Fancy a Bug Bar?

bugflour

Bug flour

Yum! An Icelandic company is developing nutritious energy bars based on bug flour (ground crickets). The bars are supposedly protein and energy dense, as well as environmentally friendly.

The creators say there’s no reason to be concerned about the main ingredient. Insect flour is said to have a mild and nutty taste. In addition, the energy bars contain things like almonds, coconut and cocoa. And then you can’t really taste the crickets very much.

Want one?

BBC: Icelandic business plans energy bar made of insects

48 Comments

Top Comment

  1. Galina L.
    I don't like the idea of eating nutritional energy bars. I cut the amount of daily meals to two , sometimes one, and eating a nutritional bar would rub me of from an opportunity to enjoy my food. Crickets as a food source shouldn't be too odd for the people who eat shrimps.If you think about it - not that much of a difference.
    All that whining that this and that food is "gross" sounds for me like an immature teenager-like thing to say. I guess mostly the people who imagine themselves to be a delicate out-of-that-world flowers are more prone to a vegan propaganda and like to complain that animal parts are gross to consume.
    Replies: #27, #41
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All Comments

  1. Freddie
    No.
  2. Dominik
    YES!
  3. Candy
    Believe I'll pass on that...
  4. Marcy
    I can't see myself voluntarily ever trying those.
  5. FrankG
    Sure :-) I'm not sure about these particular bars but eating insects... why not? Humans are opportunistic omnivores after all.
  6. smc
    I would need to see the actual ingredient list first: how many carbs and sugars; how much fat versus protein.
  7. Kama Perry
    Gross!!
  8. Ægir
    Sounds good as long as it doesn't spike my bloodsugar kevel
  9. bill
    In 40 years, they'll figure out that some dread disease occurs
    after a lifetime of ingesting this stuff, like we now know
    happens after consuming grass seed flours over a lifetime.

    Just eat real food.

  10. Jenny
    I know the 'disgust' is all in our heads as humans evolved eating insects as part of their natural diet, and some cultures still do, but for me... NO WAY!
  11. Misko
    I've been wanting to eat bugs for a while, so, yeah...but only if I know how the bars have been made.
  12. Nan
    Sure. Protein is protein, and bugs were a part of our human evolutionary diet, and still are for some peoples of the world. If they will just not put them in a bar filled with sugars or starches!

    http://www.sugaraholics.com

  13. Galina L.
    I don't like the idea of eating nutritional energy bars. I cut the amount of daily meals to two , sometimes one, and eating a nutritional bar would rub me of from an opportunity to enjoy my food. Crickets as a food source shouldn't be too odd for the people who eat shrimps.If you think about it - not that much of a difference.
    All that whining that this and that food is "gross" sounds for me like an immature teenager-like thing to say. I guess mostly the people who imagine themselves to be a delicate out-of-that-world flowers are more prone to a vegan propaganda and like to complain that animal parts are gross to consume.
    Replies: #27, #41
  14. murray
    Spot on Galina.

    I expect the French or Japanese already have delicious ways of preparing cricket. The French make snails delicious, after all. A friend (of Japanese descent) was in Japan for a couple of years and had exotic delicacies such as cooked butterfly.

  15. Doug Beard
    I guess not many people here still eat flour, but if you ever did, then you've eaten mealy bugs! Keep flour in a sealed container for a few weeks then open it and you will see tiny moving black bits, these are mealy bugs, the eggs or larva of which are already in the flour as bought! No harm to anyone, as you keep flour some carb converts to protein, sounds like a good idea to me, If I still ate flour LOL
  16. Haggus
    Most first world governments allow for bug parts in the human food supply. It's not that they add it, it just some get into the mix. Personally, back in the day, I had (whole?) ants in homemade fudge bars. It wasn't a big deal.
  17. Galina L.
    I know, I will ruffle some fevers, but I want to say that I really annoyed with that stupid crowd of "delicate flowers" who either pretend they are not fit for crude life realities (like getting real food could involve getting dirty) or sincerely believe they are so special (ha!) that only foods which remind candies or toys or at least wrapped into something shiny and bright are fit to be put into their precious mouths. Many of them seriously try to eliminate as much germs as they could from their environment and believe that green leaves which contain mostly fiber and water provide all nutrition humans need, but become victims every time when usual seasonal viruses go around.
    Just re-read that fist comment made with a lady, please,

    CANDY(Ooo)- Believe I'll pass on that...

    Sounds like a British person who was offered a horse meat

    Reply: #22
  18. Lori Miller
    Insects are staples in parts of Asia and Africa.

    Marilyn vos Savant once remarked that we kill insects that are far more nutritious than the crops we try to protect from them. Plague of locusts or manna from heaven?

  19. Victor
    I don't mind the concept of eating insects.
    I do mind, however, the concept of an energy bar. Majority of energy bars I've seen are all junk food, full of sweeteners, sugars, and other bad ingredients. No thanks.
  20. Joey B
    I prefer organic cockroaches and grass fed waterbugs ;)
  21. Moose
    Never, ever!
  22. FrankG
    I agree Galina and think it is a [Western] social thing... food is food and we need to be more realistic about where it comes from -- prepared, shrink-wrapped, boneless, skinless chicken-breasts are so far removed from any animal source that we may as well be eating sanitised "protein-patties", or Soylent Green!

    I am in Facebook groups for bird and wildlife photography and it still surprises me when some object to an hawk hanging around their song-birds, or get upset at parasitic wasps laying eggs in caterpillars. This is life... it's one big recycling project!

    My local butcher cuts up halves of beef and whole pigs right in the storefront. Children are fascinated but many parents are shocked or disgusted.

    An healthy recognition of where our food comes from and how it gets to our table is, I think, necessary for us to remain respectful of what we eat, our ecosystem and our selves,

  23. Tina
    Well, since insects have such a short life span, I'd feel not as guilty, eating them as a good source of protein then when I eat a lamb stew. So, yes, absolutely. Genetically it's pretty much the same as shrimps anyway.
  24. Magnus
    Personally, I'm disgusted by the idea. Great if you aren't, but I am. Logically, this seems like a good idea, but I can't imagine myself eating this kind of food. Feelings are far from always rational, and that's what keeping me away from this, not logical thinking. I should mention that I'm very interested in gastronomy and mostly enthusiastic and eager to try something new. I rarely pick the same dish twice at a restaurant, and if there's something exotic on the menu, I'm usually the first to try it. But small insects, with their shells, intestines and everything else dried and grinded into a powder, is beyond the kind of food I want to test. Give me something larger and tangible, of which I can eat only selected parts, and I may try it.

    This could be a great as animal food though.

  25. Corrado
    Grasshoppers, termites, flying ants. All good.
    Africans love them and I would try them if they were available.
    Cheers.
  26. Daniel Ferreira
    This doest concern the topic, but does anyone take beef gelatin? has it changed your life, or is it just a gimmick?
  27. Boundless
    > I don't like the idea of eating nutritional energy bars.

    "Energy" on a bar label is usually a tip-off that warns "sky high glycemic".

    There are two cricket bars announced for market in the US (Chapul & Exo, don't know if they are still around). When I looked at both of them, they had excessive net carbs, and other troubling ingredients, all of which implied that the formulators had no idea what they were doing, other than trying to make yet-another-junk-bar with a trendy new ingredient.

    Eventually, someone will do a proper paleo/primal/lchf bar. In the meantime, we listen to crickets chirping.

  28. Nan
    I remember when anything "foreign" to my northern rural diet seemed awful, like calamari or seafood in general. My mother considered spaghetti an exotic food. Mostly our attitudes around food (and most other things) are cultural, and if one is willing to experiment, it is not hard to find other wonderful foods that may initially have seemed disgusting. Every time I enjoy calamari, shrimp, oysters, mussels, and many other foods--even garlic-- I can visualize my mother covering her mouth with repressed horror.

    http://www.sugaraholics.com

  29. Galina L.
    I put a gelatin into my coffee cup . It didn't change my life, but I eat almost daily soups based on bone broths since childhood and prepare meal jello from pork hocks regularly, so adding gelatin was not a big change.
  30. Stefan Thoroddsen
    Hi Guys, I'm one the co founder of the company that is making Crowbar. Somehow I stumbled on this article and I am really excited to see the discussion about what we are making. Crowbar is a natural, nutritious and sustainable protein bar made with a Cricket flour. That makes it a soy- and dairy free protein bar which is not easy to find on the market.

    The beauty about using cricket flour for protein instead of soy or whey proteins, is that it tastes much better. Some people don't believe that but we've made two prototypes already and people seem to like it a lot.

    I know that people are skeptical about eating insects to begin with but we have found is that when we educate people on what the benefits of eating Crowbar are, how we make it and where the ingredients come from, people don't hesitate grabbing a bite from us. If anyone is interested I'd love to answer your questions if you might have some!

    Replies: #31, #32, #35
  31. Galina L.
    Great idea! Your product sounds like something absolutely unique.Probably, you should also offer for sale not only nutritional bars, but insects powder as well - many people who love to cook and avoid grains may be very interested.
  32. erdoke
    Health forums often praise whole foods, so the idea of any "bars" induces some frowning.
    Protein bar for many of us might mean a place where you get served whipped raw eggs for example. :o))
    When seeing a full pork leg in a form of Jamón Ibérico, that's also kind of a real protein bar...
    Reply: #33
  33. Stefan
    @erdoke - I totally agree. We should be eating more "real" foods than we have been doing for the last few decades and I believe that's exactly what we are doing by making Crowbar, we call it natural because we use all natural ingredients (nuts, fruits etc.) and mix in the cricket flour that is made from Crickets that have been dried and ground down to fine flour. We are still in the phase of making prototypes but to be honest, when we will be ready to sell this product we will probably need to add some kind of ingredients so it can be stored for a certain period of time. Other than that, the bar will be as natural as we possibly can make.

    Another factor that matters when talking about using insects in food is sustainability. Check out these pictures -- http://t.co/Jp2aWdqSaZ -- Here you can see how much water a pig needs to drink and how much feed it needs to eat to get the pork leg (compared to crickets) ;)

    Don't get me wrong, I am a meat eater, but many people really want to make a change in consumption in order to be more eco friendly. Turning to insects, like crickets, for protein is a great way to do that, and we are showing that it's a realistic choice.

    @Galina L. - Thank you! If you or anyone out there is interested you can actually buy this cricket flour in bags today! check out http://www.nextmillenniumfarms.com/ - These guys are farming crickets for people to eat - and of course http://www.crowbarprotein.com if anyone is interested ;)

    Reply: #34
  34. Galina L.
    Thank you, Stefan.
    I bookmarked the page for a possible use in a future. I do think insects should be used more at least as a chicken feed and, probably, adding the cricket flour to nutritional bars is an appropriate step for using insects for human food in western societies.
    I also want to present you with an idea of making cricket-based animal treats and foods. People may have more open mind when it comes to feeding pets, and the market is huge.
    I am not a nutritional bar person, but many are.
  35. Boundless
    > Crowbar is a natural, nutritious and sustainable protein bar ...

    This particular audience is apt to be more interested in an LCHF bar. There are lots of protein bars on the market, but there is essentially nothing with high fat, moderate protein and very low net carbs. The fats would need to have a balance of Omega 3 & 6, and the O3 would need to provide ample DHA and EPA.

    > ... made with a Cricket flour.

    That's not a problem per se. Most people, actually, have no real idea of how many insect fragments are already in what they eat.

    > That makes it a soy- and dairy free protein bar
    > which is not easy to find on the market.

    Not that hard: Quest Nutrition
    ... which, alas, are also high protein low fat.
    Soy-free is welcome.
    Dairy-free is only an issue for a fraction of the market. As you expand the product line, you might offer with and without. You might also look into caprine diary.

    Your product also needs to be
    GMO-free,
    free of gluten-bearing grains,
    free of industrial grain oils (so-called vegetable oils),
    free of simple sugars (including bogus "healthy" sugars like honey and agave), careful about alternative sweeteners (stevia, monk fruit, erythritol and inulin are OK for the moment, xylitol with some caution).

    Include some prebiotic for extra credit, as Quest does. Inulin might suffice.

    Reply: #36
  36. erdoke
    Recommendations for omega-3 & 6 are often based on higher needs coming from sugary diets. When on a healthy diet, PUFA requirement is minuscule. On the contrary, the higher the consumption the greater the risk for lipid peroxidation. Especially EPA is not needed, as it is not essential and can interfere with other PUFA pathways in the body.
    Regular consumption of organ meats (liver), eggs, nuts and (shell)fish and avoiding vegetable oils provides sufficient amounts of PUFA in a balanced way.
    There are of course special cases when a bit more is needed: growth, injury, pregnancy, etc. that's still not a lot though. It should be well enough for these people to take cod liver oil once per week.
  37. bill
    Speaking of vegetable oils, has anyone seen the tv
    commercial where the left side of the screen is the "unhealthy"
    activity or item and the right side is the healthy thing. Then
    the last scene is olive oil on the left and corn oil on the right
    whereupon the shopper ponders for a second then chooses
    the corn oil and smiles thinking it's the healthier choice.

    My word!

  38. Eric
    What are the percentages and types of fats and oils along with the percent of amino acids (Proteins)?

    My reading indicates insects do not have the same profile as grass fed beef or wild salmon. Maybe selecting the right bugs or mix of bugs on the right type or types of diet could produce an acceptable fat and protein source.

    Grass fed animals and wild fish seem to be the better choice.

    Faux eggs and the like are not a better or even acceptable alternative in my opinion. I think many vegetarians need to go back to grass fed animal sources.

    Let the evidence speak!

  39. Paul the rat
    Psychiatry Res. 2014 Aug 27. pii: S0165-1781(14)00723-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.08.026. [Epub ahead of print]
    Macronutrient intake and depressive symptoms among Japanese male workers: The Furukawa Nutrition and Health Study.
    Nanri A1, Eguchi M2, Kuwahara K3, Kochi T2, Kurotani K3, Ito R2, Pham NM3, Tsuruoka H2, Akter S3, Jacka F4, Mizoue T3, Kabe I2.
    Author information

    Abstract
    This study was aimed to examine the cross-sectional association of protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake with depressive symptoms among 1794 Japanese male workers aged 18-69 years who participated in a health survey. Dietary intake was assessed with a validated self-administered diet history questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. Odds ratio of depressive symptoms (CES-D scale of ≥16) was estimated by using multiple logistic regression with adjustment for covariates including folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, polyunsaturated fatty acid, magnesium, and iron intake. Multivariable-adjusted odds ratio of depressive symptoms for the highest quartile of protein intake was 26%, albeit not statistically significant, lower compared with the lowest. The inverse association was more evident when a cutoff value of CES-D score ≥19 was used. The multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for the highest through lowest quartile of protein intake were 1.00 (reference), 0.69 (0.47-1.01), 0.69 (0.44-1.09), and 0.58 (0.31-1.06) (P for trend=0.096). Neither carbohydrate nor fat intake was associated with depressive symptoms.

    Our findings suggest that low protein intake may be associated with higher prevalence of depressive symptoms in Japanese male workers.

  40. Paul the rat
    Reply: #43
  41. Andrew
    So you are calorie restricting!!??
  42. Stefan Thoroddsen
    @ Eric - We are still in the phase of making prototypes but we are close to have a ready recipe for Crowbar in order to check out the nutritional facts, so I'm not able to answer about the percentage of fats and oils.

    What I do know is that the cricket flour is low fat so the fat content from Crowbar mostly come from the nuts. The protein that we get from Crickets is high quality and breaks down to all essential amino acids the human body gets from other conventional protein sources like beef for example.

    - One point that I also want to make to everyone who is still reading these comments -

    I just want to say that I'm not trying to make everyone believe that Crowbar is the ultimate food source that everyone should eat, far from it! This product is probably not suitable for everyone, but we know that the source of protein is natural, healthy and sustainable. Plus it's a great alternative choice for people who eat energy bars but don't want to eat soy or dairy products.

    I'm also not trying to convince anyone here to buy my product (because it's actually not for sale yet). I just accidentally rambled into this site and wanted to give those who are interested a little bit more info on what we are all about. I'm really glad to read all of your comments and you have definitely given me a lot to think about. So hopefully I will be able to use your comments to make my product better :)
    - Stefán Thoroddsen

    Reply: #45
  43. bill
    Yes, but why do they still make the claim that decreased
    fat intake leads to decreased insulin resistance?

    That's just not true, is it?

    Reply: #47
  44. Julie
    I think we should start a 'save the crickets' campaign
  45. Boundless
    > Plus it's a great alternative choice for people
    > who eat energy bars ...

    I consider "energy bar" to mean "candy bar pretending to be healthy", and I suspect many people see it that way, if they are clued in to how disastrous to health common high glycemic foods are. Every "energy" bar on the market today is high gly junk; non-this, non-that notwithstanding.

    Consensus nutrition thinks energy=glucose (or things rapidly metabolized to glucose). Unless you're planning to include exogenous ketones (a possible future energy ingredient), I presume that in your product, "energy"=sugar (or it's functional equivalent). If the bar has more than about 8 grams net carbs, it's apt to be of little interest to the audience of the market segment that reads this blog.

    > ... but don't want to eat soy or dairy products.

    There are already any number of hi-gly protein bars out there that meet that description. Every one of them is an unwise food product due to provocation of blood sugar. You can join that parade (late) and with your not quite entirely novel ingredient, but you'll be passing up a completely unserved market.

    Nobody in the bar business offers a low carb high fat balanced nutrition bar free of adverse ingredients. What's the cliche? Shut up and take our money.

    Even if you don't target LCHF at generation 1, consider adding it to the product line. The sales might surprise you.

    Reply: #46
  46. Stefan Thoroddsen
    @ Boundless, please don't get me wrong! As I have stated before, I'm not trying to lure the audience of this website to buy Crowbar. I understand that most people on here are LCHF so talking about energy bars and protein bars is not a subject that most of you are fond of, but still, someone decided to write about my product on this website.

    I stumbled on here a few days ago and was excited to see an article and a going on discussion about my product so I wanted to join the conversation and try to add some info to the story. I hope I was able to do so, even if this audience is a target market for Crowbar, or not. Have a nice day :)

    p.s. I will definitely look into how we can make a LCHF Crowbar in the future. This way of life is getting more and more popular it seems. A lot of people are committing themselves to this lifestyle in my country, Iceland. But I'll be honest, I never really knew much about it before.

  47. Paul the rat
    @ bill,
    yes,
    but as I have learned over the long years, researchers make mistakes and not so correct statements all the time and for all kind of reasons. That is why it is important to read left, right and center and draw conclusions based on our current understanding of 'events' in question.
  48. nequalone
    I eat a LCHF diet and love the idea. But I would want the bar to be low carb, which could be accomplished by using Splenda or some other sweetener. Also, where is the fiber in the bar? And how long is the shelf life?

    We are in the process of putting together supplies in case of an emergency and I realize that most of what we eat is fresh. We don't use 'pantry' items in our day to day cooking. So a bar that like this could be a great 'in case of emergency' item.

    What about using coconut oil to add some fat?

    --Just putting the ideas out there. :)

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