Aly Moore speaks to audiences about the rapidly growing industry of edible bugs: the case for eating bugs, the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the space, and the public’s response.
Forbes (Round 2!)
Food & Wine Magazine
Yale Wine & Insect Pairing Complex Magazine
The Young Turks
SB NH Museum Gala
LA Weekly: Bug Fair
Yale Club LA
Simi Valley Acorn
Netflix’s Bill Nye The Science Guy
Yale Leadership Forum
Yale Technology Conference
General Assembly: Workplace Culture
Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Fundraising Gala
Digital LA: Women in Business & Diversity
Business Rockstars: Entrepreneurship
2x Founder Aly Moore can talk about:
– How the media has influenced social and cultural perceptions around “edibility”
– How to make people comfortable with change
– Current challenges and best practices in entomophagy branding and marketing
– Trends in the public response to stigma and taste
The better question is why not. Bugs are easier on the environment than traditional protein sources, packed with nutrition, and can taste great. They are not the only solution to sustainably feed our growing population, but they are the most provocative. And they open a dialogue about how what we eat impacts our bodies and our environment.
There’s a reason why 80% of the world’s countries have been eating bugs for thousands of years. Choose any food enviro-metric you’d like: gallons of water, Co2 equivalents of greenhouse gases, acres of land, feed-conversion-ratio comparisons, you name it. Insects come out ahead of traditional livestock like beef. Insects are cold blooded, meaning they don’t waste energy converting feed into body heat. Insects take 12x less food than cows, produce 100x less Co2, take 1000x less water to raise, and can be grown anywhere.
Not only are insects healthy for the environment, but they packed with nutrients for us as well. The nutrients of insects vary depending on the species and on what they are fed. But as an example, if we compare 100g of crickets to 100g of beef, we might find the cricket has 2 to 3 times more protein, more calcium, more iron, more vitamin a, more fiber, potassium, and an ideal omega 3 to 6 ratio, and all 9 essential amino acids. Insects are gluten free. They are about 60% protein.
On the internet, insects always win. Choose any foodish enviro-metric you like: gallons of water, Co2 equivalents of greenhouse gases, acres of land, feed-conversion-ratio comparisons, you name it. Truth, as interpreted and disseminated by infographics, will declare the unequivocal superiority of insects over any other animal we could choose to eat. If an insect and a cow get into a metrics fight, it doesn’t matter if it’s about saving the planet or going paleo – the insect always triumphs. Despite insects’ status as the most successful class of animals ever to have walked, flown, squirmed, hopped, and swarmed about the planet, humans have not been generous in bestowing superlatives upon them. In western food traditions, insects are never the heroes and always the villains: pestilent forces of famine, disease and contamination.
Why do we find eating bugs so difficult to swallow? I’m fascinated by the prejudices that define what is acceptable to eat and what is not. There are some 40 tons of insect for every human on this planet. Insects are certainly not THE solution to our global food problem, but they are a PART of the solution. And a huge key to opening a larger dialogue.
We’ve made progress in this dialogue as a society before: remember that the creeping, shelled, 10-legged crustacean we now so lovingly dip in butter (ahem, the lobster) was once considered so repulsive as to be inhumane to feed to prisoners. And in many parts of the world, insects are already a popular—and important—menu item. Let’s continue to open minds and mouths with six-legged livestock.