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MSU to host 32nd annual Bug Buffet

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Insects: food of the future? PHOTO COURTESY OF MSU NEWS SERVICE


BOZEMAN – While 80 percent of the world eats bugs on a regular basis without batting an eye, the U.S. has always kept at arm’s length the practice of consuming insects. At Montana State University, they’re trying to change that, one bug buffet at a time.

MSU’s 32nd annual Bug Buffet, hosted by the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology and the Department of Health and Human Development, is a celebration of the nutritional and environmental benefits of edible insects. The event is part of a weeklong celebration of edible insects as a sustainable food source.

According to James and Kathy Rolin, owners of the Bozeman-based cricket farm Cowboy Crickets, these insects aren’t only a solid source of protein, they’re also much more ethical to farm.

The Bug Buffet will feature samples of Cricket Acorn Bread, Chapulines (grasshopper) Sunchoke Chips With Crème Fraiche; Tenebrio (mealworm) Quesadilla with Chapulines Salsa; Orthoptera Three Sisters Soup; Smokey Jumper Watermelon-Jicama salad; Tenebrio Montana Lentil Succotash; Bombyx (pupae) Wild Rice With Juniper Berries and Spruce; Iced Mexican Chocolate Brownies With Cricket; and Black Ant Chokecherry Smoothies.

All meals are prepared by chefs Jill Flores and KayAnn Miller, along with Food Safety Supervisor Dustin Schreiner and this year’s guest chef Joseph Yoon, executive director of Brooklyn Bugs and a chef in New York City.

The buffet is bookended by a series of other insect-related events, including a cook-off, sustainable food workshops, field trips to Cowboy Cricket Farms and the Bozeman Fish Technology Center, as well as several short films following the topic of sustainable and ethical food production.

The Bug Buffet takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 12 from 12-4 p.m. in “Ballroom A” of the Strand Union Building. The event is free and open to the public and those curious about the future of insect agriculture, integrating more sustainable practices into their lives, or simply have a desire to see how professionally prepared bugs taste, are encouraged to attend.

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