Choosing snack chips made from crickets over regular potato chips may seem like a completely insane idea. At least, it would to the Western audience that Laura D’asaro and Rose Wang were hoping to win over when they created Chirps Chips. But it turns out that eating crickets is not such a crazy concept, and it’s one that D’asaro and Wang understood had great potential when they began developing their product through Six Foods (six-legged foods). The two Harvard university grads are changing the way we define sustainable foods, while offering some tasty and nutritious snacks at the same time.

Chirps are insect-derived chips crafted with beans, rice and cricket flour. These chips are always baked, never fried, and have only half the fat of regular potato chips. They’re high in protein, iron and calcium, making them a much healthier alternative, and are 100% natural and gluten-free. With more protein than an egg and a whopping 3x more protein than the leading chip brand, Chirps are a nutritional powerhouse with a savory taste to match.

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Laura D’asaro and Rose Wang care about human health, animal welfare and the environment – a lot. Their food company, Six Foods, is on a mission to make cricket flour a big buzz in the Western market. 80% of countries in the world are already enjoying these insects in their diet, so why not us? Crickets have a negative stigma here, but when these two founders lay out the nutritional facts, it’s impossible to ignore the positives.

Since sustainability is a big component of Six Foods mission, D’asaro and Wang wanted to source ingredients that had a positive impact on the environment. Compared to beef, cricket meal saves water, requires less feed to produce, and has a much lower rate of greenhouse gas emissions. For every gallon of water that it takes to produce one pound of cricket meal, it takes 2000 more to produce a pound of beef. Every pound of digestible beef requires 25 bags of feed, while it takes just 2 to produce the same amount of cricket flour.

And Six Foods assures us that their cricket-made products do not taste like insects. Chirps Chips come in three flavors including natural Sea Salt, Hickory BBQ and flavorful Aged Cheddar. They’re perfect for any palate, with the same crunch you expect from your current potato chip brand. Six Foods worked with a professional chef and tested Chirps on hundreds of everyday people to ensure that they got the taste just right. You’ll never even notice that you’re crunching on crickets.

In 2014, the Chirps Kickstarter campaign beat their 30-day goal of $30,000 by more than double, reaching $70,559 to aid in production. Today, the brand continues to expand while attracting more diehard fans everyday. What at first may have seemed like a crazy concept has become a bona fide business, and cricket meal is being touted as the newest health food you didn’t know you needed. With its high-protein, low-fat combination and unexpectedly good taste, cricket meal will surely continue to grow in popularity. Laura D’asaro and Rose Wang may be ahead of their time, but we’re catching up fast.

Shark Tank Air Date: 1/27/17 – Season 8 – Episode 14

 

 

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