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Gianna Gruen | Ideas

Eat (more) insects!

(CC BY SA 2.0 unnormalized)

Ever wondered what you could do to fight climate change, but never came up with a proper solution? A quiet common way is to switch to a vegetarian diet, as meat production accounts for about 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. If you can’t do without your daily portion of proteins (aka meat) – here might be a convenient idea: Eat more insects! This is not a suggestion of some weird person being anxious about animals with too many legs and wants them to go extinct. It’s a seriously meant proposal from the UN to feed the booming population all over the world.

If a simple recommendation is not good enough for you, but you need some convincing numbers- the New Scientist has put them down:

To produce 1 kilogram of beef, for example, you need 10 kg of feed, whereas 1 kg of crickets requires just 1.7 kg. What’s more, 80 per cent of a cricket is edible compared with just 40 per cent of a cow.

(CC BY NC 2.0: Peter Kelly)

In consequence, much less land would be needed to grow food for our food (as insects could even grow on kinds of waste) – we would get more food from the same amount of grain and would thereby cut pollution.

This kind of diet is already familiar in some parts of the world, yet the most consumed are beetles, ants and bees. In total 1,900 insects have been identified to be suitable for human diet.

But for lots of people it is quite unthinkable to take a bite. What’s your opinion: Is the argument of sustainability strong enough to change people’s minds?


May 19, 2013



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Klaus Esterluß | Ideas

Jane Goodall: 300 days on the road for the cause

Meeting Jane Goodall, British primatologist and avid environmental activist, is an honour. Global Ideas took the opportunity to talk with the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees during a film screening in Brussels. The documentary Love MEATender focuses on earth’s growing hunger for more meat and the price we already have to pay for the excessive consumption.

A lot of people are already aware of the situation we are in, Goodall says. But that does not automaticly change something:

GI Jane Goodall What has to be done from DW_Global Ideas on Vimeo.

One of today’s main problems is that earth’s population is growing fast and with it the number of people who want to consume meat, Goodall adds. As the middle classes in the developing world are rising up, they want to have the same standards of living as the industrialized countries have. “Which is of course understandable.” But the planet is not growing, so it won’t be able to support this lifestyle much longer.

GI Jane Goodall more meat more problem from DW_Global Ideas on Vimeo.

For Jan Goodall the newest generations are the key to a solution. Her organization, the Jane Goodall Institute, runs an initiative called “Roots and Shoots program,” with the goal to “provide young people with the knowledge, tools and inspiration to improve the environment and the quality of life for people and animals,” as the program’s website says. “We need to train a new generation to be better stewards than we have been,” she adds. Otherwise there would be absolutly no point:

GI Jane Goodall important young people from DW_Global Ideas on Vimeo.


May 18, 2013



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