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Cricket is the new superfood says Vancouver protein-bar company

Coast Protein makes protein bars out of crickets, one of the most sustainable food sources out there

Coast Protein bars are made from cricket powder and taste like any other protein bar out there says the company.

Coast Protein/Contributed

Coast Protein bars are made from cricket powder and taste like any other protein bar out there says the company.

Crickets are probably the super-food of the future so you might as well get used to eating them now, says one local protein-bar manufacturer.

Coast Protein is a startup from North Vancouver that sources 100 per cent of its protein from one of the most sustainable protein in the world – crickets.

“What crickets really need is an image adjustment,” said co-founder Chris Baird.

“People are okay with shrimp and lobster, which are underwater insects. People are okay eating honey, which is made by insects,” he pointed out.

 Baird and his fellow co-founders make all the bars by hand in a New Westminster facility with B.C. grown ingredients. The only non-local ingredients are the crickets, which come from a cricket farm in Ontario and are delivered to Coast in powder form.

Coast Protein bars come in flavours like peanut butter and dark chocolate raspberry.

Coast Protein/Contributed

Coast Protein bars come in flavours like peanut butter and dark chocolate raspberry.

What do crickets taste like? They have a “slight nutty and earthy” taste to them, according to Baird. But part of the company’s success comes from hiding that flavour in the protein bars. They taste like any other bar, he said.

“In trying to introduce westerners to a new food source, we don’t want anything to stand out.”

Did you know?

  • Crickets are 65% protein by weight
  • Crickets are 12X more efficient at producing protein than cattle
  • Crickets produce 100X less methane than cattle
Crickets could become a staple in many peoples' diets in the future, according to a 2013 UN report.

Getty Images

Crickets could become a staple in many peoples' diets in the future, according to a 2013 UN report.

The edible-insect market is projected to grow more than 40 per cent from in the next six years, according to a Global Insights Report.

Baird and the Coast Protein team, which also includes Dylan Jones, John Larigakis, and Stefanie Di Giovanni, first saw potential in sourcing food from crickets after the UN put out a 2013 report that suggested incorporating insects into more peoples’ diets was the most sustainable way to feed the nine billion people that would inhabit the world by 2050.

Crickets are 12 times more efficient at turning feed into protein than cattle, explained Baird.

“That ability to create protein from practically no input is phenomenal. It blows every other source of animal protein out of the water.”

Crickets also have more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, and a complete amino acid profile, all of which has proven popular with athletes, said Baird.

More than a dozen retailers are ordering the bars as fast as Baird and the team can make them. In order to scale up manufacturing and expand the company, Coast Protein is launching a Kickstarter on Feb. 27 with the goal of selling $30,000 worth of protein bars.

Coast Protein is a North Vancouver startup and its team includes (left to right) Chris Baird, Dylan Jones, John Larigakis, and Stefanie Di Giovanni.

Coast Protein/Contributed

Coast Protein is a North Vancouver startup and its team includes (left to right) Chris Baird, Dylan Jones, John Larigakis, and Stefanie Di Giovanni.

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