McBuggets are Yost-Dubrow’s newest diet recommendation


Martha Sanchez

Ms. Yost-Dubrow teaches environmental science. Aside from her teachings on crickets, Yost-Dubrow focuses on methods to combat climate change as well as historical examples of environmental disasters.

Martha Sanchez, RubicOnline

Upper School science teacher Rachel Yost-Dubrow is a strong advocate for environmental responsibility. Perhaps her most notable idea – eating crickets. 

Yost-Dubrow promotes this idea in her environmental science elective. 

Crickets are a great source of protein that avoids a number of issues present in preparing traditional meats,” Yost-Dubrow said, “for example, cows generate 2.3 billion pounds of carbon dioxide each year which accounts for about a third of the total emissions in the livestock industry, while crickets produce more than 100 times less carbon dioxide as they grow to maturity.”

But crickets are not only good for the environment. Yost-Dubrow also argues that they give significant health benefits to humans. 

“Crickets are 10 times more efficient in transforming food into edible protein, pose fewer animal welfare concerns and are less likely to transmit foodborne illnesses – and this is only a subset of the benefits large scale cricket agriculture provide,” she said. 

While to Yost-Dubrow, eating crickets may seem like a no brainer, it poses a bit of a challenge to students whose meals often consist of more traditional choices. 

“I can understand why people might initially balk at eating crickets. That’s where my idea of the McBugget stems from,” Yost-Dubrow said.

A McBugget, according to Yost-Dubrow, is ground up cricket, produced and packaged much like the traditional McNugget. 

“The level of food processing that most of today’s prepared foods undergo render the original source nearly unidentifiable. While this is a shame in many cases I think it would offer a good starting point for people who are hesitant to try crickets as a food source,” she said. 

Despite never having eaten a cricket herself (although she is open to the idea), Yost-Dubrow shares this idea as a means to create greater awareness about climate change. 

“Topics with buzz-worthy headlines are fun ways to get peoples’ attention about a pressing issue,” Yost-Dubrow said, “Teaching this topic to my students and the broader community is just one way I am working to stem climate change. The more people that are aware, the stronger the movement.”