Title

Bug Bites: Eating Insects on Purpose!

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Entomophagy, the human consumption of bugs, is widely practiced around the world. The United States remains one of the few places where entomophagy is relatively unknown and unpracticed. This may be due to the fact that many Americans are taught that eating insects is not safe and even disgusting. However, several studies have shown that eating insects is not only safe, but is in many ways a more sustainable food source than other forms of animal protein and has the potential to play a role in preventing food security concerns. So why do Americans continue to be repulsed by the concept of eating bugs and how can we encourage the general public to embrace an entomophagous diet? To address this socially misconstrued concept, we developed entomophagy-based lesson plans to educate youth by exposing students to the concept of entomophagy, its benefits, and its world prevalence.

We first conducted a literature review and interviewed educational experts from UM's education program, the Missoula Insectarium, and the Natural History Center. With their help, we developed lesson plans for 3rd -5th graders, complete with pre- and post-tests to gauge students' attitudes toward entomophagy and determine lesson plan efficacy. After testing and editing, we will share the lesson plans with Missoula area educational programs that will give the plans a "home" and be put to use. Our group's end goal is to build upon the limited volume of entomophagy curricula while inspiring students to consider the environmental impact of their food sources.

Category

Interdisciplinary (GLI)

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Apr 17th, 11:40 AM Apr 17th, 12:00 PM

Bug Bites: Eating Insects on Purpose!

UC North Ballroom

Entomophagy, the human consumption of bugs, is widely practiced around the world. The United States remains one of the few places where entomophagy is relatively unknown and unpracticed. This may be due to the fact that many Americans are taught that eating insects is not safe and even disgusting. However, several studies have shown that eating insects is not only safe, but is in many ways a more sustainable food source than other forms of animal protein and has the potential to play a role in preventing food security concerns. So why do Americans continue to be repulsed by the concept of eating bugs and how can we encourage the general public to embrace an entomophagous diet? To address this socially misconstrued concept, we developed entomophagy-based lesson plans to educate youth by exposing students to the concept of entomophagy, its benefits, and its world prevalence.

We first conducted a literature review and interviewed educational experts from UM's education program, the Missoula Insectarium, and the Natural History Center. With their help, we developed lesson plans for 3rd -5th graders, complete with pre- and post-tests to gauge students' attitudes toward entomophagy and determine lesson plan efficacy. After testing and editing, we will share the lesson plans with Missoula area educational programs that will give the plans a "home" and be put to use. Our group's end goal is to build upon the limited volume of entomophagy curricula while inspiring students to consider the environmental impact of their food sources.