You can see a lot of odd stuff available at San Diego Comic Con, but protein bars made from crickets like those featured in Snowpiercer are right up there. The post-apocalyptic story began life as French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, and in 2013 was adapted as a movie that was a Korean production with mostly English dialogue. Snowpiercer is currently being turned into a TV series set to air on TBS next year and has already been renewed for a second season.
Snowpiercer is set in the near future where a man-made ice age has wiped out all life on Earth. The remnants of humanity live aboard a gigantic serpentine train powered by a perpetual motion engine that continually circumnavigates the globe. Society has become rigidly stratified, with the lower classes existing in cramped squalor at the tail end while the upper classes live in hedonistic decadence at the front. Snowpiercer is a story of vast inequality, and as often happens when such situations exist, a revolution starts brewing.
As part of the promotion for the upcoming Snowpiercer TV show, bars made from insect protein powder are being made available at SDCC. The bars are mimicking those of which the train’s tail dwellers receive daily rations to survive, unaware of what they’re made from. Far from the gelatinous lumps seen in the film, however, these bars are more like those you would find in the supermarket, with ingredients like peanuts, strawberries, coconut and honey, albeit with nutrition derived from specially farmed insects. The bars will be available throughout the whole long weekend at booth 4215 in the Exhibit Hall via special vending machines where fans will enter their email address in order to receive one. Anyone with seafood or nut allergies is advised to steer clear, though, as the ingredients may trigger them.
The bars themselves are a creation of Exo, a subsidiary of Aspire Food Group, a food production company with a mission to normalize the consumption of insects in the West - something that two billion of the world’s people already don’t consider strange or disgusting. Aspire’s CEO Mohammed Ashour said that this kind of customized partnership is not something he would typically consider, but made an exception in this case, stating “the alignment of Snowpiercer with Aspire’s own path of radical technology solutions to the real-world challenges of food insecurity and climate change made for a perfect partnership.”
One aspect of Snowpiercer that made it stand out from other action movies was the streak of sociopolitical commentary running throughout that was just as important to the story as its battle sequences. The film acts as a microcosm of human society, and the challenge of feeding a population with dwindling resources is one very real problem that's relevant to the modern world and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. The Snowpiercer TV show will most likely address the same issues, and highlighting to people that eating insects need not be as revolting as they have been conditioned to believe. Plus, it could be one step towards solving the problem.