SALT LAKE CITY, July 24 (UPI) -- The founder of a Salt Lake City company selling energy bars containing a flour made of ground-up crickets says the insects are an eco-friendly protein source.
Patrick Crowley, 33, founder of Chapul -- which sells peanut butter, chocolate and Thai-flavored Chapul Bars for $2.99 to $3.59 each -- said all of the varieties contain cricket flour, CNNMoney reported Wednesday.
"Most people don't know that crickets are a rich source of edible protein," Crowley said.
He said crickets are a more environmentally friendly variety of protein than livestock such as cows and pigs, as farms for the larger animals use a massive amount of animal feed and water.
Crowley said crickets live on very little water and feed on agricultural by-products including broccoli stalks and corn husks.
"So there's both an economic and environmental benefit to farming insects for protein," he said.
Crowley said his bars are available at 75 stores in 15 states. He said he expects sales to top $1 million in the next two years.