15 Apr. 2008

Eat Fish Or Die

What a party pooper. First George Monbiot said we should forget about biofuels (even though Green activists were screaming for them at the time) and now he says we should stop eating so much meat:
There are food crises in 37 countries. One hundred million people, according to the World Bank, could be pushed into deeper poverty by the high prices.

But I bet that you have missed the most telling statistic. At 2.1-billion tonnes, the global grain harvest broke all records last year -- it beat the previous year's by almost 5%. The crisis, in other words, has begun before world food supplies are hit by climate change. If hunger can strike now, what will happen if harvests decline?

There is plenty of food. It is just not reaching human stomachs.
Why should we listen to Monbiot, just because he's been consistently right on all the big issues?
I would like to encourage people to start eating tilapia instead of meat. This is a freshwater fish that can be raised entirely on vegetable matter and has the best conversion efficiency -- about 1,6kg of feed for 1kg of meat -- of any farmed animal. Until meat can be grown in flasks, this is about as close as we are likely to come to sustainable flesh-eating.
Interestingly, Tilapia are currently listed as a noxious pest in Queensland. Could we kill two environmental birds (or fish, even) with one stone here? Maybe not:
Although they can be successfully farmed as a food fish, in the wild they tend to breed in large numbers and not grow large enough to be of commercial size.