Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No taste for insects? How about jellyfish?

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WASHINGTON -- This week, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization offered the citizens of the world a suggestion about how to counteract harmful jellyfish overpopulation, which has been exacerbated in recent years by factors such as overfishing and climate change.

"If you cannot fight them... eat them," the UN body offered in a report, citing past studies on the subject:

Some jellyfish species are a food source in some countries (e.g. China) and the development of conservation and packaging practices to sell them where they are appreciated might be a wise strategy, adapting the fishing fleets and the commercial network behind them to take advantage of sudden abundances of this product-to-be.

In apparent recognition of the fact not everyone wants to eat jellyfish, the FAO goes on to highlight other approaches such as harnessing jellyfish chemicals for medicine and killing the creatures with cutting nets. Too many jellyfish can deplete fish stocks and the report warns of a "global regime shift from a fish to a jellyfish ocean."

It's a bold move for an organization that drew mockery earlier this month for a 162-page report on why insects are a "healthy, nutritious alternatives to mainstream staples such as chicken, pork, beef and even fish," and why eating them could improve the environment and reduce food insecurity. Oh, and the FAO tried to rebrand insects as "minilivestock."

--Foreign Policy

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 1, 2013 A13

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