Event takes over Austin’s most prestigious park family-friendly brainchild of Marjory Wildcraft and Allen Davisson to take place at 7 pm in Zilker Park on June 21st
“It started as a small gathering behind my barn,” says Marjory Wildcraft, the founder of the 7th Annual Bug Eating Festival which will be held in Austin’s Zilker Park on June 21st. “It’s just crazy how many people are into it now.”
Wildcraft likens eating a cricket to riding a roller coaster: “At first you are saying no, no, no as the insect gets closer to your mouth. Then you actually eat it, and it tastes… sort of good. Then you get this rush of relief. It’s a ride,” says Wildcraft.
A love / hate relationship with eating insects.
Marjory Wildcraft is best known for her radio and television segments teaching people how to become free of supermarkets and drugstores. She is a leader in the transition and preparedness movements. In her video series “Grow Your Own Groceries” (http://www.GrowYourOwnGroceries.com) Wildcraft shows people how to produce half their own food in less than an hour per day.
Marjory wanted to explore food possibilities beyond gardens and small livestock. “I knew that insects are eaten all over the world, are rich in minerals, and have those precious omega fatty acids we all need. But I just never could get myself to eat them.”
The possibility of a good source of free nutritious food was too tempting.
Then she struck on an idea of throwing a big party and making it fun. She contacted Allen Davisson who was experimenting with eating insects to lead the party.
The party idea worked. Wildcraft ate some bugs. And it didn’t require too much beer.
But Wildcraft still had trouble with the “yuck” factor when she was alone. “Every year I ask myself, am I ready to eat bugs all on my own without Allen and a big party?” So far the answer has been no. And apparently it is taking a while, as this is the seventh year for the festival.
Allen Davisson still takes the spotlight for the evening. In between grilling up and passing around plates of freshly cooked bugs, Allen offers the lore of edibility, preparing, cooking, and eating insects.
“The kids are usually crowded in the closest,” says Davisson, “they just jump right in there and try everything. I’ve been amazed at how many kids confess they’ve been eating bugs all along.” Not surprisingly, the homeschooling community has been regulars at the event since its inception.
Both Kids and grown-ups bring jars of insects to see Allen cook them up and hear what he has to say about their edibility. Plates full of cooked insects come off the grill frequently and are passed through the crowd.
The party starts at 7pm in the Rock Garden Picnic Area of Zilker Park. Entry is only $7 for adults and free for children under age 12. To register for the event and to get suggestions on what insects to bring and how to catch them, go to http://www.GrowYourOwnGroceries.org/bugfest
A few of the many sponsors of the event are:
Nimble Foods https://www.nimblefoods.com/
World Entomophagy http://www.worldento.com/
Hopper Foods http://www.hopperatx.com/
The non-profit organization “Little Herds” http://www.littleherds.org/ is the coordinator for the event.
If you can’t make it to this years Festival you can purchase Allen Davisson’s ebook “The American Bug Eaters Handbook” available at http://www.bugbanquet.com. The ebook comes with a bonus video of Allen showing you how to prepare most of the insects mentioned in the book. Davisson is also available to host a party in your community.