Bug Fest is back. Who wants a chocolate chirp cookie?

That's one big bug. Check out the jungle nymph at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Credit: ANSP
That’s one big bug. Check out the jungle nymph at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
Credit: ANSP

For most travelers, returning from a trip carrying “a lot of bugs” would be the definition of a vacation nightmare. For Karen Verderame, it’s just the opposite. “If I’m coming home with bugs,” Verderame said earlier this week, following a brief sojourn to Arizona, “the trip was a success.”

Verderame, an insect specialist at the Academy of Natural Sciences, hopes to instill the same excitement about creepy-crawly critters this weekend at the sixth annual Bug Fest, which features live bugs, roach races, an insect cook-off and tasting, and hands-on activities for kids.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Masters of Deception,” focusing on insects that use camouflage and mimicry to hide from predators, whether imitating a leaf or a stick to merge with their surroundings or mimicking a bee or wasp to frighten potential antagonists. “The way that insects have evolved to survive is amazing,” Verderame said. “A great way to highlight that is by looking at the tactics of camouflage and mimicry. Bug Fest will give people the opportunity to see these guys up close and to really examine just how masterful they are at disguising and blending in.”

Visitors to Bug Fest with adventurous palettes will be able to taste a variety of insects that weren’t successful enough at camouflaging themselves to avoid the kitchen of chef and entomologist Zack Lemann, who will offer dishes such as Chocolate Chirp Cookies and go head-to-head in an “Iron Chef” style competition with Drexel University chef Chuck Ziccardi.

“What many people don’t realize is that insects are extremely sustainable, very environmentally friendly and a very healthy alternative to a lot of other foods out there,” Verderame explains. “There’s so much more protein in insects than in any beef that you could eat.”

For those who can’t quite stomach eating the insects, Verderame at least hopes that Bug Fest will change people’s negative perceptions of its subjects. “Our goal is to get people excited about the world of insects,” she said. “We hope that we’re igniting a passion for insects in people that will carry on and maybe help make more fans of bugs out there.”

Bug Fest 2013
Aug. 10-11
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
1900 Ben Franklin Pkwy.
$13-$15, 215-299-1000
www.ansp.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…