Tonawanda News

Columns

September 25, 2013

CONFER: Bugs: They're what's for dinner

Tonawanda News — This summer featured an explosion in the cicada population across the Northeast. You couldn’t help but notice as the trees were alive with their incessant mating calls.

Upon hearing that ringing tone, how many of you salivated like Pavlov’s dog, hungering for a dishful of the little buggers?

I hope that none of you did. But, if the United Nations had its way, everyone would.

Earlier this year, its Food and Agriculture Organization issued a report that said insects are the perfect meal — the answer to both world hunger and environmental sustainability. According to the report, some 2 billion people already eat insects as a part of their diet (either whole or in the form of paste or filler) and there are 1,900 species worldwide that could be classified as edible. The study spent many pages expounding on the virtues of ingesting caterpillars, ants and grasshoppers.

The writers had a special affinity for mealworms, going so far as to make their nutritional value greater than that of beef, citing only marginal differences in protein levels, but less bad fats and more vitamins and minerals. According to the UN’s scientists, the mealworm’s Omega-3s and other critical fatty acids are comparable to those of fish.

The UN indicated that insects are the very best protein source when it comes to environmental impact. They create fewer greenhouse gases, use less land than cattle, eat fewer plants and consume less water than mammals and can be reared on human and animal waste.

Eating a meal that was birthed in, nourished by and collected from human fecal matter is none too attractive to the civilized world. The UN recognizes that “consumer disgust” is an issue, so they started advertising the joys of eating bugs after the report was issued and began a detailed propaganda campaign to influence policy-makers and thought leaders (universities) around the globe.

Text Only
Columns
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo