- By Peter Sullivan<p> Peter Sullivan is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy. </p>
On Thursday, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) offered the citizens of the world a suggestion about how to counteract harmful jellyfish overpopulation, which has been exacerbated in recent years by factors such as overfishing and climate change.
"If you cannot fight them… eat them," the U.N. body offered in a report, citing past studies on the subject:
Some jellyfish species are a food source in some countries (e.g. China) and the development of conservation and packaging practices to sell them where they are appreciated might be a wise strategy, adapting the fishing fleets and the commercial network behind them to take advantage of sudden abundances of this product-to-be.
In apparent recognition of the fact that not everyone wants to eat jellyfish, the FAO goes on to highlight other approaches such as harnessing jellyfish chemicals for medicine and killing the creatures with cutting nets. Too many jellyfish can deplete fish stocks, and the report warns of a "global regime shift from a fish to a jellyfish ocean."
It’s a bold move for an organization that drew mockery earlier this month for a 162-page report on why insects are a "healthy, nutritious alternatives to mainstream staples such as chicken, pork, beef and even fish," and why eating them could improve the environment and reduce food insecurity. Oh, and the FAO tried to rebrand insects as "minilivestock."
An even more sweeping recommendation came out of a 2010 U.N. study calling for a shift away from traditional meat and dairy products as a way to reduce the land and water consumption associated with raising animals.
All of which is to say: The next time a U.N. official invites you to dinner, you might want to think twice about it.