While many remain squeamish at the very thought, consuming bugs as a source of nutrition is an idea gaining traction as way to relieve the environmental burden that the food industry puts on the planet.

Proponents of entomophagy want to emphasise the wealth of benefits that insects and bugs offer, both as a healthy snack and as a way to address environmental issues. The amount of nutrients they contain, including protein, calcium and iron, make them a particularly nutritionally efficient food. Also, compared to farm animals, the environmental effect of rearing bugs is overwhelmingly small.

In Japan, the idea has been promoted through trendy minimalist-style store Muji, who will start stocking snacks made of crickets, and now another channel to push the insect-eating agenda has been decided on.

Japan loves a weird vending machine. In the past we’ve seen curry vending machines, Kit Kat vending machines and even cooking stock vending machines. And this new addition to the vending machine catalogue, which is located in the famous Ameyoko area of Ueno in Tokyo, will contain a whole range of bug-based snacks.

What is most surprising about this vending machine is the sheer amount of different bugs on offer for our snacking pleasure. The machine stocks treats made of crickets, giant water bugs, diving beetles and tarantula among others. Some are even sold whole with just a touch of seasoning for adventurous entomophagy practitioners.

The machine can be found at the entrance of the Ameyoko Center Building and in the Ameyoko Plaza.

By - Jess.