Pound-for-pound, crickets pack more protein than cows, chickens, pigs, and the rest of the mammals and birds we’ve come to associate with barnyards. And their smaller footprint—both literally and environmentally—makes them a candidate for a more sustainable food source.
Put down 100 grams worth of pure cricket and you’ve just ingested 69 grams of protein. That’s compared with 43 grams of protein in dried beef protein or 31 grams of protein in identical servings of chicken. The insects also contain essential amino acids and are high in iron, calcium, B vitamins, and fiber.
Those squeamish about eating the hoppers whole may prefer pancakes—or any other baked goods—made from cricket flour. And last month, Brooklyn-based startup Exo (as in exoskeleton) started marketing cricket-flour protein bars to the marathoner-body builder demographic. They run $36 for a 12-pack, or just $32 for a monthly subscription.
Cricket food products are being marketed mainly for their nutritional value, but their purveyors are also offering them up as a potential remedy for climate change.