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Former Arizona Wildcats pitcher Mark Melancon explains why you should eat crickets

Former Arizona Wildcats pitcher Mark Melancon explains why you should eat crickets
Posted at 2:39 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 19:07:35-04

During the last season of ABC's "Shark Tank," a pair of young entrepreneurs came to the tank to pitch their product called Chirps, a healthy, protein-rich snack comprised partially of cricket flour. They say there's at least one cricket in every chip.

The young ladies who founded the business were able to strike a deal with Mark Cuban -- but if Chirps is looking to add additional investors, they may want to reach out to Mark Melancon.

The former Arizona Wildcats pitcher and three-time MLB All-Star told Sports Illustrated he's been eating crickets ever since he learned about a company called Aketta at a Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago last month and learned just how high in protein the insects are. He enjoys flavors such as Spicy Hot and Sour Cream and Onion, and he's been trying to convince his family and San Francisco Giants teammates to enjoy them with him.

"I've seen so many different types of food eaten around the world and I know that insects are a huge food source for most of the world. To me, there's no reason why we don't do it here," Melancon told Sports Illustrated's Connor Grossman.

But what about those people who might be hesitant to put an insect in their mouths?

"I would tell them if you're that spooked by it, just don't look at it. Don't focus on the visual," Melancon said. "When you taste it, understand that it's going to be crunchy and flavored like whatever flavor you're trying ... If you didn't know it was a cricket, you'd have no idea. You'd think you were eating just a regular snack."

Melancon is a three-time All-Star selection, but his 2017 season got off to a rough start when he blew a ninth-inning lead to the Diamondbacks on Opening Day in April. Who knows how both teams' seasons might be different had Melancon discovered crickets just three months earlier?