By 2050, we’ll be nearing 10 billion people on earth, according to the United Nations. Our current food production is not nearly capable of feeding that many people. The UN published a report in 2013 delcaring that insects like crickets and mealworms will help us survive our impending food crisis.
Since then, producers of edible insects have been hopping onto the scene (sorry, couldn’t resist). In particular, crickets have huge health benefits and are relatively easy to harvest. You might have eaten crickets already in the energy and protein bars out today.
Crickets are about 65 percent protein by weight. Full of vitamin B12, potassium, omega 3 fats, and prebiotic fiber, crickets are veritable superfood. According to Crickstart (more on them in a moment) they contain:
- two-times more protein than beef.
- two-times more iron than spinach.
- two-times more calcium than milk.
- seven-times more vitamin B12 than salmon.
They’re not only a powerhouse of vitamins and protein, they are far easier on the environment compared to traditional livestock. Per pound of edible food compared to cows, crickets:
- use 2000-times less water
- use 12-times less feed.
- make 80-times less methane.
Movies like Snowpiercer might not be far off with their buggy predictions, however we can all agree that insects can be a little more appetizing. Companies in the U.S. and Canada are making bugs super tasty, especially in the form of protein bars to power your breaks, adventures, and workouts.
Crickstart is using certified organic crickets to make delicious protein bars, crackers, and smoothie mixes. They add fresh veggies like kalamata olives and bell peppers to the chips. For the bars, seed butters and dates hold everything together. There is no gluten, dairy, hydrogenated oils, or refined sugars. All these tasty treats come in flavors like Cinnamon Cardamom, Chili Chocolate, Lemon Lime, Olive, Mango, and Banana Raspberry. If this sounds tasty, use the discount code “THEMANUAL” to get 15 percent off!
From the west side of the continent, Coast Protein makes Cranberry, Dark Chocolate, and Peanut Butter bars. Gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free, the Coast bars have 10 grams of clean cricket protein, 16 grams of unsaturated fat, and 40 percent of your daily iron. Basically, Dark Chocolate tastes like a brownie but has the nutrition of a high-quality protein bar.
In hundreds of stores around the U.S. and Canada, Chapul is making a strong push into the health food market. The brand made its first bar in 2012, appeared on Shark Tank in 2014, and has been perfecting the recipes every since. With bars like the dark chocolate Aztec, goji-filled Matcha Tea, and Thai-inspired Coconut Ginger and Lime, you’ll be able to power your workouts and travel the world with your taste buds at the same time. Try the sampler pack for all the flavors.
Lithic imports their soon-to-be-certified organic crickets from Thailand for their bars, protein powder, and pasta. With a high percentage of cricket flour, the bars pack a high-protein punch, and since they’re soy-, lactose-, and gluten-free, they’re easy on your stomach. The company adds dates, almonds, and dried fruit to make the Banana Bread, Blueberry Vanilla and Dark Chocolate Brownie flavors.
One of the bigger cricket bar manufacturers, Exo is formulated by a three-Michelin-star chef. These bites are Paleo-friendly (aside from the PB&J flavor) with no gluten, soy and dairy. Each bar contains about 10 grams protein, 5-7 grams of fiber, and 14-20 grams fat from a combination of the crickets and nut butters. To put that into perspective, there are about 40 crickets in each bar. You can order directly from the website or start a subscription so you’ll never be short a superfood snack.
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