A Canberra classroom is cooking up creepy crawlies in a mission to find the recipe that will make bug-eating mainstream in the Western world.
It is a lesson in sustainable eating for the Gold Creek High School students, who are mixing mealworms, ants and crickets into food.
But it is also something their science teacher, Dr Daniel White, said gives them a passion for learning
“It’s touchable, it’s tangible, it’s something to see, and it makes the lab come alive,” he said.
Dr White’s classroom looks more like a mad scientist’s lab, full of crates of insects, jars of fungi and shelves of plants growing all about the room.
In May he began introducing crickets to the classroom and teaching students to handle them — from lab to plate.
He gave the class a mission to find the recipe that would get kids at the school to enjoy eating bugs.
The students have experimented with the psychology of getting someone to overcome bug-eating, with the art and marketing of insects, and with surveys and focus groups to see what their classmates do — and do not — respond well to.
“They can see how they’ve changed the perception of the school towards insects, they can see that they can actually make differences in the world. And for kids who generally feel their voice isn’t heard, they’re not making an impact on the world, that can be a huge thing,” Dr White said.
One of the students involved, Alex Guascoine-Johnson, said the experiments changed his mind on bugs.
“I hated insects. I absolutely hated them. But I’m a bit more used to them now,” he said.
On Friday the students cooked up a swarm for the school: choc-bug cookies, ant and mealworm nachos and cricket-flavored ice cream.
“[They are] things you would normally enjoy, now you can add more flavour and protein to it,” Student Leah Jorgensen said.
Student Keona Abraham said she could see herself cooking insects at home.
Would you dare to try this unique food?