If growing a desktop hive for edible insects, or mealworms, makes you squeamish, you may start to sing a different tune when you consider how good LIVIN Farms can be for the environment and your health. While factory farming is notorious for its land, water, and food demands, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of mealworms equivalent to the protein offerings of an industrially produced cow require significantly less resources and boasts a tiny carbon footprint in comparison.
Moreover, mealworms are packed with nutrients and vitamins to keep you healthy and are made of both meat and plant-based proteins. The LIVIN Farms creators describe mealworms as delicious and a bit nutty, with a “similar protein content to red meats like beef and the beneficial amino-acid profile of tofu.” The versatile and neutral-tasting protein can be turned into anything from a crispy snack to an insect meat patty for a burger.
Related: UN Report Says We Should Be Eating More Bugs
Here’s how the LIVIN Farms’ low-maintenance process works: the system is divided into multiple vertically stacked chambers beginning with the pupae, placed into the topmost pupation component, where they hatch into the meal beetles (Tenebrio molitor). After the adult beetles mate, they lay eggs that fall through into the egg layer where the mealworms are hatched. Every week, the mealworms will be lowered into the next compartment until they reach the sixth drawer for the weekly harvest. The mealworms can survive on oats and vegetable scraps, while in-built smart systems help maintain ideal microclimates for growth and remove foul odors. The weekly full harvest process should take approximately 8 – 9 weeks for setup.
LIVIN Farms is currently raising funds for production on Kickstarter and can be purchased for a limited early bird pro price of $499.
+ LIVIN Farms Kickstarter
Via Fast Company
Images via LIVIN Farms