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About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 6, 2017)
OPINION / U.S.A.
February 6, 2017
THE ASIAN REPORTER n Page 7
TALKING STORY IN ASIAN AMERICA
“Silence is an interstitial
moment before action.
A time to reflect on
the challenge we have
been given in 2017.”
-- Reverend Dr. Héctor E. López
Three faces of River City
And the work ahead of us all
riday, January 20, 2017 was the
44th peaceful transition of
presidential power for our United
States of America. In response to Donald
J. Trump’s inauguration, protesting
Portlanders filled Pioneer Courthouse
Square. I saw a small Magic-Markered
sign that read “Take Care of Each Other.”
It bobbed just above our heads. I also saw
a black-hooded skull bigger than our
Frigidaire. Really big. Huge. It loomed
and stared over us. Its skeletal knuckles,
fingers, and killer nails, longer than me,
hung to its left and right. Acrid turmoil
filled the air.
Beginning early Saturday morning,
women and girls, their men and boys,
began pooling under and around Naito
Parkway’s bridges. More and more, then
still more and more poured in from all
over Oregon. While Pacific Northwest
rain poured on us. Portland’s Women’s
March filled 44 downtown blocks,
followed by another 44 blocks worth of
marchers, then another. All of them,
concerned about our nation. Everyone,
content among each other. Like familia.
Wellbeing filled what little space
remained between us.
On January 22 — on a Sunday, on that
reflective day just ahead of everybody’s
next big-city workweek — rabbi and
cantor Cahana filled their heavenly
domed Beth Israel synagogue with
Christian and Muslim, Catholic, Jewish,
and Buddha sanga Portlanders. After
prayer and inspiration, everyone walked
wordless across rushed Burnside street;
we walked silently by our Timbers’
stadium and our stately Governor Hotel;
we waited patiently for Maya Taqueria’s
corner crosswalk signal — infectious
mariachi raised our chins and lightened
our steps. We passed empty Director Park
then walked slowly onto Portland’s Living
Room. Pioneer Courthouse Square.
We filled that place, our silence did. Our
little candles did too. This silence rose
from red brick underfoot into our azure
evening sky, then it rose on and on
through the chill of airless space. And
maybe someday, some several million
light years from here and now, our
silenced and humbled hearts will reach
what both wayward physicists and our
simply faithful call the face of God.
Back down here — as we ended our
expression of trust in pretty cool Portland,
in anxious America, in our achy little earth
— the Reverend Dr. Héctor E. López was
trying to explain something tough to
capture by local TV news cameras. No
creepy skeletons or scary bottle throwers,
no lovely mothers or pink-pussycat hat
“Some people think silence is not
appropriate,” Dr. López said, “because it
looks like inaction.”
“But, oh no. No-no-no,” he smiled,
wagging his well-worn finger, correcting
us like a Mexican abuelo, like a Moroccan
jaddi or an Eire grandpa. “Silence is an
interstitial moment before action. A time
to reflect on the challenge we have been
given in 2017.”
Silence is necessary. Silence allows
sacredness to seep in. The sacredness of
us in this place, this confluence of our
generous river matriarchs Willamette
and Columbia. These shores of chocolate
soil, stewarded by 140 centuries of native
families living and loving here.
Silence is necessary, before we rise and
breakfast among those people we love.
Then let’s get to work. The work of
community building in all the ways, all us
very different and very dear Portlanders,
do this work. Our work.
Nota: For this third demonstration of the Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Beloved Community,
for this expression of how Portlanders are, terima
kasih banjaak (I offer our love to you): Rev. Dr.
Héctor E. López and pastor Lynne Smouse López of
Ainsworth United Church of Christ; to Br. Wajdi Said,
Muslim Educational Trust co-founder and president;
to Janet Musgrove Elfers, executive director of
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; to Rev. Michael
Ellick of First Congregational United Church of Christ;
to pastor E.D. Mondainé of Celebration Tabernacle;
and of course to senior rabbi Michael Z. Cahana
and senior cantor Ida Rae Cahana
of Congregation Beth Israel.
Fish and chirps? Crickets make leap in demand as a protein
CRUNCHY CRICKETS. Stephen Swanson
shows a bowl of frozen crickets at Tomorrow’s Harvest
cricket farm in Williston, Vermont. Farmers are raising
the alternative livestock they claim is more ecologically
sound than meat but acknowledge is sure to bug
some people out. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke, File)
By Lisa Rathke
The Associated Press
Tomorrow’s Harvest farm, you
won’t find acres of land on which
animals graze, or rows of corn, or bales of
hay. Just stacks of boxes in a basement
and the summery song of thousands of
It’s one of a growing number of opera-
tions raising crickets for human consump-
tion that these farmers say is more ecologi-
cally sound than meat but acknowledge is
sure to bug some people out.
Once consumers get beyond the ick
factor, they say, there are a lot of benefits
to consuming bugs.
“We don’t need everybody to eat insects,”
said Robert Nathan Allen, founder and
director of Little Herds, an educational
nonprofit in Austin, Texas that promotes
the use of insects for human food and
animal feed. “The point we really like to
highlight with the education is that if only
a small percent of people add this to their
diet, there’s a huge environmental
Cricket fans say if only one percent of the
U.S. population substituted even just one
percent of their meat consumption with
insects, millions of gallons of water for
drinking and irrigation would be saved,
along with thousands of metric tons of
greenhouse-gas emissions from machinery
At least one study finds the claims
overstated that crickets are a viable
protein source to supplement or replace
meat, but bottom line, it generally takes
fewer resources to raise and harvest
crickets than, say, cattle.
Interest in entomophagy — the
consumption of insects — was fuelled in
part by a 2013 report from the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations on the viability of edible insects to
help curb world hunger.
Since then, the number of producers of
food containing crickets, from protein bars
to chips, has jumped from zero to about 20,
and cricket farms for human food have
grown to about half a dozen in the United
States, Allen said.
The protein-packed food can be ground
into powder and added to other foods or
eaten whole, dried, sautéed, and spiced.
Crickets have a nutty or earthy flavor
that’s masked by other flavors in protein
Matthew Monroe, 53, of Portland, Oregon,
said he’s fond of blueberry-vanilla Exo
bars containing cricket flour and dines on
them when he gets that “protein bar
jonesing feeling.” They also taste better
than other protein bars, he said.
There’s no problem selling crickets as
long as manufacturers ensure the food
they produce for the U.S. market is safe
and complies with all relevant laws and
regulations, including proper labelling.
Raising crickets doesn’t take much
space, but there are complexities.
Tomorrow’s Harvest, said he constantly
checks conditions — water, food,
temperature, air flow, and humidity — in
the basement where he’s raising roughly
half a million crickets.
Swanson, who just started selling
cricket protein powder online, hopes to get
into a warehouse where some of the work
could be automated.
“The sky’s the limit. This is the stone age
right now as far as insect farming,” he said.
“So we have nowhere to go but up.”
Kevin Bachhuber knows that firsthand.
He started the first U.S. cricket farm for
human food in the Youngstown, Ohio area,
according to Allen. It operated until lead in
his water supply prompted him to close it,
Now, Bachhuber said, he is helping new
cricket farmers get started or existing
farms that raise crickets for reptile feed
and fish bait get up to food grade
“For the first couple years, you know, we
always struggled with having enough
supply. Now that we’re starting to be able
to add some of these older farmers into our
supply chain. ... It’s not quite so heavy
pressure,” Bachhuber said.
The first U.S. academic conference de-
voted to insects for food and feed was held
in Detroit in May. Now the young industry
is forming a trade group with the priorities
being research and public education.
“Half the battle if not more is educating
people why. You can’t just say eat crickets,
please. You have to tell them why,”
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