They're crunchy, they're salty, and they're good for the planet: Say "hellourghh" to Chirps, the snack chip made from the finest cricket antennae and ovipositors.
Chirps are guaranteed to get you talked about at the next potluck dinner you attend. A fetching eggplant-purple, the triangular morsels hit the palate with a unique oomph thanks to their mix of rice, beans, and nutty-tasting cricket flour. They come in sea salt, hickory, and aged-cheddar flavors and are best enjoyed with a beer, perhaps while sitting on your porch listening to the distant calls of their yet-to-be-consumed cousins.
These unusual edibles, which could conceivably become a common item this century as food resources get stretched, were devised by three 2013 Harvard graduates and a seasoned chef. One of the grads, Laura D'Asaro, says she wanted to find a "moral, sustainable way to get protein," and having eaten a caterpillar in Tanzania ("it was love at first taste") thought crickets were the way to go.
Crickets are plentiful and require little precious water to raise. By D'Asaro's calculations, growing a pound of crickets uses one gallon of H20, while producing a similar amount of beef sucks up 2,000 gallons. When compacted, the bugs also become little protein bombs, like an insectoid Clif bar. And, of course, crickets are gluten-free.
Chirps' makers claim they're better than potato chips. Having not tasted one, I can't disagree, but that just sounds impossible—mostly because they're baked, not fried. Still, with a fully overfunded Kickstarter campaign, it seems that people are ready to hustle behind the company's motto: "Because six legs are better than four."
H/t to Treehugger