The United Nations recently suggested that people around the world should eat more bugs, and designer Katharina Unger has created an at-home farm for raising protein-rich larvae. Called Farm 432, the device looks a little like a humidifier, and it fosters the production of edible black fly larvae. The self-contained system requires no water or CO2, and it can produce 2.4 kilograms of larval protein in an easy to retrieve harvest bucket.
If the idea of eating bugs turns your pallet, consider that many cultures have included insects in their diets for centuries. Unger created Farm 432 with the growing population in mind, that will call for meat production to double by 2050. Creating an at-home protein source to offset the demands of the meat industry may be the only way to satiate growing populations.
The system works in a cycle of 432 hours (thus the name). One gram of black soldier fly eggs are hatched in the system, and mature into 2.4 kilograms of larvae. The larvae then fall into the harvest bucket, which can be emptied and cooked. The whole system wastes no energy as adult black soldier flies don’t consume anything, and larvae thrive on biowaste, making for a wastel-ess system.
Black soldier fly larvae are also packed with protein, being one of the highest in the insect kingdom. Each contains 42% protein, calcium and amino acids.
The Western world may still get queasy stomachs at the idea of noshing on insects, but the future of food production could force us to get used to a little bugs in our diets.