The world’s population is projected to grow from 7.2 billion to 9.6 billion people by 2050. So, what needs to be done to feed an extra two billion mouths?

We need to eat more bugs.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations makes a compelling case that insects are key to our future food security. Insects are chock-full of protein, good fats, calcium, iron, and zinc — making them viable alternatives to chicken, pig, and cow meat. Bugs are also much easier on the environment.

Much of the world has already discovered this. Eighty percent of nations, from Southeast Asia to Latin America, already consume more than 1,900 different insect species. Fried locusts and grasshoppers, for example, are extremely popular street foods in Thailand. The Western world has been the only holdout, but that is perhaps starting to change.

Restaurants in New York and other major cities are featuring items such as grasshopper tacos. Meanwhile, Tiny Farms, Bitty Foods, and Don Bugito are three startups in San Francisco betting on bugs. Tiny Farms offers open-source farm kits encouraging individuals and businesses to raise their own insects, Bitty Foods makes baked goods using flour made of ground-up crickets, and Don Bugito sells flavorful cooked insects in snack-size packages.

These startups are leading the way in putting insects on your plate.