Remember all the fuss about Starbucks using carmine as a natural red dye in some of its products? Carmine is made from insects, and vegans and vegetarians weren't happy when they realized they were eating bugs in their Starbucks Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Others were simply grossed out to learn that their Red Velvet Whoopie Pie contained carmine.
Fast-forward three years and one fast-food company, Wayback Burgers, is advertising bugs in its milkshakes. Instead of complaining, people are standing in line. In April, the Cricket Milkshake was an April Fool’s joke on Wayback’s Instagram page.
Starting July 1, the Cricket Milkshake is a reality. All Wayback locations will be serving Oreo Mudpie and Slim Jim Jerky milkshakes made with crickets.
If you’re picturing someone putting a scoop of crickets into the blender with the ice cream, you have the wrong idea. No whole crickets, dead or alive, are involved. Wayback is sourcing a premade cricket protein powder.
The chain tested the Cricket Milkshake in Long Island, and Wayback President John Eucalitto says “people lined up to try it.”
Last year, I ate my first whole cricket . It was covered in honey, but I ate it. MNN’s Starre Vartan has snacked on chipolines in Mexico, but she questions if eating bugs is any more ethical than eating meat .
That’s a question that is sure to be debated more often now that people in the United States are beginning to accept bugs as an edible source of protein. Just last month, California welcomed its first edible cricket farm, which will produce cricket flour and powder like the one Wayback Burgers is using.
I was about to write that I don’t have a Wayback Burgers in my region, but I decided to check the website to make sure that’s accurate. It turns out, there's a Wayback Burgers not too far from here. I’m going to attempt to get there sometime this week and try an Oreo Mudpie Cricket Milkshake with 24 grams of protein. If I do, I’ll let you know what I think of it on my Twitter account ( @rshreeves).
(Anyone dare me to take my teenagers and not tell them their milkshakes are made with crickets until after they drink them?)
Related on MNN:
- A newcomer’s guide to edible bugs
- Eating insects: Vegans and vegetarians weigh in
- 7 healthy vegan protein smoothie recipes