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A restaurant in Japan serves insects and spotlights food sustainability

Consuming bug-laden dishes, that are popular in local cuisines from different corners of the world, may be the way forward

Pictured: Pasco Bakery's financiers made using ground-up crickets.
Pictured: Pasco Bakery's financiers made using ground-up crickets. (Pasco Bakery)

Insects may be a sustainable source of protein in the near future. In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization, that's affiliated with the United Nations announced in a report, Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security eating insects, also called entomophagy, could be a way of enhancing food security worldwide as edible insects are found in many habitats from forests to farms. An article titled Silkworm sashimi, cricket curry on menu as bugs make a comeback in Japan published by Reuters on Tuesday reported on the insect eating practices in Japan. 

“Our aim is not for insects to be something separate, but to be enjoyed at the same table as vegetables, fish and meat,” said Taeko Saito to Reuters. Saito founded the restaurant Take-Noko in Tokyo, which serves an assortment of insect-studded foods like curry with meatballs consisting of crickets, seasoning made with dried bugs, and cider from giant water bug extract. The country’s bakery brand Pasco, has prepared cakes and snacks with cricket flour. Japanese companies, like the processed food maker Nichirei and telecom giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, have invested in bug ventures in the past year, says the Reuters story. 

Also Read | The bug chef explains how to eat insects

Insects are highly nutritious and are a healthy food source that offer a high content of fat, protein, vitamin, and fibre. They have been a food source for many communities around the world, and feature in the regional cuisine of India.  

A 2021 Lounge story, Are insects the future of food?, describes several dishes made by communities in India which have insects such as “roasted bee larvae from Nagaland, water beetles in Assam or date palm worms in Odisha.” Initiatives like the Boochi Project have examined the role of insects in Indian cuisine, and their work has been exhibited at the India Art Fair in 2022, and Serendipity Arts Festival in 2021.  

Also Read | Are insects the future of food?

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