From Bug-b-cue to Mealworm Meatballs, Give these Bugs a Try

Sample insect dishes and delicacies at the 11th annual Buggy Buffet October 26th. Image courtesy of UTIA. Download image. ​

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Back by popular demand for the 11th year, the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology and students in the UT First Year Studies class “A Bug’s Life” will present a Buggy Buffet for your dining ... pleasure.

On Thursday, October 26, students will serve a number of dishes where insects are the main course. New to the menu this year are chirpin’ chili, bug-b-que and banana bug smoothies. Favorites returning to the buffet are mealworm meatballs, mealworm wontons and stir fry surprise. Specialty desserts and other offerings are also sure to awaken the palate.

The Insect Smorgasbord will illustrate the importance of insects as food around the world and give us a glimpse of what may be on our future dinner table.

“Insects are a large part of the diet for roughly one-third of the world’s human population,” says Jerome Grant, professor of entomology, who teaches the course. “We have cattle farms, goat farms and horse farms — why not add insect farms to our agricultural practices?” Other UTIA experts say insect farming may be in our future, both for human consumption and animal feed.

The Buggy Buffet is free to attend, and anyone can sample the dishes. The event also features a new insect protein start-up company called Urban Valley Farms, an “insect farm” housed in the Knoxville area.

The Buggy Buffet will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Hollingsworth Auditorium in the Ellington Plant Sciences Building on the UT Institute of Agriculture campus. Drinks to wash down the delicacies will be offered. 

A silent auction will be held in conjunction with the Buggy Buffet. Numerous unique, insect-related items and artwork will be available to purchase for the bugged ones in your life. Proceeds will support student projects.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.



Jerome Grant, professor, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, 865-974-0218, ​

​Event flyer​