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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ If nuclear insects are the future, we need to talk about the crap

If nuclear insects are the future, we need to talk about the crap

Two billion people can not be wrong – at least not for almost 2000 species of insects that make good eating around the world. But no one should give you the benefits of an insect, is it? Easier for the environment, filled with strange nutrients, and wow, check feed conversion rate: It takes half of the food as you would give to pigs and chickens and twelfth as much as livestock the same amount cricket protein in the far side of the slaughterhouse. If the Earth has to feed 9 billion people in the coming decades, insects are what is for dinner. Ask the United Nations.

But let's just slow down this train Snowpiercer . Insects like crickets and beetles are a really good source of protein and other nutrients. But what people already eat tend to be wild caught and consumed in a relatively small number. This is not the vast future of the insect, which the UN predicted in 201

3. Factory farms that can grow, grow, kill and deliver millions of animals, require more food for input, more waste and raise difficult questions from entomology to ethics. , "In fact, we do not know that much," says Åsa Berggren, an ecologist at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences at Uppsala, who is trying to decide how sustainable the insect-based menu will be. "And people do not know what we do not know."

This ignorance should bother you because we humans have already put our food system into a crisis of sustainability. Since every soybean vegetarian will tell you in a drop of hemp hat, the global system for raising animal protein for the people they eat has shortcomings. People use 77% of farmland in the world to grow fodder for meat, although they account for only 17% of the calories consumed. Livestock accounts for 14.5% of climate change greenhouse gases; farmed pigs are a possible reservoir of pandemic influenza viruses; chickens breeding stimulates the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria; and giant pools of pig waste threaten the natural disaster every time the hurricane shakes the Carolina.

But this is not a problem with animal protein itself; they are problems of scale and capitalism. Now, the future of insects as food threatens to become something like an industrial one. Some European countries already have "large-scale mass facilities such as the size of the aircraft hangars," Berggren says. But this should not be a disaster. The newly forgotten insect business is an opportunity. "If you start with completely new animals, we need to be able to do it better. Knowing what we know now, what could we change if we start all over again so we do not continue to make it worse? " Berggren and her colleagues put forth some anti-article, lithian not about what is known, but about the unknowns that appear when a swarm of new companies begin to produce mass-produced insects. According to an analysis, edible insects will be a $ 710 million global market over the next five years – multiple species, land in flour or sold as bars and snacks. But cultivating all these insects will mean more space for unintended consequences.

For example, today people use a huge amount of land on Earth to grow plants, and then to feed animals so people can eat the animals. Insects need less of this food to make more protein, and more than any insect (depending on the species) is actually edible – insects with chitin exoskeletons do not bones for that. But it still means that productive agricultural land has to turn from eating people to eating. What you really like is to flip through the thousands of edible insects and find species that grow fast, are not too picky about living conditions, and most importantly, they are not picky. Best case: insects that eat something that people or can not solve recycling problem while freeing up land to feed people instead of human prey. And at the other end of the problem, it would be great to know how much waste will create insects, what's in it and how to use it.

The fact that few people think about sustainability fits into the model. , – We think insects will be a silver bullet for protein and nutrition. But what about all this? "Says Bob Martin, director of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Department's Food Policy Program. This happened with the chicken, he says, and is currently happening with aquaculture as people start building huge offshore farms and pouring them with antibiotics. Companies that work with insects and fish may be able to answer some of these questions. They simply do not publish them

For example, the Aspire Food Group, which produces crickets and cricket flour, sells its entire "frass" – cricket pit to farmers who use it as soil repair. The low percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is not much better than the readily available fertilizers, says Gabe Mott, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Aspire, but some people think that frass increases plant growth. The published work is not clear; the body of literature for cricket frass is more than a chest, obviously. And the crickets have other wastes besides brothers; in the scale that Aspire is currently working on, is insignificant. When they reach thousands of crickets? Not so much. "We want to make sure before we get there that we have a place to send it and it has a significant agricultural value," says Mott.

This day is coming. "We're putting about 5,000 or 10,000 helmets in a container and we have thousands of containers," says Mott. "We can do research on a scale that has never done a lab." This means processing one million hlps per day.

To make it clear, with some measures, the problem of eating the world is not in quantity but in distribution. Reduce the amount of protein that Americans consume and the land used to produce the plants that feed this meat instead can grow fruits and vegetables. Americans still eat more protein and fat than the average in the world and two to three times more red meat than people elsewhere – even in some countries (and in the poorer parts of the United States) there is malnutrition. [19599005] The future of Snowpiercer is more than just making sure the poor people at the rear of the world train have enough cheap insect protein, while 0.01% of them are getting steak. "I believe in insects as a source of food. I have a positive outlook, "says Berggren. "I would like people to see it as a simple solution – just to grow a lot of insects of a kind and everything is fine. The world and our food systems are more complex than that. "Insects are an opportunity; Imagine getting a global food network right from the start.

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