Grow your own insects at home, then eat them to live

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Bugs may very well be the future of food and Livin Farms wants to help you grow your own.

The Desktop Edible Insect Hive is a device with a small footprint designed to allow you to raise your own food. However, this food would be mealworms — rich in protein and a sustainable source of food, but mealworms. “Insects give us the opportunity to grow on small spaces, with few resources,” Katharina Unger, the founder of Livin Farms, said in an interview with Fast Co. “With their benefits, insects are one part of the solution to make currently inefficient industrial-scale production of meat obsolete.”

This device provides one possible solution to the growing problems surrounding factory farming, which is responsible for around 9 percent of emissions. But until lab-grown meat goes to mass market, insects are a viable option.

The project will have to overcome the barrier of perception before it moves into the mainstream. No one likes to eat bugs. But it was only a few years ago that the UN released a report touting the nutritional and environmental benefits of eating insects. For most of the world, insects are considered a food staple, but Westerners still cringe at the thought of eating the little guys.

Truth time: We eat bugs all the time. The FDA allows a certain amount of “insect fragments” into our food. It’s estimated that “an individual probably ingests about one to two pounds of flies, maggots, and other bugs each year without even knowing it,” according to Layla Eplett in a guest post for Scientific American.

It’s worth giving it a try at the very least. It’s for the good of the planet.

The Livin Farm is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter for its Desktop Edible Insect Hive. So far, at least 249 people are willing to open their minds to the possibility of replacing 500g of meat with protein-packed mealworms. The expected retail price is $699 for one of these Desktop Hives.

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