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I ate a bug.
More specifically, I ate a cricket. Well, probably a dozen crickets. And I didn’t gag, puke, or immediately regret my decision.
You might be wondering how this is possible. Well, when crickets are mashed up with dates, chocolate, cayenne pepper, and other tasty ingredients, you don’t even realize that you’re eating an insect.
That’s the beauty of the Chapul Bar. You can eat crickets all day and actually enjoy it. Weird, right?
[Tweet “Are crickets the next big #Paleo craze?”]
But why would anyone want to eat a cricket? After all, if a Paleo diet includes things like bacon, beef, and eggs, who needs to eat bugs at all? I don’t blame you for feeling that way. The thought of eating a bug is kind of horrible if you think about it long enough. (Even though lobsters and shrimp are technically bugs too, but anyway…)
Well according to the Chapul website:
Insects are an extremely healthy, delicious, and sustainable form of protein. Humans have evolved eating insects, and even today, 80% of countries around the world have them on the menu in some form – chapulines in Mexico, stir-fried red tree ants in Cambodia, inago (grasshoppers) and hachinoko (bee larvae) in Japan and casu marzu in Italy. And with good reason – eating insects provides an incredibly rich source of protein, iron and omega-3 acids and are very low in cholesterols and fat.
So ignoring that last bit about being low in cholesterol and fat (which we know has no bearing on a food’s healthiness), I think it’s legitimate that insects are high in protein, iron, and omega-3 fats. They even have as much vitamin B12 as salmon. They are also highly sustainable and have a low environmental impact.
And yes, our ancestors ate bugs. Hunter gatherer populations and non-Western cultures today eat bugs all the time. I spent 18 months living in Australia, and traveled the Outback, learning about indigenous culture and cuisine, and one of their favorite sources of fat and protein was the “witchetty grub” which apparently tastes like scrambled eggs (gag.) Insects were an extremely important source of nutrition for these populations, and helped keep them from starving when hunting was ineffective.
Even God told the ancient Jews that ‘these ye may eat’ – the locust, cricket and grasshopper, and their kind (Leviticus 11: 22). So why not eat insects?
If you’re interested in the history of insect eating and the cultural shifts that moved Western populations away from eating them, I highly recommend reading this short article (PDF).
If you don’t care about the history and really just want to know if insects are worth eating from a flavor standpoint, I’ve got good news for you: I did a taste test of a Chapul “Original Cricket Bar” to take some of your fear away about eating insects.
Trust me… I was nervous about eating them, as you’ll see in this video.
If you want to get your own cricket bars to taste, check out Chapul.com where you can order these bad boys and give them a try for yourself! Who knows… we may all be eating insects in the near future, so you might as well get used to it now!