The harbingers of civilizational collapse and impending apocalypse have become so very common as to encourage a serious case of the old ennui. There is little to generate surprise in the latest catastrophes and the daily litany of hopeless headlines. Yet once in a long while something can come along that compels even the most jaded fatalists among us to stop, back up, and say, “Mother of the Mother of God, what have we come to?”
Popping up in some news outlets today were remarks made by former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, in an interview with The Guardian, where he advocates the consumption of insects as a source (for humans) of animal protein. He says:
Insects have a very good conversion rate from feed to meat. They make up part of the diet of two billion people and are commonly eaten in many parts of the world. Eating insects is good for the environment and balanced diets.
This of-course is nothing new in the world of environmentalism. Satisfying one’s need (or desire) for animal protein with meat has long been considered inefficient and wasteful, due to the energy required to fatten cattle and the like, and the large tracts of land needed to support them and their families. At the opposite end of the scale, instead of raising a cow in order to have it convert grass into nice juicy hamburgers, it would be most efficient of you instead to simply eat the grass yourself. It cuts out so many middlemen and, as we know, it all ends up going the same place anyway.
These kinds of arguments (albeit less elegantly-made) have so far failed to convince very many people to do the right thing. So the campaign has advanced to moving people away from eating large animals and towards eating very small animals instead. Insects don’t require vast fields on which to roam and feed. In fact, as you may have noticed, you can pretty much feed an army of ants with just a splotch of spilled strawberry jam. Cockroaches will seemingly eat anything, even newspaper. And in any case you will rarely actually observe an insect sitting down and eating at all; it may well be that most of them simply live on air and sunlight. If so, then if we could ourselves eat insects, we could achieve our own long cherished dream of living on air and sunlight, albeit just one step removed.
These are weighty facts, and indeed all of the data, once you analyze it (as I have), is highly persuasive. We should be living on bugs. The thing is, unfortunately, that I’m not quite ready to eat insects myself. There are reasons for this that stem from a troubled childhood, and we really don’t need to get into all of that now. However, there’s no question in my mind but that it would be a good thing if everyone else switched to the insect diet, and so here are some recommendations for beginning on that path.
You must not, of-course, simply squash the nearest bug and put it in your mouth. This is because you really don’t know what the hell you’re doing. You might eat an insect that is needed for other purposes, or one that has a wife and kids at home, or one that once ingested will make you see strange shimmering colors and sing John Denver songs.
You need to be guided towards eating insects that have been properly selected, carefully raised, and humanely slaughtered. (Slaughtering insects humanely, I need hardly tell you, requires the proper instruments and superb eyesight.) Fortunately the answers are right here, and you can obtain all the environmentally-correct animal protein you need quickly and reliably via Amazon.com.
You can do no better than to begin with cricket flour. “Cricket contains twice as much protein as beef, as much calcium as milk, as much Vitamin B12 as salmon, and 17 amino acids, including Lysine.” You can begin by sprinkling your cricket flour on other less environmentally-correct foods, and then progress steadily towards removing those foods until you’re eating nothing but pure cricket. At the time of writing, it is priced at $12.97 for, well, just under a quarter of a pound, and … what a bargain, when you consider that it takes approximately 1,100 crickets to make up this little bag of “flour”! Can you imagine the labor involved in capturing and humanely slaughtering all of these
little buggers beautiful creatures?
And no one said that saving the Earth would be cheap.
One thing, however: just a piece of advice to the manufacturers. If I personally were marketing cricket flour, I would probably tend towards a more generic kind of packaging. That is, I would put it in a bag that doesn’t feature a big picture of a bug with many legs and antennae and so on. Maybe I’m crazy.
On the other hand, if you prefer to know exactly what you’re eating and glory in it, then what you’ll be wanting are the Crispy Fried Achetas with Salt. Here you can revel in the gorgeous legs, the delicate antennae, and that unmistakable and satisfying crunch as it all goes down. Achetas are basically crickets from Thailand, and click the following link to enjoy a wonderful YouTube video of one in its natural environment. Gets your mouth watering, I bet.
Order through the helpful links here, and this site will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. So, while you’re saving the Earth, you’ll be saving THE CINCH REVIEW too, and the reward for that in heaven will be boundless.
However strange one might think it that the president of the United States was first reported to have been sent to the hospital today for “a sore throat” and afterwards was diagnosed with “acid reflux,” it seems an opportune time to share a bit of knowledge I wish someone had shared with me much sooner.
In particular, this piece of advice ought to be shared on every bottle of TUMS® or ROLAIDS® or PEPCID® AC® or [fill in your own preferred over-the-counter antacid preparation]. Informing people of this, however, would necessarily reduce the sales of such substances; so, even in the information age, this information is not very commonly available. Continue reading “Heartburn? Try Sleeping On Your Left Side”
I came to allergies late in life. Through childhood and my twenties, I didn’t know what hay fever and such things were, other than that they were things that afflicted certain other people, and I sure was glad not be one of them: they seemed to be sad human beings, turned into miserable sniveling wretches by pleasant weather and the blooming beauty of nature. It was sometime in my early thirties that I became inexplicably taken with occasional strange bouts of sneezing that would not stop until they decided to no matter how much I blew my nose or yelled curses at the universe. But these were just annoying fits, I supposed. Then one beautiful spring day I was walking down the avenue, greatly admiring the trees on both sides in full bloom, the white and pink blossoms gorgeous and filled with delight in the radiant sunshine, when suddenly I began sneezing uncontrollably, and sniveling like a wretch, and then my eyes began watering, and then they started itching like nothing I’d ever experienced before, and the terrible truth abruptly dawned upon me: I’m allergic! Continue reading “As Usual, It Will Be an Unusually Bad Allergy Season”
Time was that the average human being would go for a brisk walk pretty regularly, for the purpose of fetching water, or firewood, or pursuing a comely potential consort, or escaping from aggressive neighbors wielding spears, or retrieving the newspaper from the lawn. But the internet has changed all that. Now we can achieve all of those things by merely tapping our fingers. And our fingers have never been in finer shape. Continue reading “Brisk Walks “Boost Your Memory””
Researchers have found a dramatic link between the presence of smiles in photos taken during childhood and young adulthood and the future happiness of the people in those photos (see WSJ article by Matthew Hertenstein). Most specifically, a study of hundreds of college yearbook photos found that those individuals who smiled least were about five times more likely to get divorced later in life versus those who smiled most. Further research indicated that even photos taken at the age of 10 illustrated a strong correlation between a full-faced smile and a future successful marriage, versus a flat or stoic look and the likelihood of experiencing divorce(s) instead. The better-smiling types also seem to live substantially longer.
It seems clear enough that the more research that is done, the more associations there will be between smiling in youthful photographs and successful outcomes in every area of life. This is very depressing for someone like me. Were one to go through my childhood photos, one would conclude that I should be divorced four or five times by now. As it happens, I have failed to get started on even my first divorce. I can only conclude that my wife’s far more cheerful and smiling nature as a child has somehow outweighed the grim misery with which her future husband was obviously burdened. So, therein lies a key lesson for the non-smilers: do not marry someone as sour-faced as yourself. Continue reading “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella”
After performing a series of recently-developed tests, doctors and scientists report that an 84-year-old man, presumed to be in a vegetative state since 2006, showed “significant” brain activity when shown family pictures and offered other stimuli. A statement from Ben Gurion University in Israel, whose scientists participated in the tests, is quoted here:
“[The patient], presumed to be in a vegetative state since 2006 due to brain haemorrhage, was scanned to assess the extent and quality of his brain processing using methods recently developed by Professor Monti and collaborators,” it said.
“Scientists showed [the patient] pictures of his family, made him listen to his son’s voice, and used tactile stimulation to assess to what extent his brain responded to external stimuli,” it said in a statement.
“To their surprise, significant brain activity was observed in each test in specific brain regions, indicating appropriate processing of these (stimuli).”
Although this sounds dramatic—and rightly so—it is not unprecedented. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010 (and noted then in this space) found similar results in a number of patients who were also diagnosed as “vegetative.”
Why then are the results for this particular patient in the news today? It is because the patient’s name is Ariel Sharon, and he is a former prime minister of Israel. In 2010, several years after his medical crisis, a hospital manager involved with the care of Sharon was quoted as saying that “The part of the brain that keeps his body functioning, his vital organs, is intact, but beyond that there is nothing, just fluid.”
Yet, although he remains incapable of speaking or of making substantial communicative gestures, the results of these tests will make his family feel vindicated in believing that Ariel Sharon is in fact still “there,” despite what various medical professionals have maintained, and despite the voices of all those who have advocated disconnecting the feeding tube and “allowing” him to die (of starvation). Will he ever recover something like normal consciousness and the ability to communicate? No one can say. Continue reading “84-year-old patient in “vegetative” state responds to stimuli”