Chef Joseph Yoon, based in New York City, is leading the Brooklyn Bugs initiative to revolutionize our perception of insects as food. He advocates for edible insects, promoting them as tasty, nutritious, and eco-friendly alternatives.

There are over 2,100 species of edible insects globally, offering flavors from nutty to citrusy. Yoon aims to introduce people to this diverse culinary world and inspire insect-based dishes. While about 2 billion people worldwide consume insects, Western countries often hesitate due to cultural reservations. However, as we work towards feeding a projected 9 billion people by 2050, traditional food production strains 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 transition easier, Yoon suggests incorporating insects into familiar dishes, like adding crickets to fried rice or using cricket powder in mac and cheese sauce. With products like the Chapul Cricket energy bar and the rise of edible insect farms, this culinary movement is gaining momentum. 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.