Monday, August 2, 2010

U.N.: "Insects could be the key to meeting food needs of growing global population"

I'm on board the second they show up on the menu in the U.N.'s executive dining room and at the 5-star hotels the transnational crowd seems to favor.*
Here's the headline story from the Guardian:

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation is taking seriously the farming of creepy-crawlies as nutritious food
Saving the planet one plateful at a time does not mean cutting back on meat, according to new research: the trick may be to switch our diet to insects and other creepy-crawlies.

The raising of livestock such as cows, pigs and sheep occupies two-thirds of the world's farmland and generates 20% of all the greenhouse gases driving global warming. As a result, the United Nations and senior figures want to reduce the amount of meat we eat and the search is on for alternatives.
A policy paper on the eating of insects is being formally considered by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. The FAO held a meeting on the theme in Thailand in 2008 and there are plans for a world congress in 2013.

Professor Arnold van Huis, an entomologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the author of the UN paper, says eating insects has advantages.

"There is a meat crisis," he said. "The world population will grow from six billion now to nine billion by 2050 and we know people are consuming more meat. Twenty years ago the average was 20kg, it is now 50kg, and will be 80kg in 20 years. If we continue like this we will need another Earth."
Van Huis is an enthusiast for eating insects but given his role as a consultant to the FAO, he can't be dismissed as a crank. "Most of the world already eats insects," he points out. "It is only in the western world that we don't. Psychologically we have a problem with it. I don't know why, as we eat shrimps, which are very comparable."...MORE
*From our April '09 post "How Ludicrous are Climate Change Meetings?":
Via Environmental Capital:
...After the laughter died down, Mr. de Boer said the main achievement had been “to allow people to get comfortable” with one another and set the agenda for more meetings later this year.
Who are these people?
I am reminded of the response of the U.N. after the 2004 Asian tsunami: 
...WFP (World Food Program) has "arrived"
in the capital with an "assessment and coordination team." The
following is no joke; no Diplomad attempt to be funny or clever:
The team has spent the day and will likely spend a few more setting
up their "coordination and opcenter" at a local five-star hotel.
And their number one concern, even before phones, fax and copy
machines? Arranging for the hotel to provide 24hr catering service.
USAID folks already are cracking jokes about "The UN Sheraton."
Meanwhile, our military and civilians, working with the super
Aussies, continue to keep the C-130 air bridge of supplies flowing
and the choppers flying, and keep on saving lives -- and without
24hr catering services from any five-star hotel . . . . The
contrast grows more stark every minute.
-Diplomad via the Volokh Conspiracy.

The American and Royal Australian Navies were actually saving lives:...
I should also have mentioned the helicopters from Singapore, sorry guys.