they going to be simply released into the wild?
Of course not, they would still be producing planet-killing gases, so they would have to be killed off and rendered extinct.

January 11, 2011 12:24 am

“nitrification of the soil” — makes it sound like a pollutant. And here I was, in all innocence, thinking it was plant FERTILIZER! Like CO2. And ammonium nitrate.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
January 11, 2011 1:08 am

Disney’s The Lion King animated movie taught us all, especially the little children, that a top-of-the-food-chain carnivore can survive just fine by eating grubs, bugs, and worms. Just look at how little Simba grew up so big and strong on that diet. Thus it is blatantly obvious to all, especially the little children, that such meat sources would be just fine for humans as well.
Very educational movie, I can fully understand why so many parents so willingly exposed their kids to its messages. Heck, previously I would have thought a true “Lion King” would devour the warthog for supper and munch on the meerkat for a snack. Who knew Wild Kingdom had it all wrong?

Dave Springer
January 11, 2011 1:14 am

Funny stuff. The FDA allows a certain number of insect parts to be sold in foods that don’t list insects on the label. It’s practically unavoidable especially will bulk-milled grains. The average American eats 1-2 pounds of bugs per year this way by some estimates. So it’s really not a matter of eating bugs because we all do it’s a matter of eating them on purpose.
I love me some other arthropods like lobster, shrimp, crab, and crawdads. I’m sure some of their six-legged cousins probably taste pretty good too.
As one other commenter mentioned eating insects (or not) is a psychological phenomenon not a matter of edibility or nutritiousness.

Philip Thomas
January 11, 2011 1:19 am

Billions of insects in containers all breeding and evolving in unnatural environments. I think something screwy could happen.

Julian Braggins
January 11, 2011 1:22 am

Remember a Sci-Fi story around 60 years ago of an in-vitro chicken meat mass being the accepted form of protein, constantly growing, constantly harvested. Haven’t had a nightmare about it recently though 8<.

Dr A Burns
January 11, 2011 1:45 am

I’d love to see all the greenies go and live in caves, using glow worms for light and chowing down on grubs.

January 11, 2011 2:13 am

For what it is worth , I remember reading a piece maybe as long ago as 30 years back , in the science column of a one of the then most widely distributed three weekly news magazines ( Time , Newsweek , don´t remember the name of the third ) , and mind you it was before they turned into the thrash rags they are today. The piece was about people starting up some kind of worm farms , where the worms breed and meant for human consumption. The article said s that a species of some fast growing worm had been discovered , that could be feed on low grade animal feeds, whenn they had been grown to the optimal size , the worms were then dried out (dehydrated) and ground up, the end product beeing a 98% high grade protein powder , that could be used to boost the protein content of food made out of minced meat (hamburgers , meatballs etc) that did not else make the minimum protein content target some maker of such product ( or perhaps a government regulation stipulated ) had set for their wares in that class . And I clearly remember the article saying that so far there were yet only enough farms operating to cater to the needs of one big customer, which was a well known US ( an now global) hamburger chain which was buying all it could get of the stuff an using maybe as much as 2% of it into its hamburger meat , but there were lot of other prospective customers waiting in the line to be served , when production really got into high gear. Never saw any follow up about this or heard any more about it so maybe it was something that in the end did not pan out or came to anything but then again maybe it is just something that realy became an industry to some degree , and the food industry has been shy about talking of, and we have all been eating some kind worms every now and the for the last three decades, I do not know, just remember thinking if young small bird thrive well on a diet of worms, it can not harm us humans to have some of it our diet too. almost every type of bird I know of has been used as food source at one time or another in some place and time. And then I soon forgot all about it , until this posting here jogged my memory of the said article.

January 11, 2011 2:27 am

Alright next time I see a cockroach ill fry it in some butter and sage, and stamp on the chicken instead. Ahhh even just reading the abstract how do academics publish these sort of journals???

Patrick Davis
January 11, 2011 4:22 am

I recall Dr David Bellamy suggested worms/insects as the “right diet” for humans some years ago (70’s/80’s?). The suggestion was nothing to do with “saving the planet from human induced C02 driven climate change” at that time but more to do with food sortages and population growth, obviously connected at some point. But what I do recall was that he tucked into a worm cake….yum yum!! LOL
Humans are omnivours, we will eat anything. Mince it up, add chilli, garlic, curry powder, cook for ages, it’ll be ok I am sure. Given a choice, which seems to be being erroded daily, I’d take beef, lamb, goat (Goat is great BTW – Almost zero fat), pork and fish as well as the usual veggies and pulses. I’ll pass on the insects and aracnids (I don’t already eat – look at cheese).

January 11, 2011 4:43 am

i guess they forgot the tasty termites! OOPS, I just recalled I ran the numbers on them based upon some study report of the time. seems that the scale (size) of the critter actually mattered here. Big critters have far lower metabolic rates than small critters. Does a cow eat its own weight every day? LOL. Seems that the conversion factor is 4 pounds of feed per 1 pound of meat for grass. Note it’s believed that there’s about a ton of termites per person and they are busy creating ghgs at far higher metabolic rates, perhaps produce more ghgs than people with their technology included.

January 11, 2011 4:56 am

An athlete can need anything between 3-5000 calories a day, depending on how much they train.
A hard working, full grown man (like a carpenter or such) needs about 3-3500 calories a day to function.
Any man, with a less energy demanding profession, needs about 2500 calories a day. A female about 2000…
Let’s say that on an average we people need somewhere around 2500 calories a day.
How many bugs a day will 5 billion people need?

John Bowman
January 11, 2011 5:02 am

A kilo of animal protein is a kilo of animal protein no matter whether it formed around a backbone or not. And you need a hell of a lot more insects than cows to get a kilo of protein.
It is hard to see how producing insects on an industrial scale sufficient to provide enough protein to replace that from animals with backbones, is at all practical and a saving in resources.
As with the vegetarian option these folks do not have joined-up thinking so have no appreciation of all the ancillary resources required, particularly: nutrition, watering, processing, storage, wastage, spoilage and transport.
It seems obvious that had insects or a vegetarian diet provided an evolutionary viable nutritional alternatives to Man’s natural diet, then we would all be growing and eating, apples with worms in them.

R. de Haan
January 11, 2011 5:28 am

In order to protect the new found food chain all bugs are to be protected and use of insecticides prohibited.
From next month all NY Hotel restaurants will be closed and the hotel guests will be confined to eat the bed bugs.
In a sustainable society all resources will be used.
Bugs will be an integral part of a sustainable food chain.
Bon appetit.

January 11, 2011 6:11 am

I actually think this would be very effective at reducing CO2 emissions. Once I am forced to live on soy extracts, seaweed and insects I will officially lose the will to continue breathing.

January 11, 2011 6:18 am

From experience (I could justify it by pretending I was stranded somewhere without food, but that would be disingenuous), woodlice (probably called somethibng else in the States) taste very much like freshwater shrimp, although they’re generaly somewhat smaller.
Also, common garden snails are very tasty, but I’d recommend catching (collecting?) then 2 or 3 days in advance and keeping them in a ventilated box with some fresh lettuce (or similar) to give toxins from their normal diet time to work their way out. I’d assume slugs to taste very similar (but you couldn’t serve them in their shells).

January 11, 2011 7:00 am

“No mention if the authors chow down on locusts at lunchtime. My advice: you first.”
Actually locusts aren’t that bad… crunchy… nothing special… I’d not eat them everyday or even more than once to try it… but millions of people do eat them and they are a source of protein… to eat them because of the CO2 fears is beyond crazy.

January 11, 2011 7:17 am

What? No gravy?

January 11, 2011 7:24 am

You could easily grow your own food supply.

January 11, 2011 7:33 am

Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I think I’ll eat some worms. 😉

January 11, 2011 7:33 am

Patrik says:
How many bugs a day will 5 billion people need?
No Patrik, its 6.9 billion already, and that is the real, but unspoken, issue.

January 11, 2011 7:34 am

Fish and birds eat bigs.
People eat fish and birds.
Do they want to starve the fish and birds ?
I am not eating any bugs.
And if you make me think about the inadvertently eaten bugs I may not eat at all.

January 11, 2011 7:35 am

bugs not bigs. Ugh, WUWT articles rarely make me so queazy.

January 11, 2011 7:43 am

Now to save the planet we are to eat like birds. No thanks, if that was good people would have been doing it a long time ago. As for CO2 it is very common and very necessary and activist scientists want to ban it for about as many reasons as its use.
Don’t us gas and oil, incandescent light bulbs, drive cars, have children, central air in house, and more. Do eat bugs. What crap?

January 11, 2011 8:28 am

JER0ME says: January 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm C’mon. How about a hat-tip to the commenter (I cannot recall who) who has mentioned this at least twice so far?
Those are only reserved for ___________?
Buggy critters are excellent fish catchers and fish much healthier for you. Alongside fruits and vegetables.

January 11, 2011 8:31 am

If this is such a great idea, why are they serving caviar and toast points at their global warming conferences……

January 11, 2011 8:41 am

Slimy, yet satisfying!

January 11, 2011 8:50 am

Tenebrio molitor (mealworm) is considered edible? Isn’t it also called “stink beetle”?

January 11, 2011 8:52 am

“Eric Gisin says: January 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm
I bet the authors are vegies.”
As a veggie (lacto-ovo) I can honestly say if you like meat and it works for you and your health then enjoy it. The best thing we could do overall, not just meat, is to be grateful not gluttonous when we eat.
Bon Appetite mon amies

January 11, 2011 8:55 am

I’ve eaten Dutch food in company cafeterias, local lunch treats in Eindhoven. It tasted like they were already eating the bugs. This should be nothing new for the Netherlands,
right up their ally.

January 11, 2011 9:09 am

I hate to give them ideas – but: With a little bio-engineering you could soon breed some yummy cow-sized bugs 🙂

George E. Smith
January 11, 2011 9:10 am

So lemme guess; the Japanese are eating whales; just for scientific research though; to see how long the Japanese population can be sustained eating whale meat.
Of course with less whales, there’s going to be too much krill in the ocean, which is not good for the ocean, since they eat the phytoplankton, that make oxygen.
Well you see that means that the Japanese can eat both the whales; and the krill just to keep things in balance.
So now it appears, they can eat the roaches and locusts; stay away from those New Zealand Hu hu grubs (laval giant Weta (s) )(no s in Maori); we’ve got those saved for us; the taste great when chocolate covered.
Of course if you eat all the bugs, then the birds are going to starve; but the Japanese have a fix for that too; so they can eat crow, just as easily as doing scientific whale tasting.
You know I think we humans could just about eat everything else on the planet. If we ate the cats and dogs like the Vietnamese do; then we could also eat all the dog food. Well lots of Americans eat dog food already; it’s part of the Obama austerity programme.
Now if we were self sufficient on energy (energy independence), we could take energy, and air and water, along with some rocks; maybe sand from the Sahara; and we could make our own food out of rocks the same way Mother Gaia does; then we wouldn’t have to eat any other critters, nor bugs neither !
Of course we have people in America, who don’t like us to eat rocks either, they raise Cain when we scoop the tops off mountains (well they call them mountains back east) to get at all that lovely coal underneath; to get that energy independence of course.
And we are going to need all the CO2 that we get from that energy independence coal, because we can’t make food out of rocks, and water, without the CO2 from the air.
So it’s all interlinked as you can see; and we really don’t have any kind of independence from anything; when you boil it all down; and you need energy; even to boil it down.
I think it is much worse than we thought; I can just sense that something was bugging me about this latest news story.
Can’t win ! Well Murphy says we can’t even break even; let alone win !

January 11, 2011 9:19 am

Scott Covert says:
January 10, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Scott – ok, I will eat sea bugs and you can eat the land ones! 😉

January 11, 2011 9:28 am

Oh Lord. I never was very fond of the most benign of “bugs” (shelled shrimp) when I was a kid. They started out with shells, and looked like squishy grey bugs. But, as an adult, I like ’em. Then there are the deep-fried shrimp-heads commonly found at Sushi restaurants. At first, “ugh…” Now I can chomp ’em down with simulated gusto … so long as I’ve had a few tall beers prior. Really, not too bad, tho’ the damned antlers are razor sharp and can cut up my softie mouth real good.
But moving forward into the realm of … maggots (I don’t care what you call ’em, but that’s what they look like) – or the larvael stage of insect morphology, is just WAY past the bright line of acceptability. After you see a dead mouse asquirming with big old horsefly maggots – well, it doesn’t matter one iota that the grower assures that their maggy-little-bastards ate a diet of virgin whitefish and vat grown protoplasm … I’ll not get that image of zombie-mouse out of my head.
Per the poster above that remembered the 1970s “grow worms, dry-then-powder them, add to hamburger for a nutrition booster” article, I am reasonably sure that there could be some packaging that “hot-dogs” the things into an acceptible texture-taste form. I mean if we have machines that can take whole raw chicken carcasses (post “get the good parts out” butchery), and nibble off every last little protein bit in order to create millions of tons of Chicken Nuggets, I’m just as certain that our industrious and genius German Machinists can figure a way to zip open trillions of giant Madagascar cockroaches and fish out the tasty bits that can be reconstituted as tube steaks. But really folks – it will have to be transmogrification before this omnivore actually goes out and buys some at Safeway.
On a different note, how long will it be before there are Berkeley pep rallies decrying GMO bugpaste? After all, if there ever were a GMO target that has a LONG history in genetic modification experimentation, it is the Class Insectae. Think Drosophila Melanogaster (fruit fly) and kin.
Or Bugs Rights groups. Mothers Against Insect Destruction (MAID). Bugs’R’Us. Linguistic revisionists that declare Buggies to be disparaging and offensive to the critters. Sanguine articles in the NYTimes, “Collective intelligence of apis possible greater than dolphins”. Computer programmers fired for reporting that their code has bugs. Kids warned not to “bug” each other. Audio adverts (just like the one I heard on NPR the other day advising young people that to use the word “gay” as in “Gee, that party was just so gay”, offensively, are offending gay people everywhere) that … oh well you see where this is going.
Bug off, folks! Get the little buggers into “invisible” forms such as hot dogs, and like pit snouts, cow ears and horse dicks, I’ll eat ’em ‘long side my kids at Diddnyland. But until that time, an insectophage I shall remain naught.

Dave Dodd
January 11, 2011 10:04 am

Around our house, my #11 boot eliminates lots of main courses!

Shane Simmons
January 11, 2011 10:23 am

“The warmists can eat bugs to their little hearts content, but we all know that they won’t stop there. They’ll be forcing people to subsidize this with taxes, and trying to get them forced onto menus nationwide.”
You mean like how the price of meat is artificially low due to subsidies? Those subsidies are there to protect domestic farmers from cheap imports, but what’s happened is that beef is cheaper than a salad. Plain common sense would tell a thinking person that a cheeseburger should be more expensive than a salad, but common sense is in short supply these days.

January 11, 2011 11:35 am

If this becomes the norm, kids–and the rest of us–will learn lots more about insect metamorphosis than we ever have in the past. Can you imagine the food editors debating the merits of the fifth stage pupae versus the third stage larvae for whatever insect they are preparing? Do you suppose one will substitute well for the other without significantly altering the flavor of the dish?

January 11, 2011 1:24 pm

Idd & Boris:
I’ve discovered that most things are usually tastier if deep fried (preferably in good old beef suet), even beef kidney (just cut into inch pieces and cook crisp). Not going to give up my medium rare charcoaled T-bone or spicy fried chicken, but I’m not above trying new things and would eat whatever was available to stay alive in an emergency.
I once counted the calories in all the edibles available in our cabinets/refrig during a reorganization and came up with enough to feed 2 people ~6 months @2000/day and yet my wife considered that we hardly had anything to eat. But good to know if a “big one” occurs.
I doubt that there would be much “real” efficiency improvement if standard grains such as corn/wheat are used to feed the insects which are then given to animals (weight for weight). This would only differ if the insects could live off of unwanted leftovers such as corn shucks/cobs, cheap grasses etc. Do I see an industry for insect gene engineering?

Another Gareth
January 11, 2011 2:15 pm

Put the bugs into animal feed and eat animals as normal. Then plenty of grains for everyone.
Not that it needs such interference. The price of stuff does it well enough without the need for legislation. If you can produce enough protein rich meal from bugs at less cost than it would take to grow it then off you go.

Bob Diaz
January 11, 2011 2:16 pm

Did the study cover such things as: How does it taste? OR How willing are people going to be eating bugs?
I’ll guess that the most important questions are ignored.

January 11, 2011 2:29 pm

Giant Insects.
Great Idea !
Not !

January 11, 2011 2:34 pm

Certainly not my cup of tea! But if this catches on, I wonder how long it will take before Polly “ecocide” Higgins begins lobbying for UN action against “insecticide” 😉

January 11, 2011 5:11 pm

OK BFL I’ll try to look at the positive side of consuming bugs – if I’m starving. 😉
On the bright side if this resulted in the lord of the fruit flies a.k.a David Suzuki, being let go due to shortage of work I could be convinced sooner perhaps.
Yes, we as well are guilty of that full fridge – nothing to eat syndrom, I often say, we need a varsity team to sail through our fridge once a week as our small dog can’t possibly eat all the good left overs. Hubby comes from a big family of boys in sports, he’s working on not purchasing/cooking like were feeding a hockey team every night.

January 11, 2011 7:10 pm

re: alan says:
January 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm
Matthew 3:4 about John the Baptist:
“His meat was locusts and wild honey.”
The “locusts” mentioned in this quote are locust beans – better known as carob.

January 11, 2011 7:12 pm

Lobsters are basically large sea grasshoppers and abalone are snails. Yet both of these products are expensive delicacies.

Harry the Hacker
January 11, 2011 7:52 pm

Odd how much opposition there is to genetic engineering, yet “in-vitro meat” is being developed. Surely one is just as bizarre as the other?
Strange world we live in.

Laurence M. Sheehan, PE
January 11, 2011 8:38 pm

“Bugs” can be very tasty, prepared properly. Honey roasted locusts are tasty indeed. So are roasted grub worms. King crab are giant spiders of the sea. A lot is in the preparation and presentation, and of course in the label. Tagging with a French or other foreign label works wonders. Removing the distress causing parts is essential for American consumption.

January 12, 2011 1:18 am

“There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.”
Austin Powers father.

January 12, 2011 2:38 am

I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned this before now.

“Crunchy Frog” anybody?

Jack Simmons
January 12, 2011 6:38 am

thegoodlocust says:
January 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm

It really is too bad that the Rocky Mountain locust is extinct. I always wondered about the possibility of harvesting them when they swarmed.

Maybe they are not extinct. Perhaps the locust family genome is just waiting for the right signals from the environment via their epigenome to permit expression of the Rocky Mountain locust phenotype.
Consider the two mice ‘types’ that are really the same mouse, just different genes being expressed.

January 13, 2011 9:29 am

(SarcOn)We really do need to eat more cicada larvae. Has anyone else noticed how the shrimp these days are just too small. When properly breaded, and deep fried just right, and eaten with cocktail sauce, they taste just like shrimp. Really!(SarcOff)

January 23, 2011 6:22 am

Thanks for the intriguing read! Alright playtime is over and back to school work, time to say goodbye to Climate Craziness of the Week: Eat bugs, not meat, to “save the planet” | Watts Up With That?.

alquiler de autos
January 31, 2011 10:13 am
February 1, 2011 7:04 pm

I trust you would not mind if I placed a part of Climate Craziness of the Week: Eat bugs, not meat, to “save the planet” | Watts Up With That? on my univeristy blog?

February 3, 2011 8:52 pm

Thank you for the intriguing read on SEO! Alright playtime is over and back to school work, time to say goodbye to Climate Craziness of the Week: Eat bugs, not meat, to “save the planet” | Watts Up With That?.

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