A Japanese university student has turned to YouTube in an effort to de-bug people’s aversion to eating insects.
Kazuki Shimizu, a third-year student at Kindai University, is hosting his own cookery classes on the internet – and introducing the public to the likes of cricket powder coffee!
He told the Japan Times: “When the perception toward eating insects changes, I want to share that moment with as many people as I can.”
The 21-year-old agriculture under-graduate is a recent convert to insect eating, admitting he was surprised when he discovered during a biology class at his high school that a locust boiled in soy sauce was surprisingly delicious
He followed that up by deep frying beetle larvae before graduating to eating grasshoppers he caught in a nearby park.
On his YouTube channel, named ‘KonTube’, he shares recipes, including how to bring bees, cicadas and other insects into his viewers’ diets.
His cricket coffee powder, which he has developed with the help of his favourite restaurant and a venture capital company, is aimed at those who want to try something different without having to indulge in the equivalent of a “tucker challenge”.
Some of his fellow students sampled his new beverage during tasting sessions at the university last month – with some admitting it was little different from normal coffee.
A report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations in 2013 promoted the idea of insect eating as a possible solution to global food security concerns.
Insects, it pointed out, needed far less feed than cattle and pigs to produce the same amount of protein and their greenhouse gas emissions are comparatively low.
“Consumer disgust,” however, re-mains the main barrier to many Western countries incorporating insects into their diets, the UN conceded.
Mr Shimizu, however, is determined to create a buzz around eating creepy crawlies.
He told the paper: “While it is difficult to change the image that eating bugs is weird, I want to continue to engage in activities that help people understand that they are delicious.”