On Saturday, Aug. 12, and Sunday, Aug. 13, BUGfest visitors could attend expert lectures, taste insects at a bug bar, get their faces painted, or participate in crafts.
“We’re talking about all the creepy crawlies in the world,” museum executive director Jason Cryan said. “It’s great stuff.”
One of the fest’s activities, the bug bar, provided foods like crunchy cricket granola, smoothies with mealworm powder, giant waterbug pasta, sago worm chili, and lemon and ant cakes. The food was made by a professional chef to show people that eating insects is a nutritious and sustainable way of adding protein to their diet.
“You wouldn’t even know that you were eating insects,” Cryan said.
This year’s BUGfest focused on the western honeybee, which Cryan said is a great Utah pollinator. However, the fest reportedly featured “every kind of insect out there.”
Cryan said that the fest highlighted the fact that many bugs are amazing pollinators — including other types of bees, beetles, and flies, which he said are all essential to human activity.
“Without all of these pollinators, including the western honeybee, we would have very little food, we would have much fewer products to use in our homes, and also our medical and scientific research would be really, really depressed,” he said.
Cryan hoped the fest was able to showcase how bugs can be amazing and diverse.
“A lot of people think bugs are creepy, maybe a little gross, but we’re … helping to make people understand that insects can be fascinating, but they’re also essential to our way of life,” he said.