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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.

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