MiniLivestock

Around this time of year, I like to remind people about food, and privilege, and not taking things for granted. And right on time…. I stumbled across this fascinating student blog!

It’s a “personal sustainability project:”

“As part of my Contemporary Issues Class at CCA, I am taking on a Personal Sustainability Project. My PSP will focus on living a more sustainable diet through raising my own “minilivestock” by rearing, harvesting, and incorporating insects in my own daily diet. In addition to my PSP, I will use design to help further the voice of an existing organization or create my own.”

It clearly was a huge undertaking, since she reared her own mealworms. Drop by her blog and give Rosanna props for spreading the good news of insect food!

Her project has additional significance in light of the recent PNAS paper that found that corn is the basis of almost all fast food consumed in the US:

“Eating a diet of meat from corn-fed animals hasn’t been linked to any specific health effects in humans. But it has resulted in widespread environmental degradation, including drained water supplies, degraded soils, and reliance on fossil fuels for fertilizer, pesticides and farm machinery fuel, says preventive medicine physician Bob Lawrence, director of the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health…”

He left out “fuel to haul the corn back and forth.”

If you want to start your own low-impact diet, then check out the Food Insects Page list of insect cookbooks!  I’ll also point out that insects have lots of protein.

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7 thoughts on “MiniLivestock

  1. It is very sustainable, and is a major portion of the diet in most of the rest of the world.

    Unfortunately, the message of “bugs icky” is slowly spreading, and indigenous people are leaving behind the cheap, local sources of protein (insects) for larger, more environmentally destructive types of industrialized farming and agriculture.
    So that they can sell the food they raise…..to us.

  2. I used to raise mealworms to feed birds that I was breeding, growing a mealworm population is easy enough. I never tried eating mealworms myself but they don’t look very nutritious, it seems like there’s a lot of exoskeleton and not much meat per worm. I wonder about the economics though – commercially mealworms are sold by quantity rather than weight but my guess is that they come in at several dollars per pound. I never bothered to figure out what it cost me to raise them myself, since I didn’t need large quantities it was a modest effort.

  3. Thanks so much for posting about Minilivestock, Bug Girl!

    I also posted about your blog: http://minilivestock.blogspot.com/2008/12/bug-girls-blog.html

    Hi, Michael- mealworms are pretty nutritious even though they may seem so small. Insects contain protein, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fats, carbohydrates, fiber (which is provided by the exoskeleton). Like traditional livestock and produce, insects vary in nutritional value. They can be used as supplements, like vitamins. If you were to eat them for your entire recommended daily nutritional allowance, you will have to eat a lot more…maybe 13-16oz per day, depending on your body weight.

    I found this chart online: http://www.grubco.com/Nutritional_Information.cfm. There are books with a list of insects and their nutritional value if you are curious. Check out Creepy Crawly Cuisine by doctor Julieta Ramos-Elorduy, or Eat-a-bug Cookbookby Entomophagy advocate David George Gordon.

    My experience in buying commercial mealworms has been by quantity as well. It hasn’t cost me much to raise the mealworms since they’re pretty low maintenance, eating mainly carrots and oats and they don’t take up much space.

    Hope that helps. Thanks!

  4. i guess i wasn’t be as scientific as you guys, when i asked if it was sustainable, I meant, would she really being sustaining this behavior for a long period of time? i.e. will this continue past an experiment or test run?

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