MSU Bug Buffet brings insects to the plate

The Leigh Lounge acted as a venue for an unconventional meal of roasted cricket quesadillas, larval latkes, mango cricket shakes and white chocolate chip worm cookies during MSU’s 28th annual Bug Buffet. Attended by over 600 students and community members, the event took place on Friday, Feb. 26.

MSU entomologist Florence Dunkel coordinated the event in conjunction with various colleges across campus. Dunkel spoke to the potential of edible insects, also known as land shrimp, as a sustainable, high-quality and secure protein source. Visitors learned about the qualities of insects that could make them a viable food source in the U.S., such as the low water consumption required to raise them and their high concentrations of protein, iron and vitamins.

The Bug Buffet is one of the largest events of its kind, intended to be a step in advancing the availability of bugs in the American diet. While the sight of maggot-topped galleña cocktails still made many of the visitors squeamish, over 2 billion people worldwide currently depend on insects as a main source of protein. The event invited its visitors to join the conversation of making insects part of the normal diet.