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fishing for locusts

Put the little buggers to work
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Locusts have been regarded as a disaster for all of recorded history. How about we stop thinking of them as a disaster, and start thinking of them as migrant farm workers. They harvest everything in sight, turn it into locust flesh, and hop right into a net for convenient munching by some starving person.

We should fish for locusts like we fish for fish, with mile long nets suspended from, say, dirigibles. I'm not dead sure I want to just pop one of these guys in my mouth, but I have no doubt that, given a steady and cheap supply of them, someone will find a way to make potato chips out of them.

colorclocks, Feb 09 2009

Trigger for locust swarming behaviours identified http://www.scidev.n...ing-identified.html
[zen_tom, Feb 09 2009]

Link found between Serotonin and Swarming Behaviour in Locusts http://www.efluxmed..._Locusts_34162.html
[zen_tom, Feb 09 2009]

They're crunchy, they're delicious, heck they're kosher. http://www.iol.co.z...qw1104048545560B252
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 09 2009]

Leave Schistocerca Alone http://www.savethelocust.com/
[Amos Kito, Feb 09 2009]

Squirrel Fishing http://images.googl...p&resnum=4&ct=title
after they've eaten some locusts, obviously... [k_sra, Mar 10 2009]

[link]






       since they have lots of serotonin, perhaps they'd make a great winter snack.
po, Feb 09 2009
  

       I can see it now - "Like tofu, but crunchy!"... erk.   

       Hi,[po]!
lurch, Feb 09 2009
  

       Perhaps we could just shorten the food chain. Would chickens and trout eat locusts?
marklar, Feb 09 2009
  

       Well, I'm told chickens are good for keeping down cockroaches, so they might.
pertinax, Feb 09 2009
  

       It's a little bit more subtle than that - normally locusts are quite happy to munch away in relative isolation - on their own, they don't really do much damage - however, when food is scarce, and they start blundering into one another while competing for the same crop, their proximity to one another raises their stress levels - this stress triggers a radical change in their behaviour that causes them to swarm. Since food is already scarce, the swarm quickly utilises what's left before other animals (i.e. us) get a chance.   

       Research has been done that shows that if you spray a bunch of locusts just prior to them getting upset with mood lightening drugs (I think serotonin was one mentioned) you can avoid them getting into swarm mode (conversely, I suppose, you might be able to spray them with agitating substances that gets them all upset and swarmy under conditions where they wouldn't normally)   

       The problem with the idea arises when you ask what it is that your (already scarce) crops are going to be used for - if it's something that can be replaced by locust protein then fine - but less so if you want to make bread, feed your cattle (assuming cattle don't eat locusts) or other crop-specific usages.
zen_tom, Feb 09 2009
  

       //agitating substances that gets them all upset and swarmy//   

       I'm thinking of angry mobs with pitchforks. What sort of spray might do that, do you suppose?
pertinax, Feb 09 2009
  

       Well if serotonin calms them down, there must be some form of anti-seratonin - maybe cyproheptadine? [edit - I did just google "anti-seratonin". Surprised to find any results at all, I've just blindly copied one in here to look clever]
zen_tom, Feb 09 2009
  

       Norepinephrine is the fight-or-flight chemical.
marklar, Feb 09 2009
  

       This is why locusts are kosher.
nineteenthly, Feb 09 2009
  

       ooooh, doesn't zen_tom look clever!
po, Feb 09 2009
  

       Could you kill locusts, peel off their exoskeletons, dehydrate the insides, grind them into a powder and make them into various baked goods?
nineteenthly, Feb 09 2009
  

       The Shrimp of the Air. (I thought I posted this as an idea one time, but I can't find it now. I don't think people liked it very much at that time, though).
Zimmy, Feb 09 2009
  

       grind locusts, pour on boiling water...   

       hi, lurch.
po, Feb 09 2009
  

       Ewww, locust tea! It might taste a bit like bovril.
zen_tom, Feb 09 2009
  

       Not as salty or metallic, i would've thought.
nineteenthly, Feb 09 2009
  

       The exoskeleton is not edible, so quite a wasteful harvest.   

       As they dine on every part of crops and vegetation, pesticides/herbicides (that usually are either sprayed long before harvest, or are not incorporated into the fruit) might be a problem.   

       Fair distribution of the harvest to farmers might pose some difficulties too...   

       But hey - dirigibles with gargantuan nets! Yay!
loonquawl, Feb 12 2009
  

       Maybe you could feed the exoskeletons to hedgehogs and eat them.
nineteenthly, Feb 12 2009
  

       That might induce swarming behaviours in hedgehogs - this in turn might cause them to get all sticklebricked together in an unsightly lump.
zen_tom, Feb 12 2009
  

       The exoskeleton of shrimp isn't edible, either.
Zimmy, Feb 12 2009
  

       Jeezus. The annotations here puzzled me until I realized it was "fishing" not "fisting".
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2009
  

       can we fish for squirrels next? i think they'd be darn tasty and they do chatter so. (see link)
k_sra, Mar 10 2009
  
      
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