Target: Gabi Lewis and Grew Sewitz, founders of Exo
Goal: Applaud protein bar maker for incorporating a sustainable source of protein, cricket flour
One pound of beef requires over 2,600 gallons of water to produce. One pound of crickets? Virtually none. Exo founders Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz have hit on a new method (or ancient depending on how you see it) of creating highly nutritious food that is also environmentally sustainable. Inspired by a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which recommends eating insects to reduce world hunger, the two college classmates settled on crickets as the essential ingredient missing from food shelves today.
Global livestock production accounts for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, including over 80 million metric tons of methane annually. Production of methane from crickets equals just over one percent of that released by cattle. Comparing nutritional composition, cattle require 12 times as much feed as crickets to create the same amount of protein. Not only are crickets an environmentally sustainable source of food, they also happen to be highly nutritious. Composed of 69 percent protein by dry weight, they contain every essential amino acid, as well as high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, B-vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E and iron.
Human societies have been practicing entomophagy, the consumption of insects, throughout our entire existence. Some 80 percent of countries on the planet currently do today. America and Western Europe are the only regions missing out, and some suggest that our health is the worse for it. The Exo team knows it faces steep challenges in overcoming the Western world’s aversion to eating insects. Thus, they had the idea of introducing crickets in the form of a protein bar, in much the same way America was introduced to raw fish in the form of the California sushi roll.
Exo protein bars are made from all-natural and raw ingredients. They are gluten, grain, soy and dairy free, absent of artificial preservatives as well as unnatural sugars, and contain 10 grams of bioavailable protein per bar. And the taste? Excellent, thanks to collaboration with three star Michelin chef from The Fat Duck Restaurant. Commend the makers of Exo bars for introducing an environmentally sustainable and outstandingly nutritious form of protein.
Dear Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz of Exo,
I congratulate your team for creating a protein bar that is both nutritious and environmentally sustainable. Despite relative abundance in some regions of the globe, our planet is still plagued with hunger, food insecurity and shortages. Insects as food represent a great, untapped potential, and could help remedy the problem of widespread malnourishment. Insects are unique in that they can feed on waste materials and are easier to raise than traditional livestock animals. They also require only a small fraction of feed and water compared to cattle and pigs.
In a portion of the world that thinks extermination rather than consumption when faced with insects, your company has many hurdles to overcome. Featuring roasted cricket flour in protein bars is a creative step in making insects marketable and palatable to Western consumers. You and your team are pioneers of both nutrition and sustainability.
Thank you for creating a food free from artificial ingredients and unnatural sugars that is rich in bioavailable protein. Your protein bar is both healthier for humans and better for the planet than many existing food sources. I hope you will continue to bring sustainable food options to consumers and pursue solutions to the problems of world hunger and environmental preservation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: TheFoodJunk via Flickr