By: FoodCorps Service Member Katie Sanders
Today at South Jackson Elementary we were lucky to have a visit from Allison Johnson with the UGA Entomology Department Insect Zoo. Ms. Allison visited with our 4th grade class and stayed during our special time with a mix of students from grades 3rd-5th. Although our students are familiar with garden insects that provide pollination benefits, they had not had much exposure to predatory insects and their benefits in a garden setting.
Ms. Allison led a discussion on the differences between camouflage and mimicry in insects and let the students hold a stick bug with its leaf like appendages. She even taught about what makes something an insect or not. Bug friends in the insect zoo included a tailless whip scorpion and a Madagascar hissing cockroach among others.
After playing with the bug friends, we discussed with the students about the opportunities to use insects as a food source. Ms. Allison shared with our students that 1 tsp of ground cricket “flour” has an equivalent amount of protein to two ribeye steaks! The students were even able to try out some cricket salsa that had the cricket flour stirred into it. After class we could hear the students talking all the way down the hallway about how they had eaten “REAL crickets!!”