A Swedish scientist suggested the climate crisis could lead people to consider eating human flesh. It’s not the first time a scientist has suggested the idea.

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Climate change is likely to put stress on our agricultural system and cause severe food shortages in the future.
Behavioral scientist Magnus Söderlund recently suggested that because of this, people might one day consider eating human flesh.
In 2018, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins put forth a similar idea.
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Last week, behavioral scientist Magnus Söderlund posed a controversial question at a seminar in Sweden: Can you imagine eating human flesh?

As global temperatures continue to rise, Söderlund said in a talk at the Gastro Summit in Stockholm, the consequences for agriculture could cause food to become more scarce, which might force humans to consider alternative forms of nourishment.

Those sources might include insects like grasshoppers or worms, but they could also include corpses, Söderlund said. By gradually getting accustomed to the taste of our own flesh, he added, humans might come to view cannibalism as less taboo.

Söderlund, a behavioral scientist at the Stockholm School of Economics, doesn’t research nutrition science or the economics of our global food supply. He studies psychological reactions, like the audible groan from attendees when they were asked whether they’d consider eating a corpse.

“I’d be open to at least tasting it,” Söderlund later told the State Swedish Television channel TV4.

Read more: Nibbled-on bones found in a cave revealed that our Neanderthal ancestors ate each other. Scientists may have figured out why.

The idea of using cannibalism to supplement our food supply isn’t new. In 2018, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins wondered if it would be possible to grow meat from harvested human cells in a laboratory.

Like Söderlund, he called the idea “an interesting test case” that might demonstrate whether humans could overcome the “yuck” factor in order to do something they considered moral, like reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

But of course, the suggestion of cannibalism is rife with problems. Genevieve Guenther, director of End Climate Silence, a nonprofit that advocates for more representation of climate change in the media, told Business Insider that “to suggest that cannibalism is a solution to climate change is about as bad as climate denial itself.”

She added: “I don’t think that it should be even entertained in any seriousness, but exposed as a kind of propaganda that only makes it harder for us to transform the world in the ways that we need to.”

‘Our whole culture would descend into barbarism’

For Dawkins and Söderlund, cannibalism could be a way to prepare for a future in which supplies of some major food staples are wiped out. As climate-related disasters like floods, droughts, and extreme heat continue to get more frequent and extreme, agricultural producers will find it more difficult to grow crops. In less than a decade, the world could fall short of feeding every person on the planet by 214 trillion calories per year, or about 28,000 calories per person.

Söderlund’s suggestion involves removing flesh from a corpse and serving it to humans, while Dawkins raised the possibility of taking stem cells …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Science

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