This article originally appeared on VICE UK
Bees are dying, sea levels are rising and every green space in Britain is turning into luxury apartments. Thankfully, there are some people out there trying to stem the flow of environmental disaster, including a protein bar company called Exo.
Beef and pork farming, as vegetarians are constantly reminding us, creates huge amounts of greenhouse gasses, and as such are a key factor in global warming. But those animals also create a delicious source of protein, so what can you do?
Well, Exo claim they've found a protein source that has almost no environmental impact, and that source is—crickets. Apparently crickets produce 100 times less carbon dioxide than cows and contain 12 times as much protein as beef. So Exo ground crickets into a "flour" and made cereal bars in flavors like Banana Nut and Blueberry Vanilla... but, again, with crickets. We asked some people to try the treats.
TOM USHER, STARVING WRITER
I went for the banana bread-flavored bar. Said bar is brown, shiny, and smells like a Christmas pudding. It's actually all right—once you get past the psychological fact that it was made from bugs, then really it was no different from any other kind of flapjack-type thing that you get in Holland and Barrett or whatever. Considering I've literally eaten just protein bars for dinner at some points in my life then I'd be fine with eating them again, maybe over a candlelit dinner for one at home tonight.
SAM WOLFSON, HUNGRY EXECUTIVE EDITOR
You know that episode of The Simpsons where Homer is sponsored by an energy bar company to eat nothing but Powersauce Bars, which turn out to be made mostly from old Chinese newspapers? I feel like the same company might be behind these, judging by the consistency. It's so gristly I was still fishing bits out from my gums two hours later. I had the Banana Bread one but the only discernible flavor was Glastonbury chai tents and stale Soreen. This would not stop me eating beef and if anything has put me off eating bananas or bread.
JOE ZADEH – PECKISH NOISEY EDITOR
I guess it tastes exactly like anything that Ant and Dec would force Z-list celebrities to eat live on television should taste. Like regret. Like desperation. Like "has it really come to this"? It says on the packet that it's like eating shellfish. Cool. Who would eat cocoa or blueberry-flavored shellfish? Now my mouth is working overtime to get small bits of decapitated cricket out of my teeth. It's a massacre. I don't feel good about crickets dying for this. I was having a decent morning but I don't feel good about myself anymore. This was an awful experience. Thanks mate.
MITCHELL STEVENS – RAVENOUS SOCIAL EDITOR
I've eaten insects before but I don't want to talk about it, thanks. It wasn't traumatic at all. I thought this would be all right because it's flavored like blueberries which makes me feel safe, but there was actually a bit of an uneasy crunch to it which really brought me back and made feel a bit queasy. Still, what's one more repressed memory, eh? It's pretty tasty as well to be honest. I'd give it a solid four out of five. Only the stickiness let it down a bit.
ZING TSENG – FAMISHED BROADLY EDITOR
This basically tastes like every other overpriced energy bar I have ever bought in a foolish attempt to be "healthy." However, a tiny warning on its packaging also says that you may be allergic to crickets if you are also allergic to shellfish crustaceans. This immediately makes me think of the giant alien bugs from Starship Troopers, except processed into breakfast bars for foolish millennials. Maybe after we all start doing spin classes on exo-bikes listening to Avicii's 112th chart-topping record in the year 2028, cricket bars will seem normal. I'll settle for eating an actual banana for now, thanks.