In Japan, you can get edible insects from vending machines.

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

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

For example, young entrepreneur Osawa Asami set up a vending machine offering a range of insect-based snacks in the city of Takamori in Nagano Prefecture in central Japan.

“I hope people will feel up to trying it and taking it home as souvenirs,” she said.

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

Last month, Osawa installed another edible insect vending machine in Achi village. She says it was so popular that some insects even sold out.

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

Insects are definitely on the menu in the future

As the Earth’s growing population puts increased pressure on global food production, insects are increasingly seen as a viable food source.

Edible insects are high in protein but can be farmed much more sustainably than beef or pork. Worldwide, 2 billion people in 130 countries regularly eat insects.

United Nations food experts lobbied insects as a good source of nutrition for years. They say their consumption could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) predicts that by 2050, food production will need to increase by 70% to meet the growing demands of a growing world population and growing wealth.

Today, the global market for edible insects is about to explode, according to investment bank Barclays. Citing data from Meticulous Research, he predicts the industry will reach 6.7 billion euros by 2030, up from less than 850 million euros in 2019.

Click on the video above to see the vending machines offering insects.

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