It really wasn't that long ago when sushi was a punchline, something that most Americans found weird and gross and more than a little snooty. Flash forward to the present and sushi is available in a huge variety of places, from Michelin-star restaurants to big-box grocery stores. Artfully presented raw fish is a delicacy in the U.S., and it might not be long before insects follow in its footsteps.
According to recent research from Australia's La Trobe University and the University of Pennsylvania, sushi eaters are massively more likely to be open to eating bugs. Eighty-two percent of Americans said they'd be willing to eat insects in general, while 80 percent were open to eating whole insects. Of those groups, 43 percent reported eating sushi on a regular basis.
There are all kinds of reasons why eating insects is a worthwhile pursuit, from ethical to environmental to budgetary. The trick is to make it a status symbol in itself. We may be on our way already: Food & Wine has glowing reviews of insect-inclusive upscale dishes on its website, while Foodbeast was touting actual insect sushi back in 2014.
The U.S. doesn't seem to be at the tipping point quite yet, however. There's a reason that plot point in Snowpiercer was so effective (you know the one). Still, there's a lot to be said in favor of trying new foods. After all, sushi is delicious, and you never knew that until you gave it a shot.