cricket protein bar

Cricket protein bar maker seeks to ‘normalise the consumption of insects’

Two young American entrepreneurs have developed a high protein bar using crickets that they say have superior nutritional qualities and can go a long way in making insect consumption mainstream in the US.

“I thought a protein bar could be a vehicle to introducing a new sustainable food source to the West but also a better protein,” said Exo co-founder Gabi Lewis.

“…A lot of proteins that go into bars today are so highly processed. A lot are using soy protein which is highly processed using chemicals and what you have at the end is not that healthy – it’s not a complete protein as it doesn’t have all the amino acids.”

“My entire goal is to normalise the consumption of insects… It’s a little unorthodox but ultimately it makes sense.”

There has been a huge push recently to get consumers thinking about alternative protein sources, given the global food crisis. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has joined a growing body of science in flagging insects as a ‘valuable’ form of nutrition for Western consumers.

“There has been lots of conversation about increasing the consumption of insects in the US and Europe, but what was exciting for us was that very few people had taken action,” Lewis said.

“People are ready to hear about how they can eat insects.”

Exo roasts whole crickets sourced from US farms and then mills them into a fine flour. The cricket flour is used in a formulation of almond butter, dates, coconut flour and shredded coconut, raw cacao in powder form and nibs for texture, raw honey and sea salt. In total, each bar contains around 25 crickets. The chocolate-flavoured bars have been designed to ‘hide’ any hint of the insects form and taste.

“Even if it’s the novelty that prompts people to taste it first, we’re hoping that it will move away from that. Novelty aside, it’s a delicious protein bar and a healthy one, which are both very rare,” he said.

Crowd-funding to jump-start (argh!) the cricket business

The start-up, founded by Lewis and his business partner Greg Sewitz, has sourced funding on Kickstarter – a site dedicated to crowd-funding for creative projects. Exo has generated just shy of $50,000 in pledges from members of the public – nearly enough to get a co-manufacturing contract to take it off the ground as a solid business….. Read the full article

This protein bar contains 25 crickets, and you can try it out

Want an alternative source of protein but don’t like the idea of bug legs stuck in your teeth? These new Exo bars – made by a Michelin-starred chef – are for you…..

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