Two billion people in cultures around the world include insects as a part of their diet, and there are lots of stories about it in the news right now. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has recently recommended that we eat more insects, National Geographic recommends 8 bugs to try, this Washington Post video profiles a D.C. resident that cooks and eats cicadas, BBC News has a video about how insect-farming can combat hunger, and The Guardian has reported on what a healthy and sustainable food source they are:
The cost of meat is rising, not just in terms of hard cash but also in terms of the amount of rainforest that is destroyed for grazing or to grow feedstuff for cattle. There is also the issue of methane excreted by cows. The livestock farming contribution in terms of greenhouse gas emissions is enormous – 35% of the planet’s methane, 65% of its nitrous oxide and 9% of the carbon dioxide.
Edible insects emit fewer gases, contain high-quality protein, vitamins and amino acids, and have a high food conversion rate, needing a quarter of the food intake of sheep, and half of pigs and chickens, to produce the same amount of protein. They emit less greenhouse gases and ammonia than cows and can be grown on organic waste.
In the KQED Quest video above, meet Monica Martinez, a San Francisco artist and proprietor of Don Bugito, the nation’s first edible insect food cart.
If you could mix your bicycle with your car, you might get something like the Firefly by Geospace Studio. With a protective shell that illuminates with LEDs for
knight night riding, could the Firefly become a fun, environmentally-friendly alternative to a car, and a warmer, more visible, all-weather option to a bike?
File under: inventions and things that glow.
Shaggy Lawn Mowers - Paris Tries an Eco-Friendly Way of Maintaining Park Lawns… the New York Times reports on a sustainable idea:
Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has made the environment a priority since his election in 2001, with popular bike- and car-sharing programs, an expanded network of designated lanes for bicycles and buses, and an enormous project to pedestrianize the banks along much of the Seine.
The sheep, which are to mow (and, not inconsequentially, fertilize) an airy half-acre patch in the 19th Arrondissement are intended in the same spirit. City Hall refers to the project as “eco-grazing,” and it notes that the four ewes will prevent the use of noisy, gas-guzzling mowers and cut down on the use of herbicides.
What is a gyre? And how does this natural phenomenon demonstrate the impact of our plastic trash? Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres Institute explain how we can understand the international issue while acting locally:
“It is impractical to try and scoop out trash out of the ocean. What we can do is wait for it to wash ashore. So to clean a gyre, clean your beach, clean your watershed, clean your street. As close as you can get to the source, is a better way we can solve the problem of plastics in the ocean”