In 2013, the U.N. told us to rethink what we eat. Three women have a creative solution.

In 2013, the United Nations released a report that recommended we reconsider what we know about food.

The report, put out by the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), painted a dire picture. (Don't worry, though, they've got a plan, and we'll get to that in a bit).

"It is widely accepted that by 2050 the world will host 9 billion people. To accommodate this number, current food production will need to almost double. Land is scarce and expanding the area devoted to farming is rarely a viable or sustainable option. Oceans are overfished and climate change and related water shortages could have profound implications for food production. ... We need to find new ways of growing food." — Eduardo Rojas-Briales and Ernst van den Ende, U.N. FAO Report, 2013


The sardine tin is the earth. The people are, well, they're people. Ta-da! Overpopulation, as illustrated in a 1960s photo! Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images.

Told you it was rough, but let's look at what they're recommending.

Their plan? We need to start eating insects. Believe it or not, more than 2 billion people already do. On purpose.

People across Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America have been known to use beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, and nearly 2,000 other species of insects to spice up their diets.

Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

The FAO recommends we start eating insects for three reasons: health, environment, and livelihood.

The health argument: When compared to beef, chicken, pork, or fish, insects have a surprisingly high amount of protein while still being really low in fat. Generally speaking, this is already a healthier alternative than the more common forms of meat.

The environment argument: Climate change is real, and it's made worse through the release of greenhouse gases such as methane. The world's livestock are responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases — more than the entire transportation sector. So, yes, if we've got to break it down like that, cow farts do contribute to climate change (it's OK to laugh, but it's a fact). This doesn't even take into account the fact that insects are far more efficient than livestock at converting feed into protein; for the same amount of protein, cows require 12 times as much feed as crickets.

The livelihood argument: Harvesting insects is far less labor-intensive and can be done without the need for large tracts of land (meaning that people can more easily grow their own food).

I know, I know, I know. This looks delicious; it's just not sustainable. Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images.

The key point here is that insects are sustainable. Raising livestock isn't.

But let's say you're (quite understandably) still not sold on the whole "eating bugs" thing. After all ... they're bugs. That doesn't sound too appetizing.

What if bugs looked (and tasted) like food you eat already? That's what the women of Six Foods are trying to find out.

Earlier this week, I was sent a video about three women who were trying to turn the food industry on its head with a new product called Chirps.

Chirps are, well, they're cricket chips. With the help of chef Geoff Lukas, they wound up with something that actually looks pretty delicious.

Chirps! Photo from Six Foods.

One problem with suggesting people eat insects is that people tend to picture whole bugs.

The women of Six Foods address this in a blog post, writing, "If you can't seem to get past the 'ick' factor of eating insects, we urge you to stop envisioning the whole bodied insect — eyes, legs, and all. Instead, think of insects as a simple, versatile ingredient."

You might already be eating insects without even knowing it. Before recoiling in horror, check this out:

FYI: In 2012, Starbucks began phasing out the use of the food coloring containing beetles. Image from Six Foods.

So, what do you say? Down for giving bugs a chance?

If so, why not test the waters by trying a quick snack. In addition to companies like Six Foods and Next Millennium Farms, there are a number of bug cookbooks to give you a start. Are you in?

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

If Bernie Sanders isn't the realest dude to ever serve in Congress, I don't know who is.

We got to witness Bernie's down-to-earth, let's-get-to-work, cut-the-crap personality in all its visual glory at Joe Biden's inauguration today. While pundits fawned over the sharp and colorful stylings of the attendees, Uncle Bernie sauntered looking like he was on his way to run some errands and decided to stop in for a sec to see the new president sworn in.

Clad in what is probably his one winter coat and a pair of hand-knitted mittens, he looked perfectly comfortable, even as he stood out from the crowd of formal, designer coats and gloves. Ah, Bernie. You're just so...Bernie. It's a big part of why the guy has such a dedicated fan base. What you see is what you get, and he makes no apologies for being exactly who he is at all times.

But today of all days, as the nation waited with bated breath to witness the transfer of power from President Trump to President Biden, especially in the wake of an attempted violent coup and under the specter of an ongoing pandemic, Bernie's Bernieness came as a particularly welcome delight. This event could not have been more serious or weighty in its significance, and yet along comes Bernie reminding us that we're all just human beings here, none of us more or less important than the other.

His look launched a thousand memes that provided some needed comic relief for the day. I mean, how could it not?

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.