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Winnipegger's new protein powder made mostly from crickets

Cricket-based protein powder is the next frontier for health enthusiasts thanks to an adventurous Winnipeg entrepreneur.

“Before we started making this I was putting raw crickets in my smoothies every morning,” said Alex Drysdale, owner of Crik Nutrition and creator of what he says is Canada's first cricket protein powder.

Drysdale started playing around with the business idea last fall, when he realized the protein-rich bugs were underrepresented in the health supplement market.

“I was interested in the idea of crickets as a sustainable and really healthy food source that we’re not taking advantage of,” said Drysdale.

A pound of crickets has twice the protein than a pound of beef and three times as much iron. Crickets also grow faster and require much less food, water and land than cows.

 If you get over the ick factor, it's actually quite delicious, according to Alex Drysdale of Crik Nutrition. (Eva Wasney/Metro Winnipeg)

If you get over the ick factor, it's actually quite delicious, according to Alex Drysdale of Crik Nutrition. (Eva Wasney/Metro Winnipeg)

Crik Nutrition gets its crickets from a farm in Ontario called Next Millenium Farms, which specializes in producing edible bugs.

Despite so many positives, squeamishness is a major barrier for bug-based foods.

“It’s pretty polarizing. I either get people who are really excited to try it or people who say they would never eat a bug,” said Drysdale. “People who try it love it.”

The vanilla-flavoured supplement is a mixture of crickets, rice and pea proteins, monk fruit and Stevia for sweetness.

“It looks and tastes like any other protein powder,” said Drysdale.

Drysdale is launching a Kickstarter campaign later this month to get Crik Nutrition off the ground. The protein powder will be available online soon if he can meet his $10,000 goal.

Get over the squick, and it's not bad.

The hardest thing about eating a cricket is putting it in your mouth. But, if you can get over the legs, wings and tiny eyeballs staring back at you, you might find yourself enjoying it. I don’t like bugs, but I’ll try anything once so I jumped (pardon the pun) at the chance to try a roasted barbeque-flavoured cricket.

It was crunchy, salty and a little bit nutty. It was kind of the perfect snack. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it because I’m scared of getting caught with bug parts stuck in my teeth. - Eva Wasney

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