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Eating Cicadas (and other bugs)

tomBitonti

Adventurer
If I had any grand plan, I would have stated it in my last post together with ways to reduce our overall energy expenditure.

I don't know,
maybe education, teaching people about safe sex, contraceptives, maybe that a couple should not have more than 3 children.
Planet Earth has finite habitable area, with current technology...
it's not just area for growing food. it's area for everything else. Living areas, recreation, roads, workplace, utilities.
We cannot destroy every last forest so we can build more houses/factories/power plants.

Not to mention how much garbage we produce. If we do not get to 99% recycling in a decade or two, we are F.U.B.A.R. All of us.
Eh, a major problem is the huge imbalance in energy expenditures per capital, with the United states being a big problem. We are making progress, but it’s not nearly enough. What happens if everyone shifts to the same per capita consumption as the United States? One needs to think big … not 5 or 10 or 20% reductions. What would it take to reduce non-renewable consumption by 90%?
TomB
 

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Ryujin

Hero
I'd happily try a bug burger, but I think I'd puke trying to eat an intact bug. Logically I know they're a great source of sustainable protein, but I've had decades of cultural programming telling me that bugs are disgusting and fear inducing. Been cutting out beef products as much as possible, but most restaurants only offer beef and breaded chicken breast, and dammit, I like burgers! Ground turkey burgers are decent. Not much healthier on the body, but a lot better for the environment. Been meaning to try a lentil burger, see how I like that.
Oh, there's definitely a metal hurdle to overcome, in taking that first bite. And second. And...., well it never really goes away :ROFLMAO:
 

Horwath

Hero
Eh, a major problem is the huge imbalance in energy expenditures per capital, with the United states being a big problem. We are making progress, but it’s not nearly enough. What happens if everyone shifts to the same per capita consumption as the United States? One needs to think big … not 5 or 10 or 20% reductions. What would it take to reduce non-renewable consumption by 90%?
TomB
most obvious solution currently is more nuclear powerplants.
Uranium is non-renewable, but we have a lot of it.
Solar panels are getting more and more efficient every year.
Also building materials are better so we need less energy for heating/cooling.

new batteries use less cobalt, that is also a big win.

there is lot of renewable energy available, just not when it's needed the most.
That is why we need more development in energy storage: batteries, pumped storage hydroelectricity, flywheel, compressed air, etc...
 

Aging Bard

Canaith
Answering the campaign part of the original question: Yes indeed! Any mainly subterranean race will eat all manner of subterranean creatures. This includes dwarves and gnomes, and of course most Underdark races. In my 1e campaign, dwarves are almost completely subterranean, with gnomes their allies and proxies above ground. So gnomes do some farming and trade grain products for dwarfish finished goods, but both races are comfortable underground for lengthy periods and eat accordingly. As a general point, it's boring for clearly different species to behave differently from humans in only superficial ways, so I've worked to make the different races quite distinguished from one another. Diet is a very simple thing to differentiate, but given how important eating is to most people, such differences are noticed.
 

BrokenTwin

Adventurer
Oh, there's definitely a metal hurdle to overcome, in taking that first bite. And second. And...., well it never really goes away :ROFLMAO:
Haha, that's pretty much what I expected. Damn social conditioning! I have similar feelings towards shrimp and lobster, so at least I'm consistent.
 

tomBitonti

Adventurer
most obvious solution currently is more nuclear powerplants.
Uranium is non-renewable, but we have a lot of it.
Solar panels are getting more and more efficient every year.
Also building materials are better so we need less energy for heating/cooling.

new batteries use less cobalt, that is also a big win.

there is lot of renewable energy available, just not when it's needed the most.
That is why we need more development in energy storage: batteries, pumped storage hydroelectricity, flywheel, compressed air, etc...
Check out this “Without the Hot Air”: David MacKay FRS: : Contents
A really great resource for understanding energy use and options for changes how we get energy.
TomB
 

Ryujin

Hero
Haha, that's pretty much what I expected. Damn social conditioning! I have similar feelings towards shrimp and lobster, so at least I'm consistent.
Then I'm being completely inconsistent because I love shrimp, lobster, crab, and even crayfish (the big ones, not the tiny little ones). When I was a kid, one of my uncles owned one of the two lobster fishing wharves in a famous lobster fishing town, in Nova Scotia. The other one was a co-op. We kids would be sent down to the wharf with pillow cases and get them filled with lobsters that were too small for canning. The extra leaf would go into the kitchen table and the lot would be dumped out on it (they were boiled on the wharf), and everyone would go to town on the pile. Probably not good for our arteries, but... :D
 

BrokenTwin

Adventurer
Then I'm being completely inconsistent because I love shrimp, lobster, crab, and even crayfish (the big ones, not the tiny little ones). When I was a kid, one of my uncles owned one of the two lobster fishing wharves in a famous lobster fishing town, in Nova Scotia. The other one was a co-op. We kids would be sent down to the wharf with pillow cases and get them filled with lobsters that were too small for canning. The extra leaf would go into the kitchen table and the lot would be dumped out on it (they were boiled on the wharf), and everyone would go to town on the pile. Probably not good for our arteries, but... :D
Ah, a fellow Maritimer I see! Grew up with a parent who was allergic to shellfish, so I didn't get that familiarity, and working in the kitchen of a Lobster Suppers for three years killed what small appreciation I did have.
 

Ryujin

Hero
Ah, a fellow Maritimer I see! Grew up with a parent who was allergic to shellfish, so I didn't get that familiarity, and working in the kitchen of a Lobster Suppers for three years killed what small appreciation I did have.
I lived in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI all by the age of 4. Kept going back to visit relatives until my teen years. My mother grew up hating seafood because my grandmother used it in almost literally everything. Seriously; you couldn't have spaghetti in their house without clams or muscles in the marinara.
 

briggart

Explorer
yeah. I know all that.

And true, we could tone down little on cow meat as they are least efficient.

Pork and chicken are much better, rabbits even better. But you cannot eat only rabbits alone, not enough fat.

But, our food production is not the problem(or not real one right now), planet can sustain us now with our meat diet.
But maybe we should really look into not expanding our population over 9 or 10 billions?

Also, except food, we could improve on other things that will reduce our "carbon footprint":

Do not buy a car that uses over 5L/100km(47 MPG),
Have all your home appliance at least A++ energy efficiency rating,
Better window and wall isolation for heating/cooling expenditure of energy,
Do NOT protest building new nuclear power plants,
Try your very best to sort every piece of waste you produce in your home,
Do not leave water running for 5 mins every time you brush your teeth,

there is lots of things we can do before we have to exchange our pork chops for grasshopper and cockroaches.
10% of the world population suffers from chronic hunger and countries of higher pro capite meat consumption tends to have higher pro capite income, which to me suggests that our current meat consumption is what it is only because a significant fraction of the population can't get how much meat they'd need/want. My gut feeling is that fixing this disparity does not require significant less meat that what would be needed for a 9-10B population with current consumption pattern.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
As a Creole who knows his biology pretty well, I fully realize that I’m being inconsistent in my eating most wet arthropods (and other invertebrates) and not very many dry ones. I also recognize that North American and European culture in general at far less insect based proteins than Asian, African, and Central/South American cultures do.

I can’t help it.

I’m an otherwise adventurous eater, but the few times it has been an option, I’ve balked. We’re friends with the family that runs a Columbian restaurant we’ve dined at for over a decade, and one time, the eldest son (and chef) brought out a jar of roasted, salted hormigas culonas, a.k.a. Big Ass Ants (literally)*, a treat where he’s from. Dad tried one, said it tasted like an extra crunchy roasted peanut. I said that I’m not a big fan of peanuts (absolutely true), so someone else could have mine, thank you very much.

Apparently, mapona/mopane worms- actually a kind of caterpillar- really do taste like chicken (as immortalized in a hilarious old Food Network commercial). And there are African groceries near me that sell them in frozen 1lb blocks. I’ve seen recipes...and can’t bring myself to try them.

The closest I’ve come to actually WANTING to was 2012. The UK Olympic village had one particular restaurant that was trying to cater to global palates, and they were serving some kind of ant they had to import in huge numbers because they were not traveling well (high mortality rate)...and they were a big hit. Supposedly, they tasted like lemon drops. That intrigued me, and I probably would have tried them...but I was nowhere near England at the time, so I missed out.




* Hormigas culonas in Colombia - Colombian edible ants in Barichara | Eat Your World
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
What do you think it would take to shift a modern population to a bug-based protein diet?
I had chapulines (grasshopper) tacos in Mexico on a dare from my sons, two tacos in fact, they were fine. My wife and sons both tried them afterwards. Shrimp, and a lot of seafood like that are bugs as well. However, "bug based" I don't know if that is feasible; larger animals take less food to be large, but take more food because they are large.
 


Ryujin

Hero
This place, in Ontario, Canada, was featured in several news stories a couple of years back. Their stuff is also available through Amazon Canada. If I can find one of the videos, I'll post that too.

 




pukunui

Legend
I would be willing to try eating bug burgers or whatever if it weren’t for the fact that they say to avoid bugs if you’re allergic to shellfish, which I am. I’m afraid switching to bugs as a source of protein may not be an option for me.
 

Ryujin

Hero
BTW, something I’ve known for years is that one of the exceptions to westerners eating bugs is carmine, a red food coloring made from South American beetles and used in all kinds of things, like maraschino cherries.

When I started reading the first sentence, I thought you were going to be talking about the FDA's rules for allowable levels of "contaminants" in processed foods :ROFLMAO:
 

I would be willing to try eating bug burgers or whatever if it weren’t for the fact that they say to avoid bugs if you’re allergic to shellfish, which I am. I’m afraid switching to bugs as a source of protein may not be an option for me.
That's a good point!

Unfortunately in our bug-filled future, people with shellfish allergies will be stuck eating bacon, prime rib, and fried chicken while the rest of us feast on succulent cicadas.
 

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