Cowboys and Insects; Bug Ranching; Why Not Eat Insects? #entomophagy

A new burger and sausage industry? Not yet: insects are so expensive, only the well-educated and well-to-do are serving them at classy dinner parties.

In 1885,Vincent J. Holt published a pamphlet titled Why Not Eat Insects? and 100+ years later, it still hasn’t caught on in America. Why not?

“Without the automation or economies of scale that could make raising them more efficient, they are pretty freaking expensive to grow,” Heather Smith writes:

“What if those same European cultures who had populated the planet with their damn cattle could be persuaded to diversify with a different livestock? What if that livestock was cold-blooded, so that all the food it ate went into making more of itself, instead of helping maintain its own body temperature?  … What if the U.S. became a bug-eating, bug-farming nation?” Just how big can bug-ranching grow?” 

The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a report in 2006,“Livestock’s Long Shadow.” Livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land, 30 percent of the land surface of the planet, and 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions — more than the emissions produced by the transportation sector.

In 2013, the FAO released another report called “Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security,” which provided a broad survey of insect harvesting and farming practices around the world:

Globally, the most commonly consumed insects are beetles (Coleoptera), 31 percent; caterpillars (Lepidoptera), 18 percent; and bees, wasps, and ants (Hymenoptera), 14 percent. Following these are grasshoppers, locusts, and crickets (Orthoptera), 13 percent; cicadas, leafhoppers, planthoppers, scale insects, and true bugs (Hemiptera), 10 percent; termites (Isoptera), 3 percent; dragonflies (Odonata), 3 percent; flies (Diptera), 2 percent; and other orders, 5 percent.

Read the whole article

I’ll be updating this blog post. Meanwhile, how to start my own worm ranch….

About carolkean

novelist, reviewer, editor, book critic for Liberty Island and Perihelion Science Fiction; native prairie/guerilla gardener; champion of liberty, indie authors & underdogs; one of the top two reviewers in Editors &Preditors Poll 2015; Amazon Vine, NetGalley Top Reviewer
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