Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let Them Eat Bugs & Reduce Use of Pesticides

As developing countries get richer meat’s ecological footprint is set to get even bigger. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at the United Nations considers livestock “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” It predicts that the world’s demand for meat will nearly double by 2050.

Eating insects does far less damage. For one thing, the habit could help to protect crops. Some 30 years ago the Thai government, struggling to contain a plague of locusts with pesticides, began encouraging its citizens to collect and eat the insects. Officials even distributed recipes for cooking them. Locusts were not commonly eaten at the time, but they have since become popular. Today some farmers plant corn just to attract them. Stir-frying other menaces could help reduce the use of pesticides.

Let them eat bugs
July 12, 2008


Here is an article where there could be an opportunity for humans to harvest insects as food rather than resorting to pesticides. The talks about how the rising atmospheric temperatures from C02 emissions has significantly increased the amount of damage caused by leaf-eating insects to food crops and plants in general.

"Our study shows [that] ... when temperature increases, the diversity of insect-feeding damage on plant species also increases."

In addition to migration from tropical regions, the scientists believe that insects had to eat more because the rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere made leaves less nutritious because they contained relatively smaller concentrations of nitrogen.

Insect explosion 'a threat to food crops'
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mopane Worms in S. Africa by Andri

Photo courtesy of

"I was in Africa for about a month, on a trip to visit friends there with my Dad. We traveled through several countries in the sub-Saharan, and had a cool opportunity to try mopane worms one evening. The worms were toasted or dried like jerky...something to that effect...and they tasted fine – very similar to beef jerky. I was told that Bushmen travel(ed) with small sachels filled with mopane worms when crossing the Kalahari Dessert and voyaging far from home. It's said that the mopane worms are high in protein and other nutrients essential for health and survival, especially in the desserts where food sources are scarce. I'd eat the worms again if they were convenient to get."

Thanks to Andri from Coffee Cup Crusade for sharing her story about this S. African delicacy!

She also sent us a few links:

Stinkbugs and mopane worms for Aids patients

This nutritious source of food can be healthy and beneficial to people, "But the worm, which has a dry, gritty texture and slightly meaty taste, has fallen out of favour with blacks because they are ashamed of their traditional culture in the face of Western disapproval of eating insects..."

A London-based specialty food company who serve up snacks from all over the world. Some delicacies include: dried mopani worm, toffee scorpion candy, giant hornet's honey, scorpion vodka, and giant toasted leafcutter ants. These can all be found under their aptly named section Insectivore. They also carry insect products such as Scorpion Extract Wash.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mini-Stories by Mini-Readers

Got a story to tell? We would love to share your minilivestock eating experience(s) in our Mini-Stories by Mini-Readers section.

Send text, pictures, videos, drawings, or interpretive dancing to Looking forward to hear your stories!

Bug Girl’s Blog

Many thanks to Bug Girl! This doctor in Entomology (the scientific study of insects) was kind enough to write a post on us! Check out the Minilivestock post here.

Bug Girl's bug research involves using pheromones to try to control insect populations without pesticides. This is great to hear because humans have created synthetic insecticides for years to create an insect-free agriculture. A concern is that new strains of insects will have to evolve in order to become resilient to these pesticides. As we strive to create a stronger, more potent pesticide than the previous formula, we accelerate the danger to ourselves and the environment.

It is possible to find alternative options to using pesticides. Rather then trying to terminate the insects, people can take advantage of the situation and get by harvesting the crop AND the insects — a 2-for-1 deal. This idea and Bug Girl's research are both possible options to explore. These alternative options can protect agriculture, feed people, and benefit the earth, our health, and safety.

Also, don't forget to check out the rest of her blog to find out more about insects, food, science, rants, and tons of other fun topics. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Science Fair!

Come stop by our "science fair" outside Timkin Hall on the CCA SF campus tomorrow night between 4-7pm! There, you can learn more about the activism projects my classmates and I have participated in throughout the semester, including the Minilivestock project. There will also be snacks and refreshments. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fondu Party

Its pretty cool how the minilivestock that was prepared for the Minilivestock Potluck Feast traveled to multiple places later that night. My classmate Amy took some baked crickets and superworms to a fondu party, and my friend Eloise also brought some to a show at the Hemlock that she shared with curious friends and strangers. Some found it strange at first, but tried them and realized they were pretty good. I don't have any pictures from the show, but thanks to Amy for sharing some of her photos!

Stephen at the Minilivestock dinner, pre-fondu party
Fondu party!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Delicious Food of Japan

My friend Nori sent me this blog that has pictures of some Japanese insect cuisine. Check it out here: Delicious Food of Japan