(NaturalNews) "It started as a small gathering behind my barn" says Marjory Wildcraft, the founder of the 7th Annual Bug Eating Festival which will be held in Austin's Zilker Park on June 21st starting at 7pm in the evening.
"It's just crazy how many people are into it now."
Wildcraft likens eating a cricket to riding a roller coaster. "At first you are saying no, no. no as the insect gets closer to your mouth. Then you actually eat it, and it tastes... sort of good. Then you get this rush of relief. It's a ride," said Wildcraft.
A love/hate relationship with eating insects.
Marjory Wildcraft is best known for her radio and television segments teaching people how to become free of supermarkets and drugstores. She is a leader in the transition and preparedness movements. In her video series Grow Your Own Groceries, Wildcraft shows people how to produce half of their own food in less than an hour per day.
Marjory wanted to explore food possibilities beyond gardens and small livestock. "I knew that insects are eaten all over the world, are rich in minerals, and have those precious omega fatty acids we all need. But I just never could get myself to eat them."
The possibility of a good source of free nutritious food was too tempting.
Then she struck on an idea of throwing a big party and making it fun. She contacted Allen Davisson, who was experimenting with eating insects, to lead the party.
The party idea worked. Wildcraft ate some bugs. And it didn't require too much beer. But Wildcraft still had trouble with the "yuck" factor when she was alone. "Every year I ask myself, am I ready to eat bugs all on my own without Allen and a big party?" So far, the answer has been "no." And apparently, it is taking a while, as this is the seventh year for the festival.
Allen Davisson still takes the spotlight for the evening. In between grilling up and passing around plates of freshly cooked bugs, Allen offers the lore of edibility, preparing, cooking and eating insects.
"The kids are usually crowded in the closest" says Davisson, "they just jump right in there and try everything. I've been amazed at how many kids confess they've been eating bugs all along." Not surprisingly, those in the homeschooling community have been regulars at the event since its inception.
Both kids and grown-ups bring jars of insects to see Allen cook them up and hear what he has to say about their edibility. Plates full of cooked insects come off the grill frequently and are passed through the crowd.
The party starts at 7pm in the Rock Garden Picnic Area of Zilker Park. Entry is only $7 for adults and free for children under 12. To register for the event and to get suggestions on what insects to bring and how to catch them, go to GrowYourOwnGroceries.org.
The non-profit organization Little Herds is the coordinator for the event.
If you can't make it to this year's Festival, you can purchase Allen Davisson's e-book The American Bug Eaters Handbook at BugBanquet.com. The e-book comes with a bonus video of Allen showing you how to prepare most of the insects mentioned in the book. Davisson is also available to host a party in your community.
About the author: Marjory Wildcraft has been called the ?Martha Stewart of Self-Reliance?. She is dedicated to having homegrown food on every table. Marjory is the author several books and is best known for her video set ?Grow Your Own Groceries? which has over 250,000 copies being used world-wide by homesteaders, permaculturists, survivalists, missionary groups and universities because it so quickly teaches people how to become food self-reliant. You can reach Marjory at www.GrowYourOwnGroceries.com.