“Crickets: good luck in some countries, prizefighters in others, and food in most” lines the back of every Exo protein bar. Personally, I have only seen the sound of a cricket as a noise to fill all the awkward silences of my life, and never as a snack option.

The only time I have seen a person eat an insect is when someone bet a kid $5 that he wouldn’t eat a cicada in sixth grade, and that is something I can never unsee. It turns out that Exo protein bars are actually putting insects in their products, ON PURPOSE.

GIF courtesy of giphy.com

So, why crickets? Crickets are a complete protein, meaning they provide all the essential amino acids our body can only get from food (get the low down on Protein 101 here). They also provide 40% more protein than chicken or salmon, and are a great source of micro nutrients including iron and calcium.

If that wasn’t enough to intrigue you, these creepy crawlers make for a very sustainable production. Compared to cows, crickets produce 100x less greenhouse gases and require 2000x less water. Plus, each bar is gluten, soy, and dairy free.


Photo by Emma Lally

So why hasn’t the U.S. jumped in with the other 80% of the world that consumes insects regularly? Maybe it’s the thought that every bite you take of the game-changing protein bar contains approximately 5 crickets.

GIF courtesy of bustle.com

Don’t let that freak you out, though. The crickets have all been ground up into flour so you are guaranteed to not have any extra “crunch” in your munch. Sweet flavors include Cocoa Nut, Blueberry Vanilla, PB&J, and Apple Cinnamon. Barbecue, Mediterranean, and Mango Curry make up the savory bar selection.

Okay, so maybe crickets aren’t something to be creeped out by. They’re actually a strong, sustainable, and clean source of protein that we shouldn’t just swat out of our minds. Next time you’re grazing through another box of Nature Valley, think about tasting these wacky bars instead.