Crazy for Critters: Feasting on Backyard Bugs in Austin, Texas
By Ilana Nevins
This year’s fifth annual Bug Festival was held on June 23, 2012 in Austin, Texas. This year’s festival relied on attendees to BYOB (bring your own bugs) to better explore the tasty treats of their own backyards. Mallory Wildcraft, who hosted the festival alongside Allen Davisson, is best known for her tutorials on how to “Grow your own Groceries”, videos and trainings to aid even the most inexperienced gardeners to create a backyard bursting with food. While many are still skeptical of chowing down on backyard bugs, Wildcraft realized that turning the experience into a party might make the idea easier to swallow. Kids and parents alike delight in the chance to prepare some household pests in a delicious dish.
Wildcraft shows us not only that eating bugs can be cause for celebration, but that healthy habits can be found in your own backyard. Insects are high in protein and low in carbs, making them a nutrient dense, healthy option. Even if bugs are not your first pick for fresh food, consider the other edible delights your backyard has to offer. There is often more than meets the eye, whether it is crawling in circles, growing up vines or rooting down beneath the soil. So the next time you reach for a bag of chips, consider a handful of critters instead.