Although munching down on some crunchy crickets may make you think of game show contestants squealing and squirming as they do what they must for quick cash, the little critters do actually offer some serious nutritional bang for their gross-factor buck. Case in point: Cricket-flour protein bars, which offer tons of protein, iron, and amino acids, along with appealing flavors such as Banana Bread, Apple Cinnamonm, and even Mango Curry.
Mama mia, thatsa spicy arthropod!
Protein bar manufacturer Exo, which has just secured a new round of venture funding for $4 million from Accelfoods, was founded by two recent college graduates, and is aiming to change the way Westerners look at dining on insects (if this catches on it will give a whole new meaning to the term “bug bites”).
And the argument for using cricket flour in food is hard to ignore, considering the fact that it has a far greater percentage of protein relative to foods like chicken, salmon, and eggs, and is also much less costly to the environment.
Crickets and other insects are also already part of daily nutrition for people in many parts of the world, including Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia, and, it isn’t unprecedented for “gross” foods to become normalized once associated stigmas have worn off. Lobsters, Exo co-founder Greg Sewitz points out, “were [once] regarded as a disgusting vermin of the sea.” Now they’re an excellent excuse to eat large quantities of melted butter.
It’s difficult to say whether the cricket flour-based bars will catch on in the Western world, but they’re already being offered at Whole Foods, Equinox gyms, and Wegman’s. Plus, Chris Evans had no trouble eating “protein blocks” made of insects in Snowpiercer, and that took place in 2031. This is obviously the food of the future!
What do you think about Exo’s cricket-flour protein bars? Are you ready to “lick the crick” (trademarked!), or do you have some serious reservations? Let us know in the comments section below!