Of the many products we saw at Expo West last weekend, the weirdest one is a protein bar hailing from a nascent Brooklyn food company called EXO. Founded by 2 college roommates, Exo is made from an ingredient most Americans would find utterly repulsive – cricket flour. Yes, insects.
While the thought of eating insects is foreign to us Americans, in many parts of the world, insects of all varieties are part of people’s normal diets. Come to think of it, shrimp is an oversized critter too, but that doesn’t seem to bother most people.
Exo founders Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz have a simple mission: to normalize the consumption of insects as a sustainable food source. In the chart below you can see some numbers to substantiate that claim. The company is currently sourcing their main ingredient from a cricket farm in Louisiana.
This raises some interesting questions. Will America’s rural landscape be dotted with cricket farms 20 or 30 years from now? Will neighboring towns prefer the noise pollution of crickets to today’s sickening stench of cow manure?
Last but not least – Do you see yourself eating foods with insect protein?