Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Are insects the food of the future? Or today?

A Valentine's Day treat: Bitty foods Chocolate Chirp Cookies,
made with cricket flour. 
I know it's been a month since the last blog post, but that doesn't mean we've been asleep. Quite the contrary! Let me just give you  a taste of what's been happening in class.

Each semester I get to write new units and curricula for our English Language Learners, and since many students are in my class multiple times, I'm constantly seeking new topics to tie our literacy skills together. This semester our focus is based on United Nations Sustainable Goal #2, Zero Hunger. We began by using excerpts from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization report on Future prospects for food and feed security, and Reading A-Z's Edible Insects as base texts, along with interactive transcripts from a handful of TED Talks, UNICEF resources, and help from folks who are raising insects for consumption.

As part of achieving this goal, students will be examining sustainable agriculture and foods, including edible insects! We will also be distinguishing between malnutrition and poor nutrition, and ways that insects might help (or not) alleviate these food challenges.

So far, it's been delicious fun, as students have not only begun researching, but have also gotten a taste of what I call "gateway bugs" :-). Foods like Bitty foods chocolate chirp cookies, which are made with cricket flour, and Hotlix candies have helped our students join the 80% of the world's cultures who eat insects!

(Shhhh...Don't tell them, but that sounds like they're almost #trendy.)

So stayed tuned to see some of their work as we continue our research and try a few projects to make our work even more memorable. As the Bug Chef says, "Bug Appetit"!  (Bet you can't watch without a grimace or two. My favorite part is between 3:30-4:30.)

Bitty Foods founder Megan Miller discusses whether insects are the 
future of food. What do you think?

Reaction when students realized what was in the Chocolate Chirp Cookies!

A little bit easier to think about were the insect candies.

Despite the smile, she later admitted she couldn't eat the insects...

My partner in crime, and Insect Santa for the day.
Which bug would you like to try?

We are emphasizing that eating bugs is not a gimmick,
and it seems like students are understanding that. We still
have more research to do, though!

These two dove right in--no hesitation, no qualms!

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