AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you’re looking for an extra few grams of protein to add to your diet, a tiny bug may give you the biggest gains. Golden Cricket, an Austin-based company, is making a new protein bar made of, well, crickets.
Meteorologist Sean Kelly spoke with Eli Halpern about the bar, why he got into the protein business, the advantages of eating bugs and how it can help you save the planet. If you’re interested in trying the bars, KXAN viewers can get a special discount at Golden Cricket’s website. Just enter the promo code KXAN on its website to get 10% off.
You can watch the interview above or read the transcript below.
SEAN KELLY, KXAN: Hey everyone, joining me right now is Eli Halpern, who is going to talk about how a protein bar can help the planet and cause you to hop with some energy.
ELI HALPERN, GOLDEN CRICKET: So Golden Cricket is a cricket protein bar. We have one flavor right now: peanut butter chocolate banana. It’s date sweetened.
I’ve always thought that insects were the most nutritious and sustainable form of protein. But I figured that convincing Americans to eat actual bugs was a hard sell. And then I thought about, you know, like, well, eating a cow is technically gross. People think bugs are gross but eating a steak isn’t gross. But why? Because it’s prepared properly.
So I was like, well, how can I properly prepare insects to make them palatable to the average person? I figured if I ground them up into a powder, turn them into a protein bar, which is my personal favorite snack, because I’m very active, and I try to be healthy. I do love snacking, but I got to make sure they’re healthy. So I really wanted to create a product that I would enjoy, and that I think would be helpful to the world.
They use 2,000 times less water to produce than whey protein or meat, and they expend 200 times less greenhouse gases. They use a fraction of the space to farm.
KELLY: What is some of the feedback that you’ve gotten from people?
HALPERN: In trying to convince them, one group will refuse to even acknowledge that as a possibility, and they’ll just keep walking, they don’t really bother me at all.
The second group, though, they have already have some information about cricket protein, and they’re interested to learn more and very excited about the business.
The third group is like, “this is crazy. I’ve never heard of this,” but they’re willing to engage me. And after a few minutes of talking to me, they’re like, “yeah, wow. Yeah, this is a great idea.”
I want to completely reshape the social stigma against eating bugs. People who aren’t willing to try it is, I don’t know, it is that they’re bugs. Like that’s not really a reason. It’s just something you’ve been conditioned to believe is true. And due to the cultural influences, and cultural influences just come from other people and traditions and stuff. I’m a person, so I’m trying to make another cultural revolution.