Our April 24th speaker was entomologist Virginia Emery an advocate for insects. Her farm contains them in abundance.
- Insects comprise half the animal species on earth, with beetles predominating in many forms.
- They perform important services which concern food, a proper ecosystem, water, and air.
- They kill other insects.
- Termites break down dead material and recycle nutrients,
- Mealworms biodegrade styrofoam, which can be converted to animal feed.
- Leaf cutter ants turn leaves into fungus, which they then eat.
- They are social just like us.
- Army ants eat everything, while cooperating with each other in intricate ways.
- Ants and other insects communicate with each other by means of pheromones,
- The dance language of honeybees direct others to the best flowers for pollination.
- We depend on bees, which are endangered. To replace what they do in the US would cost $29 billion; worldwide $173 billion. Without them, we would lack the food we enjoy.
- Flies are important in their effect on composting, their recycling causing a buildup of nutrients.
- Insects are food, and are eaten in many places.
- They are the next super food, being a source of protein.
- Food waste is a large problem. 1/3 of all food is wasted.
Her company, Beta Hatch, converts organic waste into animal feed fertilizer.
Comment: A compelling discourse. But somehow we cannot help but wish that Noah had not admitted those two flies and two mosquitoes onto the Ark.