Entomophiles near and far flocked to State College this past weekend for the 23rd annual Penn State University Great Insect Fair. There were bugs to eat, bugs to see, bugs to hold, bugs galore!
The Snider Ag Arena filled with Penn State Entomology faculty, staff, and students who showcased their research initiatives and ran an insect zoo and a butterfly tent. Together with organizations such as the Pennsylvania 4-H clubs, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Penn State Master Gardeners, the Friends of the Snetsinger Butterfly Garden and others, the arena was filled with interactive insect related displays and activities aplenty.
This year’s theme, Bug Appetit, explored the world of entomophagy – the eating of bugs. Penn State Nutrition Science students offered a variety of insect bites from chocolate chip cookies baked with 25% cricket flour to wax worms and meal worms mixed with caramel popcorn.
At the Frost Museum table, we played into the theme by featuring a pinned display of edible insects of Pennsylvania! Yum. We also related insect muscles to that of chicken and other vertebrates. Additionally we had a praying mantis that gave live demonstrations throughout the day on how to eat grasshoppers.
We had a blast and can’t wait to participate again next year for the 24th Great Insect Fair!