What could we eat in the event of a global nuclear disaster?

Hinatea Chatal 5 min
nuclear disaster food
Nuclear winter would deprive us of sunlight for 15 years. And without the sun, what would we have left to eat?

After 3 months of war in Ukraine and threats of use ofnuclear weaponsit is reasonable to ask what we could eat if there ever came a day global nuclear disaster. Researchers Daniel Jefferson Winstead and Michael Gregory Jacobson have studied the question…

The next consequence of such an event would be a nuclear winter : that is to say 15 years without seeing the sun. The soot would cover the sky withthick black clouds. Projection models showed the devastating effects that a nuclear disaster could have on global farming systems over the 15 years that would follow the apocalypse.

Without the sun, the crops that feed the world would not be more viable. And without weed, we can say farewell to herbivores and other animals which we could have fed ourselves. So what foods might resist to a nuclear catastrophe and, above all, which could be grown? It will not be necessary to be difficult if such a disaster occurs.

Mopane worm
Mopane caterpillars are worms that are eaten as such or as a condiment in a dish in many southern African countries.

Because one of rare sources of protein edible that would remain on Earth would be: worms! In particular, the mopane caterpillar. The Gonimbrasia belina butterfly is a typical southern African nocturnal butterfly. Before turning into butterflies, they are very large caterpillars. These mopane worms (or mopani caterpillar), named after the tree that hosts them, are a important source of protein.

Another interesting source of protein: the insects ! And especially the red weevil! This is’a parasite which mainly affects the Palm trees and which would prove to be an acceptable source of protein for survive a nuclear winter.

In the report, published in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ journal Ambio, the researchers suggest find “new cultures shade tolerant, drought and cold and more sources of food reserves if there is any hope of feed the population world in such a scenario.”

The meat would disappear of our food at the same time as theextinction of large herds of herbivores. The work reveals that the solution lies in rainforests. They would always offer an opportunity to food production but limited for local populations. Because of the clouds of soot, the region would be warmer than the rest of the planet.

nuclear food weevil
The red weevil is a parasite mainly affecting palm trees. In the event of a global nuclear disaster, this insect would be an acceptable source of protein.

The edible wild plants are THE solution. The researchers categorized them into 7 main categories (in addition to forest insects): fruits, leafy vegetables, seeds/nuts, roots, spices, sweets and proteins. And their work shows that certain quantities of these food is available in the areas of tropical forests.

Among them are: the konjac, cassavawild oyster mushroom, sago, wild spinach, vegetable amaranth, dilo, tamarind, baobab, enset, acaciayams, palm and therefore red weevils as well as mopane worms!

From an initial list of 247 food plants wild, researchers have selected 33 as the most suitable to cultivation in tropical forests after a nuclear event. In other regions of the world, already uninhabitable for man, thefarming would not be possible.

In conclusion, the time that the Earth recovering from disaster world nuclear power, only a few of the many insects and edible plants of the planet could be used for short-term emergency crops.


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