PALMER, Alaska - Manna Foods is an Alaskan startup that makes sustainable, high-protein sweets out of bugs.
Luke Wright is the first to admit he's not a professional baker, but he did cook up a recipe for a high-protein dessert. The secret ingredient is darkling beetles.
The bugs are more efficient to grow because they take up less land and need little hands-on work and feeding. There are about five hundred beetles in each cookie.
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"The process to harvest them is they're all taken, collected and frozen, that's what kills them. It takes about 20 seconds. They're cleaned and then we roast them and grind them up into a powder. So, it turns into a flour," Wright told KTVA. "Because each cookie has 16 grams of protein, they're pretty filling."
Wright started Manna Foods to bring the cookies to a mass audience. The goal is to produce a more sustainable protein.
"We're all Alaskans by blood and most of our activities are spent in the outdoors. If you fly pretty much anywhere else in the world you'll see most of land is taken up by farming. So preserving wilderness is really important to us," said Wright.
Wright and his co-founders have a Kickstarter they hope will raise $10,000 to give their bug business a boost.
He hopes his insect innovation will get people thinking differently about food.
"Western society is really averse to eating insects, so we figured the best way to get that into people's diets was dessert food, because who doesn't want to eat a brownie?" said Wright.