My son looked at a packet of grass fed beef and wondered “what else could a cow eat?! ” I’m not sure you really want to know the answer to that if you eat beef. Grass fed beef used to be an assumption, not a fancy label and twice the price. Food has moved farther and farther from its natural state and yet people are still hungry. In piano class we were taught that every good boy does fine and all cows eat grass. Neither of those things is true any more.
1 in 6 Americans is currently experiencing “food insecurity” according to the USDA. World wide 805 million people are undernourished. I’m sure plenty of them are good boys and yet they are not doing fine. Monsanto claims on their website that sustainable agriculture can help address world food challenges. I’m sure that is true, but at what cost? Spraying developing countries with dangerous chemicals to produce large “round up ready” crops is likely to produce more problems than it solves. I can say that because my kids went to school with full bellies. Cancer seems far away when hunger is staring you in the face. (discover.monsato.com)
Remember DDT? It was a miracle for farmers until the environmental effects became clear. It did, however, eradicate malaria in the northern hemisphere and save untold millions of lives. Malaria existed as far north as Canada and Northern Europe not so long ago. Cromwell died of Malaria and Shakespeare was forever giving people the “ague”. Why? – because you write about what you know. I’m no expert on DDT but I grew up (malaria free) in a swamp in Florida, so if I met DDT in a bar I would buy it a drink. (NYtimes.com)
I think the key to ending world hunger is either a zombie apacolypse or discovering new food sources as sustainable as hemp and bamboo. My favorite option so far is cricket flour. There is a great TED talk called Are insects the future of food? By Megan Miller. You can watch it on YouTube. Cricket flour has 70 grams of protein per serving. I’m surprised they don’t sell it in a giant can at GMC already, honestly. That is a LOT of protein in a little bug. Frogs and birds know what’s up!
Humans don’t have a great history of mitigated risk analysis in terms of managing pesticides or fair practices in population control. But we have an excellent history of ingenuity and adaptation. I think it is time to put those skills into action to feed the 9.6 billion people who will be roaming the Earth in 2050. Change starts with me, so at the next bake sale, I will bring the cricket muffins.
Jana Steenhuyse (future cricket farmer and bug baker)