Time to grow your own insects?

The Austrian designer Katharina Unger thinks you might pay over $500 to have beetle larvae living in your kitchen
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Livin Farms Hive. Image courtesy of Livin Farms
Livin Farms Hive. Image courtesy of Livin Farms

Want worms in your kitchen? What do you mean ‘no’? The mealworm, or the larvae of a certain species of darkling beetle, is among the most nutritious and easy-to-rear foodstuffs on earth. What’s more, our book On Eating Insects explains, mealworms might help feed the world’s protein-hungry population without taking too great a toll on the planet’s resources. You can fry them, toss them in salads, or grind them into flour.

 

Livin Farms Hive. Image courtesy of Livin Farms
Livin Farms Hive. Image courtesy of Livin Farms

Now the Austrian industrial designer Katharina Unger has brought this ecological foodstuff right into the kitchen. Unger has launched a kitchen-counter mealworm farm, which, Unger’s firm Livin Farms claims, can produce up to 500 grams of edible mealworms each week.

The ten-stage, $579 Livin Farms Hive is climate controlled, fitted with odour filters and an automated separation process, ensuring users only harvest clean worms. The mealworms can be fed on kitchen scraps, and the animals' waste can also be used a fertilizer.

 

Unger’s Hive hit its Kickstarter target a few months ago, and is now available to order, with an expected delivery date of October 2017. Can’t wait until then? Well, order a copy of our book On Eating Insects for an antennae-to-thorax guide to insectivorous living.


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