In response to increasing demand for food due to global population growth, next-generation protein sources have emerged as substitutes for meat, including insects and soy meat.

Amid growing popularity for plant-based meat overseas as dietary habits diversify, some businesses in the Tohoku region are also exploring the field of alternative protein.

At Hygente Technology’s plant in Shinjo, Yamagata Prefecture, edible crickets are being raised in an orderly row of wardrobe cases. The crickets, which mature in about a month, are washed and boiled, before being frozen, dried or powdered for shipment.