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Bug Appetit!

by Brian Varner

Most of us would only consider eating insects in two scenarios:lost  in the woods and starving to death, or rip-roaring drunk and on a dare. But as our culture becomes increasingly aware of the damage caused by commercial food production, we’re constantly challenged to seek out sustenance that’s produced more responsibly and closer to home.

And if good taste, nutritional value, and ecological sustainability are among the primary considerations of your food selections, the source may be all around you.

At MSU’s 25th annual Bug Buffet last week, informative presentations accompanied by samples of locally produced honey demonstrated the crucial role and benefits of bees, while MSU Catering Services presented appetizers, entrees, and desserts offering varying degrees of indulgence to the adventurous eaters in attendance.

The Galleria Cocktail (pictured at left), featuring “land shrimp”—which have more protein, calcium, iron, zinc, thiamine,  and riboflavin per serving than beef rib roast—was a particularly eye-catching option, and the well-received quesadillas, stir fry, fritters, and desserts made less conspicuous use of insect ingredients.

“I wouldn’t know what I was eating,” said one surprised diner. “It tastes really good.” This unexpected approval was the general consensus by all those in attendance.

For more information about edible insects, visit http://www.foodinsectsnewsletter.org.





BenStolin

Bozeman-Area Careers

Seniors: with a job fair tomorrow and several more coming up, it’s time to think about what to do after graduation. Sure, you can take the summer off and bum around, but then what? No more scrounging off Mom & Dad; time to make your own way in the world. Now, chances are you don’t want to leave Bozeman – and why would you? This place rocks. Here’s an article from the MSU Pocket Guide archives on the job market of southwest Montana, and where to start looking when your bank account runs dry.

Where to Work after Graduation
by Tina Orem
As is the case on nearly every campus in America, graduates tend to scatter once they have their diplomas. But Montana’s magnetism keeps many students in the Treasure State after graduation: a 2003 study by the state’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research  found that 45% of Montanans under 30 had no plans to leave Montana anytime soon (and more than 80% of people over 30 said they don’t ever want to leave Montana).
MSU students in particular seem to understand the draws of Montana. Of 1,032 alumni who graduated between summer 2006 and spring 2007, only 38% left Montana, according to a survey by the MSU Career, Internship & Student Employment Services Office. The numbers varied by field, however: 67% of University College graduates had left the state, but only 24% of the nursing students and a third of the business students had done so. Less than half of the arts & architecture and engineering graduates were gone.
It’s not a surprise that so many grads stick around. After all, the Gallatin Valley can be a great place to begin a career. Montana State University and local government offices are two of the area’s largest employers, but opportunities abound in the private sector too. Few people realize, for example, that Bozeman Deaconess Hospital employs almost a thousand people, or that Big Sky Resort does too. Other large area employers include Williams Plumbingand Heating (about 200 employees), the Yellowstone Club (over 500 people during summer), and Martel Construction (150 people or so). First Security Bank and Gibson Guitar both employ well over a hundred people each, and those looking to join a tech-oriented company have Oracle, ILX Lightwave, Printing for Less, Schedulicity, and Zoot Enterprises to think about, as well as the startups hatching all around Bozeman and the dozens of other small companies in the area. People interested in the outdoor gear world have Simms FishingSitka Gear, Hyalite Outdoor Group, Mystery Ranch Backpacks, and a smattering of other companies. Like dogs and cats? Check out Westpaw Design, a pet-product manufacturer that employs dozens of outdoor-oriented Bozemanites.

There’s also no reason to assume you won’t make a decent living or climb the ladder here. The area’s multitude of small companies often provide a chance to get involved at the ground floor and assume more responsibilities faster. And even though the MSU study found that alumni who had bachelor’s or master’s degrees from MSU and were living out of state indeed made about $6,000 or $7,000 more than their in-state counterparts, the higher cost of living in many other states quickly cancels out the spread. And notably, doctorate recipients didn’t fare better out of state, even though that’s where most of them went. They reported making $8,000 a year less than their Montana counterparts.