This Year’s Insect Smorgasbord Includes a Campus-wide Photo Contest

Buggey Buffet, UTIA

Students, staff and the general public are all invited to visit the UT Institute of Agriculture campus and enjoy an insect-based meal. This fun and exciting event returns for the 13th year and includes a photo contest. Image of previous buffet courtesy UTIA. Download image.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – It’s lucky 13 for the annual Buggy Buffet, and right in time for the spooky season. 

This event is a class project for the University of Tennessee’s First Year Studies class “A Bug’s Life” and is co-sponsored by the UT Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Many cultures around the world eat insects as a plentiful source of protein, and the Buggy Buffet is a free opportunity for those in the UT area to enjoy this diet.

The Buggy Buffet presents a menu that contains a selection of different appetizers, main entrees, desserts and drinks all prepared with a variety insect-based ingredients. Some examples of food on the menu are ants-on-a-log, bug-b-que, chocolate chirp cookies and banana bug smoothies. 

The event will begin Thursday, October 24, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. on the campus of the UT Institute of Agriculture. The buffet will be set up through 5:30 p.m. in the Hollingsworth Auditorium in the Ellington Plant Sciences Building. The address is 2431 Joe Johnson Drive. 

In association with the Buggy Buffet, students in the class are also sponsoring a campus-wide Creepy Crawly Photo Contest. This is an opportunity for UT staff and students on the UT Knoxville campus to enter in a picture they have taken of a bug on campus for a chance to win certificates, ribbons, T-shirts, and money!  The contest will recognize the best entries in three categories: 1) Best Photo, 2) Scariest Photo, and 3) Most Humorous Photo. There will also be a Best of Show, which will be selected from the three categories. The winners will be announced at the Buggy Buffet.

The deadline for the submission is Oct. 22 to allow for judging by the students in FYS 129 (“A Bug’s Life”) and others within the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. For this contest, a “creepy crawly” is deemed to be an insect, spider, millipede, centipede or other similar invertebrates. Additional rules are online here

A silent auction during the buffet will allow attendees the opportunity to bid on their favorite insects or insect-related items. 

The Buggy Buffet is fun and interesting for people of all ages and is open to the public. So make time to stop in and see what’s cooking. For more information, contact Jerome Grant, professor of entomology, at​.​

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



Nicholas Oldham, Entomology and Plant Pathology Department, 865-974-3187,

Charles Denney, UTIA Marketing and Communications, 865-382-8058 (Mobile),


2019 Buggy Buffet Flyer​