News + Events

Biology Club’s Epulor XI Offers a Fun Lesson with Non-Traditional Meal

Henderson, TN - Dec 12, 2022

Biology Club President Lauren Fielding and Vice President Ellie Ridgeway were grateful for the turnout and their guests who were willing to broaden their palates during Epulor XI, a pre-Thanksgiving meal that included dishes representing 20 different species.

“We put so much work into the event, and it felt even better because there were a lot of people there to enjoy,” Ridgeway said. Ridgeway and Fielding, who are both seniors, organized the event with the support of Freed-Hardeman University’s science department. About 35 people attended the event.

Biology club sponsor and instructor Lee Barton said Epulor began 12 years ago as a way for the faculty to provide a unique Thanksgiving meal for biology students. “The name ‘Epulor’ was used for the event because in Latin it means ‘feast.’ “Latin is commonly used to describe the names of living organisms in biology,” he said. Throughout the history of the event, students, faculty and guests have eaten emu, kangaroo, crickets, mealworms, shark and jellyfish. “There are staples like turkey and other Thanksgiving constants, but the real idea is to show there is a staggering amount of food that can be eaten and enjoyed in many cultures even though we may consider it strange.”

During this year’s dinner one of the popular dishes back by popular demand was chocolate covered crickets. “Those were really popular with the kids,” Fielding said.

Additional items on the menu were venison lasagna, squirrel enchiladas, duck bacon, smoked alligator, beet juice and tail of ox. During the dinner, students chose what to eat in a potluck/buffet style. While dining, the students were given a quiz, the numbers on the quiz corresponded with the numbered dishes on the buffet. Guessing the dish was part of the fun, and the student who scored the highest on the quiz won a silly prize. Preparing for this part of the evening gave Fielding new insight into academia. “It certainly gave me an appreciation for making up a test; it is way harder than you think it is,” she said.

Fielding, a biochemistry major, said the biology club works to make its events light-hearted and fun. Ridgeway, a biology major who plans to become a veterinarian, said the group also focuses on making most of its activities science-based. “The best part of Epulor is the relationships and being able to spend time together,” said Fielding, who plans to earn her doctorate and work in medical based research.

The biology club is operated primarily by students with some oversight from the faculty sponsor. Throughout the academic year, the club hosts pumpkin carving, movie night, trivia night, service projects and the occasional guest speakers.