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Grasshopper burgers? Pop-up 'pestaurants' are out to bug you

Putting edible bugs on the menu Wednesday, restaurants worldwide are temporarily turning themselves into "pestaurants."

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff has been deeply involved in cyberculture for more than 20 years, and immersed in pop culture since getting her first copy of Dynamite magazine. She loves kitsch, quirky artifacts of Americana, and enjoying island life in Alameda, Calif., with her daughter. She makes a mean Fluffernutter.
Rusty Blazenhoff

Plate of edible insects
Dare ya. Video screenshot by Rusty Blazenhoff/CNET

For those brave enough to chomp on crickets or munch on mealworms, 13 different restaurants are offering a variety of sweet and savory edible insects Wednesday. The no-cost, bug-filled picks include grasshopper burgers, Mexican spice mealworms, scorpion lollipops, and bubble-gum candy ants.

A "pestaurant" menu Ehrlich Pest Control

These pest-y pop-ups are part of a global event promoted by extermination brand Rentokil, as a way to celebrate 85 years in the bug-blasting business. Twelve countries are represented in the promotion, including Turkey, South Africa, and France.

Rentokil's mid-Atlantic brand Ehrlich Pest Control is hosting the only United States-based pestaurant, at Occidental Grill in Washington, DC, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET. For each person who even tries eating a bug, Ehrlich will donate $5 to charity DC Central Kitchen.

"In addition to sampling the edible insects, visitors can take pest selfies, compete in a cricket-eating contest, and vote for DC's worst pest," says their press release.

"With this event we hope to encourage you to be more adventurous with your food and aim to promote the health benefits of an insect-rich diet already enjoyed by billions across the globe. Encouraged and promoted by the UN as a viable food source, eating insects (entomophagy) can enrich your diet with higher levels of protein, zinc, and calcium -- not to mention their low-in-fat status."

Can't make the event? You could always try cooking up some culinary critter creations at home.