Insects on the menu: Eco-friendly dining alternative
Half the world’s population will suffer water shortages within 15 years according to the World Bank, just one of many recent alarming reports surrounding the world’s fresh water supply. And now a newly released report called "America’s water risk" found that several major U.S. cities are facing a severe risk of water scarcity due to drought and population growth. But one Utah man who’s "bugged" by those reports - is trying to conserve water by changing taste buds. Water remains one of the world’s most valuable resources, but by all accounts we’re bankrupting it mostly to produce food.
Pat Cowley, founder & owner of Chapul Bars, said:"The Colorado river in particular is a water resource for 35 million people yet it doesn’t flow to the Ocean anymore. We pump it completely dry it’s just all consumed for agriculture."
Hard as it may be to believe - one hamburger requires 634 gallons of water and it can take as much as 11-thousand gallons of water to produce a a single beef cow.
Pat Crowley said:"You can save thousand of times the water per unit of protein switching just a fraction of our protein intake from livestock and soy to insects."
So raft-guide Pat Crowley decided to stop talking and start baking - bugs. Crickets to be exact. High in protein and calcium rich, they’re considered a dietary staple in some cultures.
Pat Crowley said:"Down in Wahuca Mexico, they eat Chapulina’s. That’s a grasshopper and they’ll fry them and put them in taco’s. That’s where we got our name from actually, Chapul."
Chapul Bars are one-part chocolate energy snack bar, one-part insect - with one major barrier standing between this company and commercial success - the disgust factor.
"I’m psyching myself out, because I feel like I’m eating a roach man."
Pat Crowley said:"You don’t have to see any eyes or antennae’s or legs or anything. So we make a flower, it’s really kind of subtle. It looks like a food product and we mix it with dates and nut butters."
To enhance the all-natural flavor of the insects or mask it, depending on who you ask.
Steven Rosenberg, CEO of Liberty Heights Fresh Grocery, said:"We’re selling bars, you know. We were placing orders. Is it our fastest selling item in the store? No. But is it gaining in popularity? Everyday."
Because the reluctance to insect-eating is something they say can only change one-day, one-bite at a time.