Cheese risotto with cricket meatballs Image/Kim Kyung-Hoon

On a recent vacation in Tokyo, Takumi Yamamoto enjoyed a cricket curry and silkworm sashimi for lunch. The 26-year-old office worker is one of many people who are interested in entomophagy, or eating insects. Entomophagy started to be taken seriously globally after the United Nations deemed bugs a sustainable source of protein.

The impact of the livestock industry on climate change, combined with global food security issues due to extreme weather and conflicts, has also increased the interest in the high-quality economical nutrition that bugs provide.

While some consumers think eating insects is gross, Japan has a rich history of eating insects. Grasshoppers, silkworms, and wasps were eaten in regions where meat and fish were scarce said Take-Noko manager Michiko Miura. “Recently, there have been advances in rearing things like crickets and mealworms for food, so the possibility of using insects as ingredients is really growing,” she added.

Would you eat insects? Listen to Kirste and Dan‘s chat below