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Eating insects has gotten a lot of attention in the U.S. lately. Bugs have been hailed as a climate-friendly superfood that can feed our crowded planet. Last month, Dr. Jenny Josephs gave a TEDx Talk in which she explained why eating bugs will soon become the new normal around the world. (She notes that 2 billion people already eat insects as part of their diet).
In her talk, Josephs discusses how dozens of companies in Europe and the U.S. are marketing their bug-filled products. One of those companies is Wayback Burgers. For the last few months, the nation-wide fast-food chain has been popping up again and again. It started as an April Fool's joke. The company was going to put out a fake press release about insect-filled milkshakes, but people were so excited to try them that the company decided to actually make the bug-laced shakes. They did a trial run at a Long Island location, and it was so popular that on July 1 they rolled out their Oreo Mud Pie Cricket Protein Milkshake.
The company uses an organic cricket protein powder, which can be added to any of the company's shakes if Oreo mud pie is not your thing. According to the company's website, the shake is "made with hand-dipped vanilla bean ice cream, Oreo Cookie Crumbles, Peruvian Chocolate Cricket Protein powder, and chocolate and coffee flavors blended to deliver 24 grams of protein."
Sounds pretty tasty to me. Maybe some of you aren't sold, though. "There won't be big pieces of cricket floating in your shake or anything," Gillian Maffeo, director of marketing for Wayback Burgers, told ABC News. "We use a protein powder that looks very similar to whey powder. So it's ground up cricket and you wouldn't even know the difference if you were drinking it, quite honestly."
Looks like eating bugs is really making some headway in the U.S: "Initially, we thought that we'd get a lot of backlash but the trend right now is that bugs are making their way into foods," Maffeo said, noting the appearance of burgers, energy bars, flours and other recent products to the market. "It's definitely a hot commodity."
Still not convinced? Buzzfeed enlisted some people to try out the new shake.
Watch their reactions here:
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A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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