Why cricket flour is the new ‘it’ ingredient

Goodbye, kale.

Cricket flour protein bars

We’ve written before on the benefits of eating insects, and just recently looked at cockroaches as a viable milk alternative. With insects becoming more and more prominent in the health food industry, we take a look at a US startup that sells protein bars made from cricket flour.

Meet US startup Exo

If the thought of biting into a crunchy mix of crickets doesn’t sound appealing, you needn’t worry. Exo protein bars come in five flavours – cocoa nut, blueberry vanilla, peanut butter & jelly, apple cinnamon, and banana bread. Born from a desire to create something that was nutritionally beneficial and tasted great, the inclusion of crickets in the recipe provided an environmentally friendly and sustainable way of producing something new and delicious for a competetive market.

Nutritional benefits

Despite a cultural fear of eating insects in the West, 80% of the world consumes them on a regular basis. Exo protein bars aim to combine the sustainability of insects as food, with the flavour that shouldn’t have to be sacrificed for healthy food. Exo protein bars are all natural, dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, soy-free, and offer 10 grams of protein in each bar. Cricket flour is 65% protein, and crickets themselves contain all of the essential amino acids and more than twice as much iron as spinach.

Sustainability

Not only do Exo protein bars offer nutritional benefits and great taste, they may also be better for the environment. Crickets produce 100x less greenhouse gases than cows and require far less water in terms of their production as a food source. With apparel that says ‘Crickets are the gateway bug’, it’s clear that this company is big on the benefits of including insects in our diet, and is aware of the sustainability that insects offer in the changing food landscape. Spurred by the success of the protein bars, the duo behind Exo are experimenting further with using cricket flour in other products like baked goods and shakes.

Looking for more sources of protein? These all-natural protein powders have got you covered.