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For $10 you can now have a box of four protein bars made out of dead insects—crickets, to be precise—mailed to your door.
As a one-time promotional deal, the new protein bar company Exo will send you a four-bar sampler pack for just $9.99—though that’s actually a little misleading since shipping is, irritatingly, unfree—including flavors as diverse as Cocoa Nut, Blueberry Vanilla, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Apple Cinnamon. One thing the bars all have in common is that they are all made out of something called “cricket flour,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
According to the website Treehugger, Exo was started when two Brown University students “ordered a shipment of 2,000 live crickets” hoping to find a way to process them into something not just edible but actually appealing, and the rest is history. Eco raised $20,000 in 72 hours on Kickstarter, $1.5 million in seed funding in 2014 and earlier this month got $4 million in Series A funding. Clearly the cricket company has made a giant leap forward.
Exo says crickets are not only extremely healthy—with more iron than spinach and more protein packed than beef, eggs, salmon or chicken—but they are extremely good for the environment. According to Exo, they produce about 100 times less greenhouse gases than cows and require about one gallon of water per pound to raise, compared to 2,000 gallons of water per pound for cows.
All of which probably helps explain why 80% of the world eats insects regularly.
Now you too can join the insect eating people of the earth, and it might even taste like blueberry vanilla. And who knows, after crickets maybe we can all get into ants next. Are crickets the gateway bug?