Crazy Ideas From Abroad

Grind for September 11th
“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”
– Andy Rooney

A Modest Proposal

The Headline

Swedish Professor: To survive global warming, we must legalize cannibalism

The Grind

Behavioral scientist Magnus Soderlund has a new idea to combat climate change, and it’s a bit hard to swallow:

To keep the world fed amid the effects of global warming, we need to start eating things we once found revolting: including insects, our pets, and each other.

Soderlund presented his idea this week at Gastro Summit, a conference about the food of the future in Stockholm. The summit’s tagline was “Food of the Future: Worms, Grasshoppers, or Human Flesh.”

During a speech titled “Can you imagine eating human flesh?,” Soderlund used PowerPoint to present the following talking points:

— Are we humans too selfish to live sustainably?

— Is cannibalism the solution to food sustainability in the future?

— Does Generation Z have the answers to our food challenges?

— Can consumers be tricked into making the right decisions?

Soderlund described the taboos against cannibalism as “conservative” and suggested the first step would be for people to taste human meat.

“The person who is to be eaten must be dead,” confirmed Soderlund. “One problem [contributing to people’s unwillingness to accept the idea] could be that dead bodies overall are taboo. In addition, criticism arises against defiling a dead body.”

After the conference, Soderlund claimed 8% of participants told him they would try human meat. When asked if he himself would try it, he said, “I feel somewhat hesitant, but to not appear overly conservative…I’d have to say…I’d be open to at least tasting it.”

The Details

Critics insist cannibalism is wrong on an instinctual level and worry that eating human meat could cause significant health problems.

“From what it seems, this story is about preparing the public to accept the disguising but commonly practiced in the world of antiquity practice of cannibalism,” reports Christian website Shoebat. “This only makes sense, for the more that Christianity and the traces of her disappear from society, the more that the old heathenry returns to fill the void.”

Magnus Soderlund is a behavioral scientist and marketing strategist who focuses on consumers’ reactions to advertisements and products “in a society increasingly obsessed with consumption.”

Soderlund is the Professor of Marketing and Head of Center for Consumer Marketing at the Stockholm School of Economics.

It’s very likely that Soderlund’s speech was a social experiment designed to gauge the public’s response to the idea of cannibalism. For someone of Soderlund’s status to present this idea highlights the need to find food solutions amid the effects of global warming.

Making Friends

The Headline

Russia and Ukraine complete landmark prisoner exchange

The Grind

Russia and Ukraine this weekend swapped prisoners in a deal expected to ease tensions between the two nations.

“We have to do all the steps to finish this horrible war,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as he welcomed prisoners at the airport.

The Russian government released 35 Ukrainian prisoners, including 24 sailors that were detained near Crimea last November, filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, and journalist Roman Sushchenko.

Those released by Ukraine include Volodymyr Tsemakh, a “person of interest” in the 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash that killed 298 people, journalist Kyrylo Vyshynsky, who was accused of treason, and two Ukrainian soldiers who defected to Russia during the annexation of Crimea.

The Details

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been tense (to say the least) since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and protests in eastern and southern Ukraine escalated into a pro-Russia insurgency.

Armed conflict between Ukrainian troops and the separatists (known as the War in Donbass) has killed more than 13,000 people.

Russian officials have portrayed the prisoner exchange as a necessary step towards the “settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.”

Did you know… The average French citizen eats 500 snails per year