This milkshake is made with 96 crickets

cricket milkshake

Bugs are the new kale.

On Wednesday, the Wayback burger chain is launching a milkshake made with dried cricket powder at all its 100 U.S. locations. Known as the "Oreo Mud Pie Cricket Protein Milkshake," it's made with "Peruvian Chocolate Cricket Protein powder" -- an actual blend of crickets and chocolate you can buy online.

"You wouldn't even know there's cricket in it," said Gillian Maffeo, Wayback's marketing director. "It's not like there's pieces floating around in it."

Maffeo said the company originally tried the cricket shake as a April Fool's stunt at a few locations, but the response was so good they've decided to roll it out nationwide. Each shake will contain about 96 crickets and packs a whopping 24 grams of protein.

Its sounds gimmicky, but it's just the latest in a series of food products to tout insect contents. And its based on legitimate benefits of eating bugs -- namely that they are good for people and the plant.

Insects are high in protein and low in saturated fat. They also consume far fewer resources to raise. Animal protein requires up to 10 times the feed to produce and 100 times the water, according to a United Nations report on insects as food (Title: Six-Legged Livestock).

The U.N. notes that billions of people eat insects worldwide, but it's yet to gain mainstream popularity in the West.

Several companies are trying to change that. In addition to the cricket shake you can also buy cricket energy bars and cricket cookies.

Related: The case for eating insects

Just outside Boston three recent Harvard grads have started a company called Six Foods (Motto: eat what bugs you) with the explicit goal of getting Westerners to eat more insects.

"The resources used to produce meat are unbelievable," said co-founder Rose Wang. "Insects are the most abundant protein out there."

rose laura bugs
Six foods co-founders Rose Wang and Laura D'Asaro.

The company has raised $70,000 on Kickstarter and now has a line of cricket-based chips (Name: Chirps) available in cheddar, barbeque and sea salt.

Most U.S. bug-based food seems to involve crickets, but the U.N. notes that palm weevils, sago larvae, bamboo caterpillars, weaver ants, giant water bugs, and grasshoppers are just some of the hundreds of other edible insect species.

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