RE: NANFA-- Off topic: Ful'filling' Extra Credit in AP Biology

Denkhaus, Robert (DenkhaR_at_Ci.Fort-Worth.TX.US)
Thu, 14 Mar 2002 11:35:19 -0600

> Jay wrote -
> >>>When I was at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural
> History a couple
> weeks back, they were selling suckers with insects in them. They were
> supposed to resemble amber. But it was pretty clear the kids
> weren't buying
> them, just like you probably wouldn't have eaten those
> cookies if you knew
> what was in them :-)
> Jan writes -
> My wife and I recently conducted a "Bugs Alive" workshop for
> the public at
> our local Nature Center. One of our "static" displays was a
> "bugs as food"
> exhibit including Crickets in creme de menthe lollipops and
> "Larvetts,"
> lightly toasted and seasoned mealworms (three flavors). They
> generated a lot
> of interest and those that sampled the larvetts said they
> were quite good.
> More popular, though, were the traditional lollipops with
> arthropod handles.

And Rob Denkhaus added -
My high school biology teacher had a similar sense of humor/adventure. In
his particular case, we conducted a mark-recapture study on grasshoppers and
after several weeks of the project, upon completion, we kept the final group
of grasshoppers. We later deep-fried them and ate them with a generous
dusting of salt. They tasted pretty much like potato chips...salt and oil.
The primary lesson learned was that one should remove the hind legs of large
grasshoppers prior to eating them as they tend to get stuck in one's throat.
I continue this practice each summer during the Nature Center's Summer
Natural History Adventures. I lead a class in wild edibles which includes a
wide variety of plants and a few invertebrates including grasshoppers (a
ready source of protein during Texas summers). I've never considered the
potential of a problem with the FDA but I know that the kids' parents love
to hear the tale at the end of the day.

Rob Denkhaus
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
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