For the study, published in the journal PLOS One, the researchers raised crickets on five different diets - corn, soy, grain, food waste and crop residue. They measured the crickets' size and how much edible protein they produced.
“I think the sustainability claims on this topic have been overstated given the current state of knowledge,” wrote UC ANR Cooperative Extension agronomy advisor Mark Lundy in an e-mail to Time. “I'm all for exploring alternatives, and I am impressed by the amount of innovation that has sprung up around insect cultivation and cuisine in the last few years. However, I also think we need to be clear-eyed about what the sustainability gains are and aren't, and focus our innovative efforts and limited resources to where they will have the most lasting impact.”
Lundy conducted the research and published the results with horticultural entomologist Michael Parrella, a professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. The story generated a great deal of news media coverage, including:
The environmental benefits of eating crickets vs. chicken: It's complicated
Brooke Borel, Popular Science, April 22
Humans Are Ready For Protein-Rich Crickets, But Are Crickets Ready For Us?
Rex Macadangdang, Tech Times, April 19
Crickets can't replace Meat in Human Diet: Study
Luis Georg, Perfect Science, April 18
Turns out, crickets may not be the solution to all of our problems
Lindsay Abrams, Salon, April 17
Crickets aren't ready to replace meat
Pat Bailey, Futurity.org, April 17
Crickets aren't the miracle source of protein
Kathy Keatley Garvey, Phys.org, April 16
Crickets Aren't the Superfood They're Cracked Up to Be
Alissa Walker, Gizmodo.com, April 16
Maybe crickets aren't the food of the future, after all
Alexis Madrigal, Fusion.net, April 16
Crickets Alone Will Not Save You, Futurist Foodies Robbie Gonzalez, i09/We Come From the Future, April 20
Crickets Are Not a Free Lunch
Entomology Today, April 15
Polyphagous shot hole borer has been present on the campus for two to three years. The extent of the infestation became apparent in the last few months when a significant number of trees began showing severe symptoms. UCI groundskeepers began to more closely examine a number of trees that appeared to be particularly distressed and worked with UC ANR staff to identify PSHB in early 2015.
A team of UCI staff qualified in tree management is receiving training from UC ANR (UC Riverside and UCCE) to properly identify and assess PSHB infestation. The team will monitor all trees on the UCI campus and, with input from faculty and students from UCI's Center for Environmental Biology, make the determination about which infected trees will be removed.
The news release suggests area property owners who suspect their own trees are infested with PSHB contact John Kabashima, UC ANR environmental horticulture advisor at the UC South Coast Research and Extension Center, 7601 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA 92618, email@example.com.
The first myth he debunked has been circulating since Gov. Brown announced steep water cutbacks for the state's municipalities. "He didn't mention agriculture, and that made people suspicious," Johnson wrote.
For clarification, Johnson spoke to Doug Parker, the director of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' California Institute for Water Resources. Brown didn't talk about ag in his big announcement because growers are already operating under an 80 percent cut from their normal water share from the State Water Project, and a zero percent allocation from the federal Central Valley Project.
"California farmers took about 5 percent for their land out of production last year, and that number will surely go up this year," the article says.
Other myths tackled in the story include:
- Agriculture uses 80 percent of California's water
- Dumb laws prevent the buying and selling of water
- Farmers are wasting a lot of water
- Farm conservation measures can free up plenty of water
The issue of increasing almond production is raised because of its water use. According to the story, almond orchards consume more water than the indoor use of all 39 million California residents combined.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources advisor David Doll is featured in many of the images distributed with the story. In one he holds an almond he says is smaller than normal in size due to the drought. Doll displayed micro sprinklers, used by almond growers to conserve water, and in another photo he is seen talking with an orchard manager who uses a floating pump to bring water from the Merced River to his almond orchard.
UC Cooperative Extension hosts water supply meeting
Rich Greene, Daily News
UCCE hosts a regional meeting in Corning April 30 where local efforts to sustain water supplies will be discussed. The meeting will cover the numerous events that have occurred on the water front since September 2014. That included the passing of the Groundwater Sustainability Act and the disappointing rainfall and snowpack numbers from 2015.
Drought issues, trial studies at center of UC desert field day
Michael Dukes, Imperial Valley Press
An update on the statewide drought topped the agenda for the Agronomic Crops and Water Conservation Field Day held at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center here early Thursday morning. The event, sponsored by Imperial County's UC Cooperative Extension and the California Department of Water Resources, played out in a six-stop tour, with specialists from across the agribusiness world providing attendees with an inside look at a variety of initiatives taking place within the Valley and all over California.
“It's grim. It's going to be a rough year for the coho,” said Mariska Obedzinski, a fish biologist who coordinates the coho monitoring program. “They can't get where they need to go.”
Obedzinski is part of the UC Sea Grant program, based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.
Two coho spawning streams — Porter and Pena creeks — are already cut off from the river. If no more rain falls, other tributaries, including Green Valley, Dutch Bill and Mill creeks, will likely go dry in spots, Obedzinski said.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is already planning rescue operations to save the smolts and younger fish in disconnected streams.
Last year some streams disconnections took place in late May, toward the end of the salmon run. The drying being seen in mid April may be unprecedented. Obedzinski said it was possibly the worst year for the fish since stream monitoring began in 2005.
A multiagency effort to save the Russian River coho began in 2001, when the fish were on the verge of extinction. The effort includes California Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and UC Sea Grant.