Well Gal

I Chomped on Some Crickets for a Quick Protein Fix. Would You?

Would you eat dried crickets for a healthy and sustainable source of protein? They're now a part of a few protein

Would you eat dried crickets for a healthy and sustainable source of protein? They’re now a part of a few protein bars on the market.

Before you chirp a compelling “No,” hear me out. You just might be willing to try them, too! 

I thought this would be an interesting one to cover here on Well Gal for all you insect aficionados. I just found out that Jet Blue airlines will soon be offering Exo cricket protein bars as part of its snack pack. That reminded me of how a few months back while I was at the Natural Products Expo West trade show, I came across some protein bars made with what else, but cricket protein powder. They weren’t Exo bars, but a brand called Chapul.

Of course, being the curious soul I am — and the fact that my “lunch” consisted of snacking my way through the show that day — I decided to take the plunge and try a bite. After looking over my options — Thai, Chaco, and Aztec — I figured the Chaco bar would be the “safest” bet as it was flavored with peanut butter and chocolate. Must have tasted like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, right? Nope. Not exactly. But it wasn’t bad. It was quite pleasant. A little chewy. But pleasant. However, I realized it wasn’t necessarily something I’d crave. And after hearing it retailed for around $3 a bar, I knew it was also something I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to buy either! However, the idea of eating crickets as a healthy and eco-friendly source of protein I found quite compelling, so I thought I’d share with you what I learned.

Some Interesting Facts About Crickets as a Protein Source

  • More than twice the amount of protein than that of beef or chicken
  • Good source of Vitamin B12 (as much as salmon)
  • More iron than spinach
  • Sustainable
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Contain calcium
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Easily digestible
  • Paleo diet friendly
Chapul's Thai Bar comes in at 190 calories and features coconut, ginger, cricket flour and lime, but it does have other ingredients as well, such as dates, almond butter, cashews, and

Chapul’s Thai Bar comes in at 190 calories and features coconut, ginger, cricket flour and lime, but it does have other ingredients as well, such as dates, almond butter, cashews, and honey.

A Few Drawbacks

  • If you’re allergic to shellfish, you might be allergic to crickets.
  • Ounce per ounce cricket flour is currently way more expensive than beef or chicken.
  • Whether it’s Kosher or not is still being considered.
  • It’s not a vegan or vegetarian protein source.

So What Do You Think? Will You Soon Be Crazy for Crickets?

Are you going to join the more than 80% of the world population that is already eating insects? Would you try crickets as part of a protein bar? Have you intentionally eaten any other kinds of insects as part of a healthy diet plan?

I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this one! Please leave a comment and join the conversation.

Sources

Jet Blue and the So What? of Insect Protein Powder by Rick Polito
Sustainability by Chapul
Why Crickets? The Future of Protein by Exo
Why Eat Insects? by Chapul

Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2012 – 2014. All rights reserved.
Photos © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2012 – 2014 

20 thoughts on “I Chomped on Some Crickets for a Quick Protein Fix. Would You?

  1. RB

    Would I eat crickets? Maybe. I love a crunch to my food. How/where are they raised and harvested? Are they pesticide, antibiotic, and hormone free? 🙂

  2. Yorinda Wanner

    Hi Karen,
    Disguised in a bar containing coconut, ginger and lime it would be ok.
    When I read the title I thought of those ‘fear factor shows’ where they eat all sorts of things.
    Chocolate is allowed to contain a certain percentage of cockroach ….. wonder what their nutritional value is?

    Thanks for sharing this interesting post!
    Cheers,
    Yorinda
    Yorinda Wanner recently posted…Therapeutic Benefits of KnittingMy Profile

  3. donna merrill

    Hi Karen,

    I don’t eat furry faces, nor birds. I sometimes eat fish, or eggs. But will I try it? Probably. I need all the protein I can get besides animals, so as long as it was all crushed up…yep I’ll go for it!
    I have eaten jellyfish in authentic Chinese Restaurants and it was pretty good stuff.
    I live in Southern Maine and don’t eat shellfish. When people ask me why I don’t eat “lobstah” the real truth is that I see it as a giant sea roach. I mean..they are scavengers aren’t they? And people pay a pretty penny to eat them so why not a cricket?

    -Donna
    donna merrill recently posted…The Perfect BlendMy Profile

    1. Well Gal Post author

      Hi Siphosith.

      You are so brave! Kudos to you for wanting to keep it clean and simple by eating food in its whole and natural form. It’s what many of us should aspire to! That way we’ll know exactly what we’re eating versus eating food ingredients that are “hidden.”

      Karen

  4. Nile

    I’ve heard of the cricket bar and I’ve had it. It’s not bad. I definitely wouldn’t eat the bug itself… I find the bar a little more something I can handle. However, as a note, some of the flour and cake mixes out there, there are still grinded up bug parts that are within the FDA standards.
    Nile recently posted…Tag Cloud Do’s and Don’tsMy Profile

    1. Well Gal Post author

      Hi Nile.

      Thanks for stopping by. You are so right! I think we definitely eat some amount of bugs everyday as the FDA does allow a certain percentage in our food. Yummy, right?

      Glad to hear you tried a protein bar made with cricket powder. Do you by chance remember the brand you tried? I’ve only had the Chaputul bar, but I guess if I fly Jet Blue anytime soon I’ll get to try the other one. 🙂

      Karen

  5. David Bennett

    Interesting idea – cricket bars. Takes away the visual element, which must put a lot of people off. We are funny, we humans, aren’t we? Langoustines are OK but they are surely more weird-looking than crickets.

    I have often thought that cows and sheep must get through a lot of insects that are wrapped up in the grass they chew. So maybe we have all eaten a wide range of insects – at one remove…
    David Bennett recently posted…Photographing With A Purpose, Framing To Add Text LaterMy Profile

    1. Well Gal Post author

      Hello David.

      You know, I haven’t thought of the relationship between bugs and one of my favorite foods — lobster and crabs — in a long time, but you’re right! They are weirder, almost creepier looking, than crickets. Hopefully I won’t have any weird visuals pop up in my mind next time I get to treat myself to some seafood! 🙂

      Interesting thought about the animals that we eat having eaten bugs. So true! We really aren’t that far away from eating bugs as we think.

      Karen

  6. Lucy Davies

    Hi Karen

    Very surprised to hear that Jet Blue airlines will soon be selling these – that’s quite a bold move from them.
    Would I try them? Well, I guess made into a protein bar I would although the idea doesn’t appeal massively. I’m just a bit squeasmish about it. It was interesting to read some of the nutrition facts, especially about them being a good source of Omega-3.
    When I visited Cambodia a couple of years ago you could buy cooked spiders and some sort of large crickets as a snack but I have to admit I wasn’t brave or adventurous enough to try them!
    Interesting article – definitely food for thought!! ~ Lucy
    Lucy Davies recently posted…Why Your Restaurant Social Media Should Be Using HashtagsMy Profile

    1. Well Gal Post author

      Hi Lucy.

      Oh my goodness. I don’t think I could manage to eat cooked spiders and large crickets as a snack like they do in Cambodia! That does make me squeamish. Were the snacks they selling made fresh on the street or packaged? And were they flavored with spices or something? Just curious as it’s hard to imagine eating whole bugs…

      Karen

  7. Dr. Erica Goodstone

    Okay,
    This is the 3rd time I am attempting to leave a message. First time, after a long comment, I got the message that my time had run out. Message was not saved. Then I typed another long comment and again, it had an error, and was not saved. So one more time.

    No, I would not eat crickets. No need for that. There are plenty of other foods, healthy foods, available that are not from creepy, crawly insects.

    Warmly,
    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…Do You Know The Secret to LinkedIn Ranking?My Profile

    1. Well Gal Post author

      Hello Dr. Erica.

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment, especially after trying three times! I’m so sorry to hear that you were having problems. I’m not sure why, but I’m glad you told me. I think there are some technical “bugs” that made there way into the post 🙂 … I’m going to have to do some investigating.

      Karen

  8. Kyle Holcomb

    Wow! I guess you learn something new every day. I have watched a variety of shows were they state that certain bugs are a great source of protein and vital nutrients. I would have never imagined that the United States would come out with a bar that is made up of cricket protein! I sell various forms of proteins and workout supplements, as well as other health conscious foods and supplies, but this one is new to me haha Thank you for sharing this interesting post!
    Kyle Holcomb recently posted…Chapter 4 Review Of Guerrilla Multilevel Marketing: 100 Low-Cost Tactics For Growing Your Network And Advancing To The Top Of Your Pay PlanMy Profile

    1. Well Gal Post author

      Hi Kyle.

      I never would have imagined a cricket protein powder bar, either, so it was definitely a first for me! I think it will take years for the U.S. public to warm up to the idea of eating bugs, but maybe with due time will embrace it considering the nutritional and environmental benefits.

      Karen

    1. Well Gal Post author

      Hi Adair. I totally agree that it is rather bold that Jet Blue will be providing them. It will be interesting to see how that affects people’s willingness to embrace other cricket food based products.

      Are grasshoppers in Oaxaca a common thing?

      Thanks for your comment.

      Karen

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