Sustainable food is a booming trend, especially when it comes to people finding ways to eat locally and grow their own food. Enter the Cricket Shelter. It’s a modular urban insect farm that promises an easy and efficient way to raise crickets as a sustainable source of protein. To be clear, we’re talking about raising crickets in order to eat them. Designers of the insect farm created it to help people in developing nations after natural disasters, but they think the trend could take off in America, too.
The cricket farm, created by architecture firm Terreform, is intended to fit into any urban environment, such as a rooftop, backyard, or empty lot. A prototype of the Cricket Shelter has been erected on a dock at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City. There, some 22,000 crickets will thrive inside the modular design that allows the insects to move around in way the designers are calling “free range.”
The Cricket Shelter, according to its designers, is meant to double as an emergency shelter for humans—so long as you don’t mind sharing your living quarters with thousands of creepy crawly insects. In parts of the world where conditions aren’t conducive to raising cattle, pigs, and other livestock intended for human consumption, people still need access to adequate sources of protein. Terreform suggests that crickets can be ground into a powder and mixed with other foods. Mitchell Joaquim, founder of Terreform, insists that eating bugs isn’t gross. He told Co.Exist that his team will feed the crickets “orange peels, apple cores, lime rinds, so they actually taste exquisite.”
Joaquim thinks the cricket farming trend could take the Big Apple by storm. “They would fit right into the massive onslaught of urban farms that are happening in Brooklyn and the rest of New York,” he told Co.Exist. “These farms would be great alongside solar panels and other things you’d probably want to grow on the roof. So there’s an enormous amount of opportunity to have this produced locally.”
Vegans and the faint of heart need not apply.
Images via Terreform