Food shortage??

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Lance Kennedy
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Food shortage??

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:01 pm

Reference : New Scientist, 25 Match 2017, page 32

The above reference is an article about feeding the world. The authors claim that, as the global population increases from the current 7 billion to its maximum of about 10 billion, it will become difficult to feed everyone.
They suggest different' methods such as cultivating insects for protein, and growing algae in massive amounts as food. Synthetic milk and meat and genetic modification of crops are also discussed.

My view is different. While novel methods may, indeed, be introduced (and why not?), they are not strictly needed to feed the world. Africa, for example, is the part of the world where food production is most inefficient. It would not be too difficult, with western investment and know how, to double, or even triple Africa's food production.The rest of the world can also increase food production substantially without anyone being forced to eat insects.

The wealthy west could massively increase its food production just by moving from such things as cattle farms to the more intensive farming of chickens, and make much more protein. If we do without animal protein, food production can be lifted even more drastically. There are already vertical farms and city rooftop greenhouse farms that produce food at 100 times as much per square meter as old fashioned soil farming.

I have a sneaking feeling that changing peoples' food preferences from steak to insect flour might be more difficult than some writers surmise.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Nobrot » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:36 pm

I have sneaking feeling the old method will prevail; starvation.
Did Norman Borlaug really do the world a favour? Did he save one billion people from starvation or did he cause one more billion to be born. Or is that two billion by now. If as you indicate the western world devotes more and more resources to feeding the third world then the population will not peak at 9-10 billion. It will climb until the system finally collapses and nature will take its course. Civilisation will collapse, and we start again.

The white man's burden.
Yes there are some horrible connotations to that statement, but realistically where do we go from here? What do we do? How would Ethiopia look now if there were no camera crews present in the 1980s? Ethiopian coffee would still be excellent and I suspect there would be a lot more of it to export due to 'a stable population'. By stable I mean a self sustaining population. What does an Ak47 or an RPG cost in Ethiopia? A lot less than a Honda water pump.

Feeding the world? How do we approach this question when the worlds population reaches 20 billion?

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:29 am

Nobrot

You are barking up the wrong tree. The tree of delusion.

The world will not get to 20 billion. The population explosion is over. Globally, the number of children per woman has dropped from 5.5 about 50 years ago to 2.4 today, and it is still falling. The only thing truly fuelling population growth right now is the substantial increase in average life span. Birth rate has fallen and so has death rate.

Check the United Nations site. www.un.org/popin

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Nobrot » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:42 am

The population explosion is hardly over when we still have three billion to go. The stability projections are just that, projections.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:09 am

Nobrot

The population explosion is definitely over. The residual growth is just that. An artifact of previous growth. The fertility today globally is barely above replacement rate, and if the average life span was not still growing, world population would be almost stable.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:31 am

Nothing wrong with eating insects. The biggest advantage is that they can be grown in the dark and don't take up space from other farming.
Same thing for aquaculture and vertical farming.

We are nowhere near the need for these techniques, but they are available when we need them.

Temporary shortages are likely, but we've seen in every case of declining resources that it is a question of when, not if alternatives are found.
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2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby psychiatry is a scam » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:37 am

earth is on brink of a 6th mass extinction - and your saying the future looks bright ?

guessing there are millions of people who would disagree if they were not busy suffering horribly and dying .
for the real minority ; there will be no justice , there will be no peace .
makes sense 2me , so it has 2be wrong .

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Gord » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:33 am

Alls I know is, I bought a cauliflower from the supermarket yesterday and it cost me 5 freakin' dollars.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby TJrandom » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:57 am

It seems to me that baring some extreme cases - religious or crazy government intervention, wars, etc. - that all people on earth could be adequately fed now. That is, it isn`t a matter of there not being enough food produced, but rather mankind simply has not decided to solve the problem and get food to those in need.

Below is from the UN WFP...

Here are ten things to know to understand the global food and nutrition situation.

1) Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth.

2) The vast majority of the world's hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished.

3) Asia is the continent with the most hungry people – two-thirds of the total population. The percentage in southern Asia has fallen in recent years but in western Asia, it has increased slightly.

4) Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence (percentage of population) of hunger. One in four persons is undernourished.

5) Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year.

6) One in four of the world's children are stunted. In developing countries the proportion can rise to one in three.

7) One out of six children – roughly 100 million – in developing countries is underweight.

8) If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.

9) Sixty-six million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.

10) WFP calculates that US$3.2 billion is needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school-age children.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby TJrandom » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:59 am

Gord wrote:Alls I know is, I bought a cauliflower from the supermarket yesterday and it cost me 5 freakin' dollars.


Ya need to roll your own... er, grow your own.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Gord » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:03 am

TJrandom wrote:
Gord wrote:Alls I know is, I bought a cauliflower from the supermarket yesterday and it cost me 5 freakin' dollars.

Ya need to roll your own... er, grow your own.

I wouldn't be able to find them underneath all that snow, though.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby TJrandom » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:27 am

Gord wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
Gord wrote:Alls I know is, I bought a cauliflower from the supermarket yesterday and it cost me 5 freakin' dollars.

Ya need to roll your own... er, grow your own.

I wouldn't be able to find them underneath all that snow, though.


All ya need is a greenhouse and some labor of course. Where do ya think that 5$ cauliflower came from? I do grow my own even without a greenhouse, but then we rarely have snow.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:25 am

Nowadays, for the first time in human history, more people die from the results of obesity than starvation.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby psychiatry is a scam » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:11 pm

empty would call that an unsubstantiated claim
for the real minority ; there will be no justice , there will be no peace .
makes sense 2me , so it has 2be wrong .

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:29 pm

Nobrot wrote:The population explosion is hardly over when we still have three billion to go. The stability projections are just that, projections.

When we hit 10,000,000,000 Eddie Redmayne takes over?
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:50 pm

psychiatry is a scam wrote:empty would call that an unsubstantiated claim

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/13/healt ... en-report/
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Gord » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:37 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Gord wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
Gord wrote:Alls I know is, I bought a cauliflower from the supermarket yesterday and it cost me 5 freakin' dollars.

Ya need to roll your own... er, grow your own.

I wouldn't be able to find them underneath all that snow, though.

All ya need is a greenhouse and some labor of course.

I'm too lazy for "labor" (or even worse, labour).

Where do ya think that 5$ cauliflower came from?

The US south. I think it said Georgia on the wrapper. I bought it anyway.

I do grow my own even without a greenhouse, but then we rarely have snow.

What's your address? I'll mail you a box full. Despite the recent melt, there's still some behind the garage. It'll be a bit blackened though, by all the car exhaust etc.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby TJrandom » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:03 pm

Gord wrote: What's your address? I'll mail you a box full. Despite the recent melt, there's still some behind the garage. It'll be a bit blackened though, by all the car exhaust etc.


I knew you would offer, so I went ahead and sent you some of my cauliflower - air mail, expedited delivery. I was just a little light on cash, so you get to pay the postage, but hey, it seems you can afford it. I believe it should work out to about 4$ per bite. Please do keep your snow... I am working on sunshine these days.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:53 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote: I have a sneaking feeling that changing peoples' food preferences from steak to insect flour might be more difficult than some writers surmise.

This spake the middle class white boy from New Zealand..... aka ... not just culturally elite.... but culturally isolated.

Like so many "things"... your estimation of the rest of the world/humanity is ENTIRELY culturally driven. Prove me wrong: whats wrong with eating bugs, or the people/cultures that eat bugs now, and what do you think of people who would rather get fat and sassy eating bugs rather than starve to death waiting for an Double Beef Patty?

Near a billion people a year near starvation....and the world buries excess food waste at the same time. Why? Because no one can make money off of distribution. Simple economics. Maybe..... we "free energy" in the future, an unintended consequence/benefit of combating AGW and going Green....excess food can be transported to where its needed>>>in order to keep such unwanted from moving?

Humans. One big family, always at war.

Trend lines. Interesting the ones you pick and choose. Recognize vs Ignore. Everything value laden. I wonder in the future how much of the worlds wealth/resources will be owned/controlled by what dwindling percentage of less than 1%.??? .............. Tell me.........what is the interest of this one percent in feeding the marginally poor if they don't consume anything else?...ie..have money to be stolen?

Edit: btw: I do like a steamed then broiled cauliflower covered in cheese sauce. Nice large fresh head is $1.50 at the local Food Max.......here in California. Goes to .90 in season.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:48 pm

Hunger exists. But the problem is not our inability to produce food. Humanity grows plenty, and can grow more at any time. The reason hunger exists is politics and crappy economics. Africa, for example, could comfortably feed its people to the point of universal obesity, except for the fact that it has had a series of corrupt and crappy governments. India is not much different. India has heaps of mega millionnaires, and the total wealth is more than enough to feed all its people and lift them out of poverty. The biggest change needed to feed people better is political.

To Bobbo.
I agree that it is all cultural. I made the statement that it will be difficult to get people to eat insects. That is a cultural matter. But it is bloody difficult to overcome cultural inhibitions.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:55 pm

Gee Whiz Lance.

1. Your first paragraph...a 100% restatement of what I said. Did you know this, or think you added anything, or what? You do that quite often btw. Are you agreeing? Disagreeing?? Making a totally new comment??? ---what?

2. Always insightful: PEOPLE ALREADY EAT INSECTS. Well.... at least I consider Asians, Africans, and South Americans, and many Native Indian peoples...to be peoples. Do you comprehend that clearly stated point made and disagree...or not comprehend that is what was said at all? Do you not get Bizarre Foods or national Geographic in NZ??? Did you grow up speaking Maori?

3. "....♫... People, People who need peoples........are the luckiest People in the World.
People, who need people, who enjoy eating insects, are the luckiest people in the world....etc.... "
although the evidence is in that you don't understand what was just said .... at all. Why don't you prove me wrong and explain how those aren't the lyrics to Barbara Streisand's version?
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Gord » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:34 am

TJrandom wrote:...it seems you can afford it.

Then appearances are deceptive! I blew my wad on $5 cauliflower yesterday. Today I'm eating cauliflower snowcones, minus the cones.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:42 am

Bobbo

You are just being silly. I was just responding to your somewhat insulting remark. I am well aware that eating insects is common in many cultures. I was simply saying that it will be difficult to get people in non insect eating cultures to change their diet and start eating insects. Sheesh!

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:25 am

Lance Kennedy wrote: I was simply saying that it will be difficult to get people in non insect eating cultures to change their diet and start eating insects. Sheesh!
Maybe not that hard after all......
chocolate coated giant ants..jpg
chocolate coated crickets.jpg
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Flash » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:57 am

It's an outrage. What is the world coming to? I can't get the Beluga caviar in my local delicatessen any more. Does Trump knows about it? I can't wait for him to invade the Caspian sea area and start supplying caviar to the deplorables in North America.

P.S. Have you tried the Beluga caviar on a pizza? Now you know what I am talking about, eh?
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Gord » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:53 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote: I was simply saying that it will be difficult to get people in non insect eating cultures to change their diet and start eating insects. Sheesh!
Maybe not that hard after all......chocolate coated giant ants..jpgchocolate coated crickets.jpg

Is there anything people won't eat if you cover it in chocolate?
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby OlegTheBatty » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:04 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Gord wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
Gord wrote:Alls I know is, I bought a cauliflower from the supermarket yesterday and it cost me 5 freakin' dollars.

Ya need to roll your own... er, grow your own.

I wouldn't be able to find them underneath all that snow, though.


All ya need is a greenhouse and some labor of course. Where do ya think that 5$ cauliflower came from? I do grow my own even without a greenhouse, but then we rarely have snow.


One of the reasons cauliflower is expensive in winter is that it does not grow well in a greenhouse. None of the cole crops do. But even Winterpeg can grow them well in summer. The only problem is keeping pests such as polar bears out of them.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:09 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:One of the reasons cauliflower is expensive in winter is that it does not grow well in a greenhouse.


Off Topic
A whole cauliflower, at a major supermarket chain, costs $3.90 AUD in Australia. ( $2.97 USD $3.98 Canadian) in summer. However we have just had massive floods in our agricultural regions that grow cauliflowers, capsicums and related crops, so we are probably going to have to import these veges. That will probably effect Canada.

Lance is right, that humans will find other foods to counter climate change, but I can certainly see some dramatic short term changes occurring if global warming increases the number of floods.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Gord » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:12 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:...That will probably effect Canada....

I doubt that, but it might very well affect us. :heh:
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Gord » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:15 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:...The only problem is keeping pests such as polar bears out of them.

You just need the proper tools.

Image
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:16 am

Gord wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:...That will probably effect Canada....

I doubt that, but it might very well affect us. :heh:

Thank you Gord. I shouldn't have made that error. :D

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby ElectricMonk » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:36 am

I guess that we'll move towards eating bugs, not out of necessity but because we'd rather raise a million invertebrates in a small box then one mammal in a factory farm for the meat: ethical considerations might make the make the maggot patties easier to swallow.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby TJrandom » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:31 am

I don`t think we all need to eat bugs... just not vertebrates that cost more in resources and climate impacts than they produce in nutritional value, such as feedlot fattened cattle. Instead of bugs, I`d opt for more fish, maybe frogs, and of course rabbits. Nothing against eating bugs for those who like them, but variety for me.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:17 pm

Eating insects. For those who's cultures allow them to say it will be difficult to get people to eat them....think of the hamburger patty. Do you think "cow" when eating a patty? I don't think people would ever eat cows. Patties, or even "steaks"--yes, Cows--no. We already have veggie burgers that some say are better than cow based patties. NO TRICK AT ALL....to have the protein source to be ground up insects.

I've already started practicing. When sugar or cereal would get some ants or moths in it, I would studiously remove them from the product...(unless another box was available), now.... I sugar my coffee with the ants. "Extra Protein" and "The Future is Now". I pretend I'm "camping" where all sorts of bugs and dirt were eaten with gusto.

Always instructive to note how often "either/or" thinking is employed when the answer/reality is almost always: a mix of everything. Your epistemology may vary.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:19 pm

The average person eats a kg or more of bugs/bug parts mixed with processed foods per year. I forget how much rodent feces, but it is not zero.
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:29 pm

I did a little internet research.

Currently humanity uses about one third of the potentially arable land on planet Earth.
We make use of about 5 hectares of land each to grow crops and to graze animals for our food.

How much land is needed, using today's technology?
It depends heavily on which technology is used. Intensive hydroponics and a vegan diet would permit feeding the average adult using 100 square meters of land. However, let us imagine instead we use vegetables grown in soil, and we grow sufficiently extra to permit us to raise chickens to feed us eggs. That can be done easily with 0.1 hectare per person.

Now do the sums. Will a 40% increase in the population force us to use unusual foods to feed the population?

Incidentally, TJ, fish are not really an option. The world's fisheries are already over-exploited, and fish farming is not yet a goer (it may be in the future, but not yet) due to problems getting food for those farmed fish, without further over-exploiting the oceans. Farmed rabbits might work, since they can be raised on little land, and fed grass.

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Re: Food shortage??

Postby TJrandom » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:25 pm

Lots of farmed fish in Japan, but I do not know the ecology economics. Much of what we do not eat of fish is processed into food - heads, guts, fins - for farmed fish.

I have raised rabbits - and the general rule was harvest by 60 days. Two productive does, one buck - will feed a family of four all of the rabbit you can eat. You still need to raise replacement does and a buck for two years on.

Pigs too - since you can feed them the leftovers from vegetable production.

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Nobrot
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Nobrot » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:33 pm

Or make it four productive does and you can feed the pigs.

Just saying

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TJrandom
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby TJrandom » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:05 pm

Not so sure I would want to feed meat to pigs... But four does would feed the neighbours too, and provide something to swap for necessities, like ice cream or something...

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Lance Kennedy
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Re: Food shortage??

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Not sure that any Japanese example relating to fish can be considered an exemplar of sustainability. Japan has a terrible reputation as an over-exploiter of fish, and zero reputation, to my knowledge, of ecological responsibility.


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