10 Amazing Reasons To Eat Insects

1. Nutrition & Health

One of the most convincing arguments why you should consider eating insects, is from a health point of view. Insects generally are very high in protein, beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals and all essential amino acids.

Vitamin B12 for example is not available from plant sources, and many vegetarians and vegans are deficient in this. Insects are a great source of Vitamin B12. Nuts and pulses, though very healthy in other nutrients, lack this essential vitamin.

The combination of un- saturated omega- 3 and omega- 6 fatty acids is also high and comparable to that found in fish, which is higher than in pork and cattle.

As most insects are eaten whole, unlike conventional meat, the entire exoskeleton, muscle tissues and vital organs are consumed. This is part of the reason for the high micro- nutritional value of insects.

2. Less land requirements

Farming insects requires less land than farming traditional livestock. In fact, insects even like to be confined to small spaces, which can be seen in the way the cluster into certain patterns. Furthermore they can be stacked vertically unlike bigger animals.

If you compare the weight of protein produced with other livestock, insects require 2 to 10 times less space. Traditional livestock is presently occupying two thirds of the worlds’ land masses, and are the cause of some of our biggest environmental challenges. Climate change, over- fishing, pollution caused by fertilizing as well as pesticide use, are all reasons why the environment is being maxed out and something needs to change.

3. Less CO2 and ammonia emissions

Insects produce significantly less CO2 and ammonia emissions than cattle, pork and chicken. The reason for this is the much shorter lifespan of insects, which means less resources are required. In the case of crickets, they are fully grown at about 8 weeks. Compare that with cows, which are considered adults at about 2 years of age.

4. Quicker protein conversion

Insects are furthermore cold- blooded, meaning increased efficiency at converting food into protein. To produce the same amount of protein, crickets need 12 times less food than cattle, and only half the amount than pork and chicken.

5. Less feed and water requirements

Insects require less feed than other livestock, and about 80% of a cricket is digestible. This is most likely due to the fact that insects are cold- blooded and therefore don’t need food to stay warm. Insects also require significantly less water compared to cattle, pork and chicken.

6. Insects can live off organic waste products

Because insects are easy to please gastronomically, they can live off organic side streams like manure and compost. This in turn decreases environmental impact and adds value to waste products.

Insects could be fed biowaste, and in turn processed and fed to larger animals, which again could be sold to the consumer. Insects such as the black soldier fly, the common housefly and the yellow mealworm, are extremely efficient at converting organic waste, and estimations say that they could convert 1.3 billion tonnes of biowaste per year. Unfortunately this process is not yet allowed due to present and outdated food & feed legislation.

7. Ethical considerations

Insects are further down the food chain than other livestock, and don’t have many animal welfare issues associated with them. This could potentially be an argument for vegans and vegetarians to consume them, especially as they are high in Vitamin B12, which is not obtainable from plants.

8. Small risk of zoonotic infections

Diseases like foot and mouth disease, H5N1, avian influenza and bovine spongiform are less likely to be transmitted from insects to humans, because insects taxonomically are much more different than bigger animals. In recent years we have seen a rapid increase in these infections, likely caused by climate change as well as the intensification of animal production. However, more research is needed in this area.

9. Rearing insects is easy and cost- efficient

Farming insects is easy to learn and doesn’t require a lot of training or resources. Because the life- span of an insect is much shorter than traditional livestock, coupled with the fact that insects reproduce extremely quickly, this also results in quicker economical benefits.

10. No use of antibiotics, pesticides, GMO or hormones

Insects do not require antibiotics, the use of which especially in the poultry industry has led to a lot of debate. Excessive use of antibiotics can lead to bacteria, which become resistant, and in turn become a worrying danger to humans.

The use of pesticides is also not necessary, which logically is better for the environment and human health, as well as being more economical.

The same can be said for GMO and artificial hormones, all of which become superfluous when farming insects.

5 Financial Freedoms You Must Protect

We’ve all dreamt about the day we can retire, the free time we’ll have to find a new hobby, travel to a new place, or simply, do nothing but sit and relax. But in order to enjoy the retirement years like you want to, you’ve got to plan ahead. In particular, you need to protect five financial freedoms. They are:

1. Guaranteed Income

Have you taken the steps today to secure your financial future: for yourself, your spouse and your family?

Remember when you retire, you won’t receive a regular paycheck. Not having that steady income may come as a shock. You may start to panic as you begin to dip into savings for daily expenses. You may need to live on a strict budget. You may end up needing to find a job. And, if you decide you need to return to work, it most likely won’t be in a full-time position with a full-time salary.

As you think about retirement, you need to realize this: the day you stop working is the day you surrender your guaranteed income. However, by developing a strategic plan now with your financial advisor you ensure that your financial situation is set up so that you can enjoy your retirement years worry free.

2. Travel

The number one thing most people want to do when they retire is travel. In fact, retirees are in the top 3 groups of travelers in the United States and spend about 20% of their retirement income just on travel.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that retirees are on the move. They have the freedom to take vacation whenever they want since the job isn’t tying them down anymore. However, the question that needs to be asked is that as retirees, while you may be able to pack up and go whenever you please, do you have the financial freedom to do so? How can you fulfill your dream of visiting new locales in America or around the globe if you live on a fixed income?

By working with your financial advisor, travel is possible. Together, you can create a retirement plan that includes travel in your financial future so that you don’t need to give up your desire to explore the country and even the world.

3. Legacy

As parents, your instinct is to take care of your children even when they become adults with kids of their own. One of the most important ways you can do this is by giving an inheritance to your kids once you’ve passed on.

While you have many years of making memories with your family, now is the time to make sure you’ve invested your money wisely. Making wise choices means considering the various tax benefits that different financial options have to offer. I know it can be confusing and frustrating to compare the options available to you, and that’s why it’s a good idea to turn to a financial advisor to counsel you on these important decisions. Your family’s well-being is at stake.

4. Autonomy

Life prepares us to be independent, doesn’t it? Sure, at first, we depend on our parents to care for us, to protect us. As we grow older, we build our independence. We start our own families. We become the providers.

However, during the retirement years doubt may begin to creep in about your ability to live autonomously. Without a steady stream of income, you start to wonder if you need to find a job or whether you can afford to live on your own. Talking with your financial advisor and planning for your future can alleviate these doubts and give you peace of mind knowing that you can continue to live the independent life you want.

5. Choice

When you think of retirement, a number of things come to mind, particularly a list of all the things you want to do and the age you want to retire. However, one vital piece of information that you may not have thought about is how much you’ll need to retire AND live comfortably. If this describes you, talk with your financial advisor today. Believe me, you don’t want to wait until you’re close to your targeted retirement age because you might discover that you’ll need more to live the retirement lifestyle you want. Your financial advisor will work with you to make sure you’re saving enough now so your dream lifestyle can be your retirement reality.

Successful SEO Services Consider Content Relevancy

For SEO services to be successful, various factors should be taken into consideration. One such factor is content relevancy. All SEO experts and others stress on the importance of content, but the content used at different sections, pages and layers of the website should be related to the main topic of the website.

During various stages of building webpages of a site, content relevancy should be aligned with other factors. The professional SEO service providers differentiate themselves from others by considering this fact. Now, let’s take a look at where content relevancy is needed to be implemented.

Content Relevancy at Keyword Strategy Level

Successful SEO specialists don’t just put together a bunch of highly effective keywords for a website. Such experts use meaningful variations of highly relevant keywords in a strategized plan and in close connection to each other to support the main keyword. Therefore, the content formed around such keywords constitute relevant content.

A good example of such keyword strategy level is when a section of the website deals with one particular topic. To address that topic, the best SEO services can do is to use a set of highly relevant keywords. This enhances the topic of that particular section.

Imagine a section of your website informs your audience of the “silk carpets”. You would want to add pages targeting key phrases like “silk carpet designs”, “silk carpet cleaning”, “silk carpet traditions”, etc to enhance the keyword relevancy and consequently the content relevancy of those pages within the entire website. So, all pages within that section will be better interwoven using such keyword strategy.

Topic Relevancy at Each Section of the Website

Using well-oriented keyword strategy to include keyword relevancy, each section of a website is also built around one topic. This will enhance the overall topic relevancy of the website if every other section of the website has got such relevancy inside itself in particular and in connection to the other sections in general.

When professional SEO services follow topic relevancy and lay the foundation of their website’s comprehensive content relevancy, they can expect their desired results. Otherwise, search engines won’t find any reason why some information is given at one section of the site while it doesn’t have anything in common with the other section. Ultimately, such websites lose their SEO scores and fail to obtain high search engine ranking.

Titles Relevancy to the WebPage’s Content

At a more detailed level, the content relevancy should exist within different parts of a page as well. It’s not useful to have a great attracting title, while the content doesn’t support it. The title of a webpage should strongly relate to the content of the same page.

When Internet searchers look for some information in search engines, they will be taken to the result pages where every result is shown in form of title, few lines of description and the URL of the destination page. If the title and description are well in line with the same topic, but the page content disappoints the web searcher, the SEO service provider had failed!

It’s not only the human visitor that would leave the page unhappy. Search engines, on the other hand, will not find much interesting content relevancy to score the page highly. This will leave no outstandingly successful result for your SEO services.

SEO Services Should Consider Content Relevancy Everywhere

Although content is usually referred to what we read on a page, other parts of a website also contribute to the content formation. So, they should be aligned with the overall keyword strategy, as well as topic and content relevancy. This should also reflect in the following points of a website:

– Meta Keywords

– ALT Tags,

– Folder Names,

– File Names, and

– etc.

This way, SEO services can bring higher probability of success for their clients’ websites as content relevancy is one of the key factors in determining if a website’s content is powerful or not.

Questions to Ask a Freight Factoring Company

Thinking of partnering with a freight factoring company? A positive cash flow can have a huge impact on your business. Not only will you be able to take on more clients and larger deals, but you will also be able to ensure that driver payments, payroll, fuel and all your other expenses are always paid on time.

If you’ve already decided you are going to partner with one of the freight factoring companies in your area, then you need to start researching the various companies to determine who will provide the best service to you. Here are a few questions to ask to make sure you get a value for money service:

What happens if my clients don’t pay?

This is an important question because it can put you in a difficult position if you have to pay for outstanding bills from clients. Find out if the factoring company handles debt disputes and what their normal procedures are when trying to claim back money from clients.

Do I get to choose which invoices I factor?

In some cases, you might have weekly loads which you bill and your clients pay each week. In this case, you might not necessarily need a factoring company to factor the invoices for you. You might only need factoring services for larger loads which only get paid after 30, 60 or 90 days. Find out if the factoring company will allow you to decide which invoices you want to factor or if you have to hand over your entire client book.

What kind of extra services do you offer (and what do I have to pay for?)

Factoring and bank loans are very different in a number of ways, but one of the most prominent differences is the fact that banks research businesses to determine whether they are creditworthy, while a factoring company will research your clients to determine whether they are creditworthy or not. Freight factoring companies will either do a credit check on your clients to ensure they are capable of paying the invoices, or they will give you a list of pre-approved clients which meet their credit requirements. Find out what process they use to determine whether clients are creditworthy and whether you will have to pay extra for this vetting process.

What percentage of the invoice will you advance?

Many times, a freight factoring company will advance a certain percentage of the invoice (such as 80%, 90% or even 100%) and the rest of the amount only gets paid once the client has paid the outstanding invoice in full and their service fee has been deducted. Make sure you know what percentage gets paid to you in advance.

Want to find out if our freight factoring company’s service will work for you? Get an instant factoring quote now.

Interstate Capital’s factoring programs include a long list of unique features including rates starting at just 0.49% per invoice, advance rates up to 100%, same-day funding, 24/7 automatic credit approvals, fuel advances (for motor carriers), professional collections, and much more.

Set-up is always fast and easy. There is no application fee and most companies will qualify for an instant online proposal in under 2 minutes just by completing the Instant Factoring form on this page. If you like what you see in your proposal, just click on the application link in your proposal and you’re on your way to fast funding.

Filling Up With The Wrong Fuel – A Customer Experience

October 17th 2014 – Accidentally putting petrol in my VW Passat instead of Diesel

The following is my tale of woe about my wrong fuel experience. Please don’t make the same mistakes that I made and save yourself the hassle.

On the Friday morning in question, I was driving my 6 month old VW Passat to work in Worcester as usual. The car is a B7 model 2 litre turbo diesel, not as good to drive as my previous VW Passat which was the B5.5 2 litre petrol model but not a bad car either. I had only had the car for 3 days and I picked it up with about a third of a tank of fuel in it on the previous Tuesday. I was sitting in the crawling traffic going into the town centre when the low fuel warning light lit up with a ping. I could easily have made it to work and back home on the remaining fuel but as there was a fuel station on my route into work and I was early anyway, I thought I would stop off and fill up with diesel before the weekend as I had a lot of running around to do on Saturday with the kids.

I pulled up at the pump and I remember running through the day’s tasks in my head so I wasn’t really concentrating on putting in the fuel, I was just doing that on autopilot. I filled the tank right up and then went to the kiosk to pay. I got back into the car and started the engine. It sounded rough which worried me and as I drove to the exit the engine stalled altogether. It then dawned on me what I had just done. I’d filled up with the wrong fuel. I’d had my previous car for 10 years and had got so used to filling up with unleaded petrol that I had just done what I was used to doing. I’m sure I probably turned as pale as a ghost and I just had an almost overwhelming feeling of panic because I was sure that I had just ruined a £14,000 car. To make matters worse I was blocking the station exit and there was a line of motorists behind me waiting to leave the station. I had to sheepishly explain to the chap behind me what I had done and I asked him if he would help me push the car out off to one side. He refused and told me to get it moved. Nice. The young lady in the next car, however, did volunteer to help and together we managed to move the car with her steering and me pushing on my own.

Wrong Fuel Removal – The Wrong Approach

The forecourt staff were sympathetic but I could tell this was a hassle for them too, one of them handed me a card that someone had left on the desk from a firm of wrong fuel removal engineers. I didn’t realise that the industry even existed until I saw the card, I did think that I should call my breakdown assistance firm and ask their advice first and they explained that they could have someone out to me in an hour and a half and that if they could remove the fuel from the car then it would cost me £250. I didn’t fancy sitting around for that long and I thought the cost was a bit steep so I called the firm on the card I had been given and spoke to a bored sounding lady who said they could have someone with me in about 30 minutes as there was a van in the area and that the cost would be £150. Whilst I waited I used my smartphone to search for “wrong fuel Worcester” to see what came up on Google. I found quite a few other companies offering the wrong fuel removal service but I couldn’t find the company named on the card who I had just called. I decided to sit tight and see what happened anyway.

About 45 minutes later a scruffy, dented Ford Transit pulled up next to me and door opened and clattered into the driver’s door on my car, my mood wasn’t good as it was and I got out of the car to confront this individual who had gone around to the back of the van. Thankfully, there was no damage to my car as the van had a plastic protector on its door. The van driver then appeared and announced that he was here to do the fuel drain. He was dressed in a paint covered overall and had paint all over his face and head. Quite obviously, he had just been painting. I followed him to the back of the van where he had an array of large 5 gallon plastic containers, a length of rubber hose and some sort of electric pump contraption. The equipment looked like it had just been thrown in to the back of the van along with various bits of rubbish and paper towels and the smell of petrol coming from the back of the van made my eyes water. I began to feel the panic rising again and had visions of a huge explosion occurring with me in the middle of it. When the “engineer” started to attempt to feed rubber hose down into my new car’s fuel tank (with no care being taken of the car bodywork which was now filthy all around the fuel tank aperture) something told me that this just wasn’t right and was probably downright dangerous. My sense of duty towards my fellow motorists on the forecourt kicked in and I asked him to stop what he was doing. I explained that I thought what he was doing was putting everyone at risk and he became somewhat aggressive and began to demand payment for wasted time. I had no intention of giving this chap my credit card and so I locked the car and told him I was going to speak to the police which, unsurprisingly, changed his attitude. As I walked off towards the kiosk I looked behind me to see him hurriedly packing the hose and container back into his van which then sped off in a cloud of smoke.

The Wrong Fuel – The Right Approach

It was more than an hour since I had put the wrong fuel in my car by this time, so I called work to keep them updated and then looked at my smartphone search page again for another wrong fuel removal company. The company that came top for the search “wrong fuel Worcester” had a great website, tailored for mobile display and had images showing uniformed engineers with well-maintained vans and also, many positive customer comments. I called the number and explained my predicament to a kind and sympathetic operator who assured me that an engineer was close and would be with me very quickly. My previous experience had left me a little suspicious and so I questioned her about the company, their engineers and their vehicles and she explained clearly to me about the procedure and the professionalism with which their representatives conducted themselves. This was good enough for me and 20 minutes later a smart looking van with company livery pulled up next to me on the forecourt and a uniformed engineer with a big smile on his face, got out.

He was a real breath of fresh air after the last chap. He was kind and courteous and spent a couple of minutes talking me through the process of removing the wrong fuel from my vehicle, explaining what the sparklingly clean equipment in his van did and roughly how long this would take. He explained about the cost involved and made sure that I was comfortable with this before going ahead. As he put protective padding onto my car around the fuel tank aperture, which he cleaned up beforehand, the engineer explained about the SPA passport that he held and he also gave me his Environmental Agency paperwork which allowed him to handle and transport dangerous chemicals, legally. This information and the engineer’s general attitude and consideration put my mind at ease and filled me with confidence that, this time, I had done the right thing.

I also discussed my fears about the damage done to the vehicle engine when the wrong fuel is introduced to the system and he supplied me with the following information which put my mind at ease on that front. Firstly, it is very rare that damage occurs to the engine of fuel system of a diesel vehicle when petrol is added. Only in circumstances where common sense is not applied, is there a risk of long term damage. Petrol is a solvent and doesn’t have the lubricating qualities of diesel fuel, therefore, if any amount of petrol is introduced to the system and is allowed to remain in the system then there is potentially a risk that, where there is metal to metal contact of components within the fuel system and the normal lubrication is compromised, excessive wear of those components can occur leading to failure in extreme circumstances. Also, the seals within the system can be affected by the solvent properties of the petrol which may lead to damage. There is a myth that it is OK to top up with diesel fuel if you’ve only added a little petrol to the tank, and to continue driving. This will lead to fuel system damage as described previously resulting in potentially expensive repairs being required. The most sensible and cost effective action is to get the fuel system completely drained and flushed through with fresh diesel to remove all traces of unleaded petrol.

This is just what the engineer did to my VW Passat and within 25 minutes I was ready to go. I was very impressed with the second wrong fuel removal company that I called out, they were prompt, efficient and the customer service and general attitude were brilliant, unlike the first company. The engineer explained to me about the problem existing within the industry whereby various “cowboy” companies had been set up and were being run by inexperienced and unlicensed individuals who were taking advantage of motorist’s vulnerable positions when they had put in the wrong fuel. Many people were being intimidated into paying up front for a fuel drain that was then performed by dangerously ill equipped individuals with no regard to the customer’s safety or the safety of others in the locality. He told me of many cases where he had been called out to jobs that he had to rectify after the “cowboy” wrong fuel company had done an incomplete job and had still made off with the money. It seems that I had had a lucky escape.

Once the fuel drain and fuel system flush was completed, the engineer started my car and it ticked over as if nothing had happened. I paid him with a credit card and thanked him for his assistance, in just 45 minutes he had come out to me and carried out a professional service with which I was very happy.

The Conclusion To The Wrong Fuel Situation

It’s fair to say that I learned a few things on that day when I put in the wrong fuel. Hopefully, someone else in the same predicament may come across this article before taking action and avoid some of the potential pitfalls. In summary, this would be my advice:

Pay attention to which fuel nozzle you pick up on the forecourt (this one goes without saying!)
If you have put in the wrong fuel, let the forecourt staff know, so that they can help you move your vehicle, if necessary.
Once you have told the staff or if you have left the forecourt, do some quick smartphone internet research and choose a wrong fuel recovery company with good customer feedback and a good informative website that shows a well organised and professional outfit.
If you don’t trust the engineer that arrives or you feel there is anything amiss with his/her conduct, don’t be afraid to speak up and, if necessary, turn them away from the job. Your safety is paramount and your vehicle was probably expensive. Don’t take a risk either way.
Don’t pay up front. Make sure you’re happy with the cost and the work involved. A good engineer will be courteous and will check with you beforehand anyway.