The earth’s population is expected to exceed well over nine billion by 2050, and we will need to meet humanity’s need for food, feed, fuel, fibre, and shelter, with a minimal ecological footprint. The ‘9 billion problem’ has implications for how we grow and view food now and in the future. Insects have served as a food source for humanity since the first bipedal human ancestor started walking the African savannahs. Today, insect eating is rare in the western world, but remains a significant source of food for people in other cultures; indeed, over 1,900 species of insects are consumed by more than two billion people in more than 80 countries. Insects can potentially be part of the toolkit to meet humanity’s food security needs in the context of grand global challenges. In this paper I discuss the many advantages of using insects as food and feed, and the challenges that need to be addressed in order to realise the potential of using insects to meet humanity’s food security needs.