Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t CFACT – What do greens do when they find a fragile, isolated and desperately impoverished nation? The use it as a petri dish for their policy ideas of course.
SAVE THE LEMURS! EAT THE CRICKETS!
YOU, MY FRIEND, are living through a food revolution. In labs across the world, researchers are growing meat from just a handful of animal cells or engineering striking imitations of meat, including an entirely plant-based burger that bleeds. Human eaters are also starting to appreciate a rich protein source crawling around right under our noses: crickets. People have eaten bugs for millennia, but the Western world forgot that until recently. Companies are now racing to turn crickets into the (lucrative) future of food.
One group of researchers and conservationists, though, thinks it can also use edible insects to save endangered mammals. They’ve spent the past few years developing a program to encourage the people of Madagascar—who have historically consumed insects—to re-embrace bugs as a source of protein. That in turn could relieve pressure on endangered lemurs, which hunters target for bushmeat. The goal is to build facilities to raise and process crickets into a powder, which would create a reliable source of nutrition and jobs for a growing and often undernourished population, all the while saving one of the most iconic primates on Earth.
It’s not malice against lemurs—it’s a matter of survival. “You have to have breakfast before conservation,” says Brian Fisher, an entomologist with the California Academy of Sciences, who helped start the program. “But edible insects is modular—you can start really small and scale up to a family, to a village, to a region.”
As for the taste: “The funny thing is that the cricket we have chosen, fried it tastes like a regular cricket, nothing special,” Hugel says. “But the powder tastes like chocolate. It’s very shocking when you just smell it.”
…Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/save-the-lemurs-eat-the-crickets/?mc_cid=588f257505&mc_eid=096fbd6be9
Nobody asked Madagascans whether they want insect protein. But desperate people will take any food on offer – especially if it tastes like chocolate.
No doubt when the Maduro regime finally collapses in Venezuela, the bug eaters will be straight in, field testing their climate friendly protein ideas a little closer to home.