About this project
My name is Pat Crowley, and here at Chapul we have perfected the first cricket energy bar. We need your help to bring it to the world.
Chapul Bars are delicious, all natural energy bars with protein from our innovative cricket flour. Inspired by techniques used by the Aztecs, we bake crickets – one of the planet’s most amazing, energy-efficient creatures – then grind them into a fine powder which is rich in protein, calcium and iron, and very low in fats and cholesterols. Then we mix that cricket flour into our mouthwatering bar recipes. Dates, nuts, agave nectar, ginger…it is a tasty, healthy mixture, fueled by the most environmentally friendly protein available. The cricket flour is a very small (and tasteless) portion of the recipe, but packs a powerful punch - fully one third more protein per ounce than leading protein powder products.
We are children of the arid Southwest, and passionate advocates for a more environmentally sustainable footprint on our fragile environment, particularly with respect to freshwater usage. Personally, I grew up camping and exploring the Colorado River basin, and now work as a professional river guide in the Southwest and around the world. As we searched for ways to reduce humanity’s destructive, even reckless use of our precious and limited freshwater resources, we came to two fundamental facts: 70-90% of all the water we use flows into agriculture, and 70% of all agricultural land exists entirely to feed industrial livestock production. Our meat consumption is literally draining the planet dry; already, the majestic Colorado River – the lifeblood of an entire region – no longer reaches the sea. Change must begin at home, and it starts with what we eat.
Insect protein is a dramatically more efficient choice. Ten pounds of grain can produce about one pound of beef or three pounds of pork…or more than 8 pounds of insect protein, and without all of the cholesterol and fats that come with our meat-laden diets.
We recognize that eating insects seems radical, and to a lot of Americans, it will seem like an episode of Fear Factor. Yet, 80% of the world’s population regularly munches insects as part of a healthy diet. The aversion to insects in the U.S. and Europe is purely psychological. But psychology can change – in the early 1960s, most Americans associated raw fish with the local bait shop, but then an entrepreneur named Noritoshi Kanai opened a sushi bar in Los Angeles, catering to Japanese businessmen. The next year, John Belushi started frequenting Kamehachi, a new lunch spot across the street from The Second City, and New York City saw its first sushi bar open in 1975. Today, MenuPages lists 700 sushi restaurants in Manhattan alone. I see Chapul in a similar vein – a simple, tasty introduction to a novel delicacy…the first step in a broad culinary shift.
How far has this project progressed?
We’ve recruited a chef, perfected our first two recipes, gotten approval from the FDA (and the local health authorities in Utah), lined up a packaging supplier and a production facility, and tested prototypes with customers in California, to rave reviews (check out some of our fans on Facebook). We’ve even got a website, albeit a rudimentary one (we’re energy bar guys, not web designers). In short, we’re ready to go…we just need your help to get over the hump and bring this revolutionary product to market.
What do we need?
The good news is, we can do this pretty economically. But we do need your support to make Chapul bars available to the world. Most importantly, we need to raise funds for our first production run. That means approximately $7,500 to cover ingredients, packaging and labels. In addition, we need ~$1,200 to purchase specialized milling equipment to produce cricket flour in sufficient volumes, and ~$500 to get the website in tip-top shape. Add that up, include the Kickstarter and payment processing fees, and we are asking for $10,000.
Even more important than the cash, of course, is your help spreading the word. We can’t launch a revolution without an army of passionate, committed revolutionaries. And we need your feedback – when you get your bars, let us know what you think, suggest new flavors, recommend retail locations in your community where you’d like to see Chapul bars on the shelf.
Join us…and FEED THE REVOLUTION.
Special THANKS to:
Thanks Alice Hill for submitting your Denali photos! In a recent summit of North America's highest peak, Chapul's taste-tester said, "Chapul goodness is what got me to the top." If you're having trouble seeing the nutritional info, see below:
Chapul is an Aztec word for 'cricket' or 'grasshopper.' The Aztec's used to collect them in the summer months, dry them out, and make a flour out of them, very similar to what we are doing.
The word "tepec" means hill, so the famous Aztec ruins in central Mexico "Chapultepec" were named after an area that they would harvest crickets and grasshoppers by the thousands.
We use a Jamaican field crickets Gryllus assimilis that are grown on a ranch in California. We have plans to expand into other products, and use other insects, but for right now, the Kickstarter campaign is funding production of The Original Cricket Bar.
To answer this, we just posted images of the nutritional profile for our two flavors. We have more flavors in the works, so here's where we want to hear from you! What would you like to see in the bars? Please leave a comment or send us an email for ingredients or nutritional content that would most interest you and your community.
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- (19 days)