The Future of Food?

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The Future of Food?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:31 pm

Try not to laugh too hard. Try as well not to feel a tinge of green but as "amusing" as it may sound, much of the future of world survival may indeed rely on dining on insects. True, much of what is being written today might best (as the article to which I link) described as "piquant" but a great deal of very serious research is being done on harvesting the world's insects as food for humans. And, oddly enough perhaps, many of them are quite tasty.

See a fun read in Slate at http://www.slate.com/id/2286550/?wpisrc=obinsite

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Rogov

P.S. The article sent to me by one of my most faithful correspondents.
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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby Jenise » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:57 pm

I'll slit my wrists first. :)
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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:32 pm

Jenise,

Presenting my case to the jury in all seriousness:

a- Yemenites consider roast locusts a great treat, those eaten either salted (as one might with peanuts) or dipped in honey. I have tried those.... they are delicious.

b- Among the most highly valued of sushi are those made with sea slugs. Those too are delicious.

c- Many in India would consider you and I not only heathens but barbarians because we dine on beef.

d- The two best bets as we know them today to head off true world famine are algae of which there are an unlimited supply and insects of which there are tens of millions for every person who will ever be alive on our planet.

e - I would hypothesize that many of the things that we consider "unappealing" might take on a different light were we set in different cultures.

f - In closing, I wonder aloud about the anatomical differences between shall we say a locust, a grasshopper, a shrimp and a lobster.

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Rogov
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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby Matilda L » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:42 am

I'm not particularly keen on the idea of eating things that have more than four legs or less than two.
Traditional Aboriginal diets in Australia included witchetty grubs and bogong moths, neither of which I have tried, but I've heard from people who have tried them that they aren't bad. I have tried green ants ... just a taste, mind, not a big meal of them by any means ... and the taste is enjoyable enough. A lot of traditional bush foods have made it onto restaurant menus or into gourmet food shops in Australia, but for the most part as novelties rather than 'real food'.
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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby Jenise » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote: - I would hypothesize that many of the things that we consider "unappealing" might take on a different light were we set in different cultures.

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Oh, I get all of what you said. It's quite logical, and all a matter of perception. That does not mean that with all the will in the world I can eat--and keep down--anything I find troublesome. Even rabbit won't stay down--too cute!--and that's hardly in the realm of the alternative foods you discuss.
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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby David H » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:05 am

:cry: Sometimes -- perhaps even often -- food choices are governed by circumstance rather than taste or culture:
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2011/03/23/an-open-mind/
Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake. --
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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby Charlie Dawg » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:29 pm

I remember being a school kid, back, well, sometime ago. We had this one kid who would catch a bug and eat it. It was like a freak show everybody would go to see. Nobody dared to repeat though.
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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby Ken Schechet » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:52 am

Insects are very popular in Mexico and most of Latin America as well as all over Asia. I've never been tempted to try one. However, for the record, the closest relative to the lobster in the animal kingdom is the cockroach.
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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:21 am

Although both lobsters and shrimps have been referred to as "cockroaches of the sea" and even by Lobster fishermen as "bugs", the relationship between lobsters and cockroaches it not quite as closely related as one might think. Although both lobsters and cockroaches belong to the Myriapoda group, cockroaches are Hexapoda (insects in general) and lobsters are Crustaceans (including also shrimps, crabs, etc)

As to desirability, I do not believe very many animals at all eat cockroaches (with the possible exception of the rather large "lobster cockroach" which in some places are raised as animal food) , while nearly all land-bound mammals (including a good number of humans) do find lobsters, shrimps, crabs and even barnacles, quite attractive on their table.

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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby Ian Sutton » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:45 am

Matilda L wrote:I'm not particularly keen on the idea of eating things that have more than four legs or less than two.
Traditional Aboriginal diets in Australia included witchetty grubs and bogong moths, neither of which I have tried, but I've heard from people who have tried them that they aren't bad. I have tried green ants ... just a taste, mind, not a big meal of them by any means ... and the taste is enjoyable enough. A lot of traditional bush foods have made it onto restaurant menus or into gourmet food shops in Australia, but for the most part as novelties rather than 'real food'.


Indeed the green ants are just about the most refreshing thing I've ever tasted - and the little crtitters bite, so I've no guilt about biting back.

Another bush tucker delicacy that at least smells attractive is the Aussie cockroach - when scared or cooked (I'm guessing being cooked is scary :wink: ) they smell strongly of almonds/marzipan. We were going to try one but someone 'liberated' it before we got to eat a sliver.
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Re: The Future of Food?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:10 pm

Mimouna is a holiday celebrated primarily by Jews of Moroccan, Tunisian and Libyan descent and celebrates the end of Passover. A minority of Ethipian Jews who have immigrated to Israel also celebrate the holiday and yesterday, in honor of the event, readers previously unknown to me sent me a plastic container that contained frozen locusts, those collected during the last swarming of those insects about a year ago.

I have eaten and enjoyed such fare on earlier occasions, mostly trapped fresh in a hot, oven coated oven-like container but because these came frozen I decided to cook them by deep-frying. Heated peanut oil (traditional with Ethiopians) in a skillet until it just started to smoke, dropped the locusts in and fried them until crisp and nicely browned. Dipped those in honey. A truly delicious snack. Tried a few with nothing more than salt sprinkled over (as one might with French fries) and those too were delicious.

Recommended fare if you can find it.


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