Greentings everyone! Reusing and recycling is great fun and all, but are there any concrete steps that we can take to ultimately minimize challenges that we face on overconsumption and under appreciation of our natural resources? The answer is right in front of our eyes, in every corner of our planet, living among us and alongside us as fellow country beings; breeding in every nook and cranny of our city….squish….wait, did you just step on something? Insects! Insects are by far one of the most important animal species to roam our majestic earth. They are vital to our ecosystems; with their ability to aerate our soil, pollinate blossoms and control other insects and plant pests. Being at the bottom of the food chain makes them an excellent food choice for amphibians, reptiles, birds and possibly humans?
It’s a Bugs life
While researching the last article on upcycling (Feel free to read From Rags to Riches), I came across a few interesting mentions of a phenomenon in which insects perform a natural upcycling of waste. This may seem like a no brainer to most; it did however take me some time to associate an insect’s natural life cycle to what we were discussing. Upcycling in general terms, is transforming one man’s waste into another man’s treasure and this is exactly what insects do on a daily basis. Insects consume low quality organic waste and transform this waste into extremely valuable proteins and lipids. Not only do they, as insects hold an upcycling power, they are also a vital part of decomposition, by feeding on dead animals and trees, they are recycling nutrients back into our soil via their droppings. These tiny animals that we take for granted are the backbone of our planet and potentially the solution to our over consumption and ever growing fear of food security.
Bugs Au Vin
Insects are jam packed with rich proteins and lipids, potentially making them a great candidate for human consumption. This idea is not new and has been around since the beginning of time, all the way back to 30,000 BC when humans were mainly gatherers. Before hunting and fire, studies suggest that our ancestors would collect and eat a generous buffet of insects to keep up with their daily caloric requirements. Eating insects has lived on within some of our cultures and ethnic groups in Asia and South America still eat them today! For all of you out there (like me) who are taking the steps in reducing meat consumption, for reasons ranging from protecting the environment against livestock emissions to boycotting the meat industry due to widespread and systemic animal cruelty. Insects may be an alternative with a significantly higher feed conversion rate (just a fancy term for insects are cheaper to feed and take less of a toll on our environment) and provide you with the proteins that you need to make it through the day. Our special for today is Bugs Au Vin, any takers?