Pat’s efforts dovetail perfectly with our “real food” lifestyle, which is why we’ve teamed up with Chapul to create a tailor-made Whole30® Approved edible insect bar–the flavor of which will be chosen by you, our Whole9 community. But first, here’s a little more about Chapul…
Of Insects and Men
We love the name of your company. What does it mean?
Chapul is a Nahautl (Aztec) word that means “cricket” or “grasshopper.” The Aztecs were avid insect eaters, making large treks to collect them en masse. They would sun-dry them, mill them into a flour, then bake a protein-dense bread out of them. This practice, in part inspired our project.
Why crickets? Why not caterpillars or potato bugs?
Crickets are high in protein, iron, and calcium, and are some of the most commonly eaten insects in the world. That having been said, there’s nothing to say we won’t incorporate other insects into food products in the future.
Crickets are fairly easy to raise from an agricultural standpoint as well. They have a relatively short life cycle, and can be raised with very little land resources. There is currently lot of great work being done to develop the technology to raise them within an urban environment. From an environmental standpoint, crickets convert 10 lbs of feed into about 8lbs of biomass. Compare that to only 5lbs of chicken, 3 lbs of pork, and a mere 1lb of cow from the same amount of feed, as well as emitting far fewer greenhouse gasses than traditional livestock.
All that being said, we intend to incorporate other insects into our products as consumer interest in alternative protein sources increases.
Getting folks interested in eating insects can be tricky. Why is your product perfect for our community?
Insects were a regular part of the traditional human’s diet, so our intestinal tract has evolved to digest insect proteins. Here in Utah, there is evidence of pre-historic cultures receiving such a high return on protein collected from gathering grasshoppers, that they gave up hunting mammals altogether.
Incorporating the insects in powder form relieves most of the cultural fears of trying a new ingredient, while still delivering all of the health benefits. Also, we know that many of those in the Paleo community have already embraced the consumption of foods that are not common in our current food culture. Your readers are some of the more likely people to quickly see the many benefits of our bars.
We’re very conscientious about the quality of our protein sources. What are crickets’ nutirtional stats?
The quality of cricket flour is exceptionally high. The flour itself ranges from 55-65% protein, contains no sugars, and is complete with all of the essential amino acids, as well as many micronutrients.
So are your crickets free-range and grass-fed? Do they frolic among the daisies in the sunshine?
We ensure the crickets are fed a high quality, non-GMO diet. We have experimented with traditional livestock feeds, as well as agricultural by-products–parts of crops that are inedible to humans, like broccoli stalks.
As for daisies and sunshine, crickets aren’t the biggest fans of sunshine, actually. They prefer dark, high density populations, which makes them fairly easy to farm. However, the high reproductive rates are pretty solid evidence that there is a lot of frolicking going on.
We hear you’re gearing up to sell cricket flour. What’s the scoop?
Since we’re pioneering a new industry, we’re trying to develop a more efficient and cost-effective way to get cricket flour available on a retail level. However, we are beginning to distribute it in limited quantities to select people and organizations… for example, the good people at Whole9.
The quality of cricket flour is exceptionally high. The flour itself ranges from 55-65% protein, contains no sugars, and is complete with all of the essential amino acids, as well as high in calcium and iron. In a 35g serving of our Chapul Cricket Flour, there are 140 calories, 21g of protein, 1.5g fat, and 11g carbohydrates.
Name Your Flavor!
Over the years, you’ve asked for healthy, tasty Whole30 options for on-the-go snacks and emergency food. Today, Chapul has accepted the challenge by agreeing to create a Whole30® Approved cricket bar, just for Whole9 readers. We need YOU to submit your idea for a new Whole30 Approved Chapul bar flavor, and help your fellow healthy eaters enjoy a wider variety of high-quality, portable protein snacks. All you have to do is imagine what you’d like to be snacking on the next time you’re on an airplane, hiking, on a road trip, or stuck in a business meeting without your lunch. (Don’t worry about the recipe itself – leave that to Chapul.)
Think you’ve got what it takes to capture the taste buds of health-conscious men and women across this nation? Submit your flavor idea in comments below*, and if you have a Facebook account, please “like” Chapul.
Winners will be selected one week from now, on August 16th. (And remember, the winning flavor will be turned into a Whole30 Approved product–so no honey or maple suggestions, as delicious as those would be.)
*Submissions must go through the website comments, and not via Facebook, please.