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It's perfectly safe to eat. 

Elisabeth Sherman
May 11, 2017

Don’t freak out, but your favorite junk foods may contain mealworm powder.

It’s true: PepsiCo – the company that produces Doritos and Cheetos – is currently experimenting with adding the powder to their chips in an effort to find “alternative protein sources for its products,” according to Business Insider.

On the website NineSights, PepsiCo actually posted a request for suggestions on how to integrate new protein sources that don’t “negatively impact… texture, taste [and] color.” They’re seeking “novel protein sources” that are either plant or yes, even insect, based.

The post also reveals that they’ve already done extensive experiments with mealworm and cricket powder, and even moringa, a protein powder made from dried leaves. 

Although these protein powders sound unappetizing, PepsiCo promises that any insect or plant based additions to their famous snacks will go completely unnoticed by the consumer. You won’t even be able tell the bugs are there at all.

But even if you could taste them, you'd be following the newest food trend: Eating insects is becoming more common, even in the U.S., where it’s generally still considered a taboo.

Scientists are actually urging more people to eat bugs as a way to combat climate changeInsect farms are cropping up globally to help fight hunger, too. And bugs are good for you: They’re packed with healthy fats, calcium, iron and zinc.

If all you can think about is ground up worms next time you pick up a bag of Doritos, just remember that they’re FDA-approved – and you’re doing the environment, and your body, a favor by eating them.

Not too bad for the future of junk food.