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Insects were called the main food for the future of mankind

Environmental problems, global warming, and the growth of the world’s population will lead to the fact that insects will become the main source of proteins for humans. Such scenarios are called by experts and representatives of food companies, writes the BBC.

It is expected that by 2050 the number of people on the planet will reach 9.8 billion people, an increase of two billion. With such a large amount of demand, it will be difficult for traditional agriculture to provide the necessary amount of products. Professor Robin May, the chief scientific adviser to the UK Food Standards Agency, notes that the cost of producing insect proteins is small, they are also easy to produce with low-fat content and less negative effect on the environment compared to traditional mammalian meat. “Sometimes they can even provide valuable recycling services by consuming waste as the main feed, so the potential benefits for society are significant,” says the professor.

Thus, the Israeli company Hargol FoodTech has launched the production of jelly sweets from locusts with the addition of flavorings. This marmalade contains a high concentration of protein, which is similar to an animal and is necessary for the human diet. The taste of locusts can resemble exotic pecans, mushrooms, coffee, and chocolate, said the company’s CEO Droid Tamir. At the same time, the marmalade itself can be with orange and strawberry flavors. According to the head of the Israeli enterprise, in comparison with the production of beef, the same locust reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 99 percent, reduces the use of water and the area of arable land.

In the EU, locusts and mealworms have already been recognized as suitable for human consumption. For example, the French company Insect produces a number of protein powders from mealworms, which are already contained in some brands of energy bars, pasta, and hamburgers.

However, the possible negative impact of insect products on humans is still poorly understood. Researchers have not yet established what allergic reactions can cause insect protein and how it affects the microorganisms inside the person himself. Bridget Benelam, public relations manager at the British Nutrition Foundation, is sure that more research is needed. She recalled that eating some types of insects can be dangerous because of the toxins and pesticides contained in them.

Artificial meat is also gaining popularity in the world. The largest producer of soy meat, Impossible Foods, has started selling nuggets in American restaurants for the first time, and the German company Formo has raised $50 million for the production of artificial cheeses.

The Czech Republic went against the EU’s plans to save the planet

The Czech Republic will demand major changes in the European Union plan to save the planet. According to Bloomberg, the Prime Minister of the republic Andrej Babis went against measures to reduce emissions, as they, in his opinion, will cause serious damage to the country’s automotive industry.

Babis believes that the proposed ban on internal combustion engines by 2035 is “nonsense”. “I am convinced that the plan needs to be significantly changed,” the Prime Minister of the European country said. — “He is ruining car manufacturers, and we are against this proposal. The next government will have to deal with it because we can’t dictate to people what cars they should buy.”

The ban on cars with internal combustion engines by 2035 is part of the EU’s ambitious climate plan to transform the economy. Now the 27 countries of the bloc will have to hold negotiations on the environment. One of the stumbling blocks was the struggle for electric cars. For the Czech Republic, the bill is a problem, since the production of cars accounts for more than a quarter of the country’s industry and employs almost 700 thousand people.

This is not the first time Babis has expressed concern about the EU’s environmental goals. He argued that the “green” initiatives would jeopardize the competitiveness of the economy of the Czech Republic, which consumes a lot of coal. The Prime Minister also promised to prioritize the topic of the automotive industry when he assumes the post of EU president in the second half of 2022.

The EU’s environmental goals have already come into conflict with the state needs of another member country-Poland. The EU Court has sentenced Warsaw to a daily fine of 500 thousand euros for coal mining at the Turov mine. The punishment will be canceled as soon as the development of the field is stopped. However, Poland does not intend to comply with the court’s order, since the stability of the country’s energy system depends on the operation of the mine.

The planet will suffer because of high gas prices

Spanish authorities have warned that an unprecedented jump in natural gas and electricity prices in the EU has threatened to save the planet by making it difficult to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Bloomberg reports.

The Spanish government has called on the European Commission to develop procedures that would allow states to respond quickly to price hikes and take action to prevent financial speculation in carbon trading. The EU should create a single platform for buying natural gas, according to a Spanish document sent to Brussels. “This situation could reflect badly on [EU countries’] initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. Policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are generally understandable and accepted in Spain, but may not withstand a long period of excessively high electricity prices,” the document said. Energy prices in Europe are breaking records as countries recover from the pandemic crisis and their economies suffer from gas shortages amid restrictions on gas imports from Russia and Norway.

In addition, the EU plans to tighten its environmental policies within a decade, a decision that has spurred a flurry of activity in the carbon market. In the summer, the organization unveiled a plan under which it intends to cut harmful emissions in the bloc by 55 percent by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels) and reduce them to zero in 30 years. The EU wants to involve industry in achieving these goals through emissions trading under the EU ETS (European Union Emissions Trading System). This program imposes limits on the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be produced by all installations within the EU. The organization then sells permits to companies for a certain amount of emissions. After the disclosure of the EU environmental plan, investors were interested in the quotas, and by early September prices for them rose to a record level.

The EU ETS market has seen many outside investors, not related to the industry, who have invested in futures on carbon credits. Experts believe that speculators could drive the price of allowances even higher. “The EU ETS should be a market for energy and industrial companies. We are also of the opinion that EU ETS trading should not be accessible to any [outside] agents, especially speculators who can influence the market,” the Spanish government said.

In mid-September, gas prices were approaching a thousand dollars per thousand cubic meters. Against the backdrop of soaring fuel prices, the International Energy Agency called on Russia to increase supplies to Europe. Gas reserves in EU countries are shrinking as winter approaches, when states may face sudden cold spells and unplanned power cuts.

Germany has record-high gas prices for household consumers

According to German online price comparison portals, the cost of gas for domestic consumers in Germany has risen to record levels.

According to DW, the Deutschlandfunk radio broadcaster reported this on September 20.

A typical household with a consumption of 20,000-kilowatt-hours will have to pay an average of 1,516 euros for gas, according to data from the portal Check24. The price comparison service Verivox cites a figure of 1,299 euros. Prices have not been this high since July 2015.

The reason for such a jump is said to be the rapid increase in purchase prices. Among the reasons is the low level of gas reserves in underground gas storage in Europe due to the limited supply of gas by pipeline and in liquefied form. Just over a month is left before the transition from pumping to withdrawal from the underground gas storages, and the level of stocks does not exceed 70%.

It is expected that the price of heating with gas will continue to rise in the future, including due to plans to raise the tax on CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels.

As a reminder, a group of MEPs from various political groups in the European Parliament called on the European Commission to investigate Gazprom’s role in the natural gas price hike, saying they suspect market manipulation.

A new reason for the rise in food prices in the world has been named

A 10-year record rise in fertilizer prices was cited as the new reason for the rise in food prices, Bloomberg reports.

The price of three major groups of fertilizers — potash, phosphate, and nitrogen — is at a 10-year-high, seriously affecting global food inflation.

Corn will be hit the hardest by higher prices. About 20 percent of its growing costs come from fertilizer. A poor corn crop will result in higher feed costs, ultimately leading to higher meat prices. Juices and carbonated beverages could also rise in price because corn is their main ingredient. Corn crops are expected to decline to 36.8 million acres in 2022 from the current 37.8 million.

One factor in the rise in fertilizer prices is adverse weather conditions. Constant storms at the end of summer 2021 on the Gulf Coast in the U.S. prevented the import and export of products. It also temporarily shut down plants in the region, including the world’s largest nitrogen complex owned by CF Industries Holdings. At the same time, the company was forced to close two plants in Great Britain because of gas prices. Yara International ASA, one of the world’s largest fertilizer suppliers, also said high natural gas prices will force it to cut about 40 percent of its ammonia production in Europe.

On top of that, transportation is getting more expensive. According to one executive at Quest Products, a company that helps bring new products to market, including pesticides and fertilizers, freight is about 15 percent of the purchase price of the product. Political measures are also affecting the price increases.

Global food prices have reached a 60-year-high. In August 2021, they rose 33 percent. The reasons are record droughts, labor shortages, and problems in the supply chain.