An award-winning natural energy bar containing cricket flour, as well as nuts, seeds and fruit, crobar is the first product from UK company Gathr, founded by Christine Spliid.

Amidst the recent health implications linked to red meat and the sustainability issues around livestock farming, insects are becoming a more viable and accepted source of nutrition in Western culture and have long been a staple of diets across the world.  Insects are already available to buy as food in the UK, but Gathr takes things one step further by using them as a key ingredient and incorporating them into their energy bars.

At the show, two new flavours were launched – Coffee, Vanilla, & Cricket Flour, and Raspberry, Cacao & Cricket flour. These are in addition to the existing flavours of Peanut & Cricket Flour made with peanuts, sultanas, dates, sunflower seeds and cricket flour, and Cacao & Cricket Flour, an energy bar made with cacao, chia, goji berries, cranberries and cricket flour.

If you’re wondering about the taste, you needed worry, all flavours are delicious, and with crickets containing twice as much iron as spinach as well as a good dose of vitamin B12, they’re really good for you. But they’re also great for the planet too.

Up to 80% of a cricket is digestible, compared with 40% for cattle, which means less food waste. Crickets also emit 80 times less CO2, require 12 times less feed than cattle and require significantly less water than cattle rearing – to produce 1lb of crickets takes just four litres of water compared to 9000 litres for 1lb of beef! They are also farmed without the use of antibiotics, hormones or pesticides offering additional environmental, health and economic benefits.

One word of caution though – whilst the bars are gluten free, dairy free, free from added sugar and Paleo friendly, crickets are arthopods, just like shrimps, and some people who are allergic to shrimps have also shown allergic reactions to insects. Until more studies are done, it is probably best to avoid insects if you know you are allergic to shellfish/ crustaceans. For more information visit Gathrfoods.com.