Monday, July 14, 2008

Sustainable diet.

Feeling hungry? Worry about the environment? Worry about world hunger? Worry about deforestation? Worry about fitting into that dress? Worry that Lipotrim might just be another bogus starvation diet?
Fear not! Boffins have finally cottoned on to what plenty of tribes and other folk already knew.
Insects! Nutrient rich, pretty fat free, and in abundance.
If in doubt an ant a day keep the doctor at bay. Feeling blue? Have a cricket or two. Weevil Weevil rock you. Sing it!

From today's Economist.

""Scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico have an answer: entomophagy, or dining on insects. They claim the practice is common in some 113 countries. Better yet, bugs provide more nutrients than beef or fish, gram for gram.

Meat provides just under one fifth of the energy and one third of the protein humans consume. But its production uses up a hugely disproportionate share of agricultural resources. Feed crops gobble up some 70% of agricultural land, while a quarter of the world’s land is devoted to grazing. Brazil’s burgeoning livestock industry is responsible for huge swathes of deforestation in the Amazon.

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."

Mmmmstirfried insect, I'm sure it will catch on, especially here in ireland where so many of our country's tongues bravely go where no tongue has gone before, I mean look at fish fingers. Frankly my mouth is watering at the thought of deep fried cockroach with a side order of locust bread. Whose wouldn't? And at least now I finally have a solution for those pesky bluebottles.



Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Mmmm, crispy!

12:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Preying mantis on rye, don't mind if I do. Steamed Daddy long Legs, for the healthier option.

12:18 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing tastier than a fresh slug, otherwise known as "the poormans oyster".

Just open wide and let it slide....

12:26 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Surely with dash or Worcester sauce no?

12:35 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Mmmm... moths in custard, garnished with dragonfly wings.

12:51 p.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

waiter waiter, there's a soup in my fly......

12:52 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

How would you like your steak sir, Butterflied?

12:55 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

God. Did any one see Billy Connolly on his Australia tour, when he ate the giant grub when out with the Aborigines? They were all laughing at him, but the memory of him trying to be polite and trying not to retch makes me sick just thinking about it.

I wonder how hungry I'd have to be before I could bring myself to eat a bug. Wriggling or otherwise.

I fear that Feral Jo would never kick in - I think I'd just die pathetically and you could all eat me.

1:06 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I don't know Jo, I reckon if you're hungry enough you'd try anything.
I used to be sqicky about eating prawns, langustines and lobsters and so on, now I rip the head off with glee and I'm first out with the hammer if anyone even MENTIONS lobster around me.
I suppose you just get used to everything, although I might baulk at eating roast spider.

1:10 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Or dung beetle, I might skip that one too.

1:15 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Mmmm... maggots meuniere... pour le quatorze juillet.

1:28 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Earwigs au gratin. Spicy moth wings with blue bottle sauce dip.

1:31 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Terrine of bloated tick, with a piquante jus d'aphid.

1:44 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Green or black? Just to be sure.

1:47 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Black, and wingless.

And would madam like a side order of devilled devil's coachmen?

1:50 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Good god now, I can feel the gout starting even at a mere mention. Nay Conan, I'll be lightly salting my silverfish and adding them to salads, far better than anchovies any way.

2:07 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Excellent choice. Would you like the mite grinder?

2:30 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

No thank you, but a sprinkling of lady bird would top it all off, and perhaps a twist of lyme.

2:37 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

And to drink, freshly squeezed gnats?

2:51 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

ooooo, sounds painful.

2:59 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Years ago I bought my mother these Mexican cockroaches that were made into earrings. Cute. But I'd never eat them.

3:18 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The kids in Thailand eat roaches dipped in caramel as treats, they also lick frogs or toads (not quite sure which) apparently it gets you stoned.


3:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

They sell deep fried insects in the street markets in Thailand. Some stallholders now try to charge foreigners for taking photos! When I read Papillon, I got so involved with the story that every time he found a large juicy cockroach to eat on his cell floor, I rejoiced with him! Also when I read Survive the Savage Seas about that Scottish family marooned at sea, every time they found a turtle and eat the raw turtle eggs I also rejoices - and I cannot bear the taste or texture of raw egg! I think if you are hungry you will eat just about anything with relish.

3:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

..and FMC, a girl who eats black and white pudding should have no qualms about a few bugs!

3:37 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tarantulas...slowed spit roasted...mmmm crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, just let it slide.

Centipides....pick the one you want, just like choosing a lobster.
Or wasps, for that extra "zing".

3:40 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Mmmm black and white puddin with beetle bits.

3:41 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crabs.....and I'm not talking about the sort found in water.

Nice fresh crabs.

3:41 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

Ever been a fly-fisherperson whose forgotten their sandwiches? There's a demographic who would be delighted with a development like this.

I reckon you could acculturate people to bug eating by dry=roasting them and putting them under the nuts in bar snack-bowls. After a while people don't even notice what they're scooping out of there as the beer seizes their brains and reflex eating kicks in. Buttons, anything. People will eat it if it's salty and in a dish on the bar.

You could tell them about the bugs at the end of the night. 1/4 of them are going to be sick anyway but for the rest, they might say, "you know, Carl, that was some fine snacking last evening. I'm a believer now." And they might happen to be a columnist in The Times with great sway over the people in cultural matters.

Yep, I think that's what the bug marketing board should do, right enough.

4:46 p.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

I was snacking on a crunchy seed mix when I read this. I no longer do that. Water, give me water.
I've seen the "bug stalls" in Thailand too, interestingly I wasn't bothered by them, but nope I didn't try any...

4:48 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I have spent the last two hours cleaning out presses, as marmalade is my witness I probably would eat an army of honey roasted ants right this second.
Fortunately I don't have to do any such thing as the paramour is making sweetcorn and crabmeat soup and CG had made raspberry and cream spongecake-using raspberries grown in his very own garden and fresh cream whipped by his very own hand. HUZZAH!

7:16 p.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

Per Shebah's description I sampled the deep friend insects,(despite being a veggie, I just wanted to see what it would be like)a bag of 'em when in Bangkok. Just tasted like crunchy batter to me.

7:21 p.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

If we could just figure out a way to catch midges without squashing them or spraying them or sticking them to a dangly bit of flypaper, then we could have a new Scottish National Dish.

Still, you'd need an awful lot to make up enough to fill a sheep's bladder, dip it in chocolate and deep fry in batter.

7:29 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Can I get the recipe for the corn and crab soup?

7:32 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

I have a question, regarding the not liking of food to be mixed on the fork:

When eating the sweetcorn adn crabmeat soup, do you eat each item seperately?

7:38 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Evening chaps, crunchy batter I can cope with, crunchy batter with legs not so much.
Aye Kim, here too the midges would drive a person demented, they really would.

Medbh I'll send it to you this evening.

Jo, I'm actually not that anal about it, although I will admit to eating all the corn first. Shite, maybe I AM that anal about it. Either way it was delicious. ANd better still, I didn't have to cook any of it.

8:13 p.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

At Christmas my uncles were trying to feed everyone chocolate covered worms or something, but they bought them in Dublin, some kind of novelty thing. My Dad tried them. YACK.

I liked the whiskey in Vietnam with the snake/scorpion in it. Tasted awful but looked very cool... :-)

10:13 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Chocolate covered in worms doesn't exactly sound like much of a traditional Dublin dish, but okaaaayyyy, whatever floats their boats.

10:57 p.m.  
Blogger Lottie said...

Hey I'll try anything once.

12:32 a.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home