Bugs for Breakfast: Montana's Bug Buffet

BOZEMAN — Montana State University will host its 28th annual Bug Buffet from noon - 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in the Strand Union BuildingLeigh Lounge.

MSU Catering will provide a specially developed gourmet menu for the free public event, including herb Montana chevre with salty and sweet Galleria (Galleria mellonella is known as the greater wax moth or honeycomb moth.), larval latte with lemon sour cream, orzo cricket salad, mango cricket shakes and white chocolate chip Galleria cookies.

Florence Dunkel, a professor in the MSU College of Agriculture’s Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology and an organizer of the event, created the Galleria cocktail and Galleria quesadilla with the help of her students, to complete the menu.

Dunkel said the event is intended to help individuals overcome a psychological aversion to inserts as a quality food source.

“We’re trying to bridge psychological and nutritional gaps,” Dunkel said.

Dunkel added she has tried to include a diverse, even gourmet menu over the years.

“The mango cricket shakes were quite a favorite last year,” said Dunkel. “The desserts are also usually a big hit. We’ve come a long way since our first buffet 28 years ago, back when I did all the cooking myself. We only had one entrée that year—Montana grasshoppers sautéed in butter,” she added.

The Bug Buffet will also feature a number of activities, including guessing games and interactive student exhibits. The special guest will be Canadian filmmaker Ian Toews, who will speak at 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Toews, a member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, is a producer, director and director of photography, and a principal partner in the 291 Film Company. His work is concerned primarily with nature and, often, with its degradation. He has worked on seven short films, five full-length documentaries and more than 60 television episodes.

A screening of clips from Toews’ upcoming documentary feature, “Bugs on the Menu,” will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, in the Strand Union Building, Procrastinator Theater. The film represents the power of media, specifically documentaries, in alleviating the previously mentioned disgust factor among Euro-Americans regarding edible insects, particularly in policy-making and academic positions.

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The buffet is the culmination of a full week of events related to food security and environmental issues, including seminars and lectures. All events will focus on different aspects of insects, food security and sustainable food production.

Sponsors for this year’s events include MSU’s Office of International ProgramsUniversity Food Services, the College of Agriculture, the College of Education, Health and Human Development and the College of Arts and Architecture.

For more information, contact Dunkel at (406) 994-5065 or fdunkel@montana.edu, or Anna Diffenderfer, (406) 994-4074 or anna.diffenderfer@msu.montana.edu.    

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