Welcome to The Fireside. Here, founders Dave and Lars Baugh have written responses to many frequently asked questions. Have questions of your own? We welcome you to contact us! Below, we've sectioned the Q&A based on our Organization, our Crickets, and the Nutrition behind them. Thanks for taking the time to learn more about us!
Q: Why is your name Lithic?
A: Insects have been consumed by humans since the dawn of time, mainly because they are an easy-to-capture source of protein and nutrition. Even throughout the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic eras, insects were a dominant source of nutrition that was globally accepted in different cultures. We have chosen the word 'Lithic' to reference these time periods in hopes to effectively resurrect the acceptance of eating insects as a dietary staple. We also thought it sounded pretty cool.
Q: Is this seriously the business you decided to go all in on?
A: Absolutely. We both committed our time and savings to get this business started and relentlessly strive to increase our social impact locally and globally. We have had much support around our business and are appreciative of how receptive people have been to us. We truly believe this is the start of something big... Supplements are our beginning, but we're looking at all kinds of ways to permanently inject crickets into the modern diet.
Q: What makes you organization different than competitors?
A: In our opinion, our culture is what fundamentally sets us apart. Our culture is defined by integrity, quality, transparency, responsibility, vision, and sustainability. From our earliest beginnings, we elected to go down a path of decisions made with these values in hand. By being careful to evaluate how we make decisions and run our business, it is no accident that we are comfortably open about our products, processes, and partners. We are proud of the way we do business.
Our culture has lead to strategic business partnerships, improved products, sustainable solutions, encouragement of innovation, and loyal customers.
Q: Who are your products made for?
A: Our products are specifically designed for sensitive diets, nutritionally aware athletes, and people who want to eat responsibly for the environment. We've developed our product line to answer to the demands of athletes whose bodies need nutritionally dense fuel as a part of their regular diets. Some of our other followers have auto-immune issues such as M.S., Celiac, or Hashimotos - our bars are a fantastic way for them to easily ingest protein without complications. This is why Lithic products spare no expense to optimal nutritional values of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and calories. We strive for our products to fit serious athletes' macronutrient ratios. Want to learn more about how to properly fuel yourself? Visit the If It Fits Your Macros website to educate yourself about what you need to be eating.
Q: How is working with your twin brother?
A: We've all heard the horror stories about working with family. Heck, some networks even created TV series out of the drama. Working together professionally has been a pleasant experience, far different from being at each other's throats at a young age. Since we split up at age eighteen, Dave and I have attended different colleges, studied different disciplines, experienced different careers, and have therefore become very different from each other. Working together has exposed professional skills and personality traits that were previously unknown; we hadn't worked together in a setting like this before. Luckily, we compliment each other in ways we didn't know we could. Dave's experience as an officer in the Marines and my experience in corporate leadership positions have blended in a very progressive way.
Q: Why crickets, out of all other insects?
A: Insects have been increasingly studied on an academic and global scale with the purpose of determining which are suitable for sustainable human consumption. There are many suitors worldwide, such as ants, grasshoppers, and grubs. The cricket, however, is a very nutritionally dense option that has a more palatable taste. Crickets are also easy to cultivate, which connects with our interest in choosing a sustainable, low-energy option from the arthropod category.
Q: Where do your crickets come from?
A: We source crickets from a place where they've been raising insects for human consumption for centuries - Thailand. We've chosen to partner with a farm in Thailand that is FDA registered, works closely with Thai Universities for innovation, is pursuing third party certifications for organic, gluten free, and non-GMO, and ensures a fair pay for their employees. They raise their cricket with all-natural, vegetable based diet to yield the best tasting cricket powder around.
A domestic cricket farm we work closely with in innovation is Coalo Valley Farms, out of Van Nuys, California. Coalo breeds, raises, and harvests their own crickets. With sustainability as the leading purpose for both of our businesses, our cultures blend to drive innovation, efficiency, and quality.
Q: What do your crickets eat?
A: Our crickets eat a 100% (non-certified...soon to be) organic diet, and consume mainly vegetables, which include broken rice grain, sweet corn, pumpkins, and soybean meal.
Q: How does consuming cricket products affect the environment?
A: Due to the extremely small carbon footprint of cricket farming, with every bar consumed as an alternative to a vegetable, meat, or milk derived protein, you effectively reduce demand for manufacturing processes that have an opposite effect on our planet. You will have a dramatically positive effect on deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, ammonia creation, water consumption, and resource consumption. Crickets are a viable 'savior' food alternative that will assist in answering to our growing global food demand and increased resource consumption. We've created a simple outlet for you to reign in these positive effects; eat our products! We will continue to innovate our product line to satisfy dietary needs beyond supplementation to allow these positive environmental effects to grow.
Q: Why should I switch to cricket protein?
A: There is merit to adding an alternative protein to your diet to improve your recovery and growth goals. It is widely accepted that you should consume many types of protein, carbohydrates, fats, etc. to offer yourself nutrients that are processed and digested differently by your body. Different types of protein, for example, absorb, breakdown, and rebuild in different time lengths and some more effectively than others. Our products are all-natural, paleo-friendly, non-GMO, soy free, and lactose free. We've pretty much avoided the main things that could upset sensitive digestive systems.
Q: Is cricket protein really a nutritious alternative to whey, meat, egg, soy, or other proteins?
A: You betcha! Aside from the easily digestible cricket powder in our products, the cricket is a natural superstar of the proteins available for human consumption. Crickets host many vitamins and minerals that would have to be added to other proteins to make them as nutrient rich. Things like calcium, lots of iron, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B12, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, all nine essential amino acids, and unsaturated fats (you know, the good ones) aren't things we have to add in to our products to bolster their nutrition, because these things are already in there. Efficiency at its best.
Q: What other beneficial ingredients do you use and why should I care?
A: To make our bars as competitively nutritious as they are, we elect to use ingredients like dates, almonds, and dried fruits to bolster taste and value. These other ingredients bring a plethora of vitamins and minerals to our bars, such as additional riboflavin, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. These antioxidants and natural ingredients help promote a neutral acidity level in your body and have been shown to fortify your immune system function. In short, there's a lot more to our bars than just high protein content.