I’ll have the paté, please

Have you ever had Krab?  We know it’s not the REAL thing, that’s too expensive.  But surimi is processed fish, likely not commercially useful fish but surimi is very popular these days and why not?  Food will continue to be more expensive as the population of the earth grows.  We have to continually increase yield to feed more people who will… well you get the idea.  Of course, what do people do when food is readily available?  Why they go out for dinner, have a few drinks, and we have a romantic moment.

Do you see the problem?  Food production will always be chasing the new mouths to feed.  Does this go on forever?  If it did an infinitely large population would need an infinite amount of food..plus n.  n being infinity plus some nonnegative number.  Fellow named Malthus wrote on this.

Well things never get to that stage.  As the sage said, “stuff happens.” Wars, for example cut down the population somewhat.  The problem is that if 10,000 men go to war and 1000 come back there are still 10,000 fertile (and lonely) women whose desire to reproduce needs to be met – nature will find a way.

Ideally, if roles were reversed and 10,000 women went to war then the likelihood of population outstripping the food supply would be reduced.  A draft of mothers and sisters isn’t likely.  There are other ways to reduce population.  China has a one child policy, which, in retrospect, was a good idea considering it’s large population.  It works, but parents want sons – that’s their retirement nest egg.

Another popular method is female infanticide.  It’s done in many ways.  A little neglect here, lower rations there, or sudden infant death syndrome.  It’s justified because boys take care of their parents and girls marry away.  Marvin Harris was fond of the protein theory.

Anyway, humans are ever resourceful If we can make surimi from trash fish, just think of the fat grubs found under tree bark in the tropics for recipes go to entemophagy.

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Replace cattle? Edible insects produce smaller quantities of greenhouse gases

January 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) — Insects produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases per kilogram of meat than cattle and pigs. This is the conclusion of Dutch team of scientists at Wageningen University, who have joined forces with government and industry to investigate whether the rearing of insects could contribute to more sustainable protein production. Insect meat could therefore form an alternative to more conventional types of meat.

Cattle farming worldwide is a major producer of greenhouse gases. For the assessment of the sustainability of insect meat, the researchers at Wageningen University quantified the production of greenhouse gases of several edible insect species. The results of the study were published in the renowned online journal PLoS ONE on 29 December.

The research team has for the first time quantified the greenhouse gases produced per kilogram of insect product. The gases concerned were methane(CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The results demonstrate that insects produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases than conventional livestock such as cattle and pigs. For example, a pig produces between ten and a hundred times as much greenhouse gases per kilogram compared with mealworms. Emissions of ammonia (which causes the acidification and eutrophication ofgroundwater) also appear to be significantly lower. A pig produces between eight and twelve times as much ammonia per kilogram of growth compared to crickets, and up to fifty times more than locusts. An additional advantage of insects over mammals is that they convert their food into meat quicker.

The study indicates that proteins originating from insects in principle form an environmentally-friendly alternative to proteins from meat originating from conventional livestock. Further research is required to ascertain whether the production of a kilogram of insect protein is also more environmentally friendly than conventional animal protein when the entire production chain is taken into account.

More information: Dennis Oonincx, Joost van Itterbeeck, Marcel Heetkamp, Henry van den Brand, Joop van Loon, Arnold van Huis. An Exploration on Greenhouse Gas and Ammonia Production by Insect Species Suitable for Animal or Human Consumption. PLoS ONE 29 December 2010.http://www.plosone … pone.0014445


About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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