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Heroes

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

The search for sustainable protein sources is on.

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?

The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

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Joy

A woman treats her miniature pig like a toddler and it even 'talks' with electronic buttons

Merlin will tap buttons that say “eat,” “outside” and “ice cream.”

Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash

A woman treats her pig like a toddler and the internet can't get enough.

Pigs are cute. Well, piglets are cute, but they usually don't stay those tiny little snorting things very long. That is unless you get a mini pig and name it something majestic like Merlin. (I would've gone with Hamlet McBacon, but no one asked me.)

Mina Alali, a TikTok user from California, has been going viral on the internet for her relationship with Merlin, her miniature pig. Of course, there are plenty of folks out there with pigs—mini pigs, medium pigs, pigs that weigh hundreds of pounds and live in a barn with a spider named Charlotte. But not everyone carries their pig around on adventures like it's their child.

Alali's videos of her sweet interactions with her little pig have gotten a lot of people wanting their own piggy, but training Merlin wasn't always easy. According to Yahoo Finance, the 25-year-old told SWNS that she has wanted a pig her whole life and finding Merlin was a "dream come true," but she wasn't expecting how challenging it would be to train him. If you've never been around pigs, then you may not know that they squeal—a lot—and unless you're living on an actual farm, that could be a problem.

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Women are looking for love at Home Depot.

Even though people have endless options to find love these days, whether in real life or online, finding the perfect person still isn’t easy. In fact, according to Pew Research, 55% of women believe dating is harder today than it was 10 years ago. So it’s understandable that some are considering ditching the apps to meet people in real life.

Studies show that for people looking for a serious relationship, real life may be the better option.

According to Newsweek, a study by Illinois State University sociology professor Susan Sprecher found that young people who first met face to face were 25% more likely to report feelings of closeness than those who initially met online. Aditi Paul, a communications professor at Pace University in New York, found that people who first met in real life lasted four times longer than those who met online.

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Democracy

More than seven thousand people shared their best ideas to stop mass shootings. Here are the best.

Everyone agrees mass shootings need to end. But what can really be done?

A makeshift memorial after the 2019 El Paso mass shooting.

As of January 24, 2023, at least 69 people have been killed in 39 mass shootings across the United States . The deadliest shooting happened on January 21 in Monterey Park, California, when a 72-year-old man shot 20 people, killing 11. On January 23, a 66-year-old man killed 7 people and injured another in a shooting in Half Moon Bay, California.

It’s hard to see these stories in the news every few weeks—or days—and not get desensitized, especially when lawmakers have made it clear that they will not do anything substantive to curb the availability of assault weapons in the U.S.

After the assault weapons ban, which had been in effect for 10 years, lapsed in 2004, the number of mass shootings tripled.

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Pop Culture

People rally behind a 12-year-old actress who was 'humiliated' with a 'Razzie' nomination

The parody awards show has now enforced an age limit rule to its nominations.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the 2022 film 'Firestarter'

Since the early 80s, the Golden Raspberry Awards, aka the "Razzies," has offered a lighthearted alternative to the Oscars, which, though prestigious, can sometimes dip into the pretentious. During the parody ceremony, trophies are awarded to the year’s worst films and performances as a way to "own your bad," so the motto goes.

However, this year people found the Razzies a little more than harmless fun when 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong was nominated for "Worst Actress" for her performance in the 2022 film "Firestarter." She was 11 when the movie was filmed.

Sadly, this is not the first time a child has received a Razzie nom. Armstrong joins the ranks of Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," as well as Macaulay Culkin, who was nominated three times.

Armstrong's nomination resulted in a flood of comments from both industry professionals and fans who felt the action was cruel and wanted to show their support for the young actress.

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Surrendered mama dog reunited with puppies after she refused to leave the corner.

People surrender animals to Humane Societies for all kinds of reasons, but many do it because they don't feel like they can properly care for their animals anymore. It could be that they have to move to a home that doesn't allow pets or they lost a job, making caring for an animal difficult.

Two small dogs were surrendered to Marin Humane Society in Novato, California and the female had recently given birth to puppies. It's not clear if the previous owners felt like they couldn't care for both the older dogs and the puppies so they just kept the puppies, or if something else prompted the drop-off.

Either way, this mama dog was in distress after being left at the shelter without her babies. She refused to leave the corner of the large kennel and just looked so sad. The employees felt for the sweet mama dog and decided to do some detective work to see if they could figure out where the puppies were located.

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