Protein bars are a convenient and filling snack on-the-go. But with many well-known bars containing high amounts of sugar and using chemical proteins, they may not be the most nutritional option for your workout or hike.
A rash of upstart protein bar companies are seeking to change that by offering protein bars made with protein from crickets instead of from soy, whey and almonds.
That’s right, crickets. -- (cricket noise) --
EXO, a new startup founded by Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz, two recent Brown University graduates.The duo came up with their cricket bar iteration in their senior year when Lewis told Sewitz that he was looking for a healthy protein bar for his gym workouts.
Sewitz, who had just attended an environmental conference where he learned about edible insects as a method for combating food insecurity, suggested to Lewis that he make protein bars with cricket flour.
“When Greg suggested crickets, my mind instantly made that psychological leap to thinking of crickets as something disgusting,” said Lewis, “as something we don’t eat in the West as a traditional food source.”
But Sewitz eventually sold him on the environmental and nutritional benefits of cricket protein. According to the duo, crickets produce 80 percent less methane than cows and require substantially less feed and water.
Continued Lewis: “Insects generally are very high in protein; crickets in particular contain around 64 percent by dry weight and that protein is very good quality, so it contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs."
Exo bars come in three flavors: Cacao Nut, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Cashew Ginger Moroccan Spice. According to the company's website, the bars also high in micronutrients like iron, calcium and B-vitamins. I personally sampled the PB&J flavor and found it to be as flavorful and less sugary than the brand I usually buy. I'd gladly take an EXO bar along on my next hike.
Watch the video to learn how the EXO duo make their cricket bars and ask yourself: would you take a bite?