Friday, March 16, 2012

Going Green for Our Collective Future

By Lucia Lai
Originally published at http://cj.my/post/4581/going-green-for-our-collective-future
Extra bits added in this revision for clarity.
Fancy eating fried grasshoppers? It is crunchy and crispy apart from being delicious. What about sago beetle larvae saut├ęd in black pepper sauce with kai lan shoots?


Entomophagy (eating of insects) is what Azlan Adnan, the founder of the Green Party of Malaysia promotes as one of the options his party advocates to reduce environmental impact. Insects are delicious and the cheapest source of natural protein, requiring less land and feed than raising farm animals. By weight, termites, grasshoppers, caterpillars, weevils, houseflies and spiders are better sources of protein than beef, chicken, pork or lamb according to the Entomological Society of America.

Insects are also easy to raise, and to harvest, and they are highly nutritious to eat. For example, a termite contains approximately 14 grams of protein and 36mg of iron. In comparison, lean beef contains 27 grams of protein and only 4mg of iron. Additionally, if you are looking to add calcium to your diet, try eating crickets. One cricket contains 13 grams of protein, 10mg of iron, and 76mg of calcium. Overall, insects provide a good source of nutrients and when prepared properly, can be quite tasty as well.

While insects are high in protein, low in cholesterol and relatively low in fat, they are also a "clean" food source because many feed off fresh plants. For example, grasshoppers and crickets eat fresh, clean, green plants whereas crabs, lobsters and catfish eat any kind of foul, decomposing material as a scavenger (bottom water feeder).

Along with nutrition comes the added benefit of good taste. Taste is also a factor in selecting insects, as many can be eaten either raw or cooked, while others are used as ingredients to produce other food items, such as being used as an additive to flour. 

If Malaysians could tolerate more insects in what we eat, farmers could significantly reduce the amount of pesticides applied each year. It is better to eat more insects and less pesticide residue. Besides, the only more eco-friendly alternative to getting our proteins from insects rather than from mammals is to go vegetarian.
The Green Party of Malaysia is a soon-to-be-registered political party which seeks to unite all Malaysians under the banner of environmentalism.
Azlan Adnan, 53, single father of two grown children, is an entrepreneur and activist. His interest in the environment dated back in the 90s, when he accepted a position as a Research Officer with the Malaysian Timber Council’s London office where he helped develop strategies to counter the boycott of tropical timber that was prevalent in Europe.
When Azlan was asked what made him start the Green Party approximately two years ago, he said it was basically to give political clout to environmentalism in Malaysia and  push the green agenda into the Malaysian political consciousness.
“For a long time, the human species has adapted to the world around it, to the natural environment, but once man received a certain amount of knowledge and gained technology, man was able to change the environment to suit himself.
“We have come to the point we have changed the natural environment so much, in such negative manner, that it is no longer sustainable, or even natural, for that matter.
“We’ve changed it for short term gain in such a way that we jeopardize the long term future of the planet,” he said.
He believes that the Green Party would appeal to anyone who is concerned about the environment and the future – what he termed ‘our collective future’, means a future not for human beings only but for animals and plants as well.
‘Our Collective Future’ was the title of a talk he gave in Penang recently.
Next, he will be going to Sarawak in May, to give a similar talk.
“The way to a collective future is to be green. The future is not just our collective future, but our collective green future,” said the environmental activist.
How does the Green Party plan to get us to Our Collective Green Future?
Basically, it is for us to adopt a mindset and lifestyle of health and sustainability (LOHAS).
Apart from giving talks as a way to promote his Green Party, Azlan said that there will be press interviews and he’s plannig radio talks about green architecture with various architectural gurus.
For now, he relies on the internet and the alternative and social network media to promote his party.
There are more than 70 videos on environmental and social justice issues faced by Malaysians uploaded at the party’s youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/GreenPartyofMalaysia

Azlan Adnan, the founder of the Green Party of Malaysia
Those interested in being part of the pro tem committee, please  contact Azlan at harithabhoomi.malaysia@gmail.com.
Copyright 2003-2012 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

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