The locust eaters

If you don’t fancy going vegetarian or vegan to save the planet, would you consider becoming an entomophage instead? Billions of people in 4 out of 5 countries around the world have insects as an important part of the daily nutrition. There are almost 2000 edible insect species, they’re high in protein, low in fat. Some estimates suggest that the water, energy, resources and land needed to cultivate sufficient to replace more conventional “livestock” would be a fraction of that we currently use to grow cattle, sheep, pigs, goats etc.

I bought some mealworm (larvae of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor) to add to the feast on offer to the birds in our garden. Although they smell rather pungently, they are edible to people and I think that they wouldn’t actually be too unpalatable, maybe braised with garlic and ginger, added to fried rice, and with a splash of soy sauce. However, for now, I think I’ll leave the Robins (Erithacus rubecula) to feast on them in the garden. That said, Mrs Sciencebase just noticed that the starlings can also easily get into the makeshift ground-feeding bird shelter (basically, a metal basked) I placed over the platter of mealworm.

Oh, by the way, The Lotus Eaters (aside from being a Scouse 80s indie band) were the race of people in Greek mythology who ate nothing but the fruit and flowers of the lotus plant the narcotic effects of which left them in a permanent state of peaceful apathy, just as we are it seems when it comes to environmental concerns.

I was trying to allude to this apathy in the title of this blog post, but making a play on the fact that maybe we could drag ourselves out of it by dining on locusts instead of ribeye beef steaks? After all, many of us enjoy shrimp, and they’re more closely related to grasshoppers than cows…

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