In high school, my brother had a pet lizard that he had to feed live crickets from PetLand every morning (#GloryDays).
So, my last encounter with a cricket was when I woke up face-to-face with a stray one on my pillow.
As you can imagine, the snooze button was not needed that morning.
Anyway, as riveting as my insect escapades are, it's time to get down to the dirty details.
When I found out people are adding cricket protein powder to their pre-workout smoothie, I immediately had a flashback to my insect-ridden wakeup call.
Then my entire face scrunched up and I was like, but why though?
It sounds yucky AF, but there's actually some logic to it.
Cricket flour is made by drying crickets that are raised on domestic cricket farms.
They are then milled into a flour-like texture, which is most commonly used in protein bars and smoothies.
When you get past the initial #feels that come with the thought of bug consumption, there are actually an array of benefits that can come from adding this form of protein to your diet.
Cricket flour has almost triple the amount of protein of sirloin, and double the protein of chicken.
So, body-builders and fitness enthusiasts alike are pretty intrigued by this new health food phenomenon.
OK, but still... ew? Couldn't you just opt for an extra serving of chicken over a gross, buggy taste on your tongue?
Yes, but you should probably know, according to the FDA's food safety guidelines, there's actually a pretty decent amount of insects already allowed in your food when it comes to inspection.
In fact, just single cup of rice can add three whole insects to your meal.
Buggy carbs. Yum.
So, yeah, you're already probably eating insects without even knowing it, so you can all calm down about the *ew* factor here.
If you're still having trouble coming to terms with cricket flour, you may be more keen to try it if you're a fan of peanut butter.
Many people say cricket flour has a mild and nutty taste that's actually pretty enjoyable on its own.
But if you mix it into chocolatey workout bars or protein shakes, the flavor is pretty much unidentifiable.
And get this: Americans are actually late to the bug-eating bandwagon. Many other countries have been eating insects for decades as a staple in a balanced diet.
Meanwhile, America is only just beginning to experiment with this "gateway bug."
What's next? Cockroaches? Tarantulas?!
Maybe. Beetles, bees, and wasps are just a few among the many different kinds of bugs that the U.N. is urging people to incorporate into their diets.
In this video from Business Insider, a few people try the Exo Cricket protein bars, and surprisingly, the results aren't too shabby.
I honestly have no idea how to feel about this.
If you're still totally freaked out by the thought of biting into a beetle, start small with coconut-coated bars that mask the creepy crawly vibes.
Or perhaps you'll be swayed by the fact that, by hopping (tehehe) onto this cricket-eating craze, you'll not only make some serious #gains -- you'll help make a super positive impact on the environment, too.
According to the DailyBurn, if more people started eating bugs on the reg, the carbon footprint would significantly decrease.
This is because crickets require far less water than cattle. Beef protein requires between 1,700 and 2,500 gallons of water, while its buggy counterpart only uses one gallon.
OK, I think I might just be sold.
As long as they stay away from my pillow, of course.