These New Protein Bars Are Made With WHAT?

Hungry for a snack that fills you up and doesn't destroy the Earth in the process? Insects fit the bill — they're high in protein and produce that digestible protein much more efficiently than other food creatures like cows and pigs. But probably none of us is quite ready to carry a baggie of bug carcasses around with us, so look no further! Cricket protein bars by company Crobar are the food of the future, and as Mashable reports, the promising new brand is raising funds to bring flavored products like cricket "cocoa crunch" to ordinary consumers.

While cricket protein competitors like Exo have already hit the market, a main Crobar advantage seems to be that the brand uses fruit and vegetable-fed crickets, which allegedly taste "nuttier" than omnivorous crickets left to their own devices (though I'd like to do a side-by-side taste test to confirm this for myself). And for consumers who prefer an artisanal, small-batch product (dare I say "hipsters"), Crobar seems like a quaint underdog compared to Exo, which already has an affiliate program and a presence in many retail stores.

But wide uptake will be necessary to reap the environmental benefits of insect protein. If only a few people eat cricket protein as a replacement for resource-intensive meat, then the practice remains more like a hobby or a personal preference than an environmental movement. Of course the people selling insect protein say it tastes good — but are they telling the truth?

Well, I tried grasshopper tacos not too long ago on a date with my now-husband, because he said they were interesting when he'd had them in the past, and I'm not one to pass up a culinary challenge. These grasshoppers (which were, to my knowledge, fed a regular diet) were very crunchy, but also quite nutty and made for a mean taco. I'm not the only one who enjoyed them — just check out the restaurant's reviews.

There's still time to support Crobar's Kickstarter, and I'd be willing to try the product myself. New tastes often start at the top of society's socioeconomic ladder and trickle down, so making crickets cool via eco-conscious awareness-raising products is the right move. We're all going to have to start eating many more crickets (and soon) for it to have any appreciable environmental impact, so you could also fake like insects until you really do.

Image: Svetoslav Radkov/Fotolia; Giphy