Would you eat chocolate-covered bugs? A woman prepares to eat a chocolate topped with an insect in a chocolaterie in Villers-les-Nancy, north-eastern France. At left, wax worms on toothpicks for dipping in a melted chocolate fountain (AFP / Getty Images / AP photo)
Would you eat chocolate-covered bugs?
Lexile

The menu includes crickets and wax worms on toothpick skewers for dipping in a fountain of melted chocolate, along with "tarsal toffee" made with bug legs and mealworms and fudge infused with crickets and marshmallows.

What looked like a Halloween trick was actually an array of treats being served up at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans.

The 23,000-square-foot facility is the largest free-standing museum in the United States dedicated to insects. It houses thousands of live bugs, including beetles, cockroaches, wasps, bees, ants and termites. It also has a butterfly exhibit created to resemble a Japanese garden.

Insect-infused cuisine is also a huge draw. Thousands annually visit the museum's Bug Appetit kitchen, where six-legged critters and worms are cooked and served.

There is a Tiny Termite Caf with bug-free foods for the less-adventurous eaters.

"We get every range of reaction in here," said Zack Lemann, the museum's animal and visitor programs manager. "There are people who come here knowing about Bug Appetit, and they come to eat the bugs. We also have people who have trepidation and anxiety. Some just won't try it."

Lemann said 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 have a whole bug.

The chocolate-infused bug fare was being offered as a special "treat" alongside the museum's year-round offerings of chocolate "chirp" cookies. They are made with sugared wax worms and spicy Cajun crickets.

"I wish I could get her to eat vegetables like she eats bugs," said Val Russell of her 8-year-old daughter, Porter, who ate three chocolate-dipped wax worms and went back for seconds of the cricket-infused fudge.

Critical thinking challenge: Why are they called chocolate chirp cookies instead of chocolate chip cookies?

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COMMENTS (63)
  • 8PARSHADSOLOMON-Flo
    10/18/2014 - 08:46 p.m.

    I wish people would open more about eating bugs. Bugs contain nutrients and vitamins the body needs and also bugs don't need preservatives. The average human eats 1 pound of insects each year and also 12 pounds of chocolate. The fact about eating insects is quite disgusting to think about but is more beneficial for your body. Bugs are easy to mass produce and can eliminate starvation and growing crops can be difficult because of droughts and floods mostly in west Africa. Bugs are good in all ways to eat and any entomologist will tell you that but stay away from the poisonous ones.

  • havenr-Koc
    10/19/2014 - 05:10 p.m.

    I think that eating bugs is one thing to survive but eating them and literally decorating them in chocolate and sweets just takes a whole other step down an exotic road. I would never be able to eat a bug like that I would only do it if I was trying to survive. I care to much about creatures to kill or eat them even if its the tiniest bug in the world.

  • amanq-Koc
    10/19/2014 - 11:14 p.m.

    "That is gross. I would never eat bugs" is what most people would say when told about this article. I however find the prospect of eating such a cuisine quite delightful. They say that maggots have more protein per pound than steak. Other than the health benefits of eating insects, I could very clearly see insects being served in five star restaurants.

  • alizel-Koc
    10/20/2014 - 12:35 a.m.

    I think this is disgusting. It's interesting, but disgusting. Chocolate is very satisfying, but chocolate-covered insects? I don't think so. I honestly don't see how a few people, maybe even some people think that eating bugs is good. I honestly would never eat a bug, no matter what it is covered in.

  • mattf-Koc
    10/20/2014 - 02:35 a.m.

    Sure why not. Yes it is a bug, and yes it is kind of gross at first. However once you think about it you realize that it is just food. Protein and carbs, along with the chocolate. You probably can't even taste the bug. The bug is probably just a consistency thing, and texture.

  • vincet-Koc
    10/20/2014 - 02:48 a.m.

    I would not eat a bug covered in chocolate , that is gross and i hate bugs as it is. I know there are bug fragments in all of our food but i would rather be clueless than know about it.

  • alexisr-Koc
    10/20/2014 - 02:55 a.m.

    Even if its an insect covered in chocolate i will try it because i have an obsession with chocolate like every other female. They're probably called chirp cookies because they make little bug noises.

  • NW2000Basketball
    10/20/2014 - 08:38 a.m.

    It is called the chocolate chirp cookie because they are bugs or birds on the cookie and birds chirp so they made the name chirp instead of chip.

  • r2000soccer
    10/20/2014 - 08:41 a.m.

    chocolate chirp cookies instead of chocolate chip cookies because They are made with sugared wax worms and spicy Cajun crickets and I think when someone eat it he feel sand an chirps on his tongue

  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    10/20/2014 - 09:08 a.m.

    I think that this is absolutely horrendous. I would never choose willingly to eat any type of insect/creature, even if it was coated in chocolate.

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