Why do people care about humanity

Without insects, humanity could become extinct

I think, like me, most people see insects as, well, insects - pesky little critters that sting us and spoil our picnic. Why are you so intrigued by them?

Individually, insects are not incredibly exciting, unless you go down to ground level or look at their complexity through a microscope. But they are the invisible force that works all over the world to keep them going.

The almonds from California and the watermelons from Florida would not exist without the bees. Insects also restore nutrients to the soil. If it weren't for it, the amount of putrefaction and putrefaction everywhere would be terrible.

We often do not even notice these benefits because insects are so small and we often see them as just a nuisance. But it is they who are at the fore in the world.

They suggest that insects are doing billions of dollars' worth of work for us. Explain that.

Mace Vaughan and John Losey, two entomologists, have analyzed in detail the contribution made by insects to the US economy. They found it's about $ 57 billion - not including pollination. The majority of the amount comes from wildlife, as insects are the foundation of the food chain for fish, birds and some mammals. Beneficial organisms contribute another half a billion. In addition, there is no way of estimating how much it would cost to recycle corpses or to decompose plant material.

They say 2,086 species of insects are eaten by around 3,071 different ethnic groups in around 130 countries. What are some of your personal highlights from this menu and what are your experiences in Japan?

[Laughs] When you go to Mexico, they sell chapulines - grasshoppers - in brown paper bags with spices. In Borneo they eat rice beetles mixed with chilli and salt. They are then cooked in hollow bamboo sticks. Caterpillars are very popular in Africa and are a great source of zinc, calcium, iron and potassium. In Sardinia and Corsica, people eat casu marzu - a cheese that contains maggots.

In Japan I went to three restaurants in Tokyo and Shinjuku. First there were these caterpillars of the moth Omphisa fuscidentalis. You could tell that they had been dead for a while. They got stuck in my throat. [Laughs] It took me a sip of beer to wash them down.

The next place we went to had a hodgepodge of insect species. One of them was this grasshopper that eats rice leaves. It was cooked with soy and had such a great glaze. And because she eats rice leaves, when you eat you first have a crunch and then a very clear, plant-based taste that is quite unique. I've never eaten an ingredient like this before.

The wasp larvae tasted like the sultanas you get in couscous. They were cute and made such a little space noise while eating. When chefs view insects as an ingredient full of potential, they end up whole fantastic Things out of it.