By Sabrina Carroll
Elm Staff Writer
Washington College celebrated Food Day, a national event to educate the public about obesity and healthy eating, on Oct. 24 with local foods, a talk by Pat Crowley, and a crunchy six-legged surprise in some of the Dining Hall’s meals.
Crickets were cooked in a variety of dining options like tacos in this daylong event sponsored by Dining Services, the Anthropology Department, and the Center for Environment and Society. In addition to crickets, the Dining Hall also featured locally grown ingredients and healthier options.
Healthy, Maryland-grown fruits and vegetables added a new, fresh twist to meals. Ways to eat healthier and incorporate a variety of foods into diet was taught by local farms and organizations.
In addition to this event occurring throughout the day in the Dining Hall, there was also an accompanying talk with Pat Crowley, the founder Chapul Bars at 5 p.m. in Hynson Lounge. There Crowley talked about the nutritional value of crickets, which is also the surprising ingredient featured in Chapul’s energy and protein bars. Aside from crickets being rich in protein and iron, they are also a sustainable source of energy, according to Crowley.
Although many students tried the crickets and were pleasantly surprised, others were less enthused about eating insects. It is “not entirely appetizing… I’m open to new foods, just not insects,” said Freshman Jenni Clune. “They creep me out enough when they’re alive.”
Despite a handful of students who were grossed out, many looked at the facts about crickets and gave it a try. According to the WC website, crickets have 15 percent more iron than spinach, two times more protein than beef, and as much vitamin B12 as salmon. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recognize that crickets are a good source of unsaturated fats, which helps lower the risk of heart disease.
William Schindler, associate professor of Anthropology, helped organize events for Food Day. “The Food Day events at Washington College provided an opportunity to see that insects can be healthy, sustainable, and delicious,” he said in a press release.
“It was our hope to help create awareness and educate about healthy and sustainable eating,” said Director of Dining Services Zena Maggitti. “We hope that Food Day made people stop and think…[and] opened the eyes of students to more sustainable [options].”
Whether one tried the crickets, avoided the dining hall all day, or just stuck to the locally grown food, Food Day raised awareness and educated students on the importance of sustainability and healthy eating.