Pat Crowley: Introducing Insect Protein into Western Cuisine

This week, CMC alumnus Pat Crowley paid us a visit at the Athenaeum. Pat ’02 is the founder and CEO of Chapul, Inc., a company that is transforming the natural foods industry with its cricket energy bars. Concerned with topics of food and water sustainability, Pat aims to introduce edible insects into the western diet. Unbeknownst to us, most of the food products we consume require extremely high levels of water consumption, aggravating the issue of water conservation and sustainability. Insects, on the other hand, barely require any water, increase the diversity of food supply, and grow in a wide range of climates, making it an efficient and healthy source of nutrients, especially protein.

What Pat points out as the main inhibitor of the propagation of alternative forms of nutrients, such as insects, is the cultural barrier. Some Western cultures are not ready for this revolution and lack acceptance. However, Pat believes this to be temporary. As soon as the cultural perception surrounding this matter shifts, a new food supply chain will be engineered.

Although still aiming for cultural-wide acceptance, Chapul’s mission has already captivated the natural foods industry, which understands the importance of sharing and maximizing resources. A collaborative effort is required in order to shift our perspective on consumption. Happily, companies like Chapul are gradually gaining market share and traction in the right direction towards the proliferation of conscientious consumption. Please join me in congratulating Pat’s efforts in building a more sustainable future and revolutionizing the food industry.

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