Eat a bug, save the world at Greenfest Philly


Addison Lilholt wants Philadelphians to put down their cheesesteaks and cook up an eco-friendly treat he says 80 percent of the world is already eating: bugs.

“The vision of the future speaks to eating insects and saving the world,” says the author and entomophagy enthusiast (yes, there’s a word for eating bugs). “To approach entomophagy, it’s got to be done differently than it has in the past. [We have to] make eating insects appealing.”

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To that end, Lilholt incorporate insects into familiar foods and flavors. He’ll be passing out free bug snack samples at Greenfest Philly, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

“Buffalo Wing-flavored mealworms were a big hit at the Franklin Institute, so I’ll definitely do those,” Lilholt says. “I make a cricket flour cracker, for people who love cheese. People won’t really know that there are insects in the cracker — it actually has a nutty flavor.”

Along with the insect edibles, Greenfest includes activities and exhibits designed to make being environmentally conscious in your daily life seem doable.

The Franklin institute is bringing along a kinetic sculpture: Four cyclists will be pedaling to open and close 18 blue umbrellas as a mobile art piece about climate change. The sculpture was originally made for the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby.

“We named it Riders on the Storm, as a little humorous thing to bring awareness to the fact that we’re getting more heavy downpours,” says Raluca Ellis, an environmental scientist at the Franklin Institute and project director for its Climate and Urban Systems Partnership. “It looks really beautiful and a little surreal, because [the umbrellas] all open and close at different times. It draws a crowd very quickly. There’s a lot of ‘Whoa, that looks really amazing.’”

Tree Philly, part of the mayor’s Greenworks program, will also be tackling the climate change conversation. “We’ll be signing people up for the yard tree giveaway,” says Erica Smith Fichman of Tree Philly. “We’ll be talking about how trees can help prepare us for a hotter city and cool the city down.”

The festival also features over a 100 vendors, arts and crafts, rock climbing, a swap meet, food (beyond bugs), a beer garden and live music.

Greenfest Philly isSunday, 10 a.m. to4 p.m., atHeadhouse Square (Second and South streets).

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