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Locusts for Lunch

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Right now, amid the covid-19 global pandemic and climate change and so much more, locusts are also decimating crops and amplifying starvation across the African continent. They’re everywhere and they’re hungry and people are hurting with hunger.

What would it take to catch the locusts en masse / at scale and use then as a source of protein to feed the hungry? Essentially: Prevent them from causing starvation and use them to solve starvation.

I’m thinking of something like a giant fishing net for the air, but am sure there are far better ideas (am not sure, however, humans can even eat locusts, but they seem close enough to crickets).  

Bonus points if any solution ideas are low cost and scalable. 

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I would find pheromones which attract locusts. And let them get in to hermetic container. Then freeze them and repeat.

ps. Pigs will happily eat them after blending.

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Good idea. Given that a single swarm covers hundreds of acres upon hundreds of acres at a time, how would that scale?

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Posted (edited)

They are edible. Nets are in fact traditionally used to catch the grasshopper swarms.

Edited by Endy0816

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Tried cookies with grasshopper in them, once.
Never again !

I'm not against using them as a protein source for more 'traditional' livestock, like pigs, chickens, cows, etc.
But feeding them to starving people, while we eat steak, seems kind of wrong.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, MigL said:

Tried cookies with grasshopper in them, once.
Never again !

I'm not against using them as a protein source for more 'traditional' livestock, like pigs, chickens, cows, etc.
But feeding them to starving people, while we eat steak, seems kind of wrong.

Considered a delicacy in some places, though food distribution could definitely be improved along with not causing the triggering droughts in the first place. Have read that chickens like them.

Edited by Endy0816

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Well, right now they’re eating the whole of Africa. Being humans at a higher level of the food chain than they are, I’d like to turn the tables and start eating them by the billions. Turn them into flour, candy, salad fixins, whatever... but get them to stop eating core crops. 

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Posted (edited)

Oh, another thing...
Hopefully no zoonotic virus, jump from locusts to humans.
( African Locust Acute Respiratory Syndrome - ALARS :D )

 

Edited by MigL

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You don't need lungs to be infected, reproduce the virus, and spread it.
Just cells with ACE2 receptors.

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39 minutes ago, MigL said:

You don't need lungs to be infected, reproduce the virus, and spread it.
Just cells with ACE2 receptors.

As a whole, zoonotic diseases from non-mammals are much less likely due to differences in overall physiology. One reason why pigs are quite often involved in jumps from animals to humans.

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45 minutes ago, CharonY said:

As a whole, zoonotic diseases from non-mammals are much less likely due to differences in overall physiology. One reason why pigs are quite often involved in jumps from animals to humans.

I wouldn't have thought the pigs would care...

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If it doesn’t help capture locusts by the bazillion then it’s off topic

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

If it doesn’t help capture locusts by the bazillion then it’s off topic

..you seem to not understand what off-topic is about: whether people eating locusts will or not be infected by zoonotic diseases... Pretty on-topic IMHO...

 

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Lol. I get to say what the topic is and should be. I created it. I’m the OP.

I want to talk about ways of capturing and stopping the locusts which are decimating Africa right now. 

Can that be done?

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

Can that be done?

Whether billions of locusts can be caught, or, we can stay on topic ?

Locusts will go where the food is; once it's gone, they'll die off, or migrate.
Use of chemical agents to incapacitate them, also puts the remaining food at risk.
The only suitable method, is trapping them, using netting, I would think.
( then possibly roasting them to dry out, and mixing with a suitable carb, like rice ,or other grain, flour )

Not sure how efficient the process would be; the netting would need to be suspended above the vegetation the locusts are attacking, and then, drawn up, and tight, to capture them. But you still need to incapacitate them somehow, or you'll need to put the netting in the roasting ovens also.
So then, the netting would need to be heat resistant, and you could only do batches, instead of a continuous process.

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I am unclear about details, but I feel garlic butter should be involved.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe use explosive subsonic charges attached to drones to deliver them, either as a missile or by gravity from above. A laser-guide could be used to work out the edge of the swarm and then the explosion can calculated to occur when the missile has penetrated the swarm sufficiently for maximal efficacy. 

Edited by StringJunky

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2 hours ago, CharonY said:

I am unclear about details, but I feel garlic butter should be involved.

I have eaten grasshoppers when visiting Oaxaca; indeed, garlic, lime and salt make up the standard accompaniment. I would hold back on the butter, it is already heavy food. 

Another tradition is to serve them on fried eggs. If you are too squeamish, pass them through the digestive system of the chickens first.

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They were on the menu of a restaurant I used to go to regularly. Sautéed in a sticky soy sauce. Delicious.

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10 hours ago, MigL said:

Whether billions of locusts can be caught, or, we can stay on topic ?

I'm grateful you caught my very intentional double entendre :)

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It reminds me of the fly swarms over laked Victoria, the locals grab their pots and pans, wet them and run through the swarm to catch as many as they can, they then turn them into fly burgers. 

In this case, it could solve the problem of food today, but I doubt the locusts would last as long as the food they ate.

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

In this case, it could solve the problem of food today, but I doubt the locusts would last as long as the food they ate.

But if you catch them, you have both (since they could no longer eat the food) :)

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10 minutes ago, iNow said:

But if you catch them, you have both (since they could no longer eat the food) :)

I guess that's a measure of efficiency. 😣

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22 hours ago, taeto said:

I have eaten grasshoppers when visiting Oaxaca; indeed, garlic, lime and salt make up the standard accompaniment. I would hold back on the butter, it is already heavy food. 

Another tradition is to serve them on fried eggs. If you are too squeamish, pass them through the digestive system of the chickens first.

Just dry roasted? Interesting. I thought they would be somewhat low on fat for that.

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