The Guardian: UN Climate Report Requires Urgent Switch to an Insect Protein Diet

Worm Truffle

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Would you eat insects to save the planet? Apparently the answer is yes – you just need to be persuaded the right way.

Would you eat insects to save the planet from global warming?

Jessica Brown
Mon 15 Oct 2018 19.10 AEDT

More people would give up meat for edible bugs if they believed they were tasty and trendy

The thought of rising sea levels and more intense heatwaves are enough to keep you up at night. But while we all know the situation is getting more serious, most of us are preoccupied with work, doctor’s appointments and paying bills – and these immediate, visceral worries win every time.

Edible insects have been hailed as a solution to both global food shortages and reducing emissions from animal agriculture, but despite the industry’s best efforts, our response when faced with a cockroach is disgust. Even in London edible insects are seen as nothing more than a gimmick, and there are only a handful of restaurants serving them up.

But new research from Switzerland and Germany may have found out how to persuade people to eat insects – and it could have a huge impact on lowering human-led carbon emissions.

Up until now, retailers and restaurants have marketed edible insects as a more sustainable option and a healthy source of protein. But the researchers explain the problem with getting people to switch to environmentally friendly behaviour is that it often requires foregoing immediate pleasure for distant benefits, and edible insects have been wrongly framed in this way.

Before the 180 participants in the study were offered a chocolate truffle filled with mealworms, half of the group were given a flyer saying that eating insects was good for them and the environment, while the other half were told the insects were either delicious or trendy to eat.

About 62% of those given health or environmental incentives chose to eat the truffle, compared with 76% who ate the truffle after being told it would taste good or make them trendy. And the latter group rated the truffle as tastier.

The researchers concluded that we need to switch the message about saving the planet from altruism to pleasure. They back up their argument with previous studies showing that attitudes based on emotions are more malleable than those grounded in rational claims.

Read more:

You see they’re not only going to try to persuade you, they’re going to persuade your kids and grandkids, bombard them with messages about [insert empty headed pop star] eating healthy insect snacks to stay thin and get lots of attention from the Paparazzi.

208 thoughts on “The Guardian: UN Climate Report Requires Urgent Switch to an Insect Protein Diet

  1. I am looking forward to the UN restaurant / cafeteria switching to an all Insect Protein Menu to lead the way.

    They should also be served special in-flight insect meals to lighten their conscience while they fly around emitting carbon dioxide.

      • Walt D
        Hard to believe but there was a shortage of CO2 in Britain this summer; commercial CO2 for the canned drinks industry is a by-product of steam reforming plants. The plants, producing synthesis gas, were down for maintenance but not ‘synchronised’. It was reported by the BBC et al as a major commercial blunder/fiasco but not a word was uttered about global warming and climate stuff. I found this extraordinary that apparently we can’t get enough of it (CO2 that is) except when a new IPCC report comes out advocating everything from geo-engineering to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere to stopping cows from farting and for the Germans and Swiss to eat pickled insect sandwiches. Stroll on!

          • I am very surprised that the journalists of the Guardian and other virtue promoting publications haven’t promoted the “Cat and Rat” farming system as a sustainable system of farming.
            There is an intitial cost to starting a “Cat and Rat” farming system but once the system is firmly established and operating there is no further costs except some maintenance of the farm infrastructure.

            To begin a” Cat and Rat” farmng system, you first round up all the stray cats you can lay hands on and cage them up ina secure cage.
            This beecomes your cat breedsing stock.
            You also round up all the rats you can lay hands on and likewise cage them in a separate enclosure.
            This then becomes your Rat breeding stock.

            The simple Cat and Rat farming system works thus;

            You will have to feed the rats for an initial period but after getting those cats nice and sleek and fat on the rat diet and they begin breeding at the usual feral cat rate with lots of kittens, you catch the surplus cats, kill them and skin them for their sleek furred skins and then throw the cat carcases back over the fence into the rat cage to feed the rats.

            The Rats on a high protein Cat flesh diet then reproduce in large numbers as rats do so that you have an endless surplus supply of rats for the cats to dine on.

            The Cats also being on a high protein Rat flesh diet also breed rapidly and so you have an abundance of Cat carcases as rat feed to maintain a fully intergrated Cat and Rat farming system where both lots of animals are well catered for with a high protein diet.

            For your own income you just sell all those sleek cat skins you have removed from those surplus cats for a lucrative figure and you continue farming comfortably forever afterwards.

            Considering the very low resources required and demanded by this system of Cat and Rat farming, I am quite surprised that the journalists at the level of the Guardian’s undoubted leading role in promoting sustainability and the essential mitigation of the use of Earth’s very limited resources haven’t promoted this Cat and Rat Farming system.

      • absurd, I have worked on farms with cattle and I have worked raising insects and small creatures in labs for non-human consumption and the amount of labor, resources, time energy and effort for X amount of mass is vastly less for a cow. I couldn’t even begin to work out how much so..

        However go check the prices for mealworms for animal consumption – My guess is the price fairly reflects the labor and costs involved – a rather nice steak of the same mass comes in substantially cheaper.

        Another consideration I’d like to toss out for these moralizing do-gooders is the ethical question – is it better to take 1 life or 20,000,000 lives to provide the same amount of food to feed x number of people? For all the huffing about saving life on Earth one would presume this would come up somewhere in their mental deliberations.

        • Environmentalist do not give a stuff about life. They are perfectly prepared to change from safe non flammable freezer coolants to ones that have caused fires killing hundreds of people for the supposed good of the planet. The most spectacular of these fires was the Grenfell tower one but it still killed far less than the unpublicised many smaller ones.
          Now if what I hear is correct they are preparing to develop plastic eating bugs which are almost certain to mutate to eating the plastic insulators ending the electrical era and containment seals that keep the samples of the killers like smallpox contained.

          This to reduce a non existent risk from global warming if the plastic was burnt instead.

        • Beat me to it Karlos51!

          The dumb it down approach to climate alarmism where the devout accept any and all claims so long as they’re made by the ‘proper’ sources and approved by the climate funds addicted.

          One of these claims is that eating insects is better than eating animals.

          Why bother with adding insects as side dishes or appetizers? Just demand that everyone immediately cease eating meat.

          Why bother with all of that folderol doing proper science through properly designed experiments run by unbiased researchers? It is so much more convenient accepting pretend science run by a true believer and already vegan?

          Then they run a simple very limited and subject to excessive bias poll, where they come with an alleged difference that supports their claims, sort of, maybe, just barely, perhaps not at all.

          “Before the 180 participants in the study were offered a chocolate truffle filled with mealworms,
          half of the group were given a flyer saying that eating insects was good for them and the environment,
          while the other half were told the insects were either delicious or trendy to eat.”

          No control groups.
          No testing without first biasing the subjects.

          “About 62% of those given health or environmental incentives chose to eat the truffle, compared with 76% who ate the truffle after being told it would taste good or make them trendy”

          Of course that miniscule sample size absolutely represents every man woman and child around the world… Riiigghht.

          Plus, you have to love that “About 62%”. About!?
          Rounded up?
          Rounded down?
          How much is it rounded?
          I’ll lay odd the 72% is also rounded. Only, I can guess the direction.

          It is still all nonsense and personal opinions.

          • So looking at the details:

            60 were in the “utilitarian” group — eat it for the environment. Presumably 37 of those partook.
            120 were in the “hedonistic” group — eat it because it tastes good. Presumably 86 of those partook.

            So the appeal to taste, cutting the second group in half, resulted in an extra six people trying the insect-laced truffles. But a majority was already willing to try for the environment, so how much did it change. Further, they are just *trying* insect by eating something that does not have any visible insect parts — none of the participants are being asked to swear off meat and embrace an insect-eating lifestyle. As a “solution” to the alleged problem of eating meat this fails to impress.

            From the linked paper, I can’t even find out whether those bold enough to try the truffles actually thought it tasted good — the claimed “tastier” doesn’t mean they rated it as *tasty*, and if I’m reading the paper correctly they don’t think the effect is even significant after adjusting for pre-taste expectations.

            It’s potentially interesting research, it just has squat to do with “saving the planet”.

        • Look at the destruction they are willing to do with these wind turbines to save the very things they claim to be trying to save.

    • Maybe there is a grant from the UN to open such a restaurant. Of course be sure to negotiate monthly subsidies to make up for not having any customers or income. But if they want to keep up the appearance that they are practicing what they preach, it could work out.

      • I will be more than happy to send these twits all the garden slugs and parasitic worms and hornets and wasps that I can corral.

        Just give the the address, and step aside. They’ll be sorry they ever brought up this subject.

    • From now on my first question of warmist minions will be:
      “So, are you eating insects to save the planet? NO? Then you have NO STREET CRED!”

      Chow down on Bugs and Worms, you phony green hypocrites! JUST DO IT!

      BTW, several kinds of bugs are sold for human consumption in Asian food markets. Yum! 🙂

    • I’d like to see them eating bugs at The Guardian. Making sure they’re fair-trade, gluten-free and non-GMO, of course, though they’d still be capable of offending the vegans . . .

      Does anyone take that paper seriously anymore? Most of their headlines read like they should be at the supermarket checkout next to the one that says “Elvis and Jim Morrison caught playing chess on Mars!”

    • This is so stupid!

      In spite of all the other things needed to get people to eat bugs, such as which ones and how to prepare them, someone has forgotten to take into account that in order to supply enough protein, it will take a bit more than people running around with butterfly nets.

      In other words, it will be necessary to farm the desired insects, which requires that feed for these creatures must be found from somewhere, and insects have plenty of waste which will need to be dealt with, and I wonder what a large insect farm will look like? A lot of permanent wire netting I would suspect, and what about the distribution of the product? Distribution would need to be similar to todays methods!

      And is someone going to tell me that insects do not exhale CO2, no doubt in the same proportion of the protein they produce.

      So what idiot though this was a good idea?

      Well there might be enough insects to feed the UN and their staff. In fact they will no doubt lead by example. Free of charge I hope..



    • I can imagine the restaurant staff asking the diners: “Do you want flies with your lice?”

      And the diners complementing the chef: “This is the tastiest grub I’ve had in a long time.

  2. They eat insects in North Korea. Fact. To supplement the practically non-existent diet. The worms emerge at the other end. Ask the doctors in Seoul treating refugees. That’s the green way for you: living in filth and eating it, as you are only an intermediary. Prepare to die young.

    • They need to analyze the energy and resource costs of growing a pound or kilogram of animal protein, either as animals or insects. They would probably be surprised that there is a very similar investment between the two.

      Think about bananas. Smaller bananas have less edible content than larger bananas, the smaller having a higher peel to overall weight ratio. The same may be true of insects with their chitinous (polysaccharide, polymer sugar) exoskeleton, long skinny legs, ephemeral wings, and such. The protein content per pound will vary considerably and likely less than real meat, once the water weight is considered. Then, there is the question of how well humans digest chitin. It appears to vary in populations depending on their eating habits regarding insects.

      That said, an program or policy of any kind with goals of decreasing CO2 emissions to save the climate is patently wrong, as no gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can detectably warm the planet surface or the atmosphere. It’s simply against thermodynamics 101 and cannot happen.

      • I was a city boy with farmer forbearers and I bought a farm in the 70s to raise a large family on. In addition to raising sheep, ducks, geese, chickens, pigs and a dairy cow, I had NZ rabbits. Considering the gestion period of the cow and growth of the calf for beef, I got more meat from the rabbits than from the beef steer. I suspect the same from the chickens.

        From my farmer’s perspective (on the lookout for problems) I can foresee a world of trouble economically trying to raise insects. Unhappy neighbours, a million birds and spiders, destruction of other crops, flowers, fruit, disease to wipe out your domestic arthropods and likely Arthropodic Gullible Warming (articles on termites) …Also these beasties are high protein so the feed could prove expensive.

        Now you could vacuum up wild insects when you cut hay or harvest other crops and feed them to your chickrns to save the planet!

    • What’s going on in North Korea is they are using human waste to fertilize their crops, which is causing the public health problems.

      • Isn’t that another green ideal? And not only in NK. I lived in South America and you had to wash any veg or fruits in a blue desinfectant from the pharmacy. If you didn’t you ended up in hospital in no time with amoeba dysentery.

  3. I’m sorry, but “Let them eat worms and bugs” just doesn’t have the je ne sais qua as the original. I mean, they’re already eating snails after all.

    • They eat snails. We eat lobsters and crabs. Lobsters are about as close to a big bug as you can get. link The other thing to consider is what the lobsters themselves eat. Yum.

      • you know if it’s to save the planet, and if they’ll give me a big tax subsidy for doing it, I can sacrifice and force myself to eat lobster every night. If I really really have to for the good of the planet, that is.

      • Lobsters and other such shell fish are bottom scavengers. And we all know what accumulates down there.

      • I’ll take lobster on the New York Strip steak for breakfast any day. And giant prawns, with Langoustine for dinner.
        But forgo the snails, they taste mostly of garlic.
        As regards oysters and other “sea food” except clams, very picky.
        On top of that I heard haddock are cannibals, a matter of taste.

        • You would think that in a fancy restaurant at these prices you could keep the snails off the food! There are so many snails there you can’t even see the food!

        • The creator put things in shells for a good reason, he put oysters, mussels, whelks, cockles and clams in shells at the bottom of the sea to ensure only the most determined would eat them.
          I’m not that determined.

  4. It really bugs me when people suggest eating insects. My grub certainly doesn’t include them. It flies in the face of reason, especially when the source is the land of the Beatles.

    • I also will avoid eating bugs, for the foreseeable future.

      From the article:
      “About 62% of those given health or environmental incentives chose to eat the truffle, compared with 76% who ate the truffle after being told it would taste good or make them trendy. And the latter group rated the truffle as tastier.”

      To the bug-eaters of London:

      This just shows that a significant group of humans would eat pasteurized sh!t if added some sugar, and you told them it was cool and fashionable – and they would claim that they like it!

      It all started with wearing your baseball hat on backwards or sideways. you know that funny brim thingee on your hat – it was put there for a reason – to keep the Sun out of your eyes. It doesn’t work that well on the back of your head – ponder the concept!

      • Wearing a baseball cap backwards whilst driving avoids the brim of the hat colliding with the car’s sun visor.

          • Tom in Florida

            “Why do you wear a hat in the car?”

            For the same reason they wear hoodies, dangle furry dice from the mirror and have ornaments adorning the dashboard – they are dickheads who shouldn’t be allowed a driving licence!

        • Your comment suggests the driver wore the brim frontwards until he entered the car, reversed while driving, then turned it forwards again upon exiting the car. Have you ever seen that?

          So people wear their caps backwards all day because they will ride in a car sooner or later? If the cap has to be adjusted for the car trip I would just take it off while in the car.


          • Some people are married to their baseball cap – they never take it off, even to sleep or to shampoo.

            It is a fidelity they give to no other entity, not even their partners-in-life.

            You have to respect this act of faith, even though their hair does get pretty crusty after a few years.

        • If one’s face is that close to the visor of the car:
          – They have a very tiny car;
          – They have very short arms / legs;
          – They are very near-sighted / myopic
          – They have a manic look on their face and you should dive for safe cover – the key diagnostic is the shout “Allahu Akbar!”, followed by a loud bang!

        • Not having the seat so far forward your chest is against the wheel prevents brim/visor conflict also. I used to Wear baseball caps a lot and never had this issue.

        • “Wearing a baseball cap backwards whilst driving avoids the brim of the hat colliding with the car’s sun visor.”

          How close are you sitting to the windshield???

        • Wearing a baseball cap backwards the bill collides with the headrest. Some days you just can’t win.

      • Actually, it does prevent the back of your neck from burning. My face never burns. The back of my neck does.
        But I still prefer wearing wide-brimmed hats in early summer. Then I don’t have to wear sun glasses.

      • The warmo crowd always miss the real fruit of the study. The people that went for it are susceptible to simple proppaganda. What they are saying is if we just bullshot them a bit more they will all go for it or at least 97% of them. I hope someone has been taking down names for a real judgement day drawing nighas we soeak.speak. Perhaps we shouldnt be repeating all these Guardian stories. The clones already all read it but we are spreading the word.

      • It’s all about self-expression. Personal discomfort, inconvenience, or danger be damned.

        “To be beautiful, one must suffer.” – French proverb

    • Yes indeed. In fact, we already eat a lot of insects in the food we eat very day. Meat usually has worms, as does fish, which is why I like mine fairly well cooked. Even in grains and fruit/vegetables which can include rodent hairs, mouse poop, maggots, insect eggs and larvae, mold and generally rot of all kinds. And a whole lot more. You just can’t get rid of these by-products of agriculture at a massive scale as agri-business. Especially in bulk foods that get processed in big batches because their grade is lower than direct sale as a whole product. Think canned fruits, veggies or tomatoes, fruit juice and most everything that is bulk processed. But not to worry, as this is much better than heavy metal contamination like mercury or salmonella food poisoning. At least most of all this is just additional protein, and when cooked it doesn’t represent much of any kind of threat. But google this if you don’t have much of a yuk factor on what we eat very day. The FDA has specifications for how much of this is allowed. We already eat a lot of insects and other ‘road kill’ every day. Some estimates are as high as 8-10 pounds per year. Sorry to spoil your dinner tonight…

  5. You know the way this will work. While we are eating crickets the elite progressives (Al Gore and Tom Steyer) will be consuming Kobe beef.

  6. “Would you eat insects to save the planet from global warming?”

    Not only no, but HELL NO! Now, I might eat them if I liked them (which I don’t), but for no other reason.

    • “Before the 180 participants in the study were offered a chocolate truffle filled with mealworms,”

      First they had to find 180 people that would do it at all…..millennials

      • First things first, …. Latitude, ….. first they had to be “approved” for a Government Grant.

        To wit:

        Before the 180 participants in the study were offered a chocolate truffle filled with mealworms, ……..

        OH my, my, ….. CO$T is not a concern when you are spending government Grant monies, to wit:

        A Google search provided these retail costs for truffles, to wit:

        White Truffles, Medium – 1–2 truffles – $499.95

        Truffles Black Winter Whole Brushed – 2 truffles – $395.95

        Burgundy Truffles, Small –2 truffles – $149.95

        So, iffen they purchased 180 White Truffles at a cost of $499.95 each, the total cost would be $89,991.00 ….. and that’s prior to the truffles being filled with mealworms and dipped in chocolate.

        October‎ ‎30‎, ‎2017‎ – Truffle Prices Double to $3,200 a Pound

        All in the name of science.

        • In fairness I believe those are prices for truffle mushrooms (a hard to find delicacy) not truffle chocolates…

        • Please don’t embarrass yourself further. “Truffle” is the name of chocolate confection as well as a prized gourmet fungus. This study quite obviously was referring to the former.

          • So what is the price of a chocolate confection “truffle”? Both with and without the mealworms. (How did the mealworms get in there? Don’t they store their food in airtight, or at least bugtight, containers?) Inquiring minds want to know.

          • “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins”.
            I liked that movie. Maybe because I’d read a bunch the books it was based on, “The Destroyer” series.
            But the movie didn’t catch on. They never made a sequel.
            Lets hope they never make a sequel to “The IPCC: The Destruction Begins”.

          • OH, my, my, ……. you three, .. J. Parsons, Remo Williams and Jeff Alberts, ….. should be so quick to criticize anyone who uses or refers to the term “greenhouse gas(ses)”.

            “DUH”, all enclosed greenhouses have the same gasses inside their enclosure as is found in earth’s atmosphere. The components of the atmospheric air inside of a “greenhouse’ are exactly the same as the components of the atmospheric air outside of a “greenhouse’.

            A chocolate truffle is a type of chocolate confectionery, ……………Their name derives from their resemblance to truffles, edible fungi of the genus Tuber.

            And “HA”, iffen the researchers had included plenty of ….. Tabanero Extra Hot Sauce …..along with the mealworms inside of their “chocolate truffles”, …… I’m damn sure no one would have noticed the tasty flavor of the mealworms.

    • Under the You Only Live Once principle, then looking at the next generation and their long list of entitlements, I’m going to go with “I’ll keep my beef”.

  7. Why does every eco-Progressive solution to climate change seem like an attempt to regress civilization to the stone age?

    • That’s not a bug, that’s a feature. The hard greens oppose industrial society, and want to destroy it.

      • More accurately, they want a neo-feudal world order where they retain all the luxuries of industrial society and everyone else is either dead or reduced to sh**-shoveling eco-serfdom.

  8. That’s Great!

    Having jumped the shark long ago, the UK establishment is becoming even sillier than the climate change propagandists about Brexit.

    Recently we were told that if we left the EU, our food would be ridden with maggots, rat hair and vermin faeces – “Just like the US”.

    I didn’t know your food was so bad over there? But a quality British newspaper obviously does…

    • Dodgy Geezer

      Not forgetting chlorinated chicken that’s supposed to contaminate our food chain from the US.

      Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a high percentage of EU poultry is contaminated by salmonella and the EU’s solution to it is to tell us all to make sure it’s cooked properly.

      The Americans, on the other hand, wouldn’t condone selling contaminated poultry in the first place so they chlorine wash it.

      How about buying a faulty car and being told by the government “You should have it serviced and repaired the day you buy it, if you crash because the brakes fail it’s your own fault”!

      • I think you’ll find that’s ammonia they use, and there’s a phage also approved for elimination of bacteria – and that as far as I know is the only approved phage therapy in the US. Sad really, the Russians have had phage therapy going for decades and have no issues with AB resistant bacteria, we in the West cannot have such things because .. no patents to protect the $$ stream. /sigh

    • Wash your mouth out. Do not mention either the Guardian or the Independent in the same breath as quality newspapers.

  9. I bought some Chirp Chips (chips which include ground up crickets as one of the ingredients) at the local supermarket. They’re surprisingly pretty good – they taste “different”. Unfortunately, they’re kind of pricey, so I won’t buy more unless they have a big sale. During our last visit to Korea (my wife’s Korean), we had some fried silkworm larva. They tasted – meh – my wife said they tasted old. Later on in our trip, we had some mulberry wine (made from the fruit of the trees that the silkworms feed on). That was pretty good. I’ll try almost anything once, as long as it’s not still squirming. I love tasting new foods. I’ll eat bugs — but not to save the planet.

    • The silkworms are beondegi.
      Really tasty is you know how to cook them.
      all protein
      Have them all the time, mix in some spicy peppers, boil dont fry.

      here in Seoul it is street food.

      If you get them in a can, yes they can taste like old socks

      a sock you put in water and underarm sweat

  10. Back when I was a boy scout, I remember drinking something called “bug juice”. I didn’t ask what was in it.
    So anyway, you know how they put 10% ethanol in our gas, whether we want it or not…you do the math.

    • A good number of service stations here in SE Oklahoma stock only ethanol-free gas, or offer it as an option at the pump. Costs around a quarter more per gallon most days. Worth it to not shorten the operational life of my car.

  11. I posted a comment incorrectly. I think I got it right this time. I hope.

    While we will be eating a diet of crickets the elite (Al Gore and Tom Steyer please standup) progressives will be eating Kobe beef.

    They are above the rules. Rules are for the deplorables only.

    • The U.S. has already had snowfalls in multiple states starting in September. Record cold highs are popping up all over the place and snow is already accumulating in the northern states. It even snowed in Texas this last week. In Canada some places never saw summer and the snow is getting deep. It MAY warm a little in November, but December will start off a record setting winter, if Joe Bastardi at Weatherbell has it right.

  12. This is another example of Green religion. The real answer to the environmental damage done by agriculture is to eat even further down the food chain. The answer is protein synthesized in vats using some sort of single celled organism and heated by nuclear power. A rational environmentalist would see that. But it says in the Big Green Bible that only natural is good. Bugs are natural so eat bugs; nuclear power is not natural so it’s use is off the table.

  13. Now that we’ve long passed all their tipping points what makes them think the insects aint gunna fry in Hell too? Besides me mum told me to eat my Greens.

    • If you raise cockroaches (the hissing kind), they eat leftovers. Mine ate potatoes, oatmeal, dog food, etc. They do not eat a lot, even taken as a whole.

    • Except for the termites and cadaver maggots, humans can eat most anything that insects can eat.

      And that is exactly why humans have been “fighting” a constant battle for the past tens-of-thousands of years to protect their “food supplies” from the ravenous insects, …… the locusts being one of said.

      I don’t think there is an appropriate name for those persons who think, believe and/or promote the dastardly act of intentionally feeding our food supply items to insects, so that said insects and/or their offspring can be eaten as the primary source of food by us humans.

      “DUH”, plant a field of “sweetcorn”, ….. intentionally contaminate all the ears-of-corn with a gazillion Corn borer eggs, ……. and after the eggs hatch and the Corn borer larvae devour all the sweetcorn, collect those “plump” larvae and “eatum” raw, cooked, canned or frozen.

      Majority of all Learning Disabled persons …….. are nurtured to be, …… not born to be.

  14. Says more about mass psychology than reducing atmospheric CO2. So, how much less CO2 is produced by raising meal worms than chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and seafood?

    • As noted above, I doubt it’s anywhere near the amount of chicken, beef, etc. Insects don’t each that much food. They are plentiful in the environment. If we switched to insect eating (and I would not), we probably would have to “farm” them, but the space required is much smaller than conventional farm animals.

      • Termites emit both CO2 and methane. It is estimated that for every human on Earth there may be 1000 pounds of termites. Worldwide, termites may release over 150 million tons of methane gas into the atmosphere annually. They also produce more CO2 each year than all living things combined. It amounts to about ten times as much carbon dioxide as all the fossil fuels burned in the whole world in a year. So let’s farm them and produce more of them. Not!

  15. If we all changed over to an insect based diet, it would require an industrial scale operation to supply the huge quantity of insects needed. How is this going to produce less evil CO2 than producing meat?

  16. We’re eating bugs already. Just check out the FDA regulations regarding amount of insect parts permitted in wheat flour etc.

  17. Trouble is that many insects etc. feed off meat.

    I had a patch in my life when I got involved in maggot production, mainly for the fishing industry. Quite an experience. These maggots consumed large quantities of meat and fish under very sterile conditions as they exuded ammonia, albeit with pong. At the time I wondered whether the public could be persuaded to eat them; but quickly dumped the idea; nonetheless, if you feed these critters on prime salmon you would get prime maggots tasting of salmon. However; why not just eat the salmon?

    Some flies are very particular on the quality of the meat they assign to their potential offspring. There is an hierarchy on consumption in the insect world.
    Perhaps vegans should confine themselves to consuming young insects fed only on vegetation? Anyone for fruit fly soup, laced with cabbage butterfly caterpillars?

    Maggots have often been consumed in the past under the name of “Gentles” I believe. Would like to know the history of this. Believe it was a Lancashire dish.

    The whole subject being, of course, ripe for the scams market, with the Guardian no doubt in the lead! – Rich pickings for media attention but otherwise a load of proverbials

  18. “Even in London” (there aren’t enough bug bistros)!

    How depressingly embarrassing for a once-proud city.

  19. If we all eat insects, what happens to bulls and cows and sheep and chickens…etc. Do they all go back to the wild?

  20. YEAR ONE
    1. The United Nations issues a directive that alludes to the need to develop ‘new sources of protein’.
    2. The UN commissions scientific studies on insect protein and methods of harvest.
    3. The scientists team with activist groups to gather volunteers for nutrition studies.
    4. The activist groups find a dozen people.
    5. Among them, one or two Hollywood celebrities who eat bugs for a documentary.

    5. The Hollywood celebrities order veggies and meat
    4. The dozen volunteers go back to veggies and meat.
    3. The scientists have been eating veggies and meat all along.
    2. The UN Commission has been eating veggies and meat all along.
    1. The UN has been eating veggies and meat, and occasionally ambassadors from undeveloped nations.

    1. The UN commissions a study to explore specifically, cannibalism, as a protein source.
    2. […]

    • Oh, come now, it’s the UN – “YEAR ONE would take at least 1 – 2 decades, what with all the conferences they’d have to hold all around the world. Likewise for “YEAR TWO”.

      • Well, one of Obama’s people wrote a book where he quoted him as saying (I think it was after Trump won), “Maybe we should have waited another 10 years before opening a Bugger King.”
        (Yes, I took a liberty or two with the “quote”.)

    • Argumentum ad absurdum. I think that’s the Latin.
      Cremation uses fossil fuel and burial uses too much land. We can start eating our dead to “save the planet”. With or without truffles. And a nice Chianti

  21. Just like with renewable energy, greens never bother to scale up to reality. To raise, process and transport enough bugs to feed billions of city dwellers would require a massive “bugriculture” industry. Anyone want to do the math? If mass producing and eating bugs made sense, agriculture would have already created a large, healthy bug industry. And how would they dispose of all those millions of tons of inedible exoskeletons?

    • Yeah it’s a thought I also had, that given millennia of experience, if bugriculture were practical, it would probably already exist.

      However, what is technically feasible and cost-effective is not necessarily commercially successful. There’s the “ick” factor to overcome. Personal tastes and preferences need not be rational.

    • A friend of mine was a Royal Marine. He said that during desert training they ate locusts with honey as described in The Bible and they were delicious.

  22. I don’t have anything against the concept of eating insects per se. After all, there are plenty of weird things that are already favorites such as lobster or snails (escargots). Clams, scallops, and mussels are also not so different from insects. In fact, personally I’d prefer to eat a fried cicada than to eat cow’s brains or stomach. Tons of food goes into landfills where insects consume it (though I suppose bacteria get the lion’s share). If there would be an efficient way to avoid some of that waste and feed people something healthy, that is not the wackiest idea, I guess.

    As long as it tastes good and is reasonably priced I’m fine with it. But to cut methane emissions that don’t need to be cut? Absolutely not.

  23. It’s hard to believe I know but there was a shortage of CO2 in Britain (land of the Beatles) this summer; commercial CO2 for the canned drinks industry is a by-product of steam reforming plants. The plants, producing synthesis gas, were down for maintenance but not ‘synchronised’. It was reported by the BBC et al as a major commercial blunder/fiasco but not a word was uttered about global warming and climate stuff. I found this extraordinary that apparently we can’t get enough of it (CO2 that is) except when a new IPCC report comes out advocating everything from geo-engineering to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere to stopping cows from farting and for the Germans and Swiss to eat pickled insect sandwiches. Stroll on!

    • I love that circlejerk…..they get credit for scrubbing CO2….then bottle it and sell it….to be released back into the atmosphere

  24. “But while we all know the situation is getting more serious,…”

    Do we now? By what metric is it getting ‘more serious’? The state of the biosphere? Poverty? Starvation? Reduced crop yields? Severe weather? Rising sea levels? Desertification? All measurements show things are getting better, or at the very least, unchanged from the way they were in the past! The state of humanity has never been so good!

    “Edible insects have been hailed as a solution to both global food shortages and reducing emissions…”

    It has already been proven, beyond any doubt, that the solution to global food shortages was increasing emission! If we insist on reducing CO2 emissions, there is no doubt that global food shortages will return.

  25. Insects farmed for human consumption as a protein source are a more expensive source of protein in the USA than chicken or soy beans, in part due to the extensive agricultural productivity. Commercial insect production relies on maximization of stock, which requires matching reproducible feed to get edible bugs with a marketable nutritional profile (ex: specific fatty acid, specific amino acids & minerals).

    There has been some attempts to use waste products as bug food & although the waste is considered “free” the processing expenses of getting it into the bug’s food chain is a trade off. Since original post mentioned mealworms I’ll add that a few years ago an Iranian study concluded that mealworm production for human consumption was not cost effective.

    Different bugs, & then too those at various stages, have different amino acid profiles. When used as ingredients in animal/fish feed blending in some of the too low amino acids is required; this is probably the case as well for humans, but no generational trials on us have been done.

    Aside from virtue signalling & traditional preferences the aspect favoring insects as food is their relatively low water requirement. The illusion of abundance ignores temperature range for different bugs being something that limits suitability (ex: crickets do good in Thailand open pens, but in most of the country it can get too hot out for mealworms).

  26. If you really want to “save the planet”, live in a cardboard box, and get your food from dumpsters. Shower and shave once a week at your local Y, or whatever. Get yourself sterilized so you can’t procreate. Better yet, reduce your “carbon footprint” to zero by killing yourself. After all, it’s “for the planet”.

  27. From the Guardian story:

    “… attitudes based on emotions are more malleable than those grounded in rational claims.”

    Which explains the “science” of CAGW / CCC.

  28. “Edible insects have been hailed as a solution to both global food shortages and reducing emissions from animal agriculture……”

    What global food shortage?

    Thanks in part to increased atmospheric CO2 and modern technology, most crops are on the increase.

    And of course, were a warming world simply accepted as a normal global event, then perhaps billions of acres in Canada and Russia could be relieved of perma frost and released to agriculture.

  29. In the mid 1960s, I ate some fried termites in northern Nigeria. I was invited to a party of expats and this was offered with the threat that if one refused, he (‘he’ embraces ‘she’ as they used to say!) would not be offered a beverage. Well, I asked if I could hold a beer in my right hand while I popped the spoonful of termites in my mouth with my left hand. They agreed but said I had to chew twice. I found I had to chew them several times to wash them down anyway. I don’t remember how they tasted but it wasn’t horrible and they were well salted.

    At the end of the dry season, termites with their briefly sported wings flew right out of the ground in the evening by the gazillions. You never turned a light on at night indoors without ensuring all windiws were closed! Locals hung lanterns in trees over a large low vessel of water and termites flew to the light and wound up in the water – quite a harvest from one lantern.

    Without wings, they were like inch-long sausages and they represented a good feed of protein for 5he locals for about a week. Although not totally grossed out, I never had them again and probably wouldnt without a cold sparkling beer in my right hand.

    Since the warmo movement probably contains almost all the vegans and other vegetarians and the omnibus identifier products they consume, I would suggest they would take a pass on dragonfly and soya sprout salad. They are, after all, exempt already from concern about their carbon footprint.

    BTW, what is the modern usage for the formerly ‘man’ embraces ‘woman’ thing in the language. The word ‘woman’ still embraces ‘man’.

    • “BTW, what is the modern usage for the formerly ‘man’ embraces ‘woman’ thing in the language. The word ‘woman’ still embraces ‘man’.”

      wereman was the early name for males, wifman for females – both were encompassed by the non-gender ed ‘man’.

      As I like to tell folk, wifman begat the term ‘wife’ while wereman is recognizable in the hybrid mythological creature the ‘werewolf’ meaning man-wolf. They are always men, for if they were women-wolves they’d be called a wifwolf and no one would take anything named such seriously.

      For the folk grumpy at the gender nouns we have today we can always return to calling women wifmen and men weremen. Either can optionally drop the gender part and remain recognizable as man, ie – human.

      • Thank you Karlos! Who would have thought the man part was genderless. That makes the joke on ignorant “progressives” whose lives are exercised by this problem.

  30. Aren’t mealworms used to deflesh carcasses. I see an opportunity to combine a funeral home with a fast food franchise. Soylent green burgers anyone?

    • No, the larval mealworms (“yellow” mealworm Tenebrio molitor) touted as human food are not suitable for that.

  31. In 50 years (maybe) there will be industrial grown protein of edible quality.
    There is such today, mostly following research of how to repair, say heart muscle, or grow replacement organs. This research is leading to edible material.
    Today the cost is way too high and the results are “not quite” there yet.
    We eat a lot of processed foods, so this will be acceptable — at some point.
    Bugs — not so much.

    • If they keep on trying with no useable product in the foreseeable future, it may go the way of fusion power generation. It has been 30 years in the future dating back to the 60’s.

      • There is such today . . .

        . . . but at about $18 per pound production cost and not quite ready for prime space in the food market, you won’t have any to try for awhile. Ten or 20 years, expect to see it. It is a proven concept.

    • Heck, all food is mainly hydrogen, oxygen and carbon with trace elements. Maybe fossil fuels can be transformed into food and we can let the planet go wild. All that methane on Triton and other pkaces can feed space travelers!

  32. On the bright side the next time you went on a picnic, just pretend to put out a spread, and when the ants show up – LUNCH!

  33. with sea level rise (if it is real) and 70% of the earth covered by water right now I would think it is going to be great for shellfish farming and aquaculture, both of which will be more desirable than eating insects.

  34. I realize this has been observed many time but I’m struck again by the nature of climate alarmism: humanity is born in sin ( our mere presence is bad for the planet) and all we can do for redemption is to live lives of self imposed asceticism and denial as directed by those with special knowledge (the UN, IPCC) which the vast majority of followers accept without question and which we must teach our children. How is this not a religion?

  35. I’ve eaten a few bugs in my time. It didn’t kill me.
    Then I learned to keep my mouth shut when riding my motorcycle.

    • Oh now you got me giggling.. wasps.

      How can we get a greenie to try eating wasps? Surely it shouldn’t be hard, they seem to have no clues about anything and probably wouldn’t know the difference between a wasp and a mealworm.. Can we video it? My mind is racing with this – I could imagine some Milly journo setting out to do a puff piece on a swanky new food establishment ending up in the ER to later write a review saying eating insects wasn’t all they’d hoped. This is going to bug me now..

  36. In the tropics termites are a ‘gatherer’ favorite, eaten right out of the hive, especially by pregnant or lactating females who have high protein needs, more than their ‘hunter’ men tend to provide.

  37. The mealworms are probably going to eat soy, corn or wheat byproducts. That means feeding them the same quantity of feedstocks that are now used for beef, chicken, etc. It will take the same ever increasing amount of agrochemicals used today to produce mealworm food. The mealworms will produce digestive waste products. They will give off methane, carbon dioxide and other unusable waste products. The huge amounts of waste products will still have the potential to pollute air and water supplies. This will be nothing more than mealworm-slight-of-hand or meal worm-pie in the sky. New nutritional ill health conditions will appear. Big pharma will step in with a solution. The nutritional quality of food continues to erode for the poorest people. That is who will be force eat mealworms. Look up the history of feeding the masses. Food calorie content as gone up and food nutritional quality has gone down over time. Add petrochemical texturing and flavoring chemicals and sprits, sprinkle or dowse with catsup, soy sauce, sugar and salt and taste the quality.

    • Yep, it’s blindingly obvious that as soon as you farm insects on an industrial scale you have exactly the same issues (if they are indeed real problems) that any other farming has.

    • Sure enough a (2012) PlosOne free full text on-line report “Environmental Impact of the production of mealworms as a protein source for humans …” has the obligatory chart (Fig. 2) of the “global warming potential” of mealworms compares to other protein sources. In the best case scenario chicken has only slightly more of this “potential” than mealworms.

      Table 2 breaks down land use/ mt2 of factors (ex: carrot feed) ivolved in producing 1 kg of mealworms. But it should be borne in mind this is for fresh weight larvae & these are not 100% protein. To get an example of how their rearing is not cost free Fig. 3 gives an idea of how much energy is used by a commercial operation in a non-mediterranean European climate.

  38. The BBC has been on this thread for over a year… meat is bad .. vegan is good… insects for the plebs so the elite can eat the real meat… stop having children… save the world…

  39. Eating insects is a valid “lost in the wild” survival technique.
    I’m not lost, never have been that lost.

  40. Silly people. C’mon, get with the program. Climate change isn’t about climate, it’s about control.

    Meal worm muffins, fly maggot brownies, and Grubs-in-Rice dinners are for us — the unwashed masses. The proles. The lower class. As the Libs dumb-down the education of our children, it will come to pass.

    The Elites understand everyone has to consume essential amino-acids from animal proteins to survive. And by animal, that does include insects.

    Our Betters, you know the elites like Tom Steyer and Barack Obama, all intend to remain consumers of filet Mignon, and roast pheasant, and wild-caught salmon. And send their kids to private school. Where they get real meat and fish in their meals.

    They will do all this by using government mandates and taxes to make it too expensive for >95% of the population to eat anything but grubs and worms for their protein.

  41. It’s so glorious watching the Left go completely and utterly insane..

    Last week it’s Leftists predicting $122 TRILLION ended to save the planet, and this week it’s bugs for dinner, or we’re all gonna die….

    Hmmm. How about not wasting one more dime on CAGW, and eating 1” thick charcoal broiled Ribeye steaks; sanity eventually wins…

  42. But where do all the bugs come from – what do they eat to get to any sort of size or quantity.

    In a way, it has merit IF, the bugs are fed to chickens.
    Chickens love bugs and and and, when they do have a ‘proper’ free range and eat all the bugs they can find, they produce eggs with a proper balance of Omega 3 vs Omega 6 fatty acid.

    Eggs from bug eating and/or free range chickens are really really good for you.

    Contrast eggs from corn or wheat fed chooks which have much higher Omega 6 and lower Omega 3 – they are so awful as to be bad for you.

    And anyway, protein is not especially our problem.
    Our current problem is lack of saturated fat in our diet. We have chosen to eat sugar instead as our calorie source and just see what monsters the mind altering effects of doing so have spawned. Not least the IPCC.

    The craziness goes back to the barley discussion.
    So 17% of barley that is grown becomes beer, but *most* of the rest is fed to livestock. Especially cows as they can ferment the starch and get sugar out of it. (UK farming, is corn or wheat used in the US?)
    But just like us, eating sugar makes the cows fat (and sets off diabetes = the ‘marbling’ you see in your steak)
    The sugar-induced lunacy then reaches its true zenith in the abattoir, butchers and the home kitchen.

    Almost *all* the fat that the barley was used to produce, is thrown away. Binned or burned.
    The same stuff as our own mother’s milk was made of. And we have come to despise it.

    Along with the unwanted fat goes all the time, effort and resources that went to produce it.
    I know that, I was The Farmer.
    And now they tell us to eat bugs. It could not get crazier.
    We really do seem to have a suicidal death wish going on right now.

    Business hint: Buy as large a house as you can and in 10 years time turn it into an old-folks nursing home.
    You Will Be Minted.

  43. The Grauniad’s recent barrage of inanity looks like a desperate flail in the knowledge of impending death of their beloved cause. It calls to mind the death throes of the T1000 terminator after falling into the liquid metal trough at the end of Terminator 2 – all its memes and disguises desperately revisited in its dying moments:

  44. When the next Royal, UN, EU banquet has insects as main course I may be convinced. By the way which is the most suitable wine? Red or white ?

  45. The more I read about this topic, the more convinced I am that it it has less to do with “saving the planet” and more to do with getting people to eat bugs. It’s the modern version of the old laws that prohibited the lower classes from eating foods reserved for the nobility.

  46. It should be compulsory for Guardian staff. They should put their bugs where their mouth is.

  47. Hmmm….eat bugs instead of meat?
    What happens when the best tasting bugs become endangered?
    Eat rats?

  48. Go figure… when people were told something is delicious they’re more inclined to do it. I think they need to do more studies.

  49. Environmentalists picked winners and losers in ecosystems all the time. Destroy all flat desert and erect solar panels. Chop down all small trees for fire control, save only big trees. Don’t eat meat, eat bugs. Install wind towers to chop up raptors and bats. The consequences of these choices are never discussed. Presumably they have no concept what they are doing.

  50. No thanks…. you can keep your bug protein. Or you first…. When I see people pushing the agenda eating that crap on daily basis, as if that would ever happen, then I might consider they are serious.

  51. The insect protein diet is part of Agenda 21, now Agenda 2030. Meat will be only for the ruling elite. Those plebs who can not be persuaded to go vegan, will get insect protein. It’s similar to when the whites ruled South Africa. The black servants were fed mealy meal, a grain based mixture which came in sacks, like dried dog food. The current drive for veganism is also part of the Agenda. Farmland formerly used for meat production will be rewilded, while the displaced humans will be herded into towns to live in tiny high rise apartments. Have you noticed that these apartments are already appearing all over the USA?

  52. The researchers found a way to convince a few extra test subjects to try chocolate-covered worms ONCE. I doubt that this could scale up to a world-wide diet change.

  53. In the 1960s it was the hippies that talked utter rubbish, spewed constant junk ideas and sprouted bankrupt ideologies and alternative ‘religion’ for fools, and wore stuff like flares and paisley shirts, liked communes, took a lot of drugs, and wanted to be veges and drove these weird German ‘combies’ that looked and sounded like total puss.

    All that’s happened today is its the feral united nations and green eco-trrist idiots who are doing all this instead.

    Forrest Gump for UN Secretary-General! And we’ll get some intelligence and common-sense back into the place.

  54. Why don’t they just eat the grass that cattle eats, instead of wasting it feeding cattle? They can’t, they would starve to death, you need to be a ruminant like cattle to digest grass. Also, if the grass isn’t grazed, it will also die. Cattle eat the grass, the earth is happy, the cattle are happy, we eat the cattle and we are happy. A win/win/win.

  55. “But new research from Switzerland and Germany may have found out how to persuade people to eat insects”

    Honestly. It’s not really so difficult. Just genetically modify the cockroaches so that they grow the same size, shape, and flavor as cows.
    Simples. Didn’t need Germany and Switzerland to tell us that, did we?

  56. Many destructive arguments begin with “if everybody just . . .”

    Diet is a personal choice. The notion of forcing everyone to do something for some unproven cause is just a justification to bully people.

  57. “…they’re not only going to try to persuade you, they’re going to persuade your kids and grandkids..” If globalism succeeds, they won’t persuade, they’ll decree. And one man stands in the way, Donald Trump.

  58. “But new research from Switzerland and Germany may have found out how to persuade people to eat insects”

    Ve haf vays of making you eat insects.

  59. Good thing I hunt. In fact, just took a 3*7 opening day on my property. A bit old, definitely gamey because if that age, but I’ll take the gamey aftertaste before I purposefully eat bugs or feed bugs to my children.
    And if these demonic creatures ever outlaw hunting… Well fantastic. No more purchasing tags. I’ll be hunting ten times as often!

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