Scared of cockroaches? They don't bug him, he 'dated' and ate one

Clockwise from left: Cricket ramen, an insect alcoholic drink, and Lisa, a cockroach from Africa that Mr Shinohara “dated” for a year.
Clockwise from left: Cricket ramen, an insect alcoholic drink, and Lisa, a cockroach from Africa that Mr Shinohara “dated” for a year.PHOTOS: INSTAGRAM/ Y.SHINO.EARTH
Mr Yuta Shinohara organises insect-eating events in Japan with dishes that include a bug cocktail, insect pastries and ramen with crickets and mealworms.
Mr Yuta Shinohara organises insect-eating events in Japan with dishes that include a bug cocktail, insect pastries and ramen with crickets and mealworms.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ Y.SHINO.EARTH

One man in Japan has been promoting eating insects, also known as entomophagy, but it seems his fondness for bugs extends beyond his dinner plate.

Mr Yuta Shinohara, 25, has always loved nature and has been eating insects since he was young.

He organises insect-eating events in Japan with dishes that include a bug cocktail, insect pastries and ramen with crickets and mealworms.

The entomophagist revealed in a video interview with Asian Boss published last Wednesday that he only began opening up about his interest when he was 19.

He explained that after the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) promoted eating insects for food security, he became comfortable with "coming out" about his love for bugs.

Mr Shinohara revealed that he "dated", for a year, a cockroach which he named Lisa. She was farm-raised and bought from Africa.

He said the love was "platonic".

 
 

He also said that he enjoyed her company so much that he believed they could communicate. The relationship was short-lived because she died.

Upon her death, he ate her "with reverence".

"So now Lisa lives in my heart and continues living as part of my body," Mr Shinohara said. He also called her his "first love".

He clarified that insects are not the only part of his diet and dispelled misconceptions about their taste.

He explained that how an insect would taste depends on its diet - one that he recommended was caterpillars which eat cherry blossoms because they taste like rice cake.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2019, with the headline 'Scared of cockroaches? They don't bug him, he 'dated' and ate one'. Print Edition | Subscribe