Health products are quite the rage lately. Everything from bars, to drinks, to supplement pills. These days people will eat just about anything in order to eat organic, slim down or help a cause. Entire grocery stores are dedicated to ultra-healthy foods and ingredients.
There's an old saying that goes something like this: "If you can't pronounce what it's made of, then you shouldn't be eating it." Sounds simple enough. Seems like a good rule of thumb. Besides, how healthy can something really be that contains "disodium inosinate" and "disodium guanylate"? (The ranch-flavored sunflower seeds I'm eating as I write this article.)
So for all you health nuts (pun intended) out there, how does these ingredients sound in your next bar product:
- Organic dates
- Organic agave nectar
- Cocoa powder
- Organic oats
Sound good so far? Let's continue...
- Chapul cricket flower
- Flax seed meal
Whoa, whoa! Wait a second! Let's back up there. Chapul cricket flower?! What the heck is that?
Well, it's as real as it sounds. Chapul (cha-pool) cricket flower is made from real life Jamaican crickets. Or, scientifically known as Gryllus assimilis.
I give to you the Chapul Original Cricket Bar.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Chapul Cricket Bar[/caption]
The idea behind grinding down crickets into flour to be used in a protein bar is actually quite complex. Quite global . The mastermind behind the Chapul cricket bar, Pat Crowley, grew up in the cunning wilderness of Arizona. He is even a white-water rafting guide down the Colorado River, the same body of water he grew up exploring as a child. The interesting thing, he explains, is that by the time the river passes through Arizona, Nevada and California it has mostly been used by nearly 30 million people and even more livestock being raised for consumption. The river no longer reaches to the Pacific Ocean.
Fast forward to 2011 when Pat hears a TED talk by Dr. Marcel Dicke on entomophagy. Dr. Dicke's talk, entitled "Why Not Eat Insects?", addressed the reasons first-world, developed countries such as the United States should consider introducing insects as a regular source of protein in a daily diet. If we rely on insects, argues the Dr., there will be lesser of a need to raise so many cattle and swine, thereby helping to sustain the rivers.
Pat then coupled the theories and topics that Dr. Dicke covered in his talk with his own understanding of water conservation and consumption, and decided to give it a try. Next thing we know, Chapul bars!
But How Do They Taste?
If you're already accustomed to eating all-natural, organic products, it honestly taste just like any other bar. To me, it's not that far off from eating a chocolate flavored LARABAR. It's a bit cakey in texture, not crunchy or hard. There are only two flavors available, chocolate and Thai, and I've only tried chocolate. The retailer where I purchased the bar was selling it for $3.29. I'm no health freak, but I feel that is probably about average for what you'd pay for a similar product. Plus, 10% of the profits from each bar help fund water sustainability projects along the Colorado River.
If you honestly didn't know what was inside, you'd think it was just another food bar. Except this one helps to sustain the Colorado River. Oh yeah... it also has crickets inside.