Some people might cringe at the sound of the Insect Deli, but urban entomologist Steve Jacobs said that each year at the Great Insect Fair, there are a number of willing individuals eager to taste bugs.
Chef Kristi Branstetter, of the department of nutritional sciences at Penn State, will be making a surprise insect menu for the 20th annual Great Insect Fair on Saturday in the Bryce Jordan Center. The event is hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences’ entomology department, said Jacobs, who is also helping organize the event.
“That’s usually a hit,” Jacobs said. “Some people love it, and others not so much, but it gets a lot of attention.”
This is the second year the fair will be held at the Jordan Center. The fair previously was held at the Snider Agricultural Arena and at the Agriculture Sciences and Industries building on campus, Jacobs said.
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“We’re now under one roof where the facilities are better, and we’re growing each year with new and improved things,” he said.
This year, zombie ants will be featured by Penn State biologist and researcher David Hughes, who was consulted by movie producers in Hollywood for “World War Z,” a film starring Brad Pitt.
Other activities include a Build-A-Bug contest, a moth and butterfly tent, pesticide-safety mini golf, cockroach races, honey tasting, the insect zoo, and other crafts and live entertainment.
“It’s great because it allows people like myself to deal with the public in a way that helps us educate others on the misconception of insects,” Jacobs said.
The event is estimated to attract about 6,500 people, Jacobs said.
Jacobs assured the public that while there will be some dangerous insects, those bugs will be “closed up in containers.”
“Safety is important, but we also make sure people are having a good time,” Jacobs said