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Down to Eat Bugs? Crawl's Cricket-Based Protein Bars Are a Hit

There are actually very good reasons why cricket protein is the future, rooted in both nutrition and sustainability.
Down to Eat Bugs? These Cricket-Based Protein Bars Are a Hit
Photo: Crawl Bars / Composite by VICE staff

Do you even lift, bro? How much do you bench? How many dips did you do this weekend? Hmm. You’re looking a little jacked, but not the level of yoked we’d personally be happy with. Are you eating enough protein?

Upping your protein intake—and choosing a protein powder—can feel a little laborious, with the overwhelming number of options on the market. Whey-based? Casein-based? Pea protein? What’s a swole lord to do??? Don’t even get us started on the protein bar aisle at the grocery store. Simply too much stuff, y’all. 

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But what if protein bars weren’t those stupid, sticky blocks of nuts stuck together with date-paste cement, and instead were a reflection of our true cravings? What if instead, they were satisfying our most primal urges to take the life of another in pursuit of our own growth and gain? I am speaking, of course, about protein bars made out of dead animals. More specifically, bugs—after all, bugs are the easiest and most guilt-free creatures to kill and eat. 

Enter Crawl Bars, the new Maine-based brand offering granola bars made from crickets. So… why, besides our desire to seek and destroy all inferior creatures? Well, listen up—that’s not really why they’re making crickets into human food. There are actually very good reasons why, which are rooted in both nutrition and sustainability. Compared to dairy-based protein sources such as whey or casein, crickets use far fewer resources to farm—much less land and water bang for your protein buck, so to speak. We’re talking about a way lower output of greenhouse gasses versus raising a bunch of farty cows. 


$16 at Crawl Bars

$16 at Crawl Bars

$16 at Crawl Bars

$16 at Crawl Bars

And compared to vegan protein sources, crickets are also much more nutritionally complete, containing all nine essential amino acids, as well as more iron than spinach and more calcium than milk. Also, some people think pea protein and other plant-based proteins taste kind of wack, and believe it or not, cricket flour actually tastes… pretty much like nothing! Instead, you’ll taste the other key ingredients of the Blueberry Almond- and Chocolate Peanut-flavored bars, including dried blueberries, honey-roasted peanuts, cocoa, and vanilla extract. The Crawl Bar founders, Timothy Bollea and James Skarzynski—who, by the way, started the company from their shared college dorm room at Fordham University—say the recipe took over a year to perfect. (We haven’t tried ‘em yet, but if you do, please let us know if the year-long process was a success.) Two additional flavors, Aztec Cocoa and Royal Purple, are slated to drop this fall. 

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Eating bugs is nothing new, folks. Never had chocolate-covered ants? Well, maybe you should head south of the border and try chapulines-topped (aka grasshopper-garnished) guacamole; it’s honestly a peppery, delicious treat. 

Hell, we’re very down to try some cricket bars. Personally, we’re in it for the flavor, the protein, the pursuit of swoleness, and the reminder to insects everywhere that humans dominate the Earth. [Runs away from a spider.]

Crawl Bars are available at Crawl’s website


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