Photo by Victoria Norkin
As the world’s population grows, adds ever-increasing pressure on the food supply, and in turn raises the cost of food, demands more land for farming, and wreaks unprecedented havoc on the environment, it is more important than ever to consider new, more sustainable ways of feeding the planet.
As bizarre as it may sound to urbanites, an already popular source of nutrition in many parts of the world, and alternative to the resource-intensive methods of raising meat (cows, pigs and chickens), are edible insects!
Entomophagy, or the practice of eating insects, is recognized by entomologists (the people who study them) as an uncommonly healthy and eco-friendly food source. Packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and essential minerals, it’s possible—as posited by a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations—that the consumption of edible insects could be the means to a cleaner, healthier world.
Exo, started by Gabi Lewis and Greg Seitz of Brown University, with an aim to changing the contemporary Western world’s view of insects from “gross!” to nutritious and maybe even delicious, is not your typical protein bar company. The bars, made from almonds, dates, coconut, honey, cacao and cricket flour (pulverized crickets), look like any other densely packed protein bar (don’t worry—you’ll find no legs or antennae). And the taste is anything but cricket, too.
But the roughly 40 crickets hidden in each bar make for an exceptionally protein-dense snack; crickets are 65% protein by dry weight, compared to beef at 33%, chicken at 23%, salmon at 22%, and eggs at 12%.
Available in four flavors—Cocao Nut, Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry Vanilla, and Peanut Butter and Jelly—these nutritious bug bars are more than just a snack to brag to your friends about how eccentric or environmentally friendly you are; Exo, and what Exo represents, is the future of food!