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Lycoming College students
in professor Mel Zimmerman’s Invertebrate Zoology class recently were in a
class that was infested with insects – the edible kind, that is.
As part of Zimmerman’s final lab for the
class, students cooked up invertebrates to eat as part of a lesson in
entomophagy, the consumption of insects, which has been around for thousands of
years in some cultures. According to Zimmerman, it is estimated today that more
than half of the people of the world eat a variety of flying, crawling and
“Not only do these insects apparently
taste good, but they’re an inexpensive and nutritious food source,” Zimmerman
said. “Eating insects is a way to get a high protein food source – rather than
fight them as pests, eat them!”
The menu for “Zimm’s Cockroach Café” featured
bacon and cheddar crickets, barbecue mealworms, pickled weaver ant eggs,
shrimp, dried cuttlefish, crayfish tails, scallops, octopus and clams. For
dessert, there were candy lollipops with a dried cricket inside.
The students enjoyed making their way
around the room to sample all the delicacies and many determined that the worst
were the live mealworms and the spicy cuttlefish. Several students said the
mealworms “popped” in their mouths and also enjoyed treats from a bowl of
“mixed bugs,” which featured crickets, grasshoppers, silkworms, mole crickets
and bamboo worms.
Some students preferred to pair the
unusual offerings with crackers, cheese and other snacks, while others just
doused the insects in hot sauce or chocolate syrup.
College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated
to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic
program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful
student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a
Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located
near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one
of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit