There’s nothing quite like the satisfying crunch that comes when biting into a salad. But what if that crunch didn’t come from lettuce or croutons at all but instead an unlikely source: insects?
Insectarium, a museum that’s part of Space for Life (Espace pour la vie), a museum district located in Montréal, Québec, Canada, is inviting adventurous eaters to dine on crickets, silkworms, termites and other bugs as part of a special program that runs now through the end of summer. The event features a variety of menu items that on the surface may appear completely normal (think gourmet hamburgers, tacos, falafel and ice cream), but with unexpected accouterments that most people typically deem as pests. Its purpose is to introduce visitors to this unusual—yet nutritious—food source in a fun and educational way.
“Insects are very high in protein, and they have all kinds of nutrients, vitamins and essential amino acids,” Daphné Laurier-Montpetit, scientific recreation coordinator at Insectarium, tells Smithsonian.com. “They’re also good for the environment because it takes a lot less feed to produce one kilogram of protein from insects as compared to beef and chicken.”
Not only that, but insects could very well play an important role in helping the environment by reducing harmful emissions that researchers have linked to livestock, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. But the first step is convincing consumers that eating bugs isn't gross as they might assume.
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