Farming insects too much too fast could create an environmental disaster

January 21, 2019 by  
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The potential of insects as an alternative source of protein is promising. But this week, Swedish scientists warned that more research is needed on the environmental impact of mass rearing insects before large-scale production begins if we want to avoid a potential environmental disaster. Writing in the Trends in Ecology & Evolution journal, the researchers explained that there is currently an “overwhelming lack of knowledge” about insects, especially basic things like what they need for housing and food, how to manage their waste and which are the most suitable species for mass rearing. Related: Modular Cricket Shelter grows edible insects in Brooklyn The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that more than 1,900 species of insects are edible, but the researchers believe that we first need to get answers to those basic questions, so we don’t “risk creating an industry that replaces one environmental problem with another.” Both nutritionists and scientists have advocated insects as being a sustainable and cheap source of protein to feed our constantly growing population. They also have benefits like being high in vitamins, fiber and minerals. Insects produce fewer greenhouse gases than pigs or cattle, and they require a lot less land and water. Businesses have already started to enter the world of edible insects, producing things like sweet potato soup made with bugs, burgers made of buffalo worms and DIY insect farms. But this might be too much too fast, according to Asa Berggren, a conservation biologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the paper’s co-author. “How do you produce the feed they eat, where do you produce it, what do you use? There are so many questions,” Berggren said. “Are we going to use fossil fuels for heating and cooling the facilities (where insects are grown)? What about transportation?” She went on to say that one of the biggest threats to both natural and production systems is invasive species . There could be a big problem if insects are accidentally released in a country where they are imported. Other concerns include whether or not farmed insects that get sick will transmit diseases to consumers, and there is also a question of animal welfare . Berggren admitted that there could be a lot of insects that are good for us to eat, but further research is important. Via Reuters Image via Primal Future ( 1 , 2 )

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Farming insects too much too fast could create an environmental disaster

An itty-bitty tiny home on wheels is pretty in pink

January 21, 2019 by  
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Designed by architect Joshua Woodsman of Pin-Up Houses , this bright pink tiny home is one of the most vibrant we’ve ever seen. Adding to its whimsical exterior, Magenta is a prefabricated tiny home on wheels that has a living space of just 66 square feet. However, within that tiny space are plenty of creature comforts that make it a fabulous home for living life on the road. According to the team from Pin-Up Houses, the vibrant Magenta is “a manifesto of temporary independent housing, against debt and mortgages.” Built on a flat trailer, the tiny home was designed for people who want to live on the road with a transportable but comfortable home. Accordingly, Magenta was built with extremely lightweight materials, waterproof plywood and spruce beams. Polystyrene insulation was installed on every side of the home, keeping it cozy and warm in the winter months and cool in summertime. A large window lets natural light into the living space. Related: ‘France’ is a $1,200 tiny house that snaps together in just 3 hours The interior space is compact, but the designers were able to outfit it with almost all of the basic amenities. There is a comfy sofa bed along with a small kitchenette that has a water tank, a gas cooker, a sink and plenty of secure drawers. A dining table with two chairs offers a nice place to eat and work. When nature calls, a humble chemical toilet was installed in a tiny water closet. Additionally, there is a heating stove that keeps the place nice and toasty. The home was built with a pitched roof, which gives the interior extra space for storage. Besides the custom built-in furniture , such as pull-out drawers under the sofa, there are multiple stretched nets hung on the walls for stashing away personal items. There is also a larger net that spans the length of the ceiling, adding a ton of space for storing sporting equipment, clothing, books and more. + Pin-Up Houses Images via Pin-Up Houses

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An itty-bitty tiny home on wheels is pretty in pink

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