Are you happy now, humans? Are you happy? It's 2012 and the prognosis is not good. The glaciers are melting, the polar bears are drowning, the people of Vanuatu are floating around their living rooms in washtubs like Pippi Longstocking or some shit, and I never even got to look at a glacier or pet a polar bear OR hang out on Vanuatu with dry feet! We did this. Our planet is fucked. And it's getting worse. It's all bugs and poop from here on out. Really. I'm serious.
The protein of the future is bugs. Because bugs, you see, are the only sustainable protein we've got left. Meat farming is disastrous for the environment. Growing enough corn and finding enough fresh water to feed all our livestock is double disastrous. Cows fart big hot farts all day, which sail straight up to the North Pole and melt as many yeti dens as they can find with their fart heat. We're cutting down rain forests to plant cows. It is RIDICULOUS, and I say this as a complete cow-eater. I am part of the problem. Lucky for us, science is on it. On a one-way Greyhound to BUGTOWN.
It's a win-win situation. Insects provide as much nutritional value as ordinary meat and are a great source of protein, according to researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. They also cost less to raise than cattle, consume less water and do not have much of a carbon footprint. Plus, there are an estimated 1,400 species that are edible to man.
Gaye is not talking about bushtucker-style witchetty grubs arriving on a plate near you. Insect burgers and sausages are likely to resemble their meat counterparts.
"Things like crickets and grasshoppers will be ground down and used as an ingredient in things like burgers."
Now, look. I am not squeamish, and I will eat a bug burger. Bugs as protein are nothing new. People all over the world eat bugs, and I am 99% sure that I am not some fancy miracle of evolution and poise who's somehow better than people all over the world. If it's good enough for people all over the world, it's good enough for me! Plus, everyone says that crickets taste like popcorn! And if crickets are like popcorn, that means that you could make kettle crickets and even caramel crickets, and I am all over that. The challenge here is going to be convincing Americans and Europeans who think that they're above bugs to eat bugs. That challenge will be difficult. But we earned it.
Another potential food source that has "food futurologists" (THING) salivating is algae—you might know it by its other name, janky pond scum. Algae is all over the place, it is packed with nutrients, and it "could become the world's biggest cropping industry." And then there's test-tube lab meat, where scientists can just grow lumps of pale cow goo from bovine stem cells—like that lady who got a new ear regrown on her arm, only instead of an ear it's a delicious buffalo wing. Amazing, but NO:
Earlier this year, Dutch scientists successfully produced in-vitro meat, also known as cultured meat. They grew strips of muscle tissue using stem cells taken from cows, which were said to resemble calamari in appearance. They hope to create the world's first "test-tube burger" by the end of the year.
DO NOT WANT THE ALIEN SQUID-BEEF. No. No.
But again, I will eat the crap out of some dead bugs with janky pond scum sauce—and I will, obviously, eat the fucking gross science-beef if it becomes a matter of necessity. But then...the poop part came along:
Three cheers for America's innovative capitalists, who are leading the world in turning shit into snow. This year, the Arizona ski resort, located near Flagstaff, will become the first ever to charge humans to glide about in their own waste: 100% pure sewage effluent. How'd you like to face-plant in that?
If that's not horrible enough, the mountain is sacred to Native Americans, who are outraged over its desecration. Navajo Klee Benally has spent years fighting the resort's expansion. But in February, a federal appeals court ruled in favor the plans, which had been opposed by 13 Native American tribes and environmental groups.
LINEMOUTH TO THE MAX. If ever a situation warranted Liney Linemouth, Attourney at Line, it's this one. But don't worry, says the guy who stands to make a ton of money off hoodwinking people into frolicking in poop—poop snow is totally awesome, not gross like you think, dummies!
According to the New York Times, Snowbowl's owner, Eric Borowsky, warned that if the resort lost its legal bid to make wastewater snow, that "radical groups would achieve their ultimate goal of control of our nation's resources."
Yeah. Those crazy radical Native Americans—not wanting their sacred ancestral lands to be carved into giant diarrhea Slip-n-Slides. What a bunch of selfish killjoys.
The necessity of this poop-snow wonderland is characterized as a direct result of climate change. It is simply not environmentally or financially viable to pipe in enough fresh water to keep the Snowbowl frosty (oh, by the way, it's in ARIZONA—I don't know, maybe an easy solution would be to only have snow in places that actually have snow!?!?).
I am not scoffing at this dazzlingly innovative science—I'm really not. But my point is that through our unwillingness to give one shit about climate change, think one click ahead into the future, we've transformed our world into the least dog-eared page in a 4th-grade boy's joke book. Snappy Bug-Based Solutions to Shitty Environmental Foresight (with a foreword by Poop). GREAT WORK, Y'ALL.
What a punchline. What a dark, hilarious penance for our excess—that in order to save ourselves, possibly, from lumbering, seemingly inevitable catastrophe, we have to debase ourselves in the most juvenile ways. If, 50 years ago, I wrote about this precise present as a dystopian sci-fi novel, it would've been dismissed as "puerile and ham-handed." "Oooh, in the future, because of man's folly, all our food will come from worm farms and meat labs! And the little children will play in feces and we'll all drive fart-powered cars!" Seriously? It makes Planet of the Apes look like 1984. Our future is a poop joke, and we deserve it. Way to go, earth.