Houston museum adds to gross income with insect vending machine

A vending machine at the Houston Museum of Natural Science is stocked entirely with snacks made from insects. Screenshot: KTRK-TV

May 16 (UPI) — A Houston museum is raking in “quite a lot of money” with an admittedly “unusual” vending machine that dispenses only snacks made from insects.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Brown Hall of Entomology features a vending machine that’s equal parts interactive exhibit and snack station.

The machine, located in the hall’s Cockrell Butterfly Center, offers six-legged treats, including chips made from ground cricket flour and lollipops made from bugs encased in candy.

“Arthropods can make a tasty snack! Learn how different cultures incorporate insects into their diets, and then try it out for yourself with a tasty snack from this unusual vending machine,” the museum’s website states.

Cockrell Butterfly Center Director Erin Mills said the idea for the vending machine was born out of the museum’s occasional events featuring insect-inspired foods.

“Most people think it’s pretty gross — a lot of people can’t believe that people would purposely eat insects,” Mills told KTRK-TV. “Once they realize that it’s popular with children, they start daring their friends to do it.”

She said the machine makes “quite a lot of money.”

The vending machine offers visitors more than simply a gross or delicious snack; it also features an exhibit that explains how some cultures incorporate protein-rich insects into their diets.


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