Eating Bugs

The search for new food frontiers in an era of population growth

By 2050, the U.N. predicts, our planet will be inhabited by 2 billion more humans. If income and body mass continue their current upward trends, those billions will be richer and fatter than we are. That means they’ll want meat, not grain. They’ll also want seconds. But will 2050’s concentrated agricultural feeding operations— much less its free-range heritage pig farms—be able to produce enough livestock to meet the demand? 

A growing number of optimistic soothsayers say yes. But only if we expand our definition of livestock to include such underutilized food sources as mealworms, grasshoppers, and Sago grubs. In January 2012, 37 international experts met at the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome to discuss “the potential benefits of using insects for food and feed as part of a broader strategy to achieve global food security.”

Insects, their advocates enthuse, are high in protein and other nutrients: A 100-gram portion of grasshopper meat contains 20.6 grams of protein, just 7 grams less than an equivalent portion of beef. In addition, insect farming requires less water, less feed, and less land per calorie than traditional livestock farming, and it produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions. All in all, 2050’s squirrels and housecats appear to be in luck: When worldwide beef supplies get tight, we’ll have other options.

To get a taste of the future, I recently visited a tequila bar called Mosto in San Francisco’s Mission District, where a local chef named Monica Martinez had been operating her Don Bugito snack bar on Monday nights throughout the spring. Martinez favors gradualism over shock value in her efforts to introduce people to the virtues of entomophagy, or insect eating. Her Crispy Mix appetizer pairs wax moth larvae with thin, inch-long slivers of potato cooked in duck fat and sprinkled with agave worm salt. Side by side in a tiny square serving dish, the golden-brown insects and stem tubers look like brothers from another mother. 

As it turns out, wax moth larvae don’t taste all that different from potatoes either. They’re a little salty, a little smoky. Mostly, though, the insect fetuses are light and airy, not exactly stick-to-your-ribs food. It seems such fare will deliver future food security only if at least 80 percent of 2050’s extra humans are super­models.

Restaurants around the world are showcasing insects in similarly artful ways. At Vij’s, an Indian eatery in Vancouver, the flatbread is made out of roasted crickets. At Typhoon, a pan-Asian restaurant in Santa Monica, you can get silkworm larvae stir-fried in soy, sugar, and white pepper. London’s Archipelago serves pan-fried locusts and crickets as a starter and chocolate-covered scorpions or baby bee brûlée for dessert. 

Such dishes suggest the fundamental irony that informs contemporary entomophagy. While insect evangelists champion bugs as a potential solution to looming food shortages for the masses, we eat them today largely because food for the comparatively well-off is so boringly abundant. For millions of people, food is no longer just a form of sustenance, comfort, or sensual pleasure; it’s a medium for exploration, discovery, and self-expression. Like a roiling army of ants clear-cutting their way through the Amazon jungle, today’s foodies devour everything in their path on the hunt for new flavor combinations to taste and new textures to tweet. Having exhausted the possibilities of seaweed ice cream and frog-ovary soup, they turn their restless palates to boiled cockroaches.

But what will it to take for such fare to cross the chasm from novelty to staple? Couple the artisanal cachet provided by talented chefs like Monica Martinez with insect husbandry’s tiny environmental footprint, and it’s easy to depict the whole cuisine as a utopian endeavor, a radically out-of-the-box solution to the corporate industrial food system and all the plagues it has unleashed upon the world.

Yet who is best positioned to make the green, sustainable, cruelty-free promise of large-scale insect farming a reality? To augment 2050’s food supply in a significant way, to have a real impact on greenhouse gas emissions, an industry that essentially doesn’t exist today will need to figure out how to produce hundreds of billions of pounds of insect meat per year in just three and a half decades.

Today’s insect farms primarily serve the pet food and bait markets. In the U.S., they produce enough food to keep approximately 13.6 million pet frogs, toads, and lizards satisfied, but humans tend to have bigger appetites, and there are a lot more of us. In the future, we will not only need far more insect farms; we will need bigger, more productive farms as well. 

Regulation of the industry is likely to get more stringent when people replace tarantulas as the target consumer. As insects inch their way toward the food pyramid, disease management capabilities will need to improve. (In the last few years, for example, cricket paralysis densovirus, which is harmless to humans and other creatures but fatal to Acheta domesticus, the common brown house cricket, has wreaked havoc on the commercial cricket industry in the U.S.) 

There will also be a great demand for processing—increasing shelf life, ensuring product safety and consistency, and, most of all, making mealworms and crickets look and feel and taste a little less like mealworms and crickets. While many people may never eat insects even after they’ve been beheaded, declawed, and dewinged, they might eat insect flour or sports bars fortified with insect protein.

Especially if these products taste good, come in attractive packages, and are aggressively advertised. A shot of tequila does wonders for the palatability of a roasted grasshopper, but entomophagy isn’t going to hit the big time on tequila bars alone. It will take experimentation in state-of-the-art R&D kitchens, consumer testing, alluring packaging design, massive advertising campaigns, and probably some help from Shrek and SpongeBob SquarePants. Indeed, given that adults are more likely than children to harbor longstanding, hard-to-change biases, it makes more sense to target kids, positioning insect gobbling as a fun, rewarding activity.

Will Big Food accept the challenge? Corporate behemoths like Archer Daniels Midland, Tyson, and Cargill have more experience killing insects than cultivating them, but they also have the expertise it will take to create a robust insect farming sector in just a few decades. As do companies such as Kraft Foods, General Mills, Walmart, and McDonald’s.

So far these food giants haven’t expressed much interest in bugs. But given their reputations for relentless cost cutting, it’s only a matter of time before they discover the profit-boosting efficacies of grub nuggets and mealworm burgers.

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  • R C Dean||

    If supplies of meat are constrained by logistics, and the demand for meat goes up because people have more money and their tastes change, then the price of meat will go up.

    Now, if people develop a taste for "alternative" cheaper proteins like insects, that's fine, they should be able to buy and eat them.

    But if their tastes don't change, and they can't afford meat, guess what? They won't eat meat, or bugs.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yeah, we know all this already. It was outlined in Starship Troopers. Eating bugs is what starts the Space Insects War.

  • Brutus||

    The only good bug is a dead bug. Join the Mobile Infantry!

  • Dovahkiin||

    Would you like to know more?

  • nipplemancer||

    Casper Van Dien grew up on Van Dien Ave.

  • ||

    Flip six three hole!

  • ant1sthenes||

    It's not like our society doesn't already eat arthropods.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    It helps when busty New Englanders in tight shirts shove them at you.

  • Aresen||

    I was going to make a similar comment.

    Overall, there are very few orders of biota that humans don't either eat directly or consume their produce.

  • Mo||

    People eat bugs all the time. They're just hidden in things like peanut butter.

  • sarcasmic||

    Most people would be shocked to know the amount of insect material that is allowed in things like peanut butter and wheat flour.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    Well we've seen already that quite some of you already ate insects maybe occasionally, but I can tell you that every one of you is eating insects, without any exception. You're eating at least 500 grams per year. What are you eating? Tomato soup, peanut butter, chocolate, noodles -- any processed food that you're eating contains insects, because insects are here all around us, and when they're out there in nature they're also in our crops.

    From the Ted Talks below.

  • Shirley Knott||

    I went to the grocery to buy a can of rat hairs and animal impurities, but every single one had tuna fish in it.
    Lily Tomlin

  • MattJ||

    any processed food that you're eating contains insects

    Luckily, there were no insects in the raw broccoli I had with my lunch today. Zero.

    Right? Because someone went through it all with a microscope and got every aphid off of there.

    Seriously, though... the guy could have just said 'food'

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But then he's not fighting the evil corporations!

  • BakedPenguin||

    I had some raspberries yesterday, and while washing them off, noticed a small caterpillar crawling on one. I personally rinsed it off, but I respect other people's choices on the matter.

  • Moogle||

    I just trust in quantum mechanics. What I don't know about does not fully exist.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    And there's the conversion factor. You take 10 kilograms of feed, you can get one kilogram of beef, but you can get nine kilograms of locust meat. So if you would be an entrepreneur, what would you do? With 10 kilograms of input, you can get either one or nine kg. of output. So far we're taking the one, or up to five kilograms of output. We're not taking the bonus yet. We're not taking the nine kilograms of output yet. So that's two points for insects.

    From TED Talks. Give it time and it might happen.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    9 kgs of stuff no one wants to eat isn't the more profitable choice.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    9 kgs of stuff no one wants to eat isn't the more profitable choice.

    No one wants to eat, yet. You won't make money in the US, but you might in Africa or Asia.

  • Joe R.||

    I'd rather take 10 kilograms of cement, stick my feet in it, and jump off a bridge.

  • ||

    This

  • Moogle||

    Then you try to sell the insects. Oops. Time for a government subsidy!

    Eh, vat grown supermeat with high levels of Good Stuff and low levels of Bad Stuff is just around the corner. Special formulations will glow in the dark, or give you spontaneous orgasms like in the Matrix.

    I'll eat that before I eat bugs, because SCIENCE!

  • gaoxiaen||

    But you get 3.5 kg of pork.

  • Scarcity||

    Do insects make sense as a significant ingredient in livestock feed? If so, that could be a sensible intermediate step to get insect farming up and running while not relying on the McD's Quarter Crawler taking the market by storm right away.

    But I honestly have no idea if using insects in feed would in any way improve the business of livestock farming.

  • SIV||

    There are sheep on some calcium deficient Scottish Island that eat ground-nesting bird hatchlings.

  • ||

    . . . that could be a sensible intermediate step to get insect farming up and running while not relying on the McD's Quarter Crawler taking the market by storm right away.

    Introducing insects into the menu shouldn't be too much of a stretch for the fast-food industry. I guarantee that anyone who's gotten snippy with a drive-thru clerk has unwittingly eaten things far, far worse than mealworms.

  • Brandybuck||

    So my brother was working at a McD's during college, when a coworker cut himself with a knife. He didn't notice it, and continued frying and flipping the patties for about fifteen minutes before wondering where all the ketchup was coming from. Approx 10 to 20 customers got extra tasty hamburgers that day...

  • o3||

    I've eaten wocked-up grasshoppers w chilies in korea. not bad really.

    course i've also eaten grilled dog-on-a-spit (and probably cat). not bad either. but i couldnt get past eating dog...unlike eating horse steaks in germany which i ordered several times.

    most of this is cultural not culinary

  • mad libertarian guy||

    most of this is cultural not culinary

    Agreed.

    That said, bugs are fucking nasty, I don't give that's it's my cultural sensibilities which dictate that or not.

  • Pip||

    o3 is Obama?

  • Joe R.||

    I ate ants in China. Once was enough.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So far, this is the answer we're getting from the UN and the establishment. When have they ever been right? I mean, seriously, weren't these same folks telling us 20 years ago that our future was soy/kelp? As meat becomes more valuable, people find ways to produce meat more efficiently. That's what markets do.

  • o3||

    im thinkin bill didnt have lobotomized chickens in mind (ha!) when discussing market efficiencies.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....06960.html

    im not sure id eat that.
    im not sure id know anyway.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, it's going to be people, okay? People tastes like meat, because it is meat. That'll make the PETA-types happy, because no animals will suffer, and it'll make meat eaters happy, as they get to eat meat.

    Soylent Green. Good for you. Good for America. Good for the environment. Good for animals. And it's made from the best stuff in life: people.

  • o3||

    moar importantly, soylent green removes the non-productive from our society

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    So, are you saying that you have found a solution for the obesity problem?

  • Pro Libertate||

    This is a solution to all problems. No wonder Joseph Cotten got into this business.

    Ever wonder if the real end to Soylent Green was Thorn yelling out that Soylent Green is people, followed by his chief saying, "Well, sure, haven't you ever looked at the side of the box? Or heard their commercials?"

  • SIV||

    y' meatanimals

    Most, if not all, of the text of one of the finest novels in 20th Century American genre literature.

  • Shorter UN||

    TIGGY!!!! TIGGY!!!!

  • Shorter UN||

    Let them eat bugs!

  • John||

    I am thinking they will develop ways to grow meat in labs long before people develop a taste for bugs. The whole "we must eat bugs in the future" bullshit has been around for years. It wasn't true when the hippies were saying it in the 70s and it isn't true now.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I had the exact thought when I first saw this piece. Synthetic meat will come way before anything like this.

  • Hyperion||

    Me too, the problem will be, as with everything else that exists today... government regulation and bureaucracy.

    Sure, we will get there some day, but billions will unnecessarily eat bugs or/and die of hunger first, because of what I just mentioned FUCKING GOVERNMENT!!!! The killer of everything that is good and decent!

  • Brett L||

    "It tastes like... despair"

  • Nephilium||

    "Don't name it, or you won't want to eat it."

  • R C Dean||

    Not true. One of my Pater Dean's rancher buddies always has a steer he's fattening up special for home consumption.

    The current, one, I believe, is named "T-Bone."

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Pater Dean's

    Is that like a Pater Familius?

  • ||

    Most likely scenario, the artificial meat thing will be 'unnatural'. GMO hate times 1000. But hopefully the market demand will overcome the opposition.

  • sarcasmic||

    Corporations! Profits! OMG!

  • John||

    It would in the third world for sure.

  • ||

    It would probably be a lot easier to grow filet mignon in the lab by selecting the muscle tissue then producing a huge cow and selecting the small tender part.

    And if the cells are fed by bacteria somehow (grass ruminants are naturally carnivores in the sense that they eat bacteria not cellulose) then a natural grassfed n-3/n-6 ration might also be possible.

  • John||

  • Moogle||

    How huge a cow we talking here? Are there potential military applications?

  • ||

    Well, in proportion.

    Drone driven monster cow stampedes of brown people would be a green-war side effect.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    This sounds like it would a lot more plausible.

  • BakedPenguin||

    We won't need to eat bugs, anyway. Didn't any of you see the post below this one? Soon we'll have massive lobsters, big enough for women to ride side-saddle.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    Soon we'll have massive lobsters, big enough for women to ride side-saddle.

    Just like the tiger shrimp people are bitching about in the gulf. I say turn the shrimpers loose on them and problem solved.

  • o3||

    they dont taste as good as 'merican ones...traitor

  • The Hammer||

    I prefer prawns.

  • John||

    Will they come with comely French girls riding them?

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    No, Asian girls.

  • sarcasmic||

    Blond ones? With big tits?

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    Whatever floats your boat sarc.

  • sarcasmic||

    When was the last time you saw an blond Asian girl with big tits?

    Exactly.

    It was a joke.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    It was a joke.

    I know

  • BakedPenguin||

    404. This isn't, but it is NSFW.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    Baked,

    If the 404 was for me:

    http://i.pbase.com/v3/12/47521.....7.OK01.jpg

    seems to work.

  • BakedPenguin||

    My bad - it was my browser. Also, very nice.

  • Moogle||

    "Anime"

    Admittedly the pink and blue hairs outnumber the blonde, but still.

  • Brett L||

    "The magic word is Rock'n'Roll"

  • John||

    I want French girls. Don't have the Asian fetish.

  • sarcasmic||

    You like hairy women who don't use deodorant?

  • John||

    Have you ever been to France? There is no shortage of beautiful women there.

  • sarcasmic||

    I live in Maine. Need I elaborate?

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    I thought you liked Italian women? No shortage of beautiful asian women either.

  • John||

    I like them all. And while some Asian women are very attractive, I prefer European or Latin women.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    I like them all.

    Agree. Beautiful women are found everywhere.

  • John||

    Yeah, that is one of the reasons I never understood racist. Why on earth would you want to limit the population of women you might some day sleep with?

  • Hyperion||

    There are attractive ones everywhere, but Latin, especially Brasileiras, the best overall.

  • BakedPenguin||

    What kind of world would it be if they didn't?

  • John||

    Not one I would want to live in.

  • MattJ||

    Agreed with John.

    Why grow the whole pig when you can grow bacon from magic bacon stem cells in a nutrient bath?

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    Why grow the whole pig when you can grow bacon from magic bacon stem cells in a nutrient bath?

    As a vegetarian this is fascinating to me. How would they react to this from a moral standpoint?

  • John||

    Many of them would still be vegetarian. For some of them, not all, but some, being a vegetarian is just a way to be different.

  • sarcasmic||

    Goth Kid: If you want to be one of the nonconformists, all you have to do is dress just like us and listen to the same music we do.

  • T||

    Bacon is already magic. Magic bacon is redundant.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ever baconated your bourbon?

    http://www.theagitator.com/200.....r-bourbon/

    If you haven't then it's worth a try.

    Yum^2

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Bacon up them sausages, boy!"
    "Dad, I'm having chest pains."
    "You live in my house, you live by my rules! Now butter up that bacon!"

  • T||

    Yup. I used Evan Williams, but next time I'm going to try Old Forrester. The distiller at my preferred bourbon house (Garrison Brothers) recommended Old Forrester as the best cheap bourbon out there. We did a blind tasting at the house and concluded he was right.

  • John||

    I will have to try that. What would you consider cheap bourbon?

  • sarcasmic||

    Beam is cheap. Early Times is cheap.

  • John||

    I think Beam is perfectly fine bourbon. And I wouldn't call it cheap. When I think cheap I think Old Granddad.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think Beam is perfectly fine bourbon.

    I agree. It's what I used when I tried baconated bourbon.
    Came out pretty good.

    But it is cheap, as in there ain't much that costs less and a lot that costs more.

  • T||

    I can't keep Beam in the house. My wife had one of those spectacular legendary vomiting hangover drunks on the stuff in college and the smell still nauseates her.

  • T||

    Anything under about 20 bucks a bottle is cheap in my universe. I think the Old Forrester was 14-ish? Any liquor under $10 a fifth, in my experience, isn't fit to drink.

    It doesn't have the depth or complexity of the more expensive bourbons, but it's a pleasant little bourbon. For comparison, we were using Wild Turkey 80 proof, Maker's Mark, Evan Williams, Woodford Reserve, Garrison Brothers, Old Forrester, and I think we threw Jack Daniels as a ringer. The Old Forrester wasn't ever the best by anybody's standards, but at the price point you really can't beat it.

    And for the record, the only one we had to go and buy was the Old Forrester. The wife and I collect liquor like some people collect tchotkes.

  • John||

    My wife and I have become more scotch drinkers. I love my Islay Scotch.

  • R C Dean||

    See, I knew there was a reason I liked you.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I also recommend Elijah Craig as under appreciated "middle of the road" bourbon. All though I haven't bought any in a a while, and that stuff goes in cycles, so it might cost the same as Makers and Knob Creek now.

  • ||

    Oh man, Garrison Brothers is delicious but certainly not cheap.

  • sarcasmic||

    It seems such fare will deliver future food security only if at least 80 percent of 2050’s extra humans are super­models.

    I fail to see a problem with this.

  • wareagle||

    At Vij’s, an Indian eatery in Vancouver, the flatbread is made out of roasted crickets. At Typhoon, a pan-Asian restaurant in Santa Monica, you can get silkworm larvae stir-fried in soy, sugar, and white pepper. London’s Archipelago serves pan-fried locusts and crickets as a starter and chocolate-covered scorpions or baby bee brûlée for dessert.

    if this paragraph does not scream "hispter", it is hard to imagine what does.

  • o3||

    "Today, I saw a group of Chap Stick-physiqued, skim milk-toned, 38-year-old cul-de-sac kids from Flyoverlandia who have “saved” Brooklyn - toasting pint glasses full of re-purposed, triple-distilled, organic Gowanus Canal water to celebrate their proposal to Brooklyn Borough Hall to build an electric fence around Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Park Slope to keep out minorities, immigrants and native Brooklyn-accented people. So I put on a pair of circa-1958 librarian glasses, a wool ski-cap, a 25 foot long scarf, a fake Ulysses S. Grant beard and filthy Converse sneakers to blend in; when they all tilted their heads back to drink, I leaped and spun into a helicopter round house kick and broke all of their dirty Pez Dispenser necks in one motion. End of story."
    http://diehipster.wordpress.com/

  • John||

    I love that guy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Cricket naan? That's not how you're supposed to make it.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    At some point, isn't declaring things are lame because only hipsters like them itself a form of hipsterism?

  • John||

    Hipsterism is an attitude. It is the attitude that is deplorable not the object. For example, when a normal person uses an IMAC or an Iphone, they use it because they like it and it works. When a Hipster uses one it is about "look at me" and proving to the world what a hipster he is. It is that attitude that people hate, not the use of the IMAC which is a perfectly acceptable computer.

    Often hipsters do truely assinine things like ride bikes with retarded six foot seats or drink shitty beer trying to be ironic in the name of getting the world to look at them. There both the action and the attitude behind it are loathsome. But it can just be the attitude. Hipsters make anything they do into a loathsome and despicable activity.

  • Brett L||

    When my poor friends with jobs order PBR at a bar, I assume it is because they'd rather hang out longer and drink 4 beers instead of 3. They don't pretend its their favorite beer.

  • John||

    That is a great example. When you drink PBR because you just want a cheap drunk or it is hot and a crappy light American beer hits the spot, you are being a normal person. When you drink it to make a statement to the world, you are a fucking hipster and like all hipsters need to be shot.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Likewise, if someone is listing bug based dishes offered at various restaurants, a normal person thinks "oh, that doesn't sound very good, I think I'll pass" or "that sounds interesting, I'd like to try it" or "hmmm, I wonder what that tasted like?"

    o3 apparently starts trying to decode whether those dishes would appeal to the sort of people he wants to be seen in public with, which is the essence of the hipster attitude.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Likewise, if someone is listing bug based dishes offered at various restaurants, a normal person thinks "oh, that doesn't sound very good, I think I'll pass" or "that sounds interesting, I'd like to try it" or "hmmm, I wonder what that tasted like?"

    o3 apparently starts trying to decode whether those dishes would appeal to the sort of people he wants to be seen in public with, which is the essence of the hipster attitude.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Likewise, if someone is listing bug based dishes offered at various restaurants, a normal person thinks "oh, that doesn't sound very good, I think I'll pass" or "that sounds interesting, I'd like to try it" or "hmmm, I wonder what that tasted like?"

    o3 apparently starts trying to decode whether those dishes would appeal to the sort of people he wants to be seen in public with, which is the essence of the hipster attitude.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Dammit.

  • sarcasmic||

    The three o'clock squirrels are strong today.

  • T||

    Exactly. You drink shitty beer when you're broke becvause you have to, not because it's ironic statement.

  • wareagle||

    every now and then, I wonder why PBR and not Old Milwaukee, Schlitz, or the venerable Champagne of Beers, Miller. Or even Black Label, in the old wide mouth bottles.

  • John||

    Because they are hipsters and that is what the heard decided. And yeah, if I am going to drink a light American beer, give Natty Bo or even the Beast before PBR.

  • T||

    Every once in a while, me and some friends will get our nostalgia on and drink some Mickey's big mouths.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Pro Libertate||

    Fuck that shit.

  • ||

    I so gotta see that movie again, it's been ages.

  • John||

    I love Isabella Rosilini.

  • Hyperion||

    Blech to all shitty American beer. Every once in a while I have a notion to drink one of them just for nostalgia sake, and each time, it nearly makes me gag and it's back to the store to get some good beer.

    Best cheap beer around here is Yuengling and fortunately I haven't been broke enough to have to drink it for a few years.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    PBR had the most anti-marquee-value.

  • NoVAHockey||

    the were serving PBR in the VIP tent at a national zoo fundraiser last night. $80+ tickets and they were lined up.

    oh well, less of a line for good beer.

  • John||

    That is just fucking sorry. Sorry. I hate hipsters.

  • NoVAHockey||

    if you haven't been, brew at the zoo is a good time. here's the list of breweries. not all micros, but no reason at all to drink PBR

    http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Acti.....weries.cfm

  • John||

    I have never been. I will have to go next year.

  • wareagle||

    maybe when we get to the point, but we're not there yet.

  • ||

    If income and body mass continue their current upward trends, those billions will be richer and fatter than we are. That means they’ll want meat, not grain.

    Individual wealth is negatively correlated with obesity, in first world countries at least. The poor and lower middle class, who get the majority of their calories from processed foods, mostly from grains, sugar and vegetable oils.

  • ||

    I ate bugs several times in Asia. If cooked right they can taste pretty good but most people aren't going to get over the texture.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I recall that John the Baptist reportedly ate honey and locusts in the desert. Maybe that could make a comeback?

  • John||

    It didn't work out so well for him no did it?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I dunno, we're talking about him now, aren't we? And he didn't die due to poor diet or disease.

  • sarcasmic||

    To be fair to the locusts, it wasn't their idea to have his head delivered on a platter.

  • John||

    True.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, their mandibles were clean.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Well it did at first, but then he kinda lost his head...

    Thank you. I'll be here all week.

  • Brett L||

    OT: How do we feel about police shooting fleeing chimps?

    The chimpanzees jumped over walls into peoples' backyards before police tried to corral them back to their own home. When the male chimpanzee darted across Ann Road, a police officer pulled out his gun and fired at the animal as one of his owners watched.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've no problem with anyone shooting chimps.
    Fleeing, sitting, eating, sleeping, doesn't matter.
    In the street, in the wild, in the zoo, doesn't matter.
    No compunction against people killing chimps at all.
    I only ask that you invite me to the party.

  • Brett L||

    What if they're having a knife fight whilst wearing tophats and monocles?

  • sarcasmic||

    I suppose I could stand to wait until the fight is over before dispatching the winner.

  • The Rantin Arkansan||

    If income and body mass continue their current upward trends, those billions will be richer and fatter than we are. That means they’ll want meat, not grain.

    "Fatter" and "want meat, not grain" do not correlate in the slightest.

  • The Rantin Arkansan||

    Ugh. Stupid fucking tags.

  • ||

    I already said this in a more eloquent and subtle manner above. And I managed to close all my tags, loser.

  • Voros McCracken||

    I read this as a kid. Shocked to find out it had been censored because of the subject matter.

    Have parents really become that deranged?

  • Hyperion||

    And in other news, looks like all the working taxpayers will soon be eating bugs, while the permanent welfare class dines on filet and lobster, with no fear of ever having to get a job:

    From the Washington Examiner

    the Obama administration “released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996,” according to Robert Rector, a welfare policy expert at the Heritage Foundation.

    The directive — which some Romney aides found stunning — allows the Department of Health and Human Services to waive the work requirement at the heart of welfare reform. That reform, originally vetoed but later signed into law by President Bill Clinton, is widely viewed as the most successful policy initiative in a generation. Under it, the growth in welfare rolls was reversed and millions of people moved from welfare to work.

    Un-F'in real.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    If the Supreme Court can make law, why can't the President unmake it?

  • John||

    Great fucking plan to do that in an election year. Obama is just amazingly incompetent. I have to admit I kinda want to see the dumb bastard win just to see how much damage he can actually do the Democratic Party given four more years without any adult supervision.

    I really think people like Bill Clinton and Ed Rendell are praying that he loses in November because they are worried there will not be a Democratic party left when he is done.

  • ||

    Can I interject for the hundredth time that I think another four year of Obama bungling would be better in the long-term? Not that I relish four more years of that smugopoly.

  • Hyperion||

    It's a bad plan in any year, in any century, in any universe. It's just plain stupidity period. I am really starting to believe that Cloward/Piven stuff that Beck was running his mouth about. Nobody could really be THAT stupid to think this is a good thing for a nation could they? Just tell people you don't have to work and we will take care of you, forever? Where the fuck am I? Is this real or just a nightmare?

  • John||

    He is the village idiot. If he wins the election, there will not be a Democratic party left when he is done and there may not be a country. I am starting to think he is going to lose for no other reason that nothing that catastrophic ever really happens.

  • Hyperion||

    Don't underestimate the stupidity of the GOP, John. They CAN find a way to lose. If Obama is re-elected, him and his rainbowtopia progerssives will go completely wild. The right will fully revolt against it. It will get really interesting.

  • John||

    The coming fiscal reality is going to force whoever is President to act. And if not the President the Congress. I have to admit watching unicorn believing progressives whine about how Obama betrayed them would be pretty damned funny.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was wondering what was going on with that law, as it seems like people are getting public assistance nonstop again.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You can only get unemployment for 99 weeks (unless they raised it again while I wasn't looking). Why do you want to make people work more than every 2 years?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm getting so tired of paying for other people to do nothing.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Asshole. I hope Clinton kicks him in the nuts.

  • NoVAHockey||

    which Clinton?

  • Hyperion||

    Not the Hildebeast. She could care less. All she wants to do is invade Iran, or invade some country, and sign off on stupid UN treaties.

  • ||

    This is stunning how? Look who we are talking about here. Geeez. That it took him this long is the only thing that is surprising.

  • NoVAHockey||

    We're all Frank Grimes now.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, just FYI Lobster is technically a bug and interestingly enough there was once a law on the books that said feeding it to prisoners more than 3 times a week constituted cruel and unusual punishment

  • ||

    Somewhere around here I have an account from an early english settler who was embarrassed because people were coming to visit and all he had to serve them was lobster.

  • Rasilio||

    Eh, we just need some enterprising fisherman to figure out a way to harvest these...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_isopod

    My understanding is that they actually taste very good, similar to lobster and since they are primarily carniverous scavengers they could be fed scraps from other animal processing (including other insects). Plus given that they live on the bottom in relatively deep water that is otherwise commercially unusable you would be opening up huge new harvesting fields. The key is to find a way to corral them into a defined space and then gather them up to a single central location for harvesting.

  • ||

    Those things give me the creeps. While you are looking at him wondering what kind of sauce to put on him, he is looking at you thinking...'fuck it, I dont need no sauce. Hold still.'

  • Hyperion||

    Scallops give me the creeps too, until they are prepped to be cooked. But they are still yummy.

  • ||

    I have no problems with scallops....yum. I go every summer and snorkel for them with my brother near the pepperfish keys.

    What in the world is creepy about scallops? They are not giant bugs that will eat you given the chance.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Holy shit we need to wipe those things off the face of the earth before they go all Starship Troopers on us.

  • Rasilio||

    Yeah but so do aligators and squid and thems good eating so why not these critters and hey it's not like you even need to see them in their natural form, we could have the factory cut all the meat out of the shell and sell it like a steak.

  • ||

    I saw the movie 'damnation alley' when I was a kid. Bugs that eat people give me the creeps. I know crawfish will eat the dead, but these isopods remind me of that movie, and you dong have to be dead to be a meal for them. Silly, I know, but there you have it.

    Note - after audrey went through new orleans and killed so many people, washing bodies out into the swamps, no one in louisiana would eat crabs or crawfish for about three years after.

  • ||

    dong? *headsmack*

  • ||

  • Rasilio||

    I too saw Damnation Alley as a kid. I was about 9 or 10 when it came out.

    This is the true story of that night...

    It was a hot summer night making it difficult to sleep after we got back from the drive in so after watching this movie that was in no way appropriate for a 10 year old where a guy gets eaten to death by roaches I am laying there in bed half asleep and I feel something on my shoulder. Looking down I saw a roach there and was paralyzed in fear thinking I was about to be eaten. I proceeded to walk down the entire length of my body and hopped off at my ankle at which point I was finally able to teleport myself from my bed out of my room without touching the floor in the process (about 10 feet) and would not go back in there for anything.

    To this day some 30 years later roaches terrify me.

  • Hyperion||

    But, the problem here, is that you are thinking. It's the governments job to do the thinking, citizen. There are shortages, and we are harming the environment. There must be shortages or the government cannot control, regulate, and ration. And that is what government does best, for your own good.. and the children. Now move along before we put you on a list. You are obviously a trouble maker.

  • ||

    "You are obviously a trouble maker."

    You have no idea.

  • Jarad||

    If this all comes about, what the hell would Andrew Zimmern do on his show?

  • Rasilio||

    Actually eat a hamburger, which by then should be a strange food for most since Beef would become so expensive.

  • Invisible Finger||

    But what will it to take for such fare to cross the chasm from novelty to staple?

    Same as always: Ag subsidies.

  • KriegsEA||

    Well, aminos are aminos, after all.

    And we already have grasshooppers bigger than hummingbirds. A squirrel or rabbit would be a more aspirational size goal.

  • ||

    farming requires less water, less feed, v and less land per calorie than traditional livestock farming, and it produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions.

  • شات عراقنا||

    thank you

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