Fine Farming For Future Fast Foods

Yesterday’s post was about the food preferences of hunter gatherers, old and new, and came to the predictable conclusion that people, taken as a whole, choose from the available menu and are not too difficult to please. Of course, most of us are no longer living the laid back life of the hunter gatherer and we have people to farm our food whilst we are trying to earn enough money to get back to the good life. The trouble is that as we become richer, which usually means we have larger debts, we drift to the mythical Neanderthaler diet – and slaver over choice cuts of the big mammals.

Not a good outcome for mother earth as the green house gas emissions of the big herbivores and the high ammonia from their waste as well as the nitrate run off from the intensive crop for their feed, is a huge environmental problem. Having to turn vegan is an option that many would gnash their sharp and bloody teeth over, so what to do?

 Well, Oonincx et al (1) from Wageningen U have reported on a less polluting livestock option to satisfy our demand for burgers and nuggets. They measured the outputs of the full range of greenhouse gases as well as ammonia output for three food candidates and found that they compared extremely favorably to raising cows or pigs on the output per kg of body mass gain. The big advantage is that the food intake is not used by the animals’ metabolism to keep them warm but just to make them bigger and yummier.

So the look of our future fast food won’t change, just the source of the protein. The new intensive farms on the horizon will raise mealworms, house crickets and locusts. I think I will use copious ketchup with my next bug burger and fries or bucket of mealy nuggets.


One Response so far.

  1. jazgal says:

    Heck, I have an earthworm farm out in my compost bin, but I can't say that I was thinking of harvesting them any time soon. I'd need more than ketchup to make that go down.
    Reminds me of my father's penchant for bringing home cans of dubious, but exotic, food stuffs like chocolate covered ants, and kangaroo tails. mmmm!

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