The facts are these: Insects are one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable sources of edible protein, and are enjoyed as such by many cultures as part of a nutritious meal. One hundred grams of silkworm larvae, for example, provides 100 percent of a person’s daily zinc and iron requirements.
But for most Americans, when push comes to shove – when those silkworms are staring out from a plateful of worm-and-mushroom risotto – facts fly out the window to make room for baser revulsion and fear.
Members of Environmental Discourses on the Ingestion of Bugs League (EDIBL), a new student group on campus, argue that this fear stems from nothing more than irrational social conditioning (crustaceans are basically the insects of the sea, right?). They argue that this conditioning can, and should, be reversed.
And so on Nov. 13, EDIBL prepared a special bug-tasting dinner for 25 brave and lucky Princeton students (the author included) in the hopes of winning converts to its cause.
The aforementioned risotto didn’t appear until more than halfway through the seven-course meal, served small-plate-style in the Campus Club dining room. First up from EDIBL head chef (and president) Rena Chen ’11 were less threatening warm-up dishes like mealworm-sprinkled bruschetta.