Last time we discussed a great many things, but 2 in particular we need to circle around on, processed foods and eating bugs. Culturally it is a taboo to eat bugs. Realistically eating bugs found near human settlements in “civilized” countries would be stupid. Such bugs most assuredly have absorbed significant quantities of various poisons to which they have become immune. Remember, according to at least one biography Howard Hughes routinely took doses of drugs which were believed to be fatal. Immunity is something built up over time and the bugs have had thousands of generations to pass it on.
The second thing is all of the current lore with respect to processed foods. Why processed foods again? Because that is how “alternatives” initially get into the food supply. Until the alternative becomes trendy they get sold cheap into the bottom of the socio-economic ladder or, possibly school lunch programs. I haven’t been to school in many decades, but I seem to remember the introduction of soy simulated Salisbury steak and turkey burgers. Of course, if you watch “Fed Up” you realize that no matter what we got fed in school 40+ years ago, it was way better than the fast food kids eat today.
During “the great war” tobacco companies gave free cigarettes to soldiers. By the time many soldiers returned they were life long customers/addicts.
During the “cost cutting” of school systems fast food companies moved in to “help make the lunch program a revenue source” in many school systems. Now kids come out of school life long customers/addicts of fast food per “Fed Up.”
Don’t think it works? “Popeye the Sailor Man” was originally created to get kids to eat more spinach and now studies have been published showing it worked.
If makers and marketers want to cause a cultural dietary shift towards cricket simulated meat or things made with some kind of insect flower which captivates kids so they nag their parents to buy it. Oh, and it better taste really good without a puddle of sugar, fat or MSG. Oh, oh, it should already be on the air and available on store shelves. You need more than a decade for a trend like that to take root as kids graduate with such eating habits they pass them onto their children. If you do not believe that statement read up on “overshoot day.”
Sorry for the detour there, but I needed to point out how marketing works. The habits one develops while submersed in one environment tend to carry over into your next environment. Few, if any, of my former classmates ever became fans of soy simulated meat or turkey burgers because in the late 1970s through early 1980s, they tasted like sh*t. Keep in mind that I am a computer geek from back at the dawn of “personal computers.” I was and am a fan of the space program. I saw the documentaries about how the soy simulated and much of the dehydrated food tech was created for the space program, in particular Skylab. Once we had it at school I decided the food was a bit too high of a price to pay for the coolness of going to outer space. Today taste has improved immensely for quite a few of these products. While I don’t know if I would ever be brave enough to try a tofu burger I do eat tofu in various dishes at “Chinese” restaurants.
At this point we have covered the “cannon fodder” for the first phase of the global food shortage. Big Ag companies will try to push more GMO which, even if it does increase yield, cannot quickly double it without an exponential increase in fertilizer consumption and emissions causing other problems. Most people love a great steak and like a good steak but when your drive up window burger starts costing $42.95 + fries and drink you will financially be forced into “alternative foods.” The fish people like to eat are difficult to farm raise so many people’s first “alternative” will be moving to fish they don’t like. After that they will try to eat vegan but even GMO fruits and vegetables won’t be able to keep up with an ever growing population.
The people pushing large scale insect farming are correct from the standpoint that livestock conversion of grains and forage into human food is far less efficient than insect conversion. It is just that nobody wants to eat insects. This means they will come into the market as funny colored flour and processed foods. Will humans adapt to eating insects? Who knows. Even if they do the inevitable will only be stalled off. Eventually population growth will exceed the capacity of all food sources. Mass deaths from starvation will being in the poor countries when charities can no longer obtain food. They will spread out from there until a “Let them eat cake!” moment causes global uprising.
All of this assumes the 1% of the world will not choose the “excess population” for us and set about to exterminate it. At this point in time it is the more likely outcome. You can already see the formations of it if you look at history and current events. During the days when man fought with sword and arrow rulers of a land would often go to war with a neighbor claiming some imagined slight when in reality they had a failed crop and sending thousands of troops to pillage another land stretched out the food supply. Sometimes it even increased the size of one’s kingdom.
Now that we have nuclear weapons and countries tend to get into meat grinding proxy wars in hopes of stemming off the first new hostile mushroom cloud since World War II. Public outrage over deaths in these unpopular wars has made them a less effective population control than in times of old.