Are Insects The Future of Food? by@saragpinto

Are Insects The Future of Food?

In Japan, there's been set up vending machines that sell edible insects. The menu consists of 18 types of deep-fried insects, including crickets and grasshoppers. Prices range from 1,000 to 2,600 yen, or between €6 and €19. In this slogging thread, our community discusses this new alternative form of protein and how it might not be as weird as we think.
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Sara Pinto

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Imagine this: you're walking, and the sudden urge for a little snack hits you. Lucky for you, there's a vending machine right over there, and it has your favorite insect packed and ready to go! Has this ever happened to you? Yeah, me neither, but it might be a reality closer than we think!

Japan now has vending machines that include edible insects. In this slogging thread, our community discusses this new alternative form of protein and how it might not be as weird as we think.

This Slogging thread by Sara Pinto, Mónica Freitas, Arthur Tkachenko, Limarc Ambalina and Jack Boreham occurred in slogging's official #random channel, and has been edited for readability.

Sara PintoJun 20, 2022, 11:30 AM

Will the future of food include insects?

Sara PintoJun 20, 2022, 11:31 AM

"Vending machines selling edible insects have been set up at a camping facility in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan.

Insects have been drawing attention as an alternative source of protein to solve the global food shortage.

So young entrepreneur Osawa Asami set up a vending machine offering a whole range of bug-based snacks in the town of Takamori in Nagano Prefecture in central Japan.

“I hope people will feel open to trying it and take it home with them as souvenirs,” she said."

Sara PintoJun 20, 2022, 11:32 AM

"The menu consists of 18 types of deep-fried insects, including crickets and grasshoppers. Some are sprinkled with salt, and some are chocolate flavoured. Prices range from 1,000 to 2,600 yen, or between €6 and €19."

Sara PintoJun 20, 2022, 11:32 AM

"Last month, Osawa set up another vending machine with edible insects in the village of Achi. She says it was so popular, some of the insects even sold out.

Nagano Prefecture has a culture of eating insects, the entrepreneur explains, so she hopes the edible insects will gain popularity through the vending machines."

Sara PintoJun 20, 2022, 11:33 AM

I'm a sucker for innovative and out of the box ideas, like this one. So, I couldn’t help but to bring this subject for discussion.

Sara PintoJun 20, 2022, 11:34 AM

What are your thoughts on this? Would you try it? Mónica Freitas Jack Boreham

Sara PintoJun 20, 2022, 11:34 AM

Limarc Ambalina, you have no choice. You have to be our guinea pig on this one haha

😂 1
Mónica FreitasJun 20, 2022, 1:26 PM

Sara Pinto, I think the challenge here is bypassing the cultural bias and that ick bugs give us (at least give me). I can barely look at them, let alone think about eating them. But this is just my western culture showing. I know many cultures have had insects in their gastronomy for ages, and they can live off them just fine.

Mónica FreitasJun 20, 2022, 1:28 PM

Sara Pinto, in short, I applaud the initiative - I think it's super intelligent trying to insert bugs via vending machine. But I don't think I can overcome my ick and the thoughts of them coming back to life and crawling out of me 😬 judge me all you want

😂 1
Mónica FreitasJun 20, 2022, 1:29 PM

Limarc Ambalina go live if you decide to try insects out

Arthur TkachenkoJun 20, 2022, 7:29 PM

i'm sure it will be. Insects has the best ratio of converting "food into results".
while i'm not sure if people will adore eating crickets in their natural form, but producing a powder that has a lot of nutritional value can be doable. You can add that powder into your rice, soup, meat and you wouldnt even notice

Limarc AmbalinaJun 22, 2022, 11:52 AM

I thought this was a joke because I have seen these in vending machines. I don't think they're popular but I could be wrong lol

Limarc AmbalinaJun 22, 2022, 11:52 AM

Should I eat some? 😄

😂 1
Mónica FreitasJun 23, 2022, 3:00 PM

Limarc Ambalina the answer is YES! And record it!

Arthur TkachenkoJun 24, 2022, 2:35 PM


Sara PintoJun 24, 2022, 7:05 PM

Mónica Freitas, I agree. Even though I'm not a fan of insects, I think this is mostly a cultural thing. I would love to see these vending machines in Europe, just to see if the people would still give it a go or repulse the idea completely

Sara PintoJun 24, 2022, 7:14 PM

Arthur Tkachenko, I could totally see the powder work as a way to introduce it to the food market in other countries. It seems so practical. We already ingest products that contain insects without thinking twice, like carmine

Sara PintoJun 24, 2022, 7:15 PM

Limarc Ambalina, you definitely should! Do it for Slogging haha

Mónica FreitasJun 28, 2022, 2:32 PM

Sara Pinto there are always people willing to try, even if only on a dare. But I'd need a few shots before giving it a go.

Mónica FreitasJun 28, 2022, 2:33 PM

Sara Pinto, I'd love to see the sales numbers, though. This makes such an intriguing case study

Jack BorehamJun 29, 2022, 11:27 AM

Hahaha I think for the future of Japanese food, not for the rest of us. No way can you convince my mum to eat those 😂

😂 1
Sara PintoJul 4, 2022, 8:13 AM

Mónica Freitas, me too, I'd like to see how it's going. If the sales are going up there might be a chance for them to expand it to other countries earlier than we think

Sara PintoJul 4, 2022, 8:15 AM

Jack Boreham, haha I undestand, but if everyone start doing it, she just might think twice. What about you? Would you tried it? Even if in a powder, maybe

Mónica FreitasJul 4, 2022, 4:29 PM

Jack Boreham You think we're not as food adventurous in the west? Just check this Portuguese delicacy. We're all strange 😂 and I bet the UK has some weird dishes people will be like, nah, not for me. It's just a matter of perspective

Mónica FreitasJul 4, 2022, 4:30 PM

Sara Pinto exactly! And I'd love to see if they've conducted market research on other countries.

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