Crickets, it's whats for dinner

cricketsMary Brown writes in WUWT Tips and Notes:

No more steak for you earth hating skeptics. Time to learn to eat sustainable crickets… so says the Washington Post. Of course it mentions climate change.

The article also says this…

“The industry leapt forward following a 2013 United Nations report warning that with nine billion people on Earth in 2050, current food production will have to double. Between a lack of space and climate change concerns, we’ll need more sustainable solutions. Crickets happen to be a great option.”

Interesting statement since the earth currently has 7.2 billion people, many of whom are clearly overfed already. I’m not sure why a 25% increase in population would require a 100% increase in food.

Also, the USA already produces food for 1.2 billion Americans and we waste 75% of it. Worldwide, food production is enough for roughly 14 billion people with 50% waste. Zero waste is unrealistic, but I’ll bet the food waste ratio approached zero in Europe in winter of ’45.

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NC Brian
August 20, 2014 7:52 am

John the Baptist ate locus and wild honey.

August 20, 2014 7:56 am

What about the Soylent Green?

August 20, 2014 7:57 am

Chirp. Burp.

August 20, 2014 7:58 am

I just bought a half a steer. Its going to be tasty.

August 20, 2014 8:00 am

Shock! Horror! Filet of Jimminy C anyone? What next?
Oh no those stalwart icons of the CAGW cultists are coming down! Whatever will we use for those wonderful bright sky – backlit shots of ‘pollution’ streaming skyward from evil fossil fuel chimneys;now?,
Battersea towers are no more;

August 20, 2014 8:00 am

Sure … I’ll eat all sorts of bugs … but you can go first; please, be my guest!

August 20, 2014 8:00 am

It’s too early to comment coherently. I need another cup of Soylent Brown.

August 20, 2014 8:02 am

Since “climate change” will open up huge swaths of Canada and Siberia for farming, the problem should resolve itself.

August 20, 2014 8:03 am

There is always plankton from the space:
Traces of plankton and other microorganisms were found on the outside of the International Space Station. Russian officials say the plankton was not brought into space with the launch, but that it was brought by air currents from Earth.
Interestingly, the tiny organisms manage to survive in the near vacuum of space, despite the extremely low temperatures, lack of oxygen, and cosmic radiation.
Microorganisms were found during a routine walk in space by russian astronauts Olek Artemjev and Alexander Skvortsov They used wipes to polish the windows surfaces and discovered the presence of plankton and other organisms.
This type of plankton is not known at the cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where the Russian modules were launched from, and scientists believe that they are not brought into space during launch. NASA has yet to announce whether they are present on the American side of the International Space Station.

August 20, 2014 8:03 am

I remember seeing a video some 20+ years ago with John Robbins urging Iguana as the food of choose (over cattle) due to water, feed, and methane.

August 20, 2014 8:10 am

NC Brian:
Not only J the B; we had a trainee Minister at our church who had been a Royal Marine Commando; during training he had to, or at least did, eat locusts and honey and he said the combination was delicious. The story made a superb Children’s Address.
I haven’t tried it myself though – the only locusts we have here are all at Brussels, Westminster and Holyrood.

Steven Hoffer
August 20, 2014 8:11 am

There’s enough food to feed 9 billion people now. With more people on earth over nourished than under nourished…. Isn’t this a distribution issue versus a production issue?

August 20, 2014 8:16 am

Why don’t we turn the crickets into fuel and eat the corn, instead?

August 20, 2014 8:16 am

crickets on Mars. it’s all becoming clear to me now. the grand vision

August 20, 2014 8:22 am

Clearly math and research are not the warmists strong suit. I might also add that in Australia at least, more than 70% of arable land is not cultivated.

Lee L
August 20, 2014 8:24 am

Ok. We’ve all heard it before but….maybe if the UN worked at increasing the standard of living of the poorest and most fertile 2 billion, the birth rate would fall , as it has everywhere else, maybe even to the point where that 2 billion will no longer even replace itself as is the case here in Canada.
Failing that, we dont KNOW how to change climate. We dont KNOW how to do commercial FUSION.
We KNOW how to do contraception.

August 20, 2014 8:25 am

Jings, which word put my post into “waiting for moderation”?

Tom Mills
August 20, 2014 8:25 am

During the war years & for some time after, practically no food was thrown away. Families, like ours, who lived through it still waste very little regardless of what date is on the packaging. The food companies seem to do well enough out of it. Reminds me of the mustard magnate, Colman, who claimed he made more money out of what was left on the plate than the amount that was eaten.

August 20, 2014 8:28 am

This is just another in the long series of FUD (Fear Uncertainty & Doubt) efforts from The Club Of Rome (va the “Limits To Growth” crowd). There is no shortage of food, nor is their a shortage of how to make more of it. The problem in food production is typically over production (thus all the price subsidies and ‘farm support’ and all).
There is a distribution issue with power brokers in many countries making a mess of things for their own gain. But that has nothing to do with production.
We run farms for maximum profit and minimum cost, not for maximum production (or they would all be greenhouses…) When production is an issue, we use slightly more expensive means and increase production a lot.
In particular, The System Of Rice Intensification can get between 5 x and 10 x the total rice out of a hectare of land. It takes more work, though…
Also note that a LOT of food is produced in Southern California and Southern Central Valley California ( my home town in Northern Central Valley California would get to “110 F in the shade, and there aint no shade…” and we grew lots of peaches and rice, mostly for export. It is hotter down south where your vegetables and saladings for the nation originate…) Also a lot is grown around Phoenix. The Sunset Garden book notes that some plants get overheated in Phoenix during July / August… so you grow them the rest of the year instead and grow things like tomatoes then…
In short: Until any given growing area is hotter than Phoenix where I personally experienced 125 F one summer what we do is gain growing season in the cool months and get more food not less. Once everywhere is 125 F+, then we can worry as at that point we “only” have a 10 month growing season for cool crops and there are only so many tomatoes, watermellon, and tepary beans you can eat…
The whole “issue” is a non-issue from folks who have no clue how to run a farm (or garden).

August 20, 2014 8:30 am

I’ll stick to a burgers and brat’s.
If crickets become the next hot food, other insects are almost certain to follow. Keep an eye on meal worms, fly larvae, caterpillars, black soldier flies and wax worms.
If we have to eat insects to save the planet, moving to Mars is sounding better already.
Save the planet, put down that burger.

David Chappell
August 20, 2014 8:43 am

Deep-fried insects of many kinds are already highly-prized gourmet street food in Thailand.

Rhys Kent
August 20, 2014 8:43 am

I would ask Matt Mcfarland if he knows who Norman Borlaug is. He won’t be allowed to use his computer to get the answer. He has to know. If he doesn’t then his entire article can be judged useless and ignorant on that basis alone.

michael hart
August 20, 2014 8:50 am

EternalOptimist says:
August 20, 2014 at 8:16 am
crickets on Mars. it’s all becoming clear to me now. the grand vision

I suspect Ziggy Stardust ate The Spiders from Mars.

Ed Fix
August 20, 2014 8:51 am

Oh, so now we’re suddenly interested in feeding the people of the world? How about let’s start by scrapping the INSANE policy of keeping the high-grade food (corn) we used to ship to the rest of the world and turning it into low-grade automobile fuel?

August 20, 2014 8:53 am

You sure this isn’t being promoted by the cows in the Chick-fil-a commercials.
“Eat Mor Krikets”

August 20, 2014 8:56 am

There’s almost no difference between crickets and crawdads. Hell, I’d bet a cricket etouffee would be delicious. Or cockroach bisque. Can’t be any worse than what Michelle is trying to force-feed our school kids.

Tom J
August 20, 2014 8:59 am

I say let’s eat cicadas. Every 17 years in Spring in the Chicago area the juvenile cicada grubs burrow up from the ground, climb up the tree stumps, and metamorphous into winged adults. The area literally gets invaded. They’re everywhere; hundreds of abandoned shells at different heights can be seen clutching to one single tree trunk. It’s impossible to walk the sidewalks without stepping on them. Their mating calls from the forests can be heard from inside your car with the windows closed at 70mph down the 6 lane Tri-State Expressway west of the city.
When I was to leave the work force for good in April 2007 (my 23 year employer determined I had become too costly a medical liability) I considered myself lucky that the 17 year emergence of the cicadas coincided with it. I didn’t have to travel to the Grand Canyon, or Yellowstone to see a natural wonder. I merely had to walk out my door.
I’m making a short story long. Anyway, yes, I ate them. The juvenile grubs are edible if they’re picked from the trees before they transform into the hard shelled, winged adults. A friend of mine invited people over for a cicada dinner. Instead of a sausage pizza we had a cicada pizza. And he made spaghetti and used cicadas for the meat sauce. His wife wouldn’t eat it but the rest of us did. How did they taste?
He over-salted them.

August 20, 2014 9:08 am

Uhhh . . . If we can’t feed 9 billion people, there won’t be 9 billion poeple.
h/t George Carlin

John ;0)
August 20, 2014 9:09 am

As long as I can get a bucket of Kentucky Fried Krickets from the Kernel and two free sides I’m good.
Also I see lots of posts about how we can ramp up rice production to feed the masses, but then I think who in hell can eat rice more that once or twice a month….not me thats for sure ;0)

Mary Brown
August 20, 2014 9:15 am

I saw my Mexican neighbor this morning and asked her about eating crickets in Mexico. This is what she said…
Mi marido le encanta comer grillos pero mi pitbull no se los comerá.
In a nutshell, her husband loves them but her pit bull won’t touch the things.
I’ll go with the dog on this one.

August 20, 2014 9:20 am

Sorry, I can’t go there. Crickets are the cutest bug ever. Second only to Ladybugs.

Newly Retired Engineer
August 20, 2014 9:22 am

What E M Smith said about California’s Central Valley was true. However, as we are told by the MSM and our Government in Sacramento, we have a serious drought. Even presient Obama came out to the Valley and made a speech, and offered Federal aid.
According to my friends in Bakersfield (the southern part of the Central Valley), the lack of water has taken its toll on the farmers. About the only ones still growing anything are those with their own wells – the normal water supply from the Sacramento River Delta and the mountains is pretty much gone. (Admittedly, the Delta water had already been curtailed to protect some smelts and support the salmon farms.)
This has already lead to significant unemployment and, if the water supply ever recovers, we wonder if the farms will come back. It also means that a country that has always been self-sufficient in food will be importing ever more food, and prices will go up.

August 20, 2014 9:23 am

John the Baptist probably ate the seeds & pulp of the seed pod of locust trees, ie carob, rather than the insect locusts.

Eustace Cranch
August 20, 2014 9:45 am

milodonharlani says:
August 20, 2014 at 9:23 am
John the Baptist probably ate the seeds & pulp of the seed pod of locust trees, ie carob, rather than the insect locusts.
Oh, I’ll bet John ate a locust or two in his day.

more soylent green!
August 20, 2014 9:53 am

wws says:
August 20, 2014 at 7:56 am
What about the Soylent Green?

Yes, what?

August 20, 2014 9:58 am

Locusts were a delicacy at that time.
In the Sahel in West Africa, the insect of choice is a large flying ant that swarms in mating season. These are harvested by different means and it wasn’t unusual to have the grilled bugs served as snacks with your beer at the local buvette.

Joe Wooten
August 20, 2014 10:02 am

I’ll consider eating bugs when I see Algore, Mann, and the rest of the warmistas make them a regular part of their diet and can prove it……….

August 20, 2014 10:13 am

Actually, crickets are quite good. In Japan, they’re deep fried, then marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and cane sugar for a crunchy-salty-sugary epicurean delight.
They’re called suzumushi 「鈴虫」which translates to “bell insect” for the sound they make.
Some Japanese children even keep a giant species of cricket as pets; but they don’t eat those… That would be cruel and give the poor little tykes nightmares…

August 20, 2014 10:28 am

My hens just love Orthoptera! One of my hens eats slugs, but the rest won’t touch those.
So, to sum: grasshoppers and slugs go in, and eggs come out. We then use the eggs for various quiches, baked goods, and breakfast. This provides an excellent source of high quality protein to the children. “Eggs are naturally rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and iodine. They also contain vitamin A and a number of other B vitamins including folate, biotin, pantothenic acid and choline, and essential minerals and trace elements, including phosphorus.” .
These progressive scientists, academics and alternative nutritionists are not very civilized, are they?

August 20, 2014 10:35 am

Also, the USA already produces food for 1.2 billion Americans and we waste 75% of it.

I have a bottle scraper that I bought from Amazon for $5. It has a flexible, rounded tip mounted at a right angle to the handle. It’s much more effective at scraping food off the side of a can or bottle than a spoon or spatula—especially thick food like chili or peanut butter. And its flat rear edge can be used to scrape food out of plastic microwave trays. Here’s Amazon’s link to it:–Order/dp/B003D2OG34/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1404741633&sr=1-2&keywords=bottle+scraper
It provides four benefits:
1. It reduces wasted food.
2. It reduces the gunk flushed down the drain (if the user washes out his cans and bottles before recycling them). This reduces the amount of work that sewage treatment plants must do. It also cuts down on pipe blockages in the home.
3. It makes the cans and bottles more economically recyclable (especially if the user isn’t in the habit of washing out his cans and bottles before recycling them). I spoke a couple of months ago to Robin Freedman, Senior Manager for Communications at Waste Management Corp. She told me that it’s good to wash out the innards of cans–and to clean all plastics too. Recyclers are increasingly rejecting dirty material.
4. Its ease of use and effectiveness, compared to previous methods, pleases the user.

Mumbles McGuirck
August 20, 2014 10:41 am

Joe Wooten says:
August 20, 2014 at 10:02 am
I’ll consider eating bugs when I see Algore, Mann, and the rest of the warmistas make them a regular part of their diet and can prove it……….
I dunno. I think Algore will pretty much eat ANYTHING.

August 20, 2014 10:43 am

Oldseadog says:
August 20, 2014 at 8:25 am
Jings, which word put my post into “waiting for moderation”?

Probably “Hollyrood”. I suspect WP is flagging every word that isn’t in its dictionary.

more soylent green!
August 20, 2014 10:48 am

Shark Tank is way ahead of you here:
If I recall correctly, everybody in Shark Tank passed on funding. However, the publicity alone has really helped move the product:

August 20, 2014 10:52 am

James Hastings-Trew says:
It’s too early to comment coherently. I need another cup of Soylent Brown.
I don’t think they’re offering colors yet:

August 20, 2014 10:53 am

Can that bottle scraper be used to devein crickets, roaches, and grubs? Many people are allergic to shrimp waste and have a bad reaction to improperly cleaned bugs from the sea. Not to mention crickets on the hoof have a gawd-awful smell.
Maybe we should be using these bugs for biofuel rather than using people food like corn – it doesn’t require nearly as much acreage and water, and they can easily be compressed into ready-to-burn logs and bricks or slurried and cracked into liquid fuels and oils. There is probably at least one Hiroshima unit of crawly energy in your average New York tenement. And they’re renewable.

Leon Brozyna
August 20, 2014 11:21 am

Let them WaPo folk eat crickets … I prefer a tasty filet mignon … though that’s likely to give my cardiologist a fit, so I’ll stick to the dinosaur white meat (aka chicken).

Mary Brown
Reply to  Leon Brozyna
August 20, 2014 11:41 am

Leon says…
“I prefer a tasty filet mignon … though that’s likely to give my cardiologist a fit”
Fortunately for you, the saturated fat and global warming issues have much in common. Both have been considered “settled science”. But not so fast. Turns out when you take away the fried food and trans fats and processed meats like hot dogs and sausage, then regular old saturated fat isn’t bad for you at all. So have your steak and butter and eggs and cream and be happy.

August 20, 2014 11:59 am

When I was a boy on the farm, we had a very large bunch of crickets suddenly around the house. It was sort of a mess with them crawling on the walls and steps and covering the patio. I had the bright idea of chasing the geese up to get them. The geese went after them like industrial vacuum cleaners and the crickets were gone in no time. But the geese soon covered everything with a green slimy residue of their own and they kept coming back looking for crickets. My folks weren’t too happy. We ended up eating most of the geese except for one old hen. She made the mistake of chasing an old sow out of the barn by pecking at its rear end and hitting it in the sides with her wings. The old sow went and got her half grown litter and they came back and tore the goose into little pieces. I guess mother goose learned not to mess with mama pig.

August 20, 2014 12:00 pm

I claim a religious exemption.

August 20, 2014 12:20 pm

I’d trade my grilled steak for grilled crickets but they keep falling through the spaces on my wire rack.

Stephen Richards
August 20, 2014 12:21 pm

The BBC have been promoting insect dinners for a while . I guess that’ part of their commitment to Greenpiss and their EU 6.000.000€ funding.

August 20, 2014 12:40 pm

I suggest sending all of our “progressives” over to Syria to fight in the climate jihad.
If they do not come back then that should solve their Malthusian “population bomb” problem/hysteria.
Lead by example. Michael Mann and Obama should go first.

Chip Javert
August 20, 2014 12:49 pm

Just exactly how is eating cattle not sustainable?

ferd berple
August 20, 2014 12:58 pm

The insects, which are sustainable and nutritious
if crickets are sustainable, why are cattle not? they both require vegetation to as feedstock. you might be able to grow more crickets on the same amount of food during summer, but you need to keep the crickets warm over the winter, which takes energy. Which is ultimately not sustainable.
Cattle are able to keep themselves warm year round on the food they eat, without any need to additional energy. So it could be argued that cattle are more sustainable than insects as a food source, as soon as you move outside the tropics.

ferd berple
August 20, 2014 1:08 pm

regular old saturated fat isn’t bad for you at all
this has been known for some time, but largely unreported. US war dead from WWII showed little or no signs of heart disease. US war dead from the Korean war showed advanced heart disease even in young men.
The major difference, the introduction of artificial (hydrogenated) fat during WWII – fat that did not rot at room temperature. Fat that humans were not genetically selected to eat. Why would anyone assume that food that did not rot naturally would be safe to eat? Isn’t digestion a form of rot?
The money quote:
A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.”

August 20, 2014 1:14 pm

SAVE THE CRICKETS! EAT BEEF! Would that make a good bumper sticker?

August 20, 2014 1:29 pm

You could be right, although it is at Holyrood that our parliament meets.

August 20, 2014 1:30 pm

ferd berple beat me to it.
That is, just how are the higher and lower latitudes expected to harvest bugs in mid-winter? 3 plus months is a long time waiting for the little pests to become edible. Not even cockroaches grow very well in winter, i.e. unless they’re closely sharing living space with us. Even then it requires a lot of roaches even when mood moderated with roaches.
If the eco-bats insist that cows, chickens, pigs and other regular meat products are sacred, I’d rather raise quail; they’re clean, can be raised indoors, fairly quiet, quick growing, eat modified grain products, lay gourmet eggs and darn tasty. A few ducks, geese, turkeys out in the yard would greatly round out the table; some types of ducks are prolific egg layers, nearly matching the most productive chicken egg layers. Hard to beat chickens that are fryers in six weeks, roasters in eight weeks or ducks that reach roasting size almost as quick.
Not forgetting that all of the above fowl love bugs of any kind. My best years for controlling Japanese beetles were the years I raised ducks; pea fowl and chickens are just as good at removing ticks from an area.
Pest control and delicious table food, what more could one want? (Geese and ducks are great at weed control, sort of; ducks often rightfully view some flowers as weeds. Duck also decided that my rhododendrons looked good one winter. I didn’t eat any duck eggs for a few weeks, but the ducks were unaffected.)

August 20, 2014 1:30 pm

And that didn’t go to moderation, so back to the drawing board.

August 20, 2014 1:40 pm

Crickets by proxy are delicious. This is the time of year I eat ’em as much as possible.
My garden is full of crickets due to the application of straw to reduce the need for watering. Crickets love the straw and fish love the crickets and I love the fish! Proxies indeed!

John ;0)
August 20, 2014 1:43 pm

I wonder if the exoskeleton is digestible?
If it isn’t, it might be like passing a pipe wrapped in 80 grit sandpaper ;0)

August 20, 2014 1:44 pm

Oldseadog says:
August 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm
And that didn’t go to moderation, so back to the drawing board.

Maybe it’s a one-time thing–after the moderator accepts it, it doesn’t get flagged again. (?)

August 20, 2014 1:45 pm

PS: My comment above went into moderation.

August 20, 2014 1:51 pm

I foresee problems however with the plan as demonstrated by this children’s nursery rhyme produced by the the British Council.

Rather interestingly the good Dr Viner who is also so deeply concerned at cheeeldrens feelings about having no snow also now works for the British Council…..Is it a plot?

August 20, 2014 1:55 pm

Sincere apologies..He USED to work for the British Council but the nursery rhyme above is three years old.

charles nelson
August 20, 2014 2:02 pm

Shrimp are aquatic insects.

August 20, 2014 2:30 pm

Yeah, there is enormous waste of food in the modern industrial counties, but food also rots in the 3rd world due to lack or refrigeration/modern transportation. What would help the issue? Cheap, abundant energy –lots of it. One of the most nefarious things about the CAGW movement is how it causes so much unnecessary misery to the 3rd world, now and until this lunacy is seen for what it is. And when it comes to population reduction, the 3rd world is also the place with a bulls eye on it. My God have mercy on those that that create this unnecessary misery, and may He open their eyes to the truth.

August 20, 2014 3:01 pm

Good news – I believe per Leviticus that crickets can be Kosher. You may eat winged swarming insects if they use their legs to hop on the ground!

Tom Mills
August 20, 2014 3:03 pm

The earth’s climate is such that large parts of it are only capable of growing grass. Humans can’t eat grass. Cattle eat grass. We eat the cattle. Problem solved.

August 20, 2014 3:14 pm

@Newly Retired Engineer:
Yes, the machinations of abuse to the water supply are “an issue”. Gov. Moonbeam wants to put the Sacramento River into a $10 Billion hole in the ground (tunnel) and ship it to the L.A. area. (Shades of “Peripheral Canal”… but this is different, it’s underground and costs more…)
Never mind that the river is being sent out to sea to keep the bait fish happy (smelt) instead of being put on farm land.
Oh, the other bit of stupid: Folks have a “use it or lose it” attitude about water rights, so if you have been growing a water intensive crop ( like cotton or tomatoes) in the desert of Kern County, you need to keep on using up that water or it gets reallocated. Lots of high water use that isn’t really all that useful and / or could be used more effectively.
Final Rant: About 5% of all the water goes to cities. So what happens in a drought? All sorts of loony schemes to save water … in the cities… like not flushing for a day or two and letting things pile up. All so that about 5% of 5% can be “saved”…. And that after they flushed the water the dams stored in wet years instead of banking it for a dry year… Sigh.
Glad I’m gone from the place.
Per Insects:
Well, I’ve eaten a few. Some ‘unexpectedly’, like little weavils and wormy things in some cerial I didn’t look at too closely. Didn’t like the experience of “discovery” but the cerial was tasty 😉 Also, early on (about 7?) my sister fed me some Chocolate Covered Ants…. Seemed dissapointed when I asked if I could have more… Hey, it was chocolate … kind of like crunchy rice crispy treats in chocolate with a bit of tart tang to them….
I’ve likely eaten a few others, too, without noticing too much.
Per crawdads: Yes, first cousins of bugs, but… Lets just say that Mud Hens are a close cousin of pheasant too, but I know which one I want on the plate… (Not the one that tasts like mud, hence the name… Not all related species taste the same…)
@Mary Brown:
I’ve been pointing that out to folks for years. Glad to see the literature is catching up. It’s the trans-fats that were treated as the same as other “hard fats” (i.e. saturated) that are the issue. Not beef. (An early test of hydrogenated vs saturated experiment fed ‘tri-stearate’ fat and found no change to cholesterol.)
Eat eggs, beef, and roast chicken. Avoid any food with “Hydrogenated” or “mono-glyceride” or “di-glyceride” on the lable. Likely ‘inter-esterified’ too, though I’ve not investigated that one yet. Butter, cheese, even gravy (made yourself from real animal fat pan drippings, not with anything hydrogenated…)
@Chip Javert:
It is important to have some ruminant in the food production system. (Cows, goats, sheep ) Why? They can digest the cellulosic parts (leaves / stems / cobs ) that you can not. More total food is produced. You eat the corn, then they eat the ‘silage’ and you eat them…
Folks who advocate for vegetarian diets to make more food available are missing the optimum point. Yes, it is at far less than we eat now (and not corn fed cows / pigs…) but the optimum production point MUST have ruminants in the mix. (Though we grow so much stuff that having some chickens to eat the bugs and feeding a bit of corn to the pigs for bacon is well worth doing…) But a pure vegetarian system is always less than optimum.
(For those about to rant at me about the virtues of vegetarianism: About 1/2 my family is vegetarian. I cook vegetarian meals often. I’m fine with it as a personal choice and it can fix many health issues [while it can cause some others if you get the mix wrong]. It is just not true, though, to claim it is the optimum production point. It isn’t. Range Land is only efficiently usable as steak on the hoof… )
Once I had a horrible snail problem. (The French imported them to California as ‘free’ food source… I used to be mad at them for that, then found out they compete with our native slugs… I’ll take snails over slugs… but I digress…) My garden was a sad thing. There were hords of them under the fence rails and anywhere shady…
I got 2 ducks. (Indian Runner). About 1/2 year later, they went on their way. In between, they had studiously scoured the entire yard of any / all mollusks. It was a good decade later before I had a snail problem again… Lord I love ducks 😉
Per Moderation:
There’s no good way to tell why WordPress does what it does. A site owner can add a few words to a no-no list, or list folk to moderate 100%, but can not ‘un-moderate’ any of the things W.P. does on its own. Heck, I was shoved into moderation at my own site! a couple of times.
I think it is a huristic based on what the collective of all site owners flag as SPAM, ground up and digested through some alien DNA process 😉
Best it not to question why:
“Why? Don’t ask why. Down that path lies insantity and ruin. -E.M.Smith”
Just go with the flow…

David in Texas
August 20, 2014 3:14 pm

I have eaten crickets when I worked in Mexico. They are considered by some, not all, as a treat. They were fried with lots of chili and salt added which is all you can taste. And yes, you can feel the texture of the wings and legs. And no, they did not make me sick. And no, I would not recommend them.

Timo van Druten
August 20, 2014 3:31 pm

A Dutch professor and expert in agriculture has confirmed on numerous occassions that with current agriculture area and using all our expertise, the Earth can feed 40 billion people. We should definitely be able to feed 9 billion people atking into consideration that we waste a lot of food and on occassion we can definitely eat less.

Richards in Vancouver
August 20, 2014 3:36 pm

After a month or so at sea, the mariners in the Hornblower and Aubrey books would tap the weevils out of their hard tack. But surely those weevils would be a source of complete protein, perhaps even some vitamin C.
Ditto barnacles from the hull. But don’t anyone here tell me that keel-hauled sailors didn’t look quite as healthy as the non-keelhauled. Method! Method!

Richards in Vancouver
August 20, 2014 3:43 pm

Further thought: for anyone with a slug or snail problem, the answer is geese! Terrific watchdogs, too. And at the end of season you still get to eat those slugs and snails, but at second hand. Win-win, if not perhaps from the point of view of the slugs and snails.

August 20, 2014 4:34 pm

I forget the exact numbers off the top of my head, buta few animals are super efficient at turning their food into meat, such as tilapia, and carp which can happily eat insects. I think its something like 1.2 pounds of food per 1 pound of growth in tilapia, you further loose a bit more when processing the fish, but if efficiency is the goal, then fish (or maybe conturnix quail) is something you might actually be able to convince people to do readily in this generation. Insects? marginal at best.
Of course Im not sure the real goal is efficiency…

Mario Lento
August 20, 2014 5:05 pm

“…current food production will have to double [for sustainable ethanol food for fuel program]/sarc off

Greg Locock
August 20, 2014 5:18 pm

I’ve always wondered why people are so averse to eating crickets, yet will pay a lot of money for prawns. I haven’t eaten crickets, predictably enough my Thai friends claim they taste like chicken.

Mike T
August 20, 2014 5:27 pm

“Clearly math (sic) and research are not the warmists (sic) strong suit. I might also add that in Australia at least, more than 70% of arable land is not cultivated.” Define “arable”? I’ve covered a great part of this country and have noted that where land is capable of carrying a crop, it is cropped. Where it’s not, it’s used for grazing stock (at very low stocking rates) . Apart from the generally poor soil fertility across much of this continent, the limiting factor in agriculture is of course, water. Australia’s best soils are along the east coast, and much of it’s being covered by McMansions and associated infrastructure.

August 20, 2014 7:05 pm

Can I get a grant for cricket farming? To reduce cow farts and save the world?

John ;0)
August 20, 2014 7:40 pm

lee says:
August 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm
You would likely need to get a fart to weight ratio study done comparing cows to crickets before you apply for a grant
For all we know crickets might be some flatulent little fellows ;0)

Mark Luhman
August 20, 2014 9:01 pm

Mike T, I live in Arizona the so call soil looks like hell but can grow just about anything if you add water. This was a revelation to some on who grew up in an area where gets plenty of water and when they started to grow wheat on it ran wheat for 25 years straight and had no lose of yield. The Red river valley of the north is where I grew up even the 1930 had a minimal affect on that land, but I digress.
The thing about desert soil if you pour water on it it will grow just about anything as long as it was not on the bottom of a dry lake, if it a dry lake the alkali will kill just about anything. The reason is the plant nutrients have not been washed out of it. In the desert the problem is general water as long as you are not talking sand dunes. The sad thing about the imperial valley in California an other semi arid ares, is not the lack of water if the lack of proper distribution.
the example I would use is the Missouri river system and it reservoirs are full to the brim again, Billions of acre feet have been flushed down the Missouri with major flooding in 2011, yet in the early 2000.s it was low on water, now the Colorado is low all though I expect that that is do to over optimistic projection on it ability to furnish water. I believe that the Glen canyon dam and Lake Powell should never been created unless those who did understood at time both Lake Powell and Lake Mead would be holding less than half their capacity at times. It is certain the the resident of the adjourn states and the media don not understand this.
The reality is if we were to use nuclear power and reverse osmosis water plants or set up system that could transport water over vast distances, the human race has the ability to make most desert bloom regardless of the rainfall. All can be done at a cost that is not prohibitive it only will take the political will to pull it of and an understanding at least half the time the plants and or canals will be not needed.
The reality is the greenies kill most of the projects, Their of the unknown is great or they just hate people take your pick. The killed a plan to move water from Missouri river to the Red River for municipal water and killed irrigation on the James river which is part of the Missouri river system on the fear of species being introduced into the red that do not exist there. The reality the species introduction happen anyway and now the Zebra mussel problem is in the Red river system and presently spreading regardless of canals or irrigation projects.
So the message i have is presently water and food are only a political problem not a technology problem and will remain that way for as long as their are humans on earth.

Mark Luhman
August 20, 2014 9:26 pm

John ;0 I don’t know about crickets but i will never forgive the grasshopper that at the hole in my nylon window screens in the drought in western North Dakota in the 1980, I hope that nylon killed the (little, no he was not little he was about 2 inches long) bugger. I do know that the ground squirrels would eat them, I do not think I would want to even though I had ample opportunity to since I had to vacuum them out from under the hood of the car when they filled most of the voids in it, I missed the biggest void though about three years later the car was over heating and I replace the radiator the real problem was half of the space between the air condition condenser and the radiator was full of their carcasses.

John ;0)
August 20, 2014 9:59 pm

As a child between 1968 and 1972 I lived in phoenix, and I remember a locust storm, kind of a big deal for an eight year old, I collected nearly a full brown paper bag of the little critters ;0)

August 20, 2014 10:49 pm

“…E.M.Smith says: August 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm
@Newly Retired Engineer:

Per Insects:
Well, I’ve eaten a few. Some ‘unexpectedly’,…”

Yeah, I used to ride a motorcycle for daily transportation. Bugs just seem to come out of nowhere during the 5 seconds one’s mouth is open. The bumble bee that hit my neckline and fell, rather angrily I thought, into my shirt caused me the most grief as I ripped off buttons and flapped.
Chocolate covered bugs, candy coated bugs, grasshoppers, crickets or scorpions speared on a stick and toasted over a fire.
I did once refuse to eat a juicy looking spider. My Brother told me my loss and scarfed it down, fresh and lively no less; it was some large prowling ambush spider in the American West, not a tarantula. I reminded my Brother about the time he pounced on a large Eastern spider and immediately skewered it on a fishing hook for bait. Without any success, no fish touched the hairy thing. Shuddering time.
@Newly Retired Engineer:
I didn’t think about slugs and snails and I wondered for several years why we had so few fireflies, (fireflies feed on slugs and snails). Nor did I see many slugs or snails. Time to buy another flush of ducks my favorites were the rouens, they look like large mallards, as I’m seeing too many of the slimy things on my orchids now. I wouldn’t mind trying to raise some wood ducks, but they’re harder to keep local to a residence.
Pekins are cool too, bland looking but great personalities. Our largest duck was a Pekin male who ostensibly ruled the flock. One day we noticed his alpha mate was limping so I caught the little hen and checked her leg carefully, no injury, and I let her go. she promptly raised holy heck with her leader drake. While she was berating her drake I noticed she was still limping, but seemed to favor the other leg; so I caught her again, same routine. The moment she got free she really started in on her old man, pecking at his head and buffeting him with her wings and quacking the whole time. She gave him a hard time every time she saw me for weeks; sorry lady, I’m just bringing water and food or collecting eggs.
A neighbor of mine kept a goose for several years; terrific guard beast, he was happy to bite or hit people if given the chance. Noisy too when he was upset.

Olaf Koenders
August 21, 2014 12:05 am

People already eat plenty of arthropods, such as crab, lobster and shrimp – all related to the insect family. I don’t though. Mammalian meat is far better. Dolphins taste like chicken.. 😉

August 21, 2014 1:09 am

Mike T says:
August 20, 2014 at 5:27 pm
Sorry you don’t like my abreviated grammar ….
Anyway, Abare sends me reports. Also, you can look it up somewhere at 70 percent of arable land (mostly across the top end) is not under cultivation or is locked up in national or state forests. In many cases arable land that could be used for intensive farming is stocked with a few biological lawn mowers, rather than cultivated properly. Not to mention there are more than a few 100+ ac horse studs around. I do not accept that the occasional biological lawnmower at 1 per acre or horse properties, or even the ever present fallow fields, are “food production” in any practical sense of the word. We in Australia probably extract less than 5% of the possible food production from our land.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 21, 2014 2:05 am

Back in college I decided to get over my fear of spiders by buying a tarantula. Named it Clarence, never did find out the actual sex. Then was told the university frowned on such pets so I took it home, and let my mother work on her fear of spiders.
Now there was a creature that was happy with a bag of crickets from the pet store.
Then I found out people eat tarantulas. Nowadays fried spider is a common food in some parts. The Internet has recipes and how-to videos!
Wow. Some years before my parents had bought a live lobster to see what the fuss was about. I “killed it with kindness” within hours trying to keep it alive in a large fishbowl. Didn’t cook up that great, still don’t like them.
I had that tarantula for years before it died. That makes it my worst case of playing with my food ever.

August 21, 2014 3:04 am

The problem is not in quantity of food but in the distribution: comparitively wealthy countries have too much & as a result waste most of it, poorer countries don’t have enough (largely due to the machinations of WWT, IMF & World Bank)

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 21, 2014 3:14 am

Also, the USA already produces food for 1.2 billion Americans and we waste 75% of it.
I always wonder where these numbers come from. Sometimes it’s 40%, now it’s 75%.
Then I think about how much of the chicken I made is bones, fat that’s left in the pan, giblets and skin. Banana peels. Cantaloupe seeds and rind. Apple cores.
Look at an ear of corn. Remove the husk and silk, save only the layer of kernels for eating, discard the cob. Then there’s pork ribs, you could leave 75% of the weight behind on the plate as bones.
How much of this “waste” is the difference between what is currently considered edible food and the original food item? Sure, there are many third-world countries with less food waste. They eat chicken feet and necks and tongues and eyes and brains!

Mary Brown
August 21, 2014 5:35 am

Nice discussion from Ted Talks on food waste. Very informative. I don’t think there is any way to know how much, for sure.

August 21, 2014 9:19 am

The food that would be wasted by pre and post harvest fungus and molds is mostly averted by the use of fungicides.
For example, organic growers throw three out of four strawberries away by removing them when they show signs of fungus growth. Peach growers also routinely lost 75% of their crop in the past because of molds and mildews which we now control through fungicides.
It is organic growers that waste food as they are beginning to ban the use of fungicides.

August 21, 2014 9:36 am

The EPA is on a warpath regarding “food waste.” I had a chance to look into some of the programs, which right now are voluntary, used to supposedly avert all of this waste.
The government regulation of food portions is the ultimate goal of this “food waste” propaganda offensive, in my opinion. One of the solutions is a strictly regulated type of packaging, with government regulated, smaller daily portions. Yes there are already environmentally friendly packagers lined up who would no doubt benefit very greatly from new regulations on food packaging and sizes. That is usually the whole point of mandates, in my experience. Coerced customers.
Since the global warming scare is loosing its effectiveness, the “local only” and smaller, regulated portions which would have been introduced through AGW policies are now being shifted to a “food waste” program. We have many ways of keeping food, including flash freezing, freezing, canning, using preservatives, vacuum sealing, and dehydrating. This “food waste” hobby horse is an EPA power grab over the food supply in my estimation. I think every one here would benefit from limiting the EPA’s power or eliminating it altogether. You will have noticed the expansion of the Clean Water legislation to include any water on any one’s property. That is how the EPA roles.

Gary Pearse
August 21, 2014 10:11 am

I ate some salty roasted locusts (they were canned) at a student party in Stockholm. The taste was nutty but the bits of wings, armor plates, legs… were like unpeeled shrimp. I found I drank a lot more beer at this party. In Nigeria, I also ate fried termites. When they hatched, they flew out of holes in the ground in clouds. Locals had big wok like pans of water with a lantern over it to attract kilos of these things. They were like tiny sausages and weren’t bad at all – but I’ll wait until the butcher shops run out of renewable beef before I take to the habit.

August 21, 2014 10:14 am

Here’s a three-year-old thread on the same topic and advice:
BTW: A couple of years ago there was a thread on the announcement that Japanese researchers had managed to convert cow poop into hamburgers. I commented, “Want flies with that?”

August 21, 2014 10:16 am

Here is one of the EPA’s policies (voluntary at this point) for supermarkets, to reduce “food waste”:
“Source Reduction/Prevention
Hannaford Supermarkets is a full service grocer with 181 stores in the New England region. As a part of their commitment to sustainability and providing the best food to their customers, they implemented food waste prevention strategies to reduce the amount of surplus food generated. Strategies include fresh truck deliveries every day instead of forecasting out orders and a computer-assisted ordering system to order appropriately based on inventory and sales predictions. Learn more (PDF) (2 pp, 409 Kb)”
Excuse me, I do not think that daily truck deliveries are a good business model necessarily. I have already heard trendy local markets advertising that they get the food delivered daily from local producers. The use of a semi truck to deliver 40,000 pounds of freight from Florida to a distribution center, and then to the store close to you, enables you to eat oranges, for example; and nitpicking molecules by introducing daily delivery guidelines is not an improvement. It is a straightjacket. We also must support our growers, who use fungicides and pesticides, trucks, refrigeration, canning, and freezing, to sell their food all over the country and all over the world. This local only, “food waste” offensive is sheer and utter nonsense!

August 21, 2014 10:20 am

From the EPA’s Food Waste and Food Recovery Resource page, please take time to look at the Food Recovery Hierarchy graphic:
The largest base of the triangle diagram is “source reduction.”

August 21, 2014 10:23 am

Most supermarkets already donate food to the local food banks, or privately owned and operated thrift stores, or churches. Obviously all of you are so well-off you do not realize that people think of these things without the EPA telling Americans what to do with food that did not sell.

John ;0)
August 21, 2014 10:28 am

I really wish I hadn’t read your post, I had no idea that I was supposed to be tossing 3 out of 4 strawberries ;0)
As a 100% organic grower with a medium size hobby garden at 15000 sq ft I rarely toss anything
Making the switch to organic was a challenge though, it is a lot more work, I often think about the good old days, when all I had to do was hose my garden with petrochemicals every 15 days then stand back with crossed arms acting like I did something special ;0)
I actually get dirt under my fingernails now ;0)

August 21, 2014 10:46 am

That is interesting, John. You have not said whether you use fungicides or fumigants, or not, as an organic grower. Some of these are in the process of being needlessly eliminated by organic growers. Some of them still use the fungicides.
You also did not address the yield loss you experience due to verticillium wilt, grey mold, or fruit rot, which is the reason the commercial organic growers have to throw away the infected fruit. A little warm weather and moisture causes these to spread quickly in a strawberry field. Controlling these has resulted in a yield increase for strawberries of 5-6 fold. This means many more tons of strawberries produced on 1/3 the land in the UK, for example.
Folks, food waste must by definition include food that was destroyed by molds, mildews, wilts, spots, and all other pathogens. We also have come to reasonably expect that our food would not have worms or molds in it when we purchase it.

August 21, 2014 10:56 am

Ah ha, perhaps including insects in the human diet is the necessary “paradigm shift” for the organic-only lobby.
This would facilitate lifting the laws which forbid more than 2% bugs in your cans of tomatoes. Very convenient for the loud, NGO funded organic lobby.

Mike T
Reply to  Zeke
August 21, 2014 7:21 pm

Zeke, “Pure Food Laws” in place when I worked in the food industry four decades ago allowed for a percentage of insect parts (just in case a cockroach fell into a batch) and mineral oil (from the manufacturing process, obviously, machinery needed to be lubricated). In Australia, before GST, sales taxes were different on products containing cocoa, so some strange products, such as a stawberry-flavoured milk additive plus the ready- made flavoured milk contained cocoa.

August 21, 2014 11:02 am

John says, “As a 100% organic grower with a medium size hobby garden at 15000 sq ft I rarely toss anything”
What do you grow, John?

August 21, 2014 11:15 am

Answer honestly to back up your statement that you are not throwing away infected and destroyed fruits, vegetables, herbs, and root crops. This is a very educated audience with a wealth of experience. I know I spend a lot of extra time cutting out bugs and spots in my apples and pears for the canning season. It is very labor intensive. Losses for some trees are 100% around here. You cannot eat it, and no country would ever import it either – which is another point. Quarantines.

John ;0)
August 21, 2014 11:27 am

The only thing I use is neem oil, The two big issues I have are downy mildew and tomato blight Neem works good on downy mildew but it needs to be applied before the mildew shows up
Tomato blight is easily controlled by using a barrier between the plant and ground and picking the infected leaves off, a little neem helps too
The only fruit I gow is rhubarb and strawberries I have never sprayed either, I simply pick any bugs I find
Squash bugs, spray neem before they show up works good, after not so good
Aphids on corn a little shot of neem just as the tassels start to show and then a little more 1 week later
Peppers all varieties, never do anything to them except pick bugs, and then i’m not sure if the japanese beetles are really doing anything harmful to the plants anyway
Carrots, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Radishes, Peas, Green Beans…. nothing it seems the bugs don’t like these plants
Half the battle is catching stuff before it happens

John ;0)
August 21, 2014 11:38 am

I forgot potatoes, picking the occasional potato bug and the japanese beetles, I have great sandy loam at the high end of my property, perfect for taters no rot as of yet ;0)

August 21, 2014 11:51 am

Winter of ’45…well played.

August 21, 2014 12:04 pm

Anecdotal statements online about gardening successes are one thing, but if anyone has any illusions about the hundreds of problems faced by the tomato and potato growers, I can offer this simple trouble shooting list for tomatoes:
(This page is just the last dozen of over 60 problems encountered by tomato plants, many of which wipe out all fruit.)
For any other interested observers, please at least do an image search of potato diseases and pests. At least visually scan the natural enemies of this crop. Like this:
Yet our northwest growers produce billions of pounds of potatoes which are excellent in visual and nutritional quality, and have long shelf lives so they are not discarded when you do not eat them right away. This is a wonderful achievement. Organic preferences are easily accomodated at specialty stores and by home gardens. However, soil which has been destroyed by blight and nematode presence is a serious threat and I would not take any free soil from these people on craigslist! Just a word to the wise.

August 21, 2014 1:00 pm

In re: proper diet, insects and food waste: A stay-at-home mom can grow and preserve 300 jars of food in one season on her first try, but let me tell you, she will spend a lot of hours per day watering, weeding, preparing, and processing. She will need some land, irrigation, dormant sprays and a number of other inexpensive and effective controls. The cost of sugar, jars, salts and vinegar will have to be watched so that no more than 40cents is spent per jar of food. Yet the high property taxes she pays for public schools (which she may or may not want to use) will make this move to a single income difficult. Women who stay at home have fallen to 25% of households in this country. These were the home growers of our past. The one you hated so much and said was chained to a kitchen sink, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, unfulfilled and wasting her education. Which is it?
The push for “inexpensive child care” will also be an added burden to mothers, as they are forced to pay higher taxes so that other women can give their children to experts and child day camps, and so these mothers can run off and buy designer organic food and organic cotton tampons at the Rich Hippy store. I don’t think that’s right. I am just telling you where this all leads. But all I hear about is the rights of girls to catch Johns on Broadway and shoot up at a younger and younger age. I believe the stay-at-home mom is getting destroyed in this discussion.

John ;0)
August 21, 2014 1:06 pm

Another thing I do to help stop plant disease, I plant with very wide spacing 5’x5′ for tomatoes grown in 5 ft tall steel baskets, potatoes 4’x4′ hilled 3 times, cucumbers, zucchini, squash and melons in different areas, never next to each other.
This year here in southern MI has been very cool, with evenly spaced rain and lots of sun,(no need to water this year) the bugs have been almost non existent and barring a catastrophe I will likely have grown one of my best gardens in the last 25 years, Knock on wood

August 21, 2014 1:23 pm

Meet me here in October John. We will see who laid by the most food from the season! (: By the way, 15000 sq ft is a nice hobby garden. Clearing and weeding, plus watering, plus controls of leafminers, etc. must take some commitment of hours. You might want to mention if you have a full or part time job. I know people think that food just grows on trees but experience and having a job in addition proves otherwise (; . Ty John. Enjoy.

John ;0)
August 21, 2014 2:01 pm

I was lucky enough to find an income source that allows me to work in my home shop (drills, grinders, plastic) and only takes about 20 hrs a week
My time in the garden is minimised by the spacing, I can run my rototiller all year and I use corn gluten for weed control, which is good but not great, before I switched to organic I used preen, that stuff works great, like I said I miss the old days, petrochemicals gota love em
The last time saver, I never let the weeds get taller than an inch, Its easy to go down though a row with a hoe and pluck the little weeds, big weeds require bending over and a back ache
I just finished freezing 54 full quart bags of sweet corn and have given away 15 shopping bags on the cob to friends and neighbors, its looking like next week will be the start of tomato canning, juice, salsa, and marinara sauce, gotta love the smell of fresh garlic and tomatoes simmering on the stove ;0) ;0) :0)

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 21, 2014 2:26 pm

From Zeke on August 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm:

(…) However, soil which has been destroyed by blight and nematode presence is a serious threat and I would not take any free soil from these people on craigslist! Just a word to the wise.

People are still using soil? Nutrient film technique hydroponics allows organic farming in the backyard. On the local Home and Backyard show they showed one small company that grew produce for local restaurants, the noted source of nutrients was from a tank of food fish they were also raising, think it was tilapia.
Which is part of the many types of hydroponics that can be practiced, with or without substrates that are organic or inorganic,
With the many methods available, that can be so inexpensive with reduced wastage that commercial growers make good profits with them, why are people still using soil? That is so 20th century!

August 21, 2014 3:00 pm

Kadaka inre hydroponics, I would be willing to make a small trial of rockwool next year.
Grodan Water Absorbent AgroDynamics Granulate Granulated rockwool 3.5 cubic feet 45 lbs $55.61
It would have to be a very small trial. (:

Dick of Utah
August 21, 2014 3:09 pm

First of all…. get some real crickets:

August 21, 2014 4:48 pm

“John ;0) says: August 21, 2014 at 10:28 am
I really wish I hadn’t read your post, I had no idea that I was supposed to be tossing 3 out of 4 strawberries ;0)
As a 100% organic grower with a medium size hobby garden at 15000 sq ft I rarely toss anything
Making the switch to organic was a challenge though, it is a lot more work, I often think about the good old days, when all I had to do was hose my garden with petrochemicals every 15 days then stand back with crossed arms acting like I did something special ;0)”

15,000 sq feet? 100′ X 150′, less than a quarter acre? Hobby is one correct descriptive for it; dilettante gardener would be another term for it.
Zeke was nice; he asked what you grew. Instead I’ll ask, how much of that food have you put up and/or sold?
Part of the name strawberries ‘straw’ seems apt because we used to cover the strawberries with straw for the winter and then rake the straw off of the plants in the spring leaving the straw bedding the plants to cut down on weeds. Etymology tells us that the reason for the ‘straw’ part of the name, (Old English examples; streawberige, streaberie) is lost; but certainly not drawn from covering the strawberries with straw as strawberries were wild picked long before they were cultivated.
The bolding is because the longer a field of strawberries are grown the more pervasive weeds and pest get; especially lovely weeds like thistle, jimson weed, mulberry (courtesy birds), dandelion, plantain (plantago major). slugs, beetles, and so on.
Even small plots get quite tedious very quickly.
A statement of yours along that line puzzles me, “…when all I had to do was hose my garden with petrochemicals every 15 days…”.
After my Father’s great experience trying organic farming back in the seventies which included an acre of strawberries; I learned my lesson and I don’t mind using aids such as insecticides and especially fungicides as all fruits quickly succumb to brown rot fungus in this part of Virginia. That is all fruits, there is nothing you can do organically that prevents it; the brown rot infection occurs at the flower stage.
If your garden is so easily pest free than you are isolated from native pest sources one way or the other, not because you are terrific at spotting and ‘nipping’ infestations before they get started.
By the way, Neem huh? If Neem is effective, and it is in a relatively minor fashion just what active ingredients do you think makes it effective?
Chemicals are chemicals whether found organically or manufactured. Usually, man moves to manufacture something when he can not find sufficient quantities in nature.

August 21, 2014 5:10 pm

Still Mine has several great strawberry scenes.

John ;0)
August 21, 2014 6:41 pm

dilettante gardener Interesting word, i’m really not sure how to take that LOL I’ve been known to dabble ;0)
1: a person whose interest in an art or in an area of knowledge is not very deep or serious
2: an admirer or lover of the arts
3: a person having a superficial interest in an art or a branch of knowledge : dabbler
Put up or sold/giveaway list from last year
5 bushels of potatoes with plenty of seed taters this spring
45 quarts frozen spinach and swiss chard
50 quarts frozen sweet corn, 15 or 20 shopping bags given away on the cob
45 +or- quarts frozen green beans
20 quarts frozen broccoli
1 bushel of carrots in the cellar
2 bushels onions in the cellar
230 quarts +or- a couple tomato juice, salsa, and marinara sauce
25 pints strawberry rhubarb jam
peas ate them as fast as they came on just love fresh peas
cucumber/pickles 30 quarts
dehydrated jalapeno/chilli peppers/habanero 3 quarts ( those will last a few years)
2 pints ground horseradish
2 quarts raspberries ate those right away ;0)
I usually put in a couple egg plants I eat 2 or 3 and give the rest away
10 or so heads of cabbage
dill weed
cherry tomatoes
acorn/summer/spaghetti squash in the cellar
zucchini, 40 loafs zucchini bread frozen
I think thats about it ;0)
when I finish with each veggie it gets plowed under
I went to the farmers market once 2 years ago sold a little over $200 never went back, not sure why
My lack of bugs, my dad and I always surmised that because I live on an island, in a sea of corn that might have something to do with the lack of bugs, farmers spray a lot of pesticide.
Strawberries I have 1 row about 30 feet long, I trim all the leaders and keep them in a row that I can straddle, anything that gets out side that row gets chewed up in the tiller
petrochemicals, liquid seven, ortho plant disease control, ortho fungicide mixed together in a hose sprayer, sprayed twice a month, and preen twice a year, you really dont have to do much with that combo ;0)
Neem, when I started looking into organic it was listed as a kind of a do all, It seems to do a good job, and it seems to work on grubs, I hardly ever see any when I till anymore, however the japanese beetles seem to like the stuff they fall off the plant roll around and crawl away.
And i’ll have you know, I am a master at nipping bugs…almost ninja like ;0) that and I have a good population of tree frogs and toads which I attribute to killing all the garter snakes

John ;0)
August 21, 2014 6:48 pm

Well thats disheartening I just made a long post answering all the questions ATheoK put to me and it vanished after I hit the post button I’ll give it another try tomorrow

Colorado Wellington
August 21, 2014 11:54 pm

Maybe I’ll fry up some grasshoppers tonight,” Po Campo said. “Grasshoppers make good eating if you fry them crisp and dip them in a little molasses.”
– Lonesome Dove

August 22, 2014 10:29 pm

You are playing at gardening, that is why the dilettante phrase; it is just something you find pleasant to do, neither your livelihood nor food supply is actually dependent on successful grow. Nor is a bad season serious trouble.
Gave away garden produce is a cop out. Sure neighbors might enjoy some fresh vegetables especially if you invite them over to pick their own. Otherwise you just might be a bother; hint watch Alton Brown’s ‘Good Eats’ episode ‘Deep Purple’ where his neighbor, Mr. McGregor keeps bringing him eggplant. Perhaps your local food bank might appreciate them more.

“John ;0) says: August 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm
…My lack of bugs, my dad and I always surmised that because I live on an island, in a sea of corn that might have something to do with the lack of bugs, farmers spray a lot of pesticide. …”

You are in a barren island, many of the pests are native to the area and happily get blown by the wind, follow enchanting aromas, (food or mates), upwind (especially things like Japanese beetles) and chance upon your patch.
Surrounded by corn greatly reduces the pests available to move over to your garden.
There are an incredible amount of erroneous assumptions about farmers and their sprays. My Brother-in-Law drops over $5,000 every time he goes to spray a hundred acres of fruit trees. Farmers get pennies where stores charge dollars; so he isn’t in any mood to just go have another spray to annoy the eco-batty.
Nor do farmers just douse plants with what sounds like a good mix, they specifically target the bugs they’re seeking to control.
Corn is attacked by around two dozen different pests and most of them are controlled by the same insecticides. Corn hybrids are used to handle most diseases and occasional fungicides to handle fungus. Interestingly is that corn smut that is so avoided in America is a delicacy in Mexico.
Really want to know what and when the farmer is spraying? Many states require that the farmer post a schedule that lists the spray schedule and what is sprayed. The farmer does get some leeway to deal with alternative spray days to deal with weather.
Your farmer neighbors are controlling the local supply of corn pests several of which don’t mind eating other plants and the lack of infested habitat greatly lessens other bugs showing up in masses. Trust me, squashing Colorado potato beetles is unpleasant and it can get quickly frustrating when their flying in from surrounding fields as fast as you squash them.
Birds love strawberries, Wind doesn’t care but blows endlessly except where turbines are; both bring seeds that take hold quickly often right at the base of the plant where the birds often land. Weeding these out with a hoe mean chopping the strawberry at the base seriously hurting that plant’s fruiting. The worst weeds, mulberry (tree), thistle, plantain, dandelion, blackberries (wild), etc… throw down a strong taproot and only careful hand weeding saves the plant. Though I guess with only thirty feet of strawberries, you could just replant every plant.
When you’re trying to do an acre of strawberries, the hoe can only deal with the mulched aisle between the rows. after a long row pulling thistle at the base even gloves get painful as the thorns work through the leather.
Just the act of rototilling reduces grubs directly in the garden. Farmers till their fields several times to kill grubs and many weeds.
Japanese beetles prefer fields of grass. If you were surrounded by farmers raising meadow grass for forage you’d be inundated with Japanese beetles. Best advice for handling Japanese beetles is to get your downwind neighbors to install lures and traps. Farmers as neighbors means that’s not an option, they’d get a kick out of the attempt though.
Putting up food requires hours carefully preparing both food and jars; worth doing with many vegetables. Freezing is easier as there is less need to sterilize.
Selling food is seven days a week, not an occasional visit to a farm market. It means keeping your mouth shut while oddballs accuse you of cheating them a thousand different ways. Try spending hours in the sun working and picking strawberries then have some goof yell at you that you’re cheating them because the grocery twenty miles away is cheaper, (it wasn’t, unless they meant twenty years before).
Two quick stories:
My Brother and I were sitting on the porch one day selling corn when some nut stopped his car, got out, headed right to the corn and started ripping husks off the corn. My Brother and I both jumped up yelling.
I yelled that he was buying those ears.
My Brother yelled, “What are you looking for!”
The guy brandished a defrocked ear at us and yelled “This corn is not fresh!”
I was stunned silent and beginning to think of physical means.
My Brother returned to speaking, (brandishing is not denuding), and quickly said “Picked fresh this morning.”
About this time, My Father who happened to be inside the house showed up at the screen door and asked “What is going on here?”
To which the turned and brandished the ear at my Father and snarled “This corn is not fresh”.
There was a bit of silence where I realized cars were still driving by, when my Father said “Corn’s out back, same price, go pick your own.”
The guy gloated, grabbed a couple of brown paper shopping bags and ran around the corner of the house.
Back came the guy with two full shopping bags thrilled with his prize, paid us and left. Thirty seconds after he left my Brother and I laughed for hours.
The joke? Our back field of corn had been fresh corn a month before, now it was field corn with giant starchy kernels. Fresh corn is cheap but you don’t get a lot of ears per stalk. Corn not picked quickly grows into field corn. The corn we were selling was picked from a field a couple of miles away.
The only reason ears of corn need the leaves removed is to prepare them for eating or storing. Everything a person needs to check corn freshness or maturity can be done without stripping leaves. A corn ear stripped of leaves quickly loses freshness and flavor.
2nd story:
A couple of years after the corn event we had a seriously bumper year of tomatoes; actually everyone in our corner of the state did. Tomatoes were bargain priced all around us.
Most of my family had other jobs so none of were dependent on the income. My parents were depression era children and wasted nothing if possible.
We fed our two pigs all of the tomatoes they wanted and composted any tomato that wasn’t perfect. Quarts of tomato sauce were cooked every week till kitchen wallpaper started peeling.
We tried cutting the price of tomatoes but that really upset many of our friends who were also selling tomatoes.
My Father, the ever practical brought out a broken scale from the barn and hung it up. The going rate for tomatoes was 3 pounds (1 1/2 kilos) for a dollar. With the broken scale just about the time we’d fill a shopping bag is when the scale would read 3 pounds.
Very very few people said one word to us about the scale being wrong; maybe one or two per day.
But it was great fun watching people bite their lips, hold down smirks, roll their eyes at their friends. Most of these folks would practically shove the dollar into our hands, grab their bag and bolt afraid that we’d notice.
I didn’t need to make tomato sauce for a couple of years. We also had bumper crops of peppers as they’re related, but peppers were even harder to sell in quantity back then. The pigs decided they didn’t like serrano peppers much and for some reason didn’t trust the other peppers, probably because we’d stuffed a few with serranos.
Keep growing stuff as that is a terrific thing to do and a small garden is far far better than just growing lawn.

John ;0)
August 23, 2014 7:45 am

Great stories ATheoK, The one about the corn is priceless, I would have loved to seen the look on their faces when they took the first bite LOL
I found it interesting that your parents were depression era children, so were mine born in 1923, my dad was a farm boy and my mother was a city girl, Dad said it took her a few years to get use to country life, They wasted nothing, and they didn’t seem to be able to throw anything away either ;0) I also run a tight ship like they did, difference being I know were the the dumpster is and I can easily toss a broken toaster out ;0)
Giving stuff away being a cop out? I would have to say no on that one, my two best neighbors that I have known for 30+ years, begin hanging their noses over the fence as soon as they see me in the cucumber patch, cucumbers, sweet corn, and tomatoes are the only things I give away, I would have better luck trying to give my mother-in -law away then an egg plant ;0) The rest goes to my family, 5 different households, one thing I notice, the frequency of visits seems to go up just about the time the sweet corn is getting ready ;0)

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