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Just For Kicks: What Can Insects Do For You?

As the global population grows, calls for sustainability and increased food production are gaining a voice. Now, insects are making a strong pitch for consideration. And one bug is making itself a house name — the acheta domesticus — the house cricket.

Full Transcript

Kevin:

Greetings from Esrock. The Just For Kicks team challenged us, the leadership team, to try some new things. They’re bringing some very new and different things in for us to try today. And we are not fully aware of what that is, but we do know it is insect-based.

Neilly:

Peanut butter hop fudge.

Jeff:

Very dry.

Neilly:

It’s dry.

Michael:

Dry, very dry.

Kevin:

It’s not that bad.

Neilly:

Not bad.

Kevin:

No.

Neilly:

This is the chocolate chirp cookie.

Neilly:

This one’s more moist.

Jeff:

This one’s… yeah, the other one, I could barely… It was so dry.

Neilly:

I like this one a lot better.

Jeff:

This was better.

Kevin:

Those are good.

Neilly:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Michael:

It’s a lot like a Chips Ahoy.

Neilly:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Michael:

It’s chewy.

Neilly:

It is! A+.

Kevin:

Mine just feels very Atkins-y. Very protein-dense. And this actually feels like a dessert. If you didn’t tell me this wasn’t… This may not be my favorite chocolate chip cookie of all time, but if there were a plate of five of these in front of me, I would eat three of them.

Jeff:

This is cheddar. Only cheddar. And then this one will be jalapeño and barbecue.

Kevin:

Cheese puffs.

Michael:

Yeah, cheesy puffs.

Kevin:

Let’s go. I mean, these look like a regular cheese puff.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Michael:

They are. The cheese ones are just like them.

Kevin:

The same crunch.

Neilly:

It is the cheese puff.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Kevin:

I wouldn’t think that any of these are made with insects.

Jeff:

No.

Neilly:

No.

Kevin:

There’s nothing in here that says that these are made with insects, on any level, whatsoever.

Neilly:

No.

Michael:

They’re very good. Barbecue is very good.

Neilly:

It is.

Jeff:

Yeah, barbecue’s my favorite.

Michael:

Dark chocolate crickets with amaranth seeds.

Neilly:

Hmm.

Kevin:

They do not look visually…

Jeff:

No, they’re not… they don’t look very visually appealing.

Neilly:

Do we take it like a shot, or one at a time?

Neilly:

Oh, gosh. I’m not sure what it is.

Jeff:

It tastes sort of like a…

Kevin:

Tastes like malted milk balls. Tastes like malt powder.

Jeff:

Or like a…

Neilly:

No, it doesn’t.

Michael:

It’s got the consistency of a Nestlé Crunch.

Neilly:

No, it doesn’t.

Michael:

Crunch Bar.

Jeff:

It just feels like dehydrated air with chocolate over it.

Kevin:

It’s like a malted milk-

Neilly:

I feel like there’s a bug in my teeth.

Kevin:

If you didn’t know it was a bug, you wouldn’t say that.

Neilly:

Well…

Kevin:

I don’t think so.

Neilly:

It’s like a healthier snack, maybe, and I’m not into healthier snacks.

Kevin:

It does taste like a healthier snack, but it’s not very filling. There’s not much to it. It’s a lot of air.

Neilly:

Like a granola.

Kevin:

Because we are onto whole-roasted crickets in six different flavors or varieties.

Kevin:

It just looks like a dehydrated cricket, in case you’re wondering. So there’s no hidden visual appeal to this whatsoever. You know you’re eating a bug.

Jeff:

It smells like hamster food…

Kevin:

It smells like you’re in a feed store. If you’ve ever walked a feed store, this is what this smells like.

Michael:

Mine’s got the little tail, so is this to pick up the legs from the other ones when you’re done?

Neilly:

Ew.

Neilly:

The saltier the better.

Michael:

They’re like a piece of straw-

Neilly:

What’s the second one, what’s this one?

Michael:

In the consistency.

Michael:

Ranch.

Neilly:

Oh, that one’s good.

Kevin:

There’s a lot of aftertaste to the plain one, I’ll say that.

Kevin:

It does taste like a sunflower seed, the second one in.

Neilly:

Yeah, the fatter ones are more tastier.

Michael:

That’s the cinnamon sugar. That one’s actually good.

Jeff:

Cinnamon sugar-

Kevin:

Cinnamon sugar, I’ve got two that are fused together, so I’m going to-

Jeff:

The barbecue one…

Neilly:

I don’t know if that tastes like cinnamon… Is this cinnamon sugar?

Jeff:

Yeah, no, I didn’t-

Neilly:

That doesn’t taste like cinnamon sugar.

Jeff:

This barbecue one tastes like barbecue, though.

Neilly:

This tastes like barbecue-

Kevin:

Cinnamon sugar tastes like cereal.

Neilly:

Tastes burnt.

Jeff:

Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Michael:

Yeah, it is like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Kevin:

It tastes just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Neilly:

Maybe I have the wrong ones. Mine tastes burnt.

Kevin:

Honestly, this one’s… Anybody would eat this and not know that… if you didn’t… Visually, this does not look good, but if you blindly tasted the cinnamon sugar ones, this is a thumbs-up.

Kevin:

There’s a lot of visual disparity in these two. Like, you get bigger crickets, smaller crickets, that’s one of the things I think would, like I say, freak some people out. There’s not a lot of uniformity, and then you’re breaking into pieces. And then some are far darker and some are far lighter, and so I have zero idea. There’s more—

Jeff:

“The planet’s most sustainable superfood.”

Michael:

Some have wings.

Kevin:

Some have wings.

Michael:

Some do not.

Neilly:

I didn’t see wings.

Michael:

You want to borrow one of mine?

Neilly:

Yeah, let me see.

Jeff:

Four grams of protein and you’ve got to eat the whole fricking bag. I mean, that’s a lot.

Neilly:

Ugh.

Kevin:

If I were really snacky hungry and had to fill up on this, I would have to go through five of those bags to fill up, is what it feels like. Now I’m not eating a whole bag, I’m eating like six or seven of these at a time.

Kevin:

See these as, by the way-

Neilly:

Toppings.

Kevin:

Toppings. That’s exactly what I was thinking. Like, if you’re doing a barbecue baked potato or something and you throw some of these on as a crunchy topping, or if you’re doing some kind of dessert and want to throw these on top of that, I could absolutely see this as a topping. Because then you get a little crunch and it makes some sense, there’s a functional benefit with the crunch.

Michael:

The cheesy puffs, I think, would be the easiest ones.

Jeff:

Yeah, for sure. And the ones that are the ingredient, the first two, that… you would never know.

Neilly:

The soft cookie. The second cookie.

Jeff:

Yeah. As a way to get maybe extra protein or whatever in something.

Kevin:

But as a flower concentrate, I would think that this would be something pretty amazing. I just don’t know. These do feel like more of a novelty. You could try them once to say you’ve tried them, but I don’t know what the long-term of that is.

Kevin:

The least appealing one to me was the dark chocolate thing, because it was like you were masking what was underneath it. And at least with this, there’s the honesty of knowing it’s a cricket, and then I can pick the flavor I want. The other one, it felt like you’re just trying to hide from you what’s potentially there. So if I had to rank, I would’ve done the same thing. I would’ve gone cheese puffs one, I would’ve done the cookies two, this three, and the chocolate-covered cricket four.

Kevin:

Would you rather eat a spider or a worm?

Neilly:

Oh, I hate spiders. Worm.

Kevin:

You get what I’m saying to you? Would you rather eat something with or without… has more legs or less legs-

Neilly:

Less legs.

Jeff:

Probably less legs.

Michael:

Less legs.

Kevin:

Okay.

Courtesy of the Esrock Partners “Just for Kicks” Team: Travis Fish, Lucy Staszel, Samantha Gallagher, Aleksandra Kostic, Shawn Rudolph & Karolina Urbas

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