Eating Insects. No, Really. Introducing Chapul.

Chances are you’ve already heard of our newest Whole30® Approved partner, Chapul. Their edible insect bars (really!) have been all over the popular national news outlets lately (big time sites like HuffPost, Slate, and CNN)–but there’s more to this company than the shock-factor of eating bugs. Founded by Salt Lake City local Patrick Crowley, Chapul has its roots in water conservation, and was inspired by Dr. Marcel Dicke’s TED talk on entomophagy. After hearing  Dr. Marcel, Pat began to look deeper into the idea of insects as a more sustainable source of protein for humans.


Pat’s efforts dovetail perfectly with our “real food” lifestyle, which is why we’ve teamed up with Chapul to create a tailor-made Whole30® Approved edible insect bar–the flavor of which will be chosen by you, our Whole9 community. But first, here’s a little more about Chapul…

Of Insects and Men

We love the name of your company. What does it mean?

Chapul is a Nahautl (Aztec) word that means “cricket” or “grasshopper.” The Aztecs were avid insect eaters, making large treks to collect them en masse. They would sun-dry them, mill them into a flour, then bake a protein-dense bread out of them. This practice, in part inspired our project.

Why crickets? Why not caterpillars or potato bugs?

Crickets are high in protein, iron, and calcium, and are some of the most commonly eaten insects in the world. That having been said, there’s nothing to say we won’t incorporate other insects into food products in the future.

Crickets are fairly easy to raise from an agricultural standpoint as well. They have a relatively short life cycle, and can be raised with very little land resources. There is currently lot of great work being done to develop the technology to raise them within an urban environment. From an environmental standpoint, crickets convert 10 lbs of feed into about 8lbs of biomass. Compare that to only 5lbs of chicken, 3 lbs of pork, and a mere 1lb of cow from the same amount of feed, as well as emitting far fewer greenhouse gasses than traditional livestock.

All that being said, we intend to incorporate other insects into our products as consumer interest in alternative protein sources increases.

Getting folks interested in eating insects can be tricky. Why is your product perfect for our community?

Insects were a regular part of  the traditional human’s diet, so our intestinal tract has evolved to digest insect proteins. Here in Utah, there is evidence of pre-historic cultures receiving such a high return on protein collected from gathering grasshoppers, that they gave up hunting mammals altogether.

Incorporating the insects in powder form relieves most of the cultural fears of trying a new ingredient, while still delivering all of the health benefits. Also, we know that many of those in the Paleo community have already embraced the consumption of foods that are not common in our current food culture. Your readers are some of the more likely people to quickly see the many benefits of our bars.

We’re very conscientious about the quality of our protein sources. What are crickets’ nutirtional stats?

The quality of cricket flour is exceptionally high. The flour itself ranges from 55-65% protein, contains no sugars, and is complete with all of the essential amino acids, as well as many micronutrients.

So are your crickets free-range and grass-fed? Do they frolic among the daisies in the sunshine?

We ensure the crickets are fed a high quality, non-GMO diet. We have experimented with traditional livestock feeds, as well as agricultural by-products–parts of crops that are inedible to humans, like broccoli stalks.

As for daisies and sunshine, crickets aren’t the biggest fans of sunshine, actually. They prefer dark, high density populations, which makes them fairly easy to farm. However, the high reproductive rates are pretty solid evidence that there is a lot of frolicking going on.

We hear you’re gearing up to sell cricket flour. What’s the scoop?

Since we’re pioneering a new industry, we’re trying to develop a more efficient and cost-effective way to get cricket flour available on a retail level. However, we are beginning to distribute it in limited quantities to select people and organizations… for example, the good people at Whole9.

The quality of cricket flour is exceptionally high. The flour itself ranges from 55-65% protein, contains no sugars, and is complete with all of the essential amino acids, as well as high in calcium and iron. In a 35g serving of our Chapul Cricket Flour, there are 140 calories, 21g of protein, 1.5g fat, and 11g carbohydrates.

Name Your Flavor!

Over the years, you’ve asked for healthy, tasty Whole30 options for on-the-go snacks and emergency food. Today, Chapul has accepted the challenge by agreeing to create a Whole30® Approved cricket bar, just for Whole9 readers. We need YOU to submit your idea for a new Whole30 Approved Chapul bar flavor, and help your fellow healthy eaters enjoy a wider variety of high-quality, portable protein snacks. All you have to do is imagine what you’d like to be snacking on the next time you’re on an airplane, hiking, on a road trip, or stuck in a business meeting without your lunch. (Don’t worry about the recipe itself – leave that to Chapul.)


Think you’ve got what it takes to capture the taste buds of health-conscious men and women across this nation? Submit your flavor idea in comments below*, and if you have a Facebook account, please “like” Chapul.

Winners will be selected one week from now, on August 16th.  (And remember, the winning flavor will be turned into a Whole30 Approved product–so no honey or maple suggestions, as delicious as those would be.)

*Submissions must go through the website comments, and not via Facebook, please.

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  1. Bonnie says

    the Bali Hai bar – tropical fruits and coconut (pineapple or mango or papaya – whatever is easiest to produce).

    cocoa cricket crunch – I like alliteration. but honestly cocoa and macadamia nut (or hazelnut…nom nom) is the quickest way to get me to eat anything. the other way is garlic and butter (the only way I would eat snails) or bacon (the only way I would eat oysters, blech). Seriously – mollusks are okay to eat but not insects? I know replicating treats isn’t the whole30 way, but I think the larabar method is the best way to get crickets to the masses. Cocoa and chipotle pepper maybe…. y’know for the guys who are more beef jerky fans….

  2. Amber says

    Banana, date, walnut “bread” or “Cinnamon roll” or “Coconut Macadamia”. I’d love to eat any of those!

  3. Christiaan Coolen says

    A few for starters….

    Apple Cinnamon – with some cold pressed dates and some cashews to fill it out. I see it being cold pressed dates and apples, with cashews, Chapul and Cinnamon.

    Thai Curry – a coconut based green or red curry flavoured bar.

    I guess it depends on the texture of this product….

    Sweet Potato/Coconut/Smoked Paprika that would be amazing!!!

    Garlic Chilli and Lime.

    Cranberry and Coconut. That’s a favourite too.

    Beetroot and Apple.

  4. Bonnie says

    I mostly like coming up with the names :)

    Bali Hai Bar – tropical fruits, coconut, w/ or w/o macadamia
    Swiss Miss – Cocoa, hazelnut, almond or coconut ‘milk’
    Gratitude bar – turkey jerky, sweet potato, dried cranberries (for thanksgiving… geddit?)
    American Buffalo – bison, dried cherries, chipotle pepper

  5. Mathew says

    Cocoa Hoppers
    Dark Hoppers
    Cocoa Night

    I really just want a cocoa/chocolate flavored bar…

  6. says

    I say keep it simple and go with an unsweetened cocoa and coconut for a smooth chocolatey flavor or vanilla bean.

    I like the idea of cinnamon apple as well.

    I would definitely get down with these bars!

  7. Natalie says

    Ginger stem, raspberry and dark chocolate (I’m so fed up of apple / cinnamon / date type paleo bars!)

  8. Megan Ward says

    Sweet potato cinnamon would be fantastic.

    Key lime.

    “Chocolate” (cocoa).


  9. Shannon says

    Well, what’s the flavor of the cricket flour itself? Are the crickets roasted before drying/powdering?

  10. Shannon says

    Assuming the base flavor is neutral, I’d like a spicy mango & coconut. Not too sweet, please :)

  11. Rebecca Godfrey says

    Dark chocolate, coconut and almond bar. Something that would rival a Mounds/Almond Joy combination. One would never be tempted to eat candy again if you made a healthy alternative.

  12. Leigh Ann says

    Cacao, cherry, coconut chunk. Bittersweet, but with nutritious fat and protein. I would use cacao powder, cricket flour mixed with small chunks of dark cherries and unsweetened coconut flakes.

  13. Sam says

    I would suggest a savory flavor – “Garam Masala” – basically a powdered mix of cumin, coriander, cloves, black pepper and a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.

  14. Angelica says

    Coconut balsamic strawberry!

    Avocado lime!

    Vanilla banana cashew!

    Lavender blueberry!

    (I’m really into this idea, can’t wait to try those bars)

  15. Shan says

    Bog Bar… mixed nuts and cranberries with vanilla

    Sunshine… orange, pineapple, coconut

    Green machine… spirulina, apples, plantains, other green ingredients

    alcohol on the brain…

    The Hopper… beer flavoured bar with hops :) eh? eh? maybe?

    Hop Scotch… dark chocolate, scotch infused

  16. says

    I would dig a matcha green tea flavor. Especially paired with berries (strawberries or cranberries) or citrus (tangerine or orange).

  17. RG says

    Cinnamon + Dates + Pecans + Cocoa = Yum!!

    Banana + Macadamia Nut + Touch of Sea Salt = A touch sweet / a touch salty

    Apple + Cinnamon + Pecans + Touch of Sea Salt = A different type of apple pie flavor

    Espresso + Cocoa + Touch of Vanilla = Satisfaction for the coffee lover

    Bacon + (just about ANYTHING… Cinnamon; Honey; Maple; Cocoa; whatever is easiest) = Who DOESN’T enjoy bacon?!? =)

  18. Amanda says

    Cherry pie, hands down. Or carrot cake. I can never find those Larabar flavors in stock, so even with cricket flour I have a feeling they’d be a win :)

  19. Erin Cyr says

    This is really exciting to me. I would have absolutely no problems eating insects in a bar, I’ve done it many times and find them delicious!
    I would do coconut and cranberry or carrot blueberry!

  20. Erin says

    I think a chipotle cherry cocoa bar would be great. Or a dessert flavor like apple pie or pumpkin pie.

  21. Mara says

    One more comment – any chance this can be a high protein, lower carb bar? Your bars sound great, but they are awfully carb heavy, without a large amount of protein. Would love a higher dose of cricket!

  22. Jill says

    “The Americas Bar” — Whole30 Approved!

    Black Raspberry — Cranberry — Pecan — With a Hint of Sweet Potato

  23. alain says

    I love the idea of salty sweet. It strikes the perfect balance and is as suitable for a quick breakfast while traveling as a snack after hiking. some of my favorite combos:

    sea salt taro pie
    black sesame ice cream
    coconut matcha malt
    buttered ginger snap
    white pepper raspberry chocolate

  24. Shanna says

    I was thinking the same as Rebecca Godfrey, dark chocolate, coconut and almond bar. That sounds delicious! I also would love something with lemon and nuts or sweet potato and cinnamon.

  25. Daniela says

    Please do savory flavors. Eating something that’s supposed to taste like dessert makes me want real dessert and that makes me sad. I’d rather be happy, which is why I’m doing the whole 30 in the first place!

    Sticking with the Southwestern theme:
    spicy pumpkin + pumpkin seed (corn, beans + squash, without the corn + beans)
    mole (because we’re allowed to use chocolate as a spice)

    Or venturing beyond the region:
    seaweed + wasabi (we need more seaweed)
    tomato, basil + olive (can you put olives in a bar?)
    coconut cricket curry (the people already love curry + coconut…)

  26. Sarah says

    1. Sunset Bar- passionfruit, macadamia, coconut (inspired by the Hawaiian dessert Lilikoi Bars) Could also sub the passionfruit for a pineapple and lime combination.
    2. Cherry Bomb – Cherry, banana, tons of cinnamon and almond (inspired by one of my favorite smoothies)
    3. Nutty Chai – Hazelnuts, dates, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, fennel, peppercorn, star anise, and possibly chia seed.

  27. Jordan says

    All of these ideas sound awesome! I first saw this idea for cricket flour bars on kickstarter and thought it was brilliant. A paleo bar is darn near impossible to find.
    I really like the idea of a coconut, lime, macadamia, (pineapple?) bar with just a hint of cilantro to really make it sing.
    In my humble opinion, there are already enough pie and chocolate imitating bars floating around. A product that is so unique needs a flavor to set it apart. :)
    Maybe a salted caramel flavor with a bit of mocha flavor?
    Whatever flavor is chosen, count me in!

  28. Caroline says

    I’d love any flavor (especially coconut, mocha, or coco flavors) with a low-sugar content, but I’d like to request a nut-free bar. I have nut allergies. Though I’d love to enjoy this exciting source of protein, I can’t do that if this product contains any tree nuts or legumes.

  29. Daniela says

    You could make one based on creamy spice market kale, from Well Fed-
    kale, coconut + spicy North African awesomeness.

    If you pick this one, really Mel should count as the winner.
    But I would eat some, so I would win, too.

  30. Kirstin says

    Cinnamon cardamom would be amazing.

    So excited to hear about this new protein source, whole30 approved! And I cannot wait to try the cricket flour.

  31. Claire says

    My ideas:
    pizza (sun-dried tomatoes as a binder, nutritional yeast, olives, oregano, etc.)
    walnut, cocoa nib, dried apricot
    tahini/halvah type bar
    hazelnut mint
    bacon, pecan, date, green apple
    hazelnut, cocoa, cherry, coffee
    thai coconut (ginger, lime, nut or sunflower butter, etc.) maybe also with tamarind

  32. says

    On the sweeter side:
    Banana cream pie
    Sea salt caramel
    Apple crisp
    Cookie dough
    Strawberry cream/icebox
    Cake batter
    Strawberry coconut
    (Can you tell I’m missing the sweets on this W30? Haha!)

    On the not so sweet side:
    Salt and vinegar
    Spicy turkey or bison (or other meat)
    Beef teriyaki
    Tequila lime

    A sweet and spicy flavor.

    Not entirely sure how you’d make some of these W30 compliant, but they all sound fantastic. My mouth is watering.

  33. Merky says

    do you know about these guys? I love the idea, the only problem with their bars are that they are relatively low protein and high carb. If cricket is so high in protein and that is the selling point it would be nice if these bars were less lara bar ish and more protein bar ish in macro content. as for flavors…chocolate is not something I usually consume on a whole30 so maybe something banana/macadamia or dried cranberrys and almond…

  34. Valerie Myers says

    This comment thing is confusing! Here’s my (facebook) post from the first day- I think this would be awesome with cinnamon, pecan/almond pieces and shredded coconut. A pinch of cardamom and/or nutmeg would round out the flavors and you could even turn it into a carrot cake bar by adding some shredded carrot.

  35. Robert Blackard says

    macadamia-mango-cayenne-sea salt: the really, i didn’t think that would work bar

    pineapple-coconut-ginger-lemongrass: the savory pina colada

    cocoa-coconut-peppermint: the thin mint

  36. Elsie says

    A “crickle” or a “turket” bar. That would be a bar with pecans, some sort of coconut milk/cream/butter caramel, and dark chocolate with ground crickets somewhere…like a “turtle” candy. I’d try that!

  37. Claire says

    Red velvet, like with real beets. Or beet cinnamon. Or beet orange. Tarragon, dark chocolate, cocoa nib, walnut, and dried apricot. Dried blueberry, toasted walnut, coconut. Or something with seaweed, like a fish jerky sushi roll type thing. Sweet potato, pepper, pork jerky (is that possible?), onion, garlic, bay, tomato. If you dry all those things out, it might be possible. Strawberry balsamic (+brownie?). Rosemary apple chestnut. Kabocha squash mushroom kale coconut (no idea how that would work). Lavender and something, maybe almond? pear? blueberry? chicken jerky with herbes d’provence? lemon? cardamom? apricot? cashew? Olive pesto and sun-dried tomato, maybe with a dehydrated zucchini base? Taco? Tomato basil cashew? Caesar salad? Okay, I’m officially out of ideas. For now.

  38. michelle says

    carrot cake or zucchini bread.
    Also – instead of dates, consider figs for sweetness. I’ve been trying lara bars (date) and thunderbird energetica (fig) and i must say the fig is a better flavor. you might freak people out with the slightly crunchy texture of the fig seeds. but as one reviewer wrote ‘you almost want to find a bit of crunch in there to say you ate a piece of cricket”

  39. Elizabeth says

    Wow… You guys are amazing… These flavor combinations are crazy! I must be really hungry, or you guys are just that good, cuz I can’t believe I’m sittin’ here drooling over cricket legs for breakfast!!! lol

    Here’s my take on it!

    maybe some veggies sauteed in coconut oil, and garlic
    maybe a quiche bar
    Just wing it Buffalo/ranch flavored…. mmm
    Sarachi N lime!!
    Wings Over My Yammie – Sweet potato, cinnamon and coconut oil, maybe a lil vanilla to sweeten the deal.

  40. Erin@Whole9Life says

    Our Chapul contest winner is… Erica!

    “Erica 9 August, 2013 at 9:09 am: I would dig a matcha green tea flavor. Especially paired with berries (strawberries or cranberries) or citrus (tangerine or orange).”


  41. Brittany says

    This contains agave syrup and peanuts. Why is this approved for Whole 30? Not saying it’s a bad product, but why this huge exception?

  42. says

    Any pain is a sign: our body tries to tell us something.
    Rudy Silva has a degree in Physics and is a Natural Nutritionist.
    This should never be a Band-Aid for not putting forth the effort that getting ready
    for an event requires.

  43. Quiana Wilmer says

    I found out about this protein bar off of Shark Tank and I wanted to try it!
    A good bar would be strawberry and blueberry Chapul bar or Apple Cinnamon chapul bar.

  44. derek vogler says

    Lemon rasberry with white chocolate chips

    Apple oatmeal raisin (or dates since you already use them)

    Blueberry orange cinnamon

    Caramel chocolate pretzel (or just crickets)

  45. Rachael Ranft says

    I’d live to see something savory and crunchy. Garlic crackers? Would be awesome for guac and salsa!

  46. Arielle fitzgerald says

    Darkchoclate, salted macadamian nut with cayenne
    salt and vinigar
    banana /cashew & coconut
    lemon, berry

  47. Kelly says

    Lemon blueberry bundt pound cake was a favorite treat. If there was a way to incorporate the rich taste of butter or ghee with that fruit combo but not too sweet would be nice.

    Or something with lavender. Lavendar lemon with a dusting of ginger! That sounds lovely.

    Chocolate and curry with nutmeg.

  48. Danielle says

    I am so excited to try these!

    Flavor combinations I would like:

    – lemon and blueberry (maybe with coconut flakes? or coconut cream as a kind of “icing”?)

    – vanilla bean, fig, and cinnamon (i also think a coconut cream icing would be good on this one)

    – mixed berries with lemon and ginger (anything with ginger, really)

  49. Mary says

    This is not about a flavor but, perhaps, another applicatiom for your criicket flour. Could there be a place for it in gluten free baking? I have found the current options for gluten free flour to be rather low on the nutrition scale. I would love to see the above application seriously considered. With gluten sensitive numbers growing, I could see some serious money if your product could be used in the above manner. Think, bread, cakes, cookies etc.

  50. Linda Long says

    Some sort of savory curry! I hate only having “sweet” bars to choose from for snacks.