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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 numberof bugcookbooks to give you a start. Are you in?

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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People have clearly missed their free treats.

The COVID-19 pandemic had us waving a sad farewell to many of life’s modern conveniences. And where it certainly hasn’t been the worst loss, not having free samples at grocery stores has undoubtedly been a buzzkill. Sure, one can shop around without the enticing scent of hot, fresh artisan pizza cut into tiny slices or testing out the latest fancy ice cream … but is it as joyful? Not so much.

Trader Joe’s, famous for its prepandemic sampling stations, has recently brought the tradition back to life, and customers are practically dancing through the aisles.


On the big comeback weekend, people flocked to social media to share images and videos of their free treats, including festive Halloween cookies (because who doesn’t love TJ’s holiday themed items?) along with hopeful messages for the future.
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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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