INSECTS VERSUS OFFAL!

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Stanley
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INSECTS VERSUS OFFAL!

Post by Stanley » 27 Oct 2017, 06:14

INSECTS VERSUS OFFAL!

As it becomes obvious that the world's food supply is no longer able to feed the growing population and local scarcities are causing famine we are beginning to hear about a variety of strategies to combat the shortages.
It won't surprise you to know that my mind immediately went back into history, food shortages and even famine are not unknown events. In the 16th century a unique series of factors had the effect of increasing the population in the NW of England at a time when nationally, it was stagnant or falling. Remember that at that time transport was bad and districts lived on their own resources. We reached a point where in West Craven and NE Lancashire food shortages were a problem. The answer then was to enclose land on the Waste or Common Lands, typically further up the hillside than the then current limits of cultivation. This pressure on land resulted in a legal action in 1580 between the Manor of Foulridge and the Manor of Barnoldswick and we are lucky enough to have a map that was used in evidence which gives proof of the enclosures or 'allotments'. This increase in cultivated land solved the food problem and we survived.
Such a simple solution isn't available today and we are seeing a variety of strategies to 'improve' the efficiency of food production. One of these is growing pressure on us all to become vegetarians as this is more efficient than supporting animals. There are deep flaws in this argument but I don't intend to go into them here, the bedrock of care for the soil is the use of animals as much as farm machinery as food sources and this in itself is a form of 'efficiency' which could be damaged.
No, what has caught my attention is the growing number of advocates for cultivating insects as a way of producing protein. There is a good scientific case for this as insects use resources like waste, fungi and even inedible (to us) things like wood and naturally occurring oils to manufacture protein. In some cultures fried insects are already a delicacy and production of these could be enormously expanded to become a food additive to global diets. The question is, how hungry do we have to get in order to overcame our inhibitions? Anyone for Fruit Fly soup?
What strikes me is the wasteful way we use existing resources. You are all aware of my attitude to feeding waste food to pigs and this is only one example. Despite their protestations to the contrary, the supermarket's obsession with 'standards' results in tens of thousands of tons of perfectly good food being ploughed back into the soil each year. Any butcher will tell you that certain offals are unsaleable, the days of boiling a sheep's head and leaving the eyes in 'as it has to see us through the week' have gone. I think that on the whole I prefer the offal to the insects!

Image

My interpretation of the 1580 map used in the court case.
Stanley Challenger Graham
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chinatyke
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Re: INSECTS VERSUS OFFAL!

Post by chinatyke » 27 Oct 2017, 12:18

Stanley wrote:
27 Oct 2017, 06:14
the days of boiling a sheep's head and leaving the eyes in 'as it has to see us through the week' have gone.
I thought the saying was "I'll have a sheep's head for a bob, and leave the tail on."

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Re: INSECTS VERSUS OFFAL!

Post by chinatyke » 27 Oct 2017, 12:27

Thank goodness we have the agrochemical industry. Genetic engineering by natural or controlled selection and modification, high yields of crops which are not contaminated with other seeds and are not devoured by insects.

The Agrochemical Industry - Feeding the World.

Hooray for Science!

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Stanley
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Re: INSECTS VERSUS OFFAL!

Post by Stanley » 28 Oct 2017, 03:37

I've never heard that one about the sheep's head China. You may be right about agrochemicals but I will still stick to the offal!
Stanley Challenger Graham
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"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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