Got Insects? Insect Protein Bars: The Newest Trend!
By Staci Canny
Posted Apr 15 2013 - 10:00am
When you see a bug indoors, or even outdoors for that matter, it is often followed by a not so pleasant reaction. However, have you ever considered eating these pests, rather than stomping on them and leaving them on the ground or in the trashcan? Well, one man did think just that, and has since developed the revolutionary Chapul bars.
Pat Crowley, the founder of Chapul Bars, has developed an energy bar made with cricket protein flour.
Crowley donates 10 percent of the company’s profits to water conservation projects that are within regions that helped inspire their bars. The first flavor, the Chaco bar, was inspired by the Chacos people, a pre-Columbian civilization, from Northwestern New Mexico. These bars are made with dates, chocolate, peanuts, flax, and walnuts, along with their signature cricket protein powder. Their latest variety is Thai bars inspired by Thailand. These are made with coconut, ginger, lime, dates, almond butter, cashews, and of course, cricket protein powder. In terms of nutrition content, these organic bars are loaded with protein, iron, and omega-3 acids, as well as being low in cholesterol and fat.
According to the National Geographic article, “For Most People, Eating Bugs Is Only Natural,” cuisine is shaped by culture. While eating insects is a component of diets in African, Asian, and Latin American cultures, it is taboo in the United States and Europe. Americans can benefit from eating insects, as it would be a more efficient and healthy means of consuming protein. According to the USDA, the daily recommendation for protein for men ages 19 to 30 is 6 ½ ounces, while for women ages 19 to 30, it is 5 ½ ounces.
According to Chapul Bars, U.S. agriculture uses 92 percent of freshwater. Furthermore, cattle production not only uses tons of natural resources, but it also produces tons of greenhouse gases. Unless you are buying organic meat, chances are it is going to come from a cow that ingested pesticides throughout its lifetime, while being given growth hormones. While beef is a good source of protein, it is also high in fat. According to “For Most People, Eating Bugs Is Only Natural,” a hamburger has 18 percent protein and 18 percent fat. In comparison, a cooked grasshopper has 60 percent protein and six percent fat. Even with this fat, it is unsaturated, making it a healthier fat.
In an effort to help the environment and the health of Americans, insects seem to be a natural answer. Not only are they are in abundance, but they also require significantly less resources to transform into a state suitable for human consumption. Rather than getting your protein from fatty meats, sugary cereals, salty granola bars, or protein powders, all of which contain artificial ingredients, try opting for a more natural and healthy route with insects. Think about it. Rather than making these pests the enemy, we should be making them the meal.