By JAY BECKER-NORMAN
A new protein bar is hopping onto shelves across the country, and health enthusiasts and environmentalists alike are starting to take notice.
Chapul Cricket Bars are made with crickets that have been baked and milled into flour. This practice is an adapted form of one long used by Native American cultures.
This nutritional revolution has already made a splash in Europe and Australia, and is now taking aim at the United States.
The founder of this intriguing idea, Pat Crowley, formed the idea after hearing a TED Talk about nature and the healthy choice of eating insects.
Normally, protein bars use a lot of fresh water in their agricultural production. By substituting insects, the process takes fresh water used for water-intense whey and soy out of the equation and reduces its environmental impact.
“Eating insects makes sense on so many levels and the major barrier is a cultural perception, so that’s where we’re focusing a lot of our efforts,” Crowley says on Chapul’s website
The biggest surprise about these protein bars is just how big of a punch they pack. After the baking and milling of the crickets into flour, the protein-rich mixture is added in small amounts.
The reasoning behind this is, even in small amounts, the calcium and protein content of the cricket flour is so high only a little bit is needed to put Chapul on par with other nutrient bars.
Spokesman John Beers said in an email interview that Chapul’s position as a young, small company has allowed it to harness the power of the niche they’ve acquired in the food industry.
Visit aztecpressonline.com to see a video review of Chapul’s Aztec and Chaco bars. They taste much like protein or power bar would, with no added crunch of cricket legs.