If you’ve attended any of Franklin Institute’s “Science After Hours” adult summer-camp gatherings, you may already be acquainted with BugYum founder, professional entomological gastronomist and author Addison Lilholt. His 2014 intro to entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, serves as a rough primer on a fascinating idea: He’s not just talking about simply popping crickets into your mouth like tavern peanuts ‘cause it’d freak out your kids, spouse or in-laws—although you could certainly do that, too. “In Thailand,” he writes inEntomological Gastronomy, “fried insects are commonly served with beer as chips and nuts are served with a pint.” Lilholt and other entomophagy advocates claim the world’s future depends on sustainability diets, which have a markedly lower impact on the environment. Those crickets are not only loaded with protein and other crucial nutrients, but raising insects is far less demanding on natural and human resources. And you know what? They don’t taste bad at all. To prove it, Lilholt, a science teacher at Manayunk’s Green Woods Charter School, created some quick snack bowls for Philly Weekly comprised of freeze-dried, baked mealworms. In one went some thai chilis, fresh lime and ponzu, the other doused liberally with Frank’s RedHot sauce and blue cheese dressing. Both, frankly, were far from disgusting; like the larvae itself, they take on the taste of what’s gone into them. Most noticeable, though, is the mealworms’ nutty texture and neutral flavor.
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