LOS ANGELES – Aly Moore is a preparing a lentil tomato salad with a twist.
“Mealworms. It totally elevates it and take it to a great level. We want a little crunch in here,” says Moore.
The small, dry roasted mealworms are adding a new element to an ordinary salad.
“They are completely dried. If you ever had fried onions, it is kind of like that texture,” says Moore.
Moore is an advocate and educator for eating insects. Through her studies of public health in Yale, she realized many cultures eat bugs as part of traditional recipes, about 2 billion people to be exact, so why doesn’t everyone?
“I was really inspired by the Lion King scene where Timon and Pumba eat the grub and say ‘slimy yet satisfying,’ that was the light bulb moment that this was a marketing problem,” says Moore.
She says most people think eating bugs is gross, slimy, and full of guts, but that is not the case. Moore is self-taught. She researched and studied insects, how they are farmed, and consumed. She engaged with the community and fell in love. Now she runs a blog and a business aimed at changing the perception of bugs.
“Adults, kids, and families can engage in this medium in a safe and comfortable way,” says Moore.
Moore hosts events and shares recipes on how to integrate bugs in your diet, like through delicious items such as a chocolate chip cookie with crickets! The bug is actually gluten free and nutritious like many others.
“Bugs are less scary and more interesting when you start treating it like an ingredient,” says Moore.
Moore says insects are full of protein, B12, iron, probiotics, and more.
“They are like little vitamins,” says Moore.
They are also better for the environment using less water farm to table than for example cows and they don’t give off as much heat or greenhouse gasses as livestock.
“What you eat impacts your body and the environment and we should start considering that,” says Moore.
She also wants us to consider insects as a replacement for traditional produce, especially in our growing society.
“We have projections around 9 to 10 billions by 2020 and we need a more sustainable way to feed the people,” says Moore.
For now, Moore will be feeding the people insects one chocolate chirp cookie at a time.
If you want to eat bugs while watching animals do so, The Lion King is available on Blu-ray on October 22.