The period formerly known as the Dutch Golden Age, which ran through much of the 17th century, was a golden and pluralistic age indeed. Dutch masters included not only painters Hals, Vermeer, Rembrandt and Steen, but also scientists / philosophers such as microscopists Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Jan Swammerdam, the physicist Christiaan Huygens, the refugee Rene Descartes and the stoical Benedict Spinoza. These masters influence us to this day.
When Spinoza argued that a state that did not allow for freedom of expression encouraged violence, he was praising the Dutch values of tolerance, free thought and inclusion. These were not, in fact, universal; the elders of his own Portuguese / Jewish community, who did not share those attitudes, initially tried to kill him on the synagogue steps and then excommunicated him for heresy.
And then it all died.
It died in the Rampjaar (Disaster Year) of 1672, killed off by a combination of growing external competition, rising taxes to pay for wars with England, France and parts of Germany, the Anglo-French invasion, increasing poverty and grinding social and political fault lines. This was captured in the slogan ‘het volk redeloos, de regering radeloos en het land reddeloos’. (Roughly: A people without reason, a government without hope and a land beyond salvation.) It is a slogan for our times too.
Standards of living fell precipitously, old values and systems failed, social fabric tore. The head of state Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis were assassinated by a group of politically motivated Hague militia, taking advantage of a larger and less organized mob. The mostly peaceful demonstrators cut the brothers open and, allegedly, ate their livers. Fava beans and chianti may have been involved but knowing the Dutch, bruine bonen and donker bier were more likely side dishes.
Today’s historians dislike the Golden Age soubriquet, but the Dutch Republic was genuinely one of the most enlightened places on earth at that time. Judging former ages by contemporary standards is a fool’s errand – and in any case, when push comes to shove, are we really any better? In the coming self-inflicted hongerwinter the political hack Mark Rutte will be worth more on a rotisserie spit than he ever was in the Eerste Kamer.
The West is dying, its communal values fraying and betrayed by our elites (1), and the USA today sounds and feels like the USSR of 1990. We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us (1). Societal collapse is already here, it is just not evenly distributed.
It’s obvious that Western governments are deliberately driving economic activity down to enable a planned drop in energy production. The closed pipelines and power plants, the unprecedented destruction of refineries and food processing factories, the closing down of agricultural land, the empty supermarket shelves and sky-rocketing power bills, are not accidental. This is the heart of the WEF’s Build Back Better agenda. Better for some.
The 70 years of generally increasing prosperity that followed WW2 are over, the age of abundance, social mobility and Western-style representative democracy is drawing to a close. It could have been so different, because Europe and resource-rich Russia are natural allies. Ukraine 2022 was a cynical WEF/Washington strategy to prevent Nord Stream 2 and rapprochement (2), made necessary by 2021’s CIA failure to take control over Kazahkstani uranium (3, 4) and the world’s first low enriched uranium fuel bank (5).
Thanks to the all-too predictable blow-back, the world’s economic heartbeat is rapidly moving East. 2023 will be Europe’s Rampjaar.
There is no point in mourning this inflection, so I’ll finally get to the point. This post focusses on basic nutritional needs, and how to acquire them in the most cost-effective manner in the hard times waiting for us just up ahead.
As per the Emperor Klaus Palpatine’s kind recommendations, insects will be high on the menu.
More than 1900 edible species are known, and around 200 species are currently sold for food (ie 6).
They are a decent source of animal protein, which accounts for 10-25% of fresh weight rising to 30% in crickets, grasshoppers and locusts (7, 8). If you don’t like locusts, mealworms (9) and cockroaches (10) are popular alternatives.
A minor catch; the hard material that forms insect exoskeleton is between 30-40% protein (11), but is indigestible due to the co-presence of the aminosugar polymer chitin. You have to get rid of the carapace before eating; but then again, you wouldn’t eat a shrimp with its shell on either. The protein that’s left has good digestibility (12, 13), and after processing has a fairly mild taste. And yes, I have tried it.
Chitin may not be digestible, but that doesn’t mean that in our bright and buzzing future we can afford to throw insect legs, mandibles and carapaces away. Singapore scientists have developed a green extraction process which combines shrimp (or insect) shells with fruit waste (14) in a fermentation reaction that produces reasonably pure chitin. This is put back into our ultra-processed foods where it serves as a thickener and stabilizer, so you end up eating the whole arthropodal enchilada anyway.
But there is another catch. As Jonathan Swift didn’t exactly say, little fleas contain lesser fleas and so ad infinitum. Maybe not to infinity (or beyond), but the bugs in our future food chain certainly contain bugs.
Recent studies have examined the parasites and bacteria that use insects as vectors and which we might, if we consumed those insects, acquire ourselves. In one paper (15), parasites were detected in 81.33% of a range of edible insect species. In most cases the insects contained multiple parasites. 80% of insects carried parasites that caused disease in insects, 35% carried parasites that caused disease in animals and 30% carried parasites known to cause disease in humans.
What kind of parasites, you ask? Pretty much a full house. The Polish researchers discovered an intoxicating array of nematodes, tapeworms, amoebae and bacteria (15), and noted potentially serious safety issues in many of the insect farms they surveyed.
A second, Sicilian group found Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite which enters the brain and is implicated in a range of psychiatric disorders (16), in commercial samples of dehydrated mealworm (17).
The take-away message is, cook your insects thoroughly before eating.
Rare cockroach is not a good idea, and neither is mealworm sashimi. If you have an allergy to shellfish, you probably should not be eating insects at all, or any foods that contain insect protein (18, 19). And if you still don’t believe that entomophagy is coming in a big way, look around you.
Coordinated academic and government-led programs are working to overcome the public’s negative perceptions of eating bugs (20), promote their rather minor health benefits (ie 21, 22) and convey the irresponsibility of steak. In the background, industry is developing processing methods to hide insects in burgers, shakes, fries, energy bars (23-25) and cupcakes (21).
Doubtless many of our negative perceptions will be overcome by established emotional modification techniques (20), and once all other foods have been priced out of the market (23-26). The techniques described in (20) include the use of influencers. Robert Downey Jr, Nicole Kidman, Gordon Ramsey, Salma Hayek and Angeline Jolie have all been selling bugs lately … (27).
In the background, a coordinated and international marketing campaign aligned with the WEF is instructing us that insects are delicious and nutritious (28-30), how people can be helped to learn to love them (30-33), and we must eat them to save the planet (34-37) or at least reduce climate change (38).
Two particularly insidious papers (39, 40), which promote edible insects as a necessary response to Covid-19, provide a message which can be summarized as ‘lock ‘em down, feed ‘em bugs.’
These papers claim Covid-19 to be a zoonosis, and use this to justify insect farming which, they say, is intrinsically safer. But Covid-19 almost certainly did not escape from a herd or flock. It is more likely a gain-of-function bio-weapon made by psychopaths posing as scientists in careless labs in Maryland, Chapel Hill and Wuhan (41-47), funded by various arms of the MIC and promoted by Tony Fauci, the Trofim Lysenko of our times (48).
An additional wrinkle. Insect farming is intensive and requires only small numbers of staff. It is very suitable to automation, which will therefore happen. No opportunities for employment here, meaning that more of us will be dependent on government for food handouts. Which will be tied, inevitably, to social credit. Hat-tip Bladerunner 2049.
The UN approves these messages (49, 50), and their functionaries are busy promoting tasting events (ie 50, 51) and cookbooks (ie 52, 53). Go to Amazon.com and you’ll find dozens more. Some of the authors are complicit, some useful idiots. You can usually work out who’s who.
As a result of the UN and WEF’s sterling efforts entomophagy is increasing world-wide, and the edible-insect industry – already established in Asia, Africa and Latin America (54) – is now growing fastest in Europe and the United States (55). The WEF, after all, has many friends. Their ‘Future Food Initiative’ is in bed with Bill Gates’ nightmarish AGRA, a slew of sweet-sounding groups and tracks such as GAIN, EAT and FrESH which are anything but sweet (or fresh), all the food multinationals (56) – and the Rockefeller Foundation (56).
From Rockefellers, seamlessly and alphabetically, to Rodents.
In Central and South America the agouti, coypu and guinea pig are farmed for the table. In sub-Saharan Africa there are cane rats, in South East Asia plain rats. In the Phillipines they are apparently sold, palindromically, as STAR meat (57). It has been suggested (57) that ‘farming and eating rodents could be one solution for alleviating the world’s hunger and malnutrition problems’, presenting our dear leaders with even more choice (58).
The future of food is stockholder capitalism (a Schwabian term), but the stockholders will be corporate. And they have their road map. My old food industry contacts tell me that once small companies have softened up the fringe market, the multi’s will launch ‘high protein’ ultra-processed products with obscure nutrition labels, approved by the regulators, to conceal the insect (or rodent) source of protein.
The Rockefeller Foundation pays for WEF’s Common Pass, the digital universal ‘health’ ID designed to bind us all (59). The Rockefellers are also pumping funds into the Mercury Project (60), employing behavioral scientists to increase global vaccine takeup for Covid, a disease with 0.23% fatality in vaccinated and unvaccinated alike.
In our glorious future no vaccine will mean no social credit and no food, insect-enriched, rat-infested or otherwise.
I think that Klaus and his depopulation pogroms programs do not go far enough, and that we should do more to save the planet. In a second nod to Swift I recommend we cut out the middle-man, preferably a politician or government bureaucrat, starting with his (or her) liver. Even those at the bottom of the pork barrel will taste better than mealworms, and we can take a quiet pride in culling some of the most environmentally and socially destructive individuals among us.
For anyone interested in the big picture, there is a 5’ read that puts a lot of the pieces together (61).
Photo credit: Nature.
Next week. The Peto Principle. How to turn a Westiepoo (62) into a wolf, and why this matters to your health.
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