Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What will nine billion people eat for protein?

Not Soylent Green, but insects, according to the following article, which I included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (First female Taikonaut edition) on Daily Kos.*

Arizona Daily Star: Get used to idea of bug grub
Western palates will have to adjust to insects, scientists insist; sensing opportunity, UA grads help develop a line of cricket bars
Carli Brosseau Arizona Daily Star
June 10, 2012 12:00 am
Forty years from now, beef could be a luxury on par with today's tiny spoonfuls of caviar. What will take its spot on Americans' dinner plates? Increasingly, scientists are predicting bugs.
University of Arizona grad Patrick Crowley is one of a growing number of entrepreneurs getting in the game before affluent Westerners are - as scientists foresee it - forced to change their protein tastes. His company is developing recipes to make insects palatable and even delicious to people who now squirm at the notion.
There is a slideshow of him and his employees, their facility, and the cricket bars they are already manufacturing. Bon Appetit!

Coincidentally, I just happened to have mentioned insects as food in class on Thursday. My students were amazed that I actually had eaten caterpillars and grasshoppers and enjoyed them. I also mentioned that were likely be eating more jellyfish as seafood, as we'll have caused most of the fisheries to collapse. It's enough to make me hope that the idea of growing shrimp in Detroit succeeds. Of course, I couldn't resist mentioning this article on Tuesday to reinforce the point. Never miss a teachable moment.

*In the original Harry Harrison novel "Make Room, Make Room," Soylent Green was a soy-lentil mixture. Only in the eponymous movie did the script writers decide to make it into people.


  1. RE: Soylent Green..Hollywood has always had a better grasp of the debased nature of the human psyche.

    1. As someone who was also raised around Hollywood, I have to agree. The movie made far more of an impression than the book for just the reason you describe.