Cooking Brood X cicadas, a sustainable and healthy food source
The emergence of 17-year periodical cicadas is underway in areas of Mercer and Hunterdon counties, while other parts of the state are still waiting to see the creatures.
One Montclair State University professor is using what scientists call Brood X cicadas for a lesson in food, culture and sustainability.
Cortni Borgerson says the insects are nutritious, sustainable and a healthy food source.
"I think any opportunity like this is fantastic for people who like to geek out about food, wildlife, animals, sustainability -- we're talking about this all of the time. Right now, people are excited to listen to us," she said.
Borgerson's research focuses on natural resources, sustainability, and food security. She works in Madagascar trying to convince locals to eat more insects as a protein source, to help save primates endangered by human hunting. She says it would help the entire planet if more people did it.
Eating insects is fairly unique to European culture and imported to North America.
"Around the world we have over 2,000 different species eaten in over 150 different countries," Borgersen said. "Insect eating is fairly common. We are one of the few countries that doesn't have a high level of insect eating."