The Daily Quote: Why Eating Insects Makes Sense

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Photo courtesy theidleman.com 

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I would do to feed my family should all of this shopping I’ve been doing all of my life – this store-to-table hunting & gathering & swiping of the debit card should all fall apart in an apocalyptic mess. Have you ever given thought to what you would do should a massive epidemic of disease destroy the meat industry as we know it?
” Bugs could be a solution for food shortages in the future. “
– Bill Broadbent, bugsfordinner.com
This past summer, I noticed the almost nuisance-level abundance of crickets in my yard & covering my house in the cool flower bed beneath my windows. For only a few seconds, I considered catching a few & frying them up with some cumin & garlic or chili oil just to be able to say I did it. I knew it would be harmless, as I don’t treat my lawn, & people in other countries commonly eat crickets.
That thought returned to me as I was online, searching for sources of nutrition that could help me lose weight & improve my overall nutrition & health. I have a rather sedentary job, & have had a lot of fatigue & pain due to other health conditions. All of the health shakes & meal replacement drinks that I’ve found in stores contain too much sugar and/or sodium. They cost too much. Then I’m left with plastic bottles to recycle, & to be honest – I don’t pay extra for recycling with my trash pickup.
So as I was researching online for foods with the most nutrition for my buck, I ended up looking at high-quality sources protein.
That led me to: vMealworms, including a very cool kickstarter campaign called LIVIN Farms Hive for a company that makes & sells countertop mealworm “hives.”
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Complete with recipes & online tutorials to help you make mealworms a real staple food in your household. I was fascinated. At the time this article was written, they had raised $89K of their $100K goal. There are videos of the hive, how it works, & even cooking videos. I think it looks pleasant & maintainable, & the recipes actually look delish!
My search for places to buy insect “grub” online (no pun intended), led me to a site called, Bugs for Dinner.
The information provided by this site makes an even more compelling argument as to why I should be eating insect protein. Here are a few statistics:
  • Crickets provide more protein & less fat than both beef & salmon (g/kg)
  • It only takes 1% of the water to raise & produce crickets as compared to raising cattle, etc. With water crises on the rise in places like California, we should be aware of the agricultural (specifically dairy farming) industry’s consumption of our water while people’s consumption becomes limited in times of shortage. See this article for more information.
  • Insects are high in protein, vitamins, & minerals & need no antibiotics or other drugs to raise.
  • It costs a fraction of a percentage to raise insects & you can do it – AT HOME – as compared to the expense of raising other animals for meat.
  • Crickets produce 1.5% of the methane produced by cattle & other livestock.

This site features a store, where you can buy sample packs of insect snacks such as bbq, honey mustard, or curry flavored crickets…& yes, they even come chocolate covered. There’s a fantastic information-packed blog, for those who want to learn more about folks who eat insects & why, statistics & nutritional data on sustainable insect protein, delicious recipes, & so much more. There’s even a place to inquire about becoming a bug farmer.

To say the least, I’m intrigued & willing to try adding some bugs to my diet. Here’s a great article on Smithsonian.com on 5 ways to get started.

Another great read: What happens to your body when you eat bugs.

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The Daily Quote: Thanksgiving

“Thanksgiving is a time when my family gets together & tells stories about our creation myths & who we were & who we are & really, what we lost.”
I do not teach my children that ‘Thanksgiving’ is based on a time when the ‘Pilgrims & the Indians’ shared food, culture & hospitality.
I will never, ever tell my children such lies.
We all know the disgusting truth. Most of us simply choose to keep passing on the lies that were painted to cover up the murder, rape, theft & destruction of the beautiful life & culture that existed here before this was “America.”
Oppression still exists here in the “land of the free.”
It’s called the Reservation.
We enjoy our turkey, & when the kids bring home construction paper & feather headbands & talk of the pilgrims & the first Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t know what to say right now, as they are so small. It’s not that I don’t know how to tell them about the way our ancestors violently took this land & it’s people.
My problem is this: How you do tell your kids that their teachers, their school, the text books, the department store holiday decor, the Charlie Brown thanksgiving special, & virtually every one & everything else is LYING to them?
And when they ask why??????
For now, I don’t say anything. They haven’t asked, & I haven’t told. But sooner or later, they will know, & then what will they think of this world? What will they think of America? What will they think of this ‘land of the free’ & ‘land of prosperity’ when they find out that despite all of our advancements, political, social, economic, & technological, the civil rights movements, fighting for equal rights, etc, etc…this reality still exists for the Natives to whom this land first belonged.
They continue to exist in an invisible oppression, denied & ignored by the masses; the offspring of the “pilgrims” who destroyed their beautiful way of life, & the futures of their people for generations & generations to come.

The Daily Quote: President Harry Truman and Maya Angelou

QuestionsIt’s important to ask questions.Never stop. Question everything.
That is a big lesson I try to teach my children. It’s cliché, but now more than ever, I realize that knowledge truly is power. As I guide my children to seek out the “why” behind all the things they see & wonder about, I realize how quickly their knowledge & understanding of the world expands. The more I lead them to notice, question, & hypothesize about the average, every day things around them, the more they come to me with comprehensive, elaborate observations that they’ve made on their own time. At the ages of 4 and 7, without a doubt, on some days, it’s all I can do to simply survive until the moment they start snoring & the questions stop. They drive me batty sometimes. But I know I am fostering capable, intelligent, thoughtful individuals. What better way to train up decision-makers than to foster curiosity? One needs to seek out information, sort through it critically, & form opinions based on experiences & knowledge.

There are plenty of days, like today, when I only wish I had the answers to their questions & solutions to our problems. It’s been all over the news: another 151102140217-ground-beef-recall-780x439nationwide recall of food due to contamination. 167,000+ pounds of beef have been recalled due to possible e.coli poisoning.

God willing, it is my goal to get out of the corporate food trap; to stop buying “manufactured” meat & purchase from farms. It is my goal to grow & preserve (freeze or can) fresh vegetables & fruits & purchase everything I can from area farms & at farmer’s markets in my community.

“With great power goes great responsibility.” – President Harry S. Truman.

This quote came to mind when I realized the size of the journey I was about to embark on. This could empower me, my children, my grand children, & so on. Who knows what condition the agricultural industry will be in for generations in the future. I can only imagine what kinds of outbreaks & epidemics they will face. At the same time, this is a huge responsibility for me & my husband. We both work full-time jobs & have made small attempts at gardening that didn’t turn out all that great. Farmer’s markets in my town are at least a 20-minute drive away, whereas we live within walking distance from at least 5 grocery/department stores. Farms are even farther…an hour? Two hours? I have no idea. I know of one butcher, about an hour away. I hear it’s not as easy to get the same cuts of meat we’re used to. It takes so much more time & preparation. I could never find the time to actually cook everything “from scratch” like my Great-Grandmothers. Maybe it will taste different. I am filled with uncertainty & anxiety. My inner voice says, “I don’t have time for this. Am I crazy? I don’t want to do this. It’s SO much work.” Then, one of my all-time favorite sayings rings out loud & clear, reminding me that I must.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

Instead of continuing to worry & complain about what “they” are putting into the foods, I feel more & more compelled to start learning & teaching my children to do something about it; to seek out other sources, to grow our own food, & to learn the art of preserving it. I am but two generations removed from women who saw this not as a chore, not as a hobby or a skill, but as the method of survival & feeding their families. “These aren’t ancient ideas. It was not so long ago. I can do this…”

It is my goal to find farms, butchers, & farmer’s markets from which to purchase safe, real foods. It’s time for me to learn to use recipes again & to honestly prepare & cook real foods again. I’ve become addicted to the microwave. My kids are NO-microwave-500x315conditioned to expect a meal in 15-20 minutes flat, & heaven forbid they should have to tolerate the aroma of real food cooking in the oven!

It is my obligation to learn these skills & pass them on to my children & Grand children. Just as I have worked so hard to empower my children with curiosity & independent thought, it more than makes sense that I train them to sustain themselves. We do not have to live, eat, & feed our children at the mercy of Monsanto, USDA, etc. We can choose to do the work that is required to be in control of what we consume. It’s the same work that was required of our Great-Grandparents & their Parents & Grandparents. It’s the same work that was always required, going all the way back to the Natives that fed themselves from this land. And while the work might have gotten easier, the quality, the purity, & the safety of our food have suffered greatly, along with our health.

God willing, eventually, it won’t matter what “they” put into the food. We will not need their versions food, & we will learn to see, smell, & taste the difference. God sustained all of the people before us with the land they had & the animals they raised. He will make a way. It may not be the way I have envisioned, & I’m 100% sure it won’t be easy, but we can & we will take back the power & the responsibility of choosing our food, how it is raised, & what is goes into it.