Buzz Sting Bite: Why We Need Insects by Anee Sverdrup - Thygeson
I found this to be a surprisingly enjoyable book about many various insect species that inhabit our Earth. There were some insects mentioned that I already knew a great deal about, getting up close & personal with many of them thanks to running my own organic farm. However, even with my above average interactions & interests in insects than the average person, I still learned a great deal from this book.
I told my husband about some of the bugs that I thought were downright ridiculous to fascinating in how they effect our circle of life. Unfortunately, my husband is a manager, not a farmer & he had very little interest in the bug world. I mention this because I think you can go either way with this book depending on your personality.
Here are a few tidbits I found interesting (note, there is so much interesting info. that these few tidbits are but a wee speck of all the goodies within this book):
This disturbing bit of info. is a good example of why I'm against most Genetic Engineering - esp. Genetically Modified foods:
2002 - "Spider Goats" Spinning genes were transferred to a goat to produce milk that contained the proteins involved in silk production.
This is a good example of why we need more transparency in food labeling - Vegans you'll want to know this:
Lac Bugs - They are used as a natural wax coating on things like apples, citrus fruits, melons, pears, peaches, pineapples, pomegranates, mangoes, avocados, papayas, & nuts. It is also used as glazing on jelly beans, sugar coated chocolates, lozenges, etc. This Lac Bug glazing agent also goes by many names: lacca, lac resin, candy glaze, or our favorite - confectioner's glaze.
We are more closely related to the fruit fly than we realize:
Fruit flies love alcohol. Excess alcohol makes male flies clingy & sex mad while simultaneously reducing their chances of successful mating. When male flies lose out on the dating market, they drown their sorrows by drinking more than male flies who have managed to mate successfully.
Last, there is one section of the book that I was rather disappointed to read as an owner of 100% pasture raised (no grains ever) from birth to death cattle. The author claims that cattle "really crap on the environment" Sure, cows in Concentrated Feed Operations (CFO's) do exactly that, but cattle raised outdoors the way Mother Nature intended are beneficial to the environment. They are in fact necessary to a healthy ecosystem. When they are taken out of that environment, put on mud &/or concrete & fed grains (which their digestive system flat out cannot digest, never let anyone tell you otherwise - they are full of sh*t), they are clearly harmful to the environment. This huge difference in how they are treated & it's effects on the environment is a classic example of how important it is that we go back to a more sustainable way of living.
The misinformation or I should say, lack of clarification regarding cows, made me question how valid the rest of the book really is. While reading (this cow business was about half way through the book) I had to consider that the author is an insect expert, not a farmer, not someone raising cattle like myself & my neighbors do. So maybe her insect info. is all correct. Also, there are other parts of the book where she mentions insects & cattle in a more healthy way.
Overall this is a very good book, written in a light hearted & often joking manner to keep the reader interested & engaged. No topic is heavy or bogged down. It's a great way to learn a few bits & pieces about the insect world without nodding off while trying to do so.
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