Healthy and sustainable snacks are hard to come across, so I was excited to discover Crobar a high protein, high fibre, no added sugar protein bar. Free from gluten, soy and dairy, Crobar is the perfect snack before or after exercise. It is boosting an unusual ingredient: cricket flour.
Actually, with around 2 billion people in the world already eat insects as part of their everyday diet, insects are not that unusual.
Christine Spliid, founder of Crobar, was kind enough to send me some samples to try out: a Cacao & Cricket Flour Bar and a Peanut & Cricket Flour Bar. Filled with antioxidants and protein and made only with natural ingredients such as seeds, nuts or dry fruits, Crobar protein bars have just the right amount of sweetness (with no added sugar).
Both bars were so delicious, I decided to share my discovery with you and catch up with Christine on her innovative business idea.
Insects are high in protein, low in fat and are about 20 times more efficient than beef at producing body mass. Insects could be the ultimate sustainable food source as they reproduce a lot, are fast growing (crickets only take 45 days from egg to fully adult size), require little water or food and produce low CO2 emissions.
How did you come up with the idea of Crobar?
I had seen first hand for the first time how people in Cambodia were eating such a vast array of insects, when I travelled there two years ago, and was overwhelmed about how prevalent eating insects is. I didn’t immediately connect the dots, but I follow food trends closely and noticed how Dutch and American companies were slowly starting to incorporate insects in food in different ways, and when I started researching the environmental benefits, I was sold. I was amazed to learn how much sense it makes to include insects in the diet after doing some research myself. The arguments for are so powerful, and the barriers, being mainly psychological, really appealed to me as my background is in Psychology. I thought that it would be such a worthwhile challenge to try and change people’s mindsets, and I intuitively felt that promoting cricket flour is the first step on this journey. I am so excited to be part of a movement which makes people’s lives better in a sustainable, long- term way.
How are insects good for you and good for the planet?
They are very high in protein, iron, Vitamin B12, and farming crickets emits 80 times less CO2 than cattle, and used 12 times less water and space.
Many insects are rich in protein and good fats and high in calcium, iron and zinc. Beef has an iron content of 6 mg per 100 g of dry weight, while the iron content of locusts varies between 8 and 20 mg per 100 g of dry weight, depending on the species and the kind of food they themselves consume. Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
How are crickets farmed?
The crickets are essential raised an a ‘free range’ indoor environment. They are given ample space to move through the ‘cricket condo’ set up and have access to feed and fresh water.
Where do you get crickets from and how are your products made?
I get the cricket flour from Entomofarms in Canada, and my manufacturer in the UK makes my bars, using the cricket flour.
Who are your products best suited for?
People who want a healthy snack, which is delicious and uses an ingredient with a low environmental footprint. Also people who follow a gluten or dairy-free diet.
Some people see eating insects as a food trend that will not last. Do you agree?
I don’t agree, as the benefits are very convincing, and there is a lot of push from government agencies, because current meat production is unsustainable.
What would you say to someone who feels a bit squeamish at the idea of eating crickets?
I would say, this is cricket flour, think of it as an ingredient. You won’t have any wings or legs sticking out, it honestly tastes great.
Are you planning to introduce more products?
We are launching a Coffee & Vanilla as well as Raspberry & Cacao Crobar next month.
Where can people buy your products from?
Planet Organic, Nutricentre, and many other shops.