Sustainability, bug eating advocates to spread ideas on campus

When buying groceries most people buy basically the same things. But what if bugs were on your list instead of chicken or beef?

The Better Understanding of Global Sustainability, or BUGS, community at Sam Houston State University wants people to start making bugs their protein of choice. Replacing red meat and chicken with insects is one of the ways BUGS advocates for people to be more self-sustaining.

The organization plans to talk about entomophagy, the eating of bugs, along with other ways to live a more “green” lifestyle on campus tonight.

“Entomophagy is a significant way to add protein to your diet,” Faith Byrd said, President of BUGS. “It is cheaper and greener to raise one pound of mealworms or crickets for use in food items than it is to raise or produce one pound of red meat or chicken. Most importantly, insects can be used not only as a meat replacement, but also to enrich foods like bread, or even desserts such as cookies or cakes. Generally speaking, insects are an easier-to-produce protein source than beef, pork or chicken, and they produce less waste into the environment where they are raised.”

Kleiner did warn that there are some precautions that need to be taken when eating bugs, especially for the first time. Those with certain food allergies should be wary.

“There are some safety concerns,” Kleiner said. “If you have crustacean allergies, you should not consume insects. The chiton in the shell of insects is very similar to that found in shell fish. As with any raw meet, there is always concern of contamination causing food borne illness. The best way to avoid risk is to cook any insects toughly before consumption. Also, any insects collected from outside should be rinsed to avoid potential pesticide contamination. Cooking instructions can be found easily online.”

They will also talk about their events and teach those who attend about ways they can change to a more self-sustainable lifestyle.

“We will talk about upcoming events, discuss possible field trip opportunities and talk about new ways to incorporate self-sustainability in to our day-to-day and the community,” Kleiner said. “This month we are also potting plants and planting seeds to start our own herb garden. Each attendee will get to bring home a seedling to care for until it sprouts. A few of the young plants will then be transplanted into an aquaponics system, which we will explain and discuss at the meeting.”

For those interested the organization often table out in the mall area. All students, staff and faculty are welcome to join. For more information go to their Facebook page at

The organizations informational presentation is scheduled for tonight at 5:15 p.m. in the Farrington Pit.

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