Beef jerky, cricket flour, and paleo protein bars like Omnibar and Epic bars are taking over the healthy snack world. Would you try one?

By Kelly Mickle
February 27, 2015
Epic Bars

Just when we thought we'd seen it all, we discovered the newest must-have protein bars come packed with gourmet grass-fed meats and even insects-no joke.

An alternative to traditional energy sources like dairy, grain and soy protein, these bars use dehydrated animal and insect protein to create a Paleo-approved, low sugar, gluten-free way to fuel your workouts. (Try these 10 Portable High-Protein Snacks too.)

A souped-up version of convenience store meat jerky, animal-protein bars use high-quality ingredients and foodie flavors like Epic's Bison Bacon Cranberry, Omnibar's Mango Curry, Tanka's prairie-raised buffalo meat with habanero peppers and tart cranberries, and Brick's 100-percent antibiotic-free turkey with sweet potato, cranberry and pumpkin seeds.

As for insect bars, they're made with cricket flour-created by roasting insects in the oven then grounding them into a powder. Sounds gross, yet insects are eaten by as much as 80 percent of the world's population and are a nutritional superstar, according to a report from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. It's also the most sustainable protein source on the planet: Insects are 20 times more efficient as a source of protein than cattle, produce 80 percent less methane, and need 6 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein, per Exo Bars. Exo Bars' bug-infused products were created by a three-Michelin-starred chef and include four flavors: Apple Cinnamon, PB&J, Blueberry Vanilla and Cacao Nut. Chapul, the original cricket bar, offers three varieties: spicy cocoa, peanut butter and chocolate, and a Thai-inspired bar made with coconut, ginger, and lime.

The trick: getting over the ick factor. (If you can't quite stomach it, try these 6 Homemade Vegan Energy Bars instead.)