Like my grandmother always says, don’t knock it until you try it.

When it comes to food sustainability and the inevitable problem of how the world will feed its rapidly growing human populations, the conversation often turns to alternative resources for humans to fulfill their nutritional needs. One such resource, much to the dismay of the more jittery of us and to the excitement of those with experienced palates, is insects.

Inspired by the rise of Finland’s insect-eating industry, and working with researchers from Tokushima University, Muji has stepped up to the plate to create their very own cricket crackers. While this isn’t Muji’s first culinary venture, it’s definitely the minimalism-oriented brand’s first foray into cricket cuisine.

▼ The new product is called “コオロギせんべい” (“Koorogi Senbei”), which translates to “Cricket Crackers.”

Packaged in a simple bag with Muji’s distinctive brand colors, the crackers look less like a superpower food than a regular bag of snacks you can pick up at your local 7-11 convenience store. Despite their innocuous appearance, these crackers are coated in cricket powder and are rich in protein.

For reference, a mere 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of crickets has 60 grams of protein. Compared to common protein sources such as chicken, pork, and beef, crickets have roughly 2.5 times the amount of protein, and can fully cover the minimum daily amount of protein needed for the average human. Technically speaking, you’d only have to eat two bags of Muji’s cricket crackers to achieve your daily protein intake.

However, the real question everyone might be asking though is: what do the crackers exactly taste like? After all, it’s one thing to be told something is good for you, but if the taste isn’t pleasant, it’s a hard pass for most folks. Luckily, according to Muji, the taste of the cricket crackers is reminiscent of shrimp, which comes as no surprise because shrimps are distantly related to crickets.

For readers who are more concerned about where the crickets are sourced from, Muji seems to be using Okinawan two-spotted crickets for their cricket cracker-recipe. Readers with a conscience can also rest at ease as Muji takes special care to maintain a hygienic environment for their raised crickets by monitoring and moderating the humidity as well as temperature of their enclosures.

After Muji’s announcement of their new product, Japanese Twitter became alit with references to the SNES’s Super Mario RPG, where Mario receives an item named “コオロギせんべい” (“Koorogi Senbei”), which translates to “Cricket Crackers.”

▼ If Mario can achieve his daily protein intake, you can too!

Muji’s cricket crackers will go on sale from May 20th on their online store, and each bag will cost a fair 190 yen (US$1.77). The crackers will be available for a limited time only until stock runs out. If you want to gorge yourself on more crickets but need something heavier, feel free to look into this cricket ramen delivery service as well to pair your proteins with carbs and umami!

Source, images: PR Times
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