JAPANESE STUDENT SPURS BUG-EATING BUZZ ON YOUTUBE
A university student in western Japan is hoping his YouTube cooking shows and cricket powder coffee will help people swat away their aversion to eating insects.
"When the perception toward eating insects changes, I want to share that moment with as many people as I can," said Kazuki Shimizu, a third-year student at Kindai University, Kyodo News Agency.
The 21-year-old, who studies in the university's Faculty of Agriculture in Nara Prefecture, recalls being surprised that insects were quite delicious when he tried a locust boiled in soy sauce during a biology class in high school.
Following that experience, Shimizu tried deep frying and eating beetle larvae, commonly used as feed for aquarium fish, before branching out to grasshoppers caught in a nearby park. He soon became hooked and started frequenting a restaurant that served insect dishes.
To generate interest among his peer group for his unconventional tastes, Shimizu started a YouTube channel in April named "KonTube," based on Japanese word "konchu" (insects), to share recipes using bees, cicadas and other creepy-crawlies.
Collaborating with one of his favorite Osaka cafes and a venture capital company based in Tokushima Prefecture, he also developed a coffee containing crickets ground into powder form for those who want an introduction to bug-eating that does not involve crunching down on a leg, wing or thorax.