A report by investment bank Barclays cites the expanding market around the alternative protein source and predicts that the edible insect industry could be worth $8 billion by 2030.
But products containing insect protein, which can be found in a variety of recipes, still have a long way to go to become more widely known.
Consumers are already receptive and interested in alternative protein sources that could at least partially replace traditional beef, pork and chicken. Some analysts argue that insects could become the protein of the future.
The United Nations has been promoting insect consumption since 2013, advocating the inclusion of insects in daily diets as a sustainable and nutritious alternative to resource-intensive foods such as beef, poultry and fish.
Eating insects as a form of entertainment
Chef Joseph Yoon, who is the CEO of New York-based advocacy group Brooklyn Bugs, aims to raise awareness of edible insects through creative promotion and incorporating insects into his cuisine.
Yoon said the first step to encouraging Americans to embrace insects as food is to redefine the conditioned perception of insects as pests and try to make eating insects fun.
"There's no silver bullet to get Americans to change their minds about eating insects," Yoon said. "That's why it's important for us to show the wide range of uses for insects." So if you want to bake it, make it sweet or make it savory, it's really just a demonstration that cooking with edible insects has no limitations, and that literally anyone can come up with something they like."
Crickets as a gateway to the insect world
Anne Carlson, CEO and founder of Jiminy's, a company that makes cricket-based dog food and treats, has discovered the best way to get into the hearts of thousands of people is through their dogs.
Dogs in the U.S. consume over 32 billion pounds of protein each year. This volume of production can leave a significant carbon footprint.
Carlson said her company has found success in reaching younger generations who love the idea of making their pet food more environmentally friendly.
Crickets emit fewer greenhouse gases and require exponentially less land because they are raised in small, controlled environments.
So what do bugs taste like? Jane Wells and the CNBC team conducted their own taste tests. They sampled crickets, Japanese wasps, toasted mealworms, as well as cricket-based dog food, and everything was tasty and delicious.