In honor of chocolate covered insect day, the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans opened its kitchen this weekend to guests who were able to enjoy an array of edible critters.
The museum is home to the Bug Appétit kitchen which offers visitor the opportunity to taste insect cuisine in many forms including its chocolate “chirp” cookies, six-legged salsa and crispy Cajun crickets.
For the occasion, the museum’s bug chefs prepared a chocolate fountain to allow guests to dip their insects in.
“We’re happy we can offer this unique opportunity to guests,” said Jayme Necaise, insectarium director of animals and visitor programs. “People may not realize this, but the FDA allows 60 or more microscopic insect fragments for each 100 grams of chocolate – so it’s not a huge leap to just go ahead and add the whole bug! Besides, bugs are good for you – they are surprisingly nutritious and a major food source for many people across the globe.”
The notion of bugs as a food source for consumers in the states has resurged in recent months as more people express concern over future food supplies and sustainability.
Insects are enjoyed as a food source throughout the world, though a cultural barrier exists in many American’s minds who cannot easily overcome their aversion to bugs as a food source.
Recently during two panel discussions at the 2014 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual meeting and food expo, experts said insects are a promising and economically viable alternative to animal protein which will leave a smaller environmental footprint.