Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Exo Cricket Flour Protein Bars



When the opportunity came up to review a product made from insects, you might expect a lot of “hmms” and uncertainty here at Reviews, Chews, and How-tos. However, a broad sense of curiosity and willingness to try anything once, combined with my passion for sustainable practices and innovative ideas, made this one review that really excited me.

Exo is a fairly new company, started by two guys in college that were inspired by their passion for having a tasty protein bar, and an MIT lecture on the breakdown of global systems and the idea of insects being a sustainable food source. They took this mix of passion and innovation and started a crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign that raised $55,000 to make their idea a reality. They teamed up with renowned chef Kyle Connaughton, and the rest is history.


The idea of insects as a food source is not new, but modern society still gets nervous when we think about eating crickets, larvae, spiders, etc. In other countries this is more common, but here in the States it’s virtually unheard of. The reality, however, is that we are getting close to a food and water crisis, currently becoming clear to see in California. The amount of water used to sustain our meat supply is far greater than our planet can sustain, so the search for alternative sources of protein is (or should be) very high on our priority list. This is where the beauty of Exo comes in.

According to a handy chart that arrived in my package, there are many advantages to using cricket flour over other food sources. Some of these include:


 Contain 2.2x more iron than spinach
 Produce 100x LESS greenhouse gases than cows

 Require 1 gallon per pound of water, compared to cows that require 2000 gallons per pound

 For every 100 pounds of feed you get 60lb of cricket protein, compared to cows where you only get 5lb of beef protein

A bonus for my fiance and I, since we both eat Paleo, is that these protein bars are also 100% paleo-friendly according to their ingredients list. Some of the ingredients include: almonds, dates, honey, cricket flour, flax seeds, vanilla extract, sea salt and coco nibs.

The bars arrived in a standard brown box within a few days, and I was delighted to see that I would be taste-testing two of my favorite flavors. Blueberry Vanilla and Cacao Nut! The other two available flavors are Peanut Butter and Jelly and Apple-Cinnamon.


I also convinced my farmer father and my fiance to try them as well. My father has very American views on food, so his opinion would be the most valuable to me.

My first choice to try was the Blueberry Vanilla, since it is one of my favorite flavors, especially for a nutrition bar. I dove in expecting there to be some sort of “dirt flavor” or “uncomfortable grit”, because in my mind, despite knowing that this was made out of cricket “flour”, that there would still be bug parts in it. Thankfully this is not the case, and I just had to remove my mental misconceptions about what I thought I would be eating and openly enjoy it.


From the first bite, I could tell that this was going to be a treat. Soft and sweet with a gooey texture like you would find in any LaraBar. No crunchy bug bits, just decadence and healthy sustainable protein. My father remarked that if he had not known it was made of cricket flour, you would absolutely never know.

The Cacao Nut bar was also good, but included some coconut for crunch, which weirded me out a little bit at first due to those same mental misconceptions of bug parts.

Again, I just had to mentally make myself aware that this was a flour, and the crunchy bits were delicious coconut and not bug parts. Instead, I was enjoying a delicious chocolate bar that was packed with nutrition and environmentally savvy ingredients.

Exo has earned my dad and fiance’s stamp of approval, and my personal vouch of delectability.

These bars will be perfect for camping trips, with the knowledge that I am supporting a more sustainable food system and the environment. Dad wants me to order some more!

I highly recommend giving Exo bars a shot. Replace any of your granola or alternative snack bars with something that is healthy, has amazing flavor, and supports the environment and food supply at the same time.




Exo Protein Website
Exo Protein on Facebook






If you're intrigued, you can win a chance to win a box of the Blueberry Vanilla ($36) bars by entering in our giveaway!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This allows us to contact you if you win!)  This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY
and will end just before midnight ET on 4-23-15. 

The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway.  In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

35 comments:

  1. Crickets contain substantially more iron than beef. For the record I would not be eating these but I know my husband would be all about it.

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  2. The peanut butter jelly ones sound yummy!

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  3. Over 80% of the world eats insects!

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  4. Insects are high in protein, that is new to me and makes these bars sound even more interesting

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  5. I would like the peanut butter and jelly ones. Brittney House BBrittBrat1398@yahoo.com

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  6. I think I would like to try them. I don't think I could just eat a bug but this way sounds like it would be more like regular food...and it makes a lot of sense since its higher protein and better for the planet.

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  7. I like the variety of flavors there are and I would love to try these :)

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  8. Crickets contain more iron than beef..very interesting.

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  9. THEY'RE MADE OUT OF CRICKETS. WHAT. Haha! I guess that should have been more obvious but still!

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  10. I learned that 80% of the world still eats over 1,600 species of insects
    addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com
    Ashley C

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  11. Insects are high in protein.

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  12. I'll pass on the crickets ( wink) but hubby has said several times, "great protein". Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. xo

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  13. Ummm, I'll have to pass on these, but my hubby would probably love them! LOL

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  14. I learned that these are meal replacement bars.

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  15. I learned that crickets contain more protein than beef. Each bar contains 10g of protein.

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  16. I learned that they are soy free and dairy free! Great! I would like to try the Blueberry Vanilla . They sound delicious!

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  17. I learned they also have peanut butter & jelly and apple cinnamon flavors. And that crickets produce virtually no methane, reproduce extremely quickly, and require minimal feed, water and space.It is estimated that crickets are 20x more efficient to raise for protein than cattle.

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  18. I learned that cricket is a complete protein and has more iron than spinach.

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  19. What a great idea to use crickets for high quality protein!! More protein even than beef jerky. Would love to try these.

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  20. I learned that they're gluten and dairy free.

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  21. I have always heard about crickets for protein. I like that it is ground up.

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  22. I'd be most interested in trying the cacao nut box.

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  23. I would love to try the apple cinnamon, love that they are gluten free!

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  24. I would pick peanut butter and jelly, which is called old reliable in our house.

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  25. The peanut butter and jelly bars look super interesting! (:

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  26. Insects are exceptionally nutritious. They are high in protein and low in saturated fats and sugars. They are a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids, and are also high in micronutrients such as iron, calcium and B-vitamins. Crickets, for example, contain substantially more iron than beef.

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  27. I like that they contain 10grams of protein in just one bar.

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  28. Over 80% of the world eats insects!

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  29. I would love to try Apple Cinnamon.

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  30. I like that they have a variety box so you can try the different flavors - I think realizing it tastes like 'old favorite' foods would help get beyond the psychological struggle. Objectively, I know its good healthy food.

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  31. Wow...made with crickets! I would still love to try 'em.

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  32. I learned that crickets contain more protein than beef. I've had chocolate covered crickets and they were quite good. I'd love to try these especially for hiking. Rene Chartier (joan)

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