Recommended to me as a the future of animal protein nutrition, I had to try these cricket protein bars from Exo. My first thought was ‘crushed bugs in my mouth?’ but then again I’ve tried and tasted much stranger food in my life so a few bugs can’t be that harmful… and they absolutely aren’t bad at all, as a matter of fact, I love ‘em! But before I go into the eating part, first a few facts of why we should eat insects in the first place.
They’re less of a health threat to us
Insects are very different from humans and that’s why insect diseases are not affecting people. With meat that’s quite different. BSE, swine influenza and bird (avian) flu can be a threat to us humans because as a species, humans are much more related to pigs and cows than we are to insects.
Farming insects is way more efficient
Animals need a lot of food, generally said, for every 10 kilograms of food, you get 1 kilogram of beef. Farming insects has a much higher productivity rate, 10 kilograms of food delivers 8 – 9 kilos of insects. Besides that, insects don’t take that much space and insects grow faster too.
A much lower environmental impact
Insects have a less environmental impact than cattle manure. In addition, the excrement of insects (apparently called ‘frass’) contains less greenhouse gases than the manure of cows and pigs, so are less harmful to the environment. And in a world growing tremendously and with an increasing demand for meat, the insect might be our savior.
It’s high quality food
Insects contain enough protein, minerals, vitamins and fats; comparable to meat. And insects are also very beneficial when it comes to calories: one kilogram of grasshoppers contain as much as ten hot dogs or six hamburgers. But like animals, the quality of the insect is related to the food they get growing up!
All of this is nice, but what about the taste? It can’t be that gross considering the fact that most parts of the world (more than two billion people) consume insects daily. And some of them are actually eaten as a treat (not a threat…) Only the western world doesn’t eat them, but mainly because we had good alternatives and simply forgot that we ate them once too before. The taste of the Exo Protein Bars is really really good. I had my fair share of protein bars and these are superbly well tasting. And off course it depends what you like, but they got me on board…
I’ve tried four flavors, Cocoa Nut, Banana Bread, Apple Cinnamon and Blueberry Vanilla. Especially the Apple Cinnamon was my favorite. The structure is nice, there are no legs sticking out 😉 and they are easy on the go. They’re a bit sweat but not as much as the high sugar bars that you can find everywhere (and aren’t healthy at all!). The bars are formulated by a 3 Michelin starred chef named Kyle Connaughton. He was formerly Head Chef of R&D at The Fat Duck restaurant in England.
For those who like to know what’s in them besides cricket flour… These bars are gluten-free, have no soy, are grain-free and have no dairy. The cricket bars have essential amino acids and are omega-3 rich. Exo uses only premium, minimally processed ingredients like raw cacao, coconut flour and almond butter which adds a ton of extra nutrients like iron and calcium. The high calorie count comes from nut butters, and the sugars are from dried fruits and honey. Yep, that means that they’re not sugar free. For me as a low-carb fanatic that is the only downside I can find.
Anyways, I am glad I’ve found this healthy delicious snack that also has a positive effect on environmental issues. I really believe that insect food (and for that matter other insect based products) can and will have a great impact on our future. I will definitely have more insects in my life and these bars form Exo will be part of that change. The bars aren’t cheap, I know, but they use high quality ingredients and new rare products don’t come cheap. So let’s change that market and spread the word.
My final verdict… hell yeah!
If you want to try them, just click on Exo!
(I personally bought these protein bars out of curiosity. The quality of the bars and the sustainability value are so convincing to me that I will be using these products in the future and joined Exo’s affiliate program)