Are Cricket Bars safe to eat?

What's in your bar?

What’s in your bar?

You may have heard about energy bars made with ground-up crickets. There are Exo energy bars, and The Original Cricket Energy Bar called Chapul, both made with crickets…yum! Bitty Foods sells cricket flour for $20, and chocolate cookies that contain this same cricket flour. Per Outside Magazine’s March issue, “insect meal” is a “superfood” that “has more protein than a wild-caught salmon…more iron than beef, more calcium than milk and plenty of the B vitamins absent from vegetable-based protein sources like hemp and soy” (pg. 44).

I’ve been looking for another source of protein that’s not from dairy or soy, but it got me thinking…bugs are gross. Cockroaches can carry pathogens, bacteria and salmonella. Bed bugs carry MRSA and VRE. Are crickets safe to eat? How do these manufactures clean these pests and make sure they won’t make us sick?

I contacted these three companies: Exo, Chapul and Bitty Foods. When I wrote to Exo, their email bounced. There were no other ways to contact them that I found on their website. Chapul never responded. Bitty is the only company that wrote me back. This is their reply: “crickets do not carry any diseases that are communicable to humans. Furthermore, the heat from roasting process (where we dry the crickets prior to grinding them into a fine powder) kills any and all bacteria.”

Processed foods usually have some bug parts, it’s inevitable. No food is 100% safe anyway. I haven’t seen any cricket bars in stores yet and probably won’t buy them unless they’re on sale. Those bugs are pricy!

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