The Brood X swarm of cicadas surfaced this spring after 17 years underground, buzzing at top volume, causing car crashes and even delaying a plane full of reporters heading to cover President Biden's trip to the United Kingdom. But for Bun Lai, the cicadas' emergence was another opportunity to highlight insects as a healthy protein source. The Connecticut chef is renowned for his work with sustainable-species recipes at his family's restaurant, Miya's Sushi in New Haven. For years, he's eschewed more common fish and seafood items in favor of sustainable options, responsibly produced seafood and even invasive species, using ingredients like Asian carp, Florida lionfish and Asian shore crab in his sushi creations. He's also no stranger to cooking cicadas, as he hosted private dinners to sample the bugs back in 2013 as the Brood II insects appeared in Connecticut. So when the cicadas emerged in the D.C. area eight years later, Lai and friends headed to the region to harvest as many as they could get their hands on. Lai, whose mother, Yoshiko, is Japanese, says cicadas remind him of his childhood summers in Japan. While there, the insects are "venerated as symbols of summertime," he said, they're often eaten in other parts of the world, including Mexico and parts of Africa and Asia. "Brood X is the biggest cicada emergence since the late 1700s, so there will be an overabundance of cicadas," he said. "It's a good opportunity to get into eating bugs." Lai says there are few better and cleaner sources of protein than bugs, and he's confident Americans will get over the "ick" factor someday, in order to embrace a healthy food source that's also environmentally friendly. "Food preferences change rapidly, sometimes within a lifetime," he said, noting a shift toward a processed food revolution after World War II. On Miya's website, he pointed out that lobsters are closely related to insects, and it's taken about 100 years for diners to value the crustacean. "It wasn't long ago that nobody wanted to eat lobsters, and today it's gourmet," he wrote in an email. "The same thing is going to happen to bugs." Cicadas "taste like little soft-shelled crabs, but with a nuttiness reminiscent of boiled peanuts," Lai said, adding that he finds them "addictively delicious." (In fact, the FDA announced last week that anyone with seafood allergies should avoid eating them, as "they share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.") "The best way to cook cicadas is to boil them in salt water then saute them in a healthy oil, like many indigenous people still do," Lai said. "It's a simple preparation that allows the flavors and textures of the insect to shine through." He plans one more visit to the D.C. area to harvest cicadas and plans a pop-up event there, and then will host a couple of cicada events at Miya's in the Woods, his Woodbridge farm. These events are small and intimate, he said, and they often sell out quickly when he announces them on social media just a few days in advance. Eating cicadas could "help save the world," he said, if the experience becomes a gateway for people to eat in a more restorative and regenerative way. "Our food system must be reinvented because we are now facing the catastrophic consequences of not doing it," he said. "Climate Change. Habitat destruction. Overfishing. Mass extinctions. Pollution. Soil erosion. Hunger. Famines. Obesity. Heart disease. Cancers. Dementia. Depression, and the list goes on. Eating more farmed and invasive insects and less livestock is part of the solution to a plethora of ominous manmade problems." "But, you don't have to eat bugs because it's the right thing to do; eat them because they are delicious," he said.