Would you eat a snack bar made of crickets?
A new energy bar made primarily from ground-up crickets is now ready to order, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Chapul bars are made from baked crickets that are then ground up into a powder and mixed with other ingredients. The process is derived from the Aztecs, who commonly included crickets as part of their regular diet.
You won't have to worry about biting into an errant leg or carapace shard thanks to the grinding process, and so far Chapul produces two varieties of the bar - peanut butter and chocolate, and Thai-inspired coconut, ginger and lime.
Chapul bars are the brainchild of its company founder Pat Crowley, who came up with the idea after looking at the problem of sustainable agriculture and water consumption strains on the Colorado River.
"[Up to] 90 per cent of all the water we use flows into agriculture, and 70 per cent of all agricultural land exists entirely to feed industrial livestock production," wrote Crowley on his Kickstarter fundraising page for the project.
"Our meat consumption is literally draining the planet dry; already, the majestic Colorado River - the lifeblood of an entire region - no longer reaches the sea. Change must begin at home, and it starts with what we eat."
The Kickstarter campaign reached and surpassed its fundraising goal of $10,000 U.S., closing earlier this week with a total of $16,065 U.S.
Ten pounds of grain, according to Crowley, can produce more than eight times the amount of insect protein as cattle or pork, and generate fewer carbon emissions.
Crowley noted that the North American aversion to eating insects might make the idea of a cricket bar seem akin to a Fear Factor challenge - even the thought of insect-derived dye in our Strawberry Frappucinos was enough to cause a stir earlier this year.
But that mistrust of six-to-eight legged cuisine makes us something of a minority in the world. "80 per cent of the world's population regularly munches insects as part of a healthy diet. The aversion to insects in the U.S. and Europe is purely psychological."
He compared the attitude to that of eating raw fish and seafood that has since been replaced with a boom in Japanese sushi restaurants.
Would you eat a snack bar or energy bar made with crickets? Would you be more likely to eat it on a dare, or in the interest of promoting sustainable agriculture? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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