Purdue University Entomologist Dr. Tom Turpin Presents Program to Ag Alumni

Dr. Turpin takes time to pose with Dakota Cook, an Oregon-Davis advisor and Danielle Marsh, Oregon-Davis reporter

Dr. Tom Turpin, an Entomology professor at Purdue University, provided the program this week at the Purdue Ag. Alumni Annual Meeting held at the Toto Cafe.

“Many of them are pests, of course,” said Dr. Turpin. “We have many disease carrying insects like mosquitoes and then we have those that feed on our crops and those who feed on our possessions like termites in our homes. The pest status of some of them makes us concerned about them but that’s a very small percentage. Less than three percent of all the species are actually problem insects.”

Dr. Turpin always brings up the fact that bugs are many times good tasting grub for humans, too.

“Lots of animals on Earth eat insects. I’d say about thirty percent of all animals on the Earth depend on insects as food. We might as well join them. If there are going to be pest insects, we might as well get even and make a meal out of some of them.”

Dr. Turpin tells Ted Hayes his favorite insect recipe.

“What I do for demonstration is very simple one. It’s sauteed meal worms in margarine. All you have to do is slap them in there and saute them for a few minutes and you eat them as a finger food. You can’t do better than that. I always pass them around to the audience and let them try them. For the most part, some of them will try them, but I’ve yet to have 100 percent of the audience participate.”