Edible InsectsInsect-eating is making headlines again this year. Aside from Baum + Whiteman’s 2015 Food & Beverage Forecast of insect protein bars growing more popular in the U.S, Noma at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo is serving ants (on live shrimp) again since its 2012 pop-up in London. As someone who gets squeamish around bugs, the idea of eating anything related to them seems remote. But if Chef René Redzepi and several billion people on the planet think it’s a good idea, there must be solid reasons for this.

According to Greg Sewitz, Co-CEO of Exo, a company that makes protein bars with cricket flour, insects (especially crickets) have double the amount of protein than beef and approximately 20 percent more calcium than milk. It’s low in fat, high in protein, and has 13 essential amino acids. Crickets are an especially clean, natural food source without all the added preservatives and chemicals typically found in most meats and vegetables. To create Exo’s protein bars, whole crickets are ground and roasted to retain the highest percentage of nutrients in the form of protein powder, which also means there is very little wastage.

 

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