We’ll probably remember the year 2018 for plenty of things, but one of the least auspicious topics we’ll be talking about on the 2018 episode of “I Love the 2010s” is that this was when we all decided plastic straws were an evil that must be eradicated, justifying that assumption with a pseudoscientific study conducted by a 9-year-old environmental activist which dubiously claimed Americans use half a billion straws a day.
And, if a Hong Kong-based incubator gets its way, that won’t be the craziest environmentalist topic that gets discussed on that episode. No, they want 2018 to be remembered as the year we all started consuming mealworms as part of our diet in order to save the planet.
According to Reuters, Livin Farms — founded by 28-year-old Hong Kong-based entrepreneur Katherine Unger — wants you eating “(p)asta prepared with mealworms raised in your own home.” They have a an incubator for the little critters and are “now working on a compact model to cultivate mealworms it says is suitable for use in kitchens, and in biology classrooms.”
The reason? Neo-Malthusian idiocy, duh.
“In 2050, we’re going to be nine billion people on the planet, so we have to find new solutions to feed ourselves, and to feed the next generations,” Unger said.
“Insects offer a really great alternative to current meat production because they can be grown on food waste, with very little space, with very little water, and they taste great.”
Really, now. I’ve heard this argument about all sorts of things. “Tempeh tastes just like beef! Or chicken! Or really, whatever you want it to!” I think mealworms fall roughly into the same category that tempeh does. I’m not going to find out, because you know what? I’m not eating mealworms.
Reuters, of course, couldn’t help but point out that “(w)hile many people squirm at the prospect of eating insects, they are common fare in countries such as Thailand and China.” Well, yes, but I would hate to be guilty of cultural appropriation, so until I’m over there I’ll take a pass. And when I’m over there, I’ll also take a pass.
Amazingly, the best argument Reuters could muster against this is that mass mealworm production didn’t have enough bureaucratic oversight: “Hong Kong-based nutritionist Miles Price says the production of alternative proteins such as insects remains largely unregulated, and this may have significant implications for food safety and consumer acceptance,” the article read.
“We need to enforce a more rigorous approach to production … which will give confidence to consumers to say that this is a safe protein source,” Price opined.
Here’s a better argument against this nonsense: Almost every prediction about imminent global famine and the attendant horrors of overpopulation has always been wrong. Paul Ehrlich’s book “The Population Bomb” pretty much started the popularization of this nonsense 50 years ago this year by saying starvation was imminent for most of the world in the 1970s and 1980s.
Even though it was very, very wrong, Ehrlich’s tome made him famous because it was so dire. Ever since then, people with some sort of skin in the environmental game who state that dire times require drastic measures can always count on a bit of free publicity from the press — including from a wire service that needs a human interest story and thinks mealworms with your pasta will do the job quite well.
Of course, there’s a chance that California gets wind of this. In a few years, thanks to a “study” done by an 11-year-old reading Reddit posts which claim 8 billion of the 9 billion people on earth will starve unless we start eating mealworms, it’ll be illegal to serve pasta without insects as the protein in the Golden State. Oh, and also thanks to Miles Price, there’ll also be a ginormous bureaucracy out of Sacramento examining every aspect of the insect trade.
Look for that wonderful development on an episode of “I Love the 2020s,” which San Diego residents will be watching with a big steaming bowl of grasshopper puttanesca on their TV tray. Thanks, liberalism!
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