Chef Joseph Yoon, based in New York City, is on a mission to change the way we see insects as a food source. Leading the Brooklyn Bugs initiative, Yoon advocates for edible insects, promoting them as tasty, nutritious, and eco-friendly alternatives.

With over 2,100 edible insect species globally, they offer a range of flavors from nutty to citrusy. Yoon aims to introduce people to this diverse culinary world and inspire creative insect-based dishes. Around 2 billion people globally consume insects, yet Western countries often hesitate due to cultural reservations. However, as we face the challenge of feeding a projected 9 billion people by 2050, traditional food production methods strain the environment. Insects provide a sustainable protein source with a significantly lower ecological footprint. For example, crickets require much less feed compared to livestock. Yoon’s goal is to normalize insect consumption worldwide, especially in Western nations like the United States, where a shift from “ew” to “yum” is needed. To make this shift easier, Yoon suggests incorporating insects into familiar dishes. For instance, crickets can be added to fried rice or turned into cricket powder for mac and cheese sauce. He joins a growing community advocating for insects to become a regular part of our diets. With products like the Chapul Cricket energy bar and the rise of edible insect farms, this culinary movement is gaining momentum. In Europe, around 9 million people embraced insect-based products in 2019, a number expected to surge to 390 million by 2030. Yoon emphasizes that every individual can make a significant impact by integrating edible insects into their diet, even if it’s just once a week, contributing to a more sustainable future.