Entomophagy is the fancy word to refer to the act of eating insects.
[To be *technically* correct, this includes arachnids (tarantulas & scorpions) and myriapods (centipedes).]
It seems a bit scandalous, eh? Who in their right mind (and over age 5) would eat bugs?? You call it gross; I call it one of the most intriguing branding and marketing issues of my lifetime.
Look at sushi– less than 40 years ago the U.S. did not relish the idea of consuming raw fish (many even considered it barbaric.) Now it’s a thriving industry. All it took was some clever branding, the California Roll, and time.
My name is Aly Moore and I eat bugs. I started Bugible as a blog to chronicle what I learned about the growing industry around edible insects. Now, I host events and craft relatable messages and stories around edible bugs that relate to potential consumers.
As seen in:
Why Eat Bugs?
80% of countries already eat insects. Insects are full of protein. For a comparable amount of protein, crickets have more calcium, iron, B12, zinc, Vitamin A, and other micronutrients than beef. They also have less fat.
Not only are insects healthy and nutritious for humans – they’re healthy for the environment too! They require less water, land, and feed to raise than other traditional livestock.
Which Insects Can You Eat?
Some of the most popular bugs eaten around the world are crickets, grasshoppers, ants, mealworms, beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps, and locusts. But there are over 2,000 currently identified edible insects.
If you’re thinking “ewwww” as images of bugs on your plate fill your mind, HOLD UP. I’m not asking you to pull a Timon-and-Pumbaa and gobble down plates of insects. Many of us would not touch a severed cow’s head on a plate, but we would eat a more friendly burger patty. I’m not asking you to eat a whole cricket – I’m asking you to entertain the idea of consuming a protein bar that has cricket protein as an ingredient:
Or a cookie made with an ingredient labeled “cricket powder”:
Or even a bolognese sauce made from mealworms:
…and to know you’re saving thousands of gallons of water and doing other healthy & environmentally friends things in the process.
Edible Insects Are Awesome
I eat bugs because the only reason not to is fear. Fear of something that we are not accustomed to. I find it funny that when my friends say they’re hungry and they’re going to grab some grub… they don’t mean ACTUAL grub. The global population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and I see insects as a great source of healthy, sustainable protein for the future. I want to be a part of the journey getting Western cultures on board.
Shouldn’t You Hide The Bugs?
There are a few different strategies for marketing edible insects that are growing in popularity:
- Marketing to athletes
- “Trojan horsing” insects in comfortable foods like protein bars, cookies, pancakes…
- Focusing on getting people who would already eat edible insects to eat more of them (this is when it’s ok to gobble whole worms down).
There’s a time and place for each, and you’ll see me dive into each at Bugible!
Why We Should Eat Bugs
The United Nations issued a report in 2013 called Edible Insects. They urge us to turn to entomophagy to combat world hunger, meet growing population needs, and not further overtax our resources (land, water, etc).
Are we on the same page yet? Good. Then dive into Bugible to read more about edible insect recipes, events, and more.
Who is Aly Moore?
I have a passion for eating & cooking bugs. I plan to get the western world on board. I started bugible.com to tell the stories of companies leading the entomophagy (edible insect) movement and now I work to market and brand-build for the best of them. I coordinate and host events in Los Angeles too!
I graduated from Yale University and then dropped out of my master’s program there in Public Health to found Spylight (my alter-ego job).
Why bugs? I became interested in this idiosyncratic movement while studying food policy at university. I made a trip to Mexico one year to build a public health system in a small puebla. One night I went to a taco stand for dinner and unknowingly ordered a taco of…GRASSHOPPERS! Instead of being disgusted, I was fascinated – thus my “Hanukkah Matata” love story story began.
I’ve been inspired by so many awesome articles, movements, companies, and individuals. I encourage everyone to start their journey reading the UN’s report encouraging entomophagy.
I love new experiences. There’s nothing better than watching someone try something new (like insects!) for the first time and be pleasantly surprised. If this blog does not pique your curiosity, then, dear friend, your curiosity might be tragically un-piquable.