What are your thoughts on eating insects as part of your diet?
You may think it’s crazy and something that should only be seen on ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here!’ but this is something that you might be eating in just 20 years’ time! Due to a severe increase in meat prices, environmental problems and a vastly growing population, there may be no other choice but to find alternative things to eat. Insects are most certainly not our only option, things such as algae, lab grown meat and soylent are also becoming alternatives to meat. Also, by sonically enhancing food we can get the most out of the things we eat.
Insects are as nutritious as ‘normal’ meats; they are a great source of protein according to a variety of researchers. As meat is going to become unaffordable, insects are a lot cheaper to raise, consume less water and produce a smaller carbon footprint. They could actually be the answer to all of our money problems. I’m not talking bushtucker trial style meals but, there are a variety of websites containing a range of insect dishes including: bee larvae granola, roasted locusts with wild garlic and ant emulsion, curried tempora grasshoppers with sweet chilli sauce and for those of you with a sweet tooth, there are even a range of desserts including soft ginger cricket cookies!
As well as insects, algae may also be part of our staple diet in years to come. It may not be very high up in the food chain, but algae will certainly help us out during a food shortage crisis. Algae can be grown naturally in the ocean and can feed both humans and animals. Scientists also believe that algae could help reduce the need for fossil fuels, which would also help the environment. In 20 years time algae farming has been predicted to be the world’s biggest cropping industry, it has already been a staple in Asia and Japan for a long time.
If insects and algae aren’t up your street then do not fear, scientists have successfully produced in
vitro meat by growing strips of muscle tissue from stem cells in cows. Who knew meat could be grown in a lab? Dutch scientists have been working on producing the first “test tube burger” and hope to have achieved this goal by the end of the year. Lab grown meat could be modified to cut the fat content and add nutrients. Oxford University found that by growing meat in a lab rather than slaughtering animals it would reduce greenhouse gases and wouldn’t use nearly as much water and energy, which is a huge bonus to the environment.
The other alternative would be to not eat food at all. Extreme, I know. However, a man called Rob Rhinehart has been living off a substance called soylent. The substance is intended to provide the body with all of the nutrients and calories it needs, simply mix the powder with water and drink it. In Rhinehart’s view, the act of eating is an act that technology can make more efficient. You may be thinking that the idea of protein shakes isn’t new at all, but soylent eliminates food entirely. Soylent’s main components are carbohydrates as they are the primary source of energy for the body. Don’t believe me? Go here and you can buy some for yourself!
The thought of living off powder isn’t overly appealing but we could make it better if we enhanced it somehow. It is well established that the appearance and smell of food heavily influence what we eat, however, the effect sound has on taste is an expanding area of research. Oxford University has found that certain tones could make things bitter or sweet. A study, known as the bittersweet study, has shown that the taste of food could actually be adjusted by changing the sonic properties of a background track. Low brass sounds make things taste more bitter and high-pitched tunes played on a piano or bells make things taste sweeter. Not only could this be used to adjust the taste of soylent but it can also be used to remove unhealthy ingredients without anyone noticing.
So, these are the foods you may be seeing on your plates in the future! By eating these, we will be greatly helping the environment and we won’t be burning so many holes in our pockets. If you want any more information on the matter, check out this article. For anyone keen to try out eating insects, this site has plenty of recipes.