Be­yond the ‘eewww’ factor: bugs are the next food

Record Observer - - News -

CH­ESTER­TOWN — The main source of pro­tein in the typ­i­cal Amer­i­can diet is usu­ally meat, poul­try and fish — maybe with a few beans or some tofu now and then. But if you have ever had the cricket tacos pre­pared by the stu­dents in an­thro­pol­ogy pro­fes­sor Bill Schindler’s “Food, Peo­ple and the Planet” class, you know that bugs as a pro­tein cen­ter­piece can be de­li­cious and nu­tri­tious.

In­sects pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive food­way that con­serves en­ergy, re­duces waste and pro­motes nu­tri­tion. While other cul­tures have al­ways had bugs on the menu, it takes some new think­ing about food and food­ways to make en­to­mophagy — the eat­ing of in­sects — palat­able in Western cul­ture.

This al­ter­na­tive think­ing and do­ing is the fo­cus of “The New Face of Farm to Ta­ble: In­sects on the Menu,” a con­nected se­ries of events tak­ing place Wed­nes­day, Feb. 15, through Fri­day, Feb. 17, that will change the way you think about food.

The se­ries will ex­am­ine en­to­mophagy start­ing with a global per­spec­tive and end­ing with an op­por­tu­nity to en­tice your own taste buds with in­sects. It launches with back-to­back screen­ings of doc­u­men­taries ap­proach­ing the topic from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, and will cul­mi­nate on day three with a cook­ing con­test in Hodson Hall and a talk by the prin­ci­pal of En­tomo Farms, a global leader in the pro­duc­tion of roasted crick­ets, cricket flour and other in­sect pro­tein bases. All events are free and open to the pub­lic, ex­cept where noted be­low.

At 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Nor­man James The­ater in Wil­liam Smith Hall, there will be a doc­u­men­tary screen­ing of “Bugs: A Gas­tro­nomic Ad­ven­ture with Nordic Food Lab.” The doc­u­men­tary fol­lows a team from the renowned Copen­hagen-based Nordic Food Lab, made up of chefs and re­searchers, as they travel around the world to learn what some of the two bil­lion peo­ple who al­ready eat in­sects have to say.

At 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Nor­man James The­ater in Wil­liam Smith Hall, there will be a doc­u­men­tary screen­ing of “Bugs on the Menu.” This doc­u­men­tary examines food se­cu­rity is­sues, health is­sues, flawed food pro­duc­tion sys­tems and the chal­lenges of feed­ing the world, land­ing on in­sects as the an­swer. The film examines other cul­tures that his­tor­i­cally have thrived on in­sects as pro­tein and con­tinue to do so, the health ben­e­fits of en­to­mophagy and how new busi­ness mod­els can in­cor­po­rate inset pro­tein into restau­rant menus and food pro­duc­tion.

From 4:30 to 6 p.m. Feb 17 at the Pantry din­ing hall in Hodson Hall, there will be a cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion. Sev­eral teams of stu­dents will put to­gether a healthy and palat­able dish that in­cor­po­rates in­sects, and the win­ning dish will be cho­sen by a panel of judges, in­clud­ing Din­ing Ser vices Di­rec­tor Don Stan­wick, Bill Schindler, and Jar­rod Goldin, the co-founder of En­tomo Farms. While stu­dents are cook­ing up a dish for the judges, Schindler will be cook­ing up hand­made cricket tacos for every­one to try. Stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff can use their nor­mal card swipe, and those from the com­mu­nity are wel­come to join in and try a cricket taco and an al­lyou-can-eat buf­fet in the din­ing hall for $11.75 per per­son.

The cook­ing con­test win­ner will be an­nounced af­ter a 7 p.m. pre­sen­ta­tion in Hyn­son Lounge in Hodson Hall by Jar­rod Goldin, who will dis­cuss En­tomo Farms and the busi­ness of grow­ing and mar­ket­ing in­sect-based prod­ucts. His talk, “En­tomo Farms and The Emerg­ing World of the In­cred­i­ble Edi­ble In­sect,” will dis­cuss how in­sects are ben­e­fi­cial, not only from a nu­tri­tional stand­point, but also for en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and eco­nomic rea­sons, and will ex­am­ine how to in­cor­po­rate in­sects into the mod­ern Western diet.

This se­ries is spon­sored by the Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and So­ci­ety, the East­ern Shore Food Lab, Washington Col­lege Din­ing Ser­vices, McLain Pro­gram, De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Science and Stud­ies, the Stu­dent En­vi­ron­men­tal Al­liance and the Iota Chap­ter of Kappa Al­pha Omi­cron, and the Wil­liam James Fo­rum.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Jamie Frees at jfrees2@wash­coll. edu or 410-810-7162 or visit www. wash­­ble-in­sects-on-the-menu.


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