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Teaching Entomophagy (Eating Insects) With Metta World Peace

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“Do they have a lot of protein?” asked Lakers basketball star Metta World Peace as he inspected one of my crickets.

I paused. He was looking directly at me.

“Yes,” I said. “They have lots of protein.”

This was the lucky end to my day of toting around a grocery bag full of roasted crickets to help teach about entomophagy, the consumption of insects, at UCLA. That morning, I had given a lecture called “Why Not Bugs?” in my freshman environmental science class, “Food: A Lens on Environment and Sustainability,” in which I’d asked the students to record one another on their smartphones as they ate a cricket.

Then I had trolled the campus with the leftovers like a second-grade boy high on life (or maybe crickets), daring anyone I knew to eat one. Dr. Wendy Slusser, director of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative and Arianna Huffington’s ally for the #SleepRevolution, I knew to be a foodie, and so it seemed natural enough to stop by to offer her a snack. She happened to be recruiting guest speakers for a major campus event on sleep and health when I arrived, including Metta World Peace. And I must admit, I thought very quickly that a video about entomophagy would have more reach with Metta World Peace in it than not. So I made my pitch

Read D. Andy Rice’s article and pitch in The Huffington Post

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