Home cooked meals are nutritious and healthy. Meals cooked from homegrown products are even more nourishing. What if the homegrown product is a mealworm? Is that pushing it a little far? Austria based designer Katharina Unger, founder of Livin Farms, is going against the notion of normalcy by developing a product called the Edible Insect Desktop Hive, which can grow nutritionally rich mealworms right on your desk.
After resisting the idea of eating mealworms initially, Unger gradually found the taste, texture and health benefits of mealworms extremely appealing. She spent the last two years testing and building a prototype for the desktop hive suitable to be stored in all living conditions. The starter kit comes with the desktop hive and ‘microlivestock’, which can be used to grow mealworms in a controlled setting by feeding them any vegetable scraps found in a kitchen. Unger says that various recipes and experiments have already been conducted to figure out the taste of the mealworms and whether it is a suitable replacement for meat products.
The mealworms contain several nutritional benefits, including more protein content than beef and other meat products and Unger believes that the idea of eating what you grow could also be appealing to many individuals. The desktop hive has the capacity to grow 200-500 grams of protein rich mealworms every week and can be substituted for meat products in over 5-6 dishes a week. Although eating worms could be considered somewhat of a taboo, Unger believes that the public will learn to adapt to the idea of mealworms due to the significant health benefits and reduced carbon footprint.
The Kickstarter campaign already has over 300 backers pledging nearly $63,000 to fund this project. Health-obsessed and people on specific diets have already pledged their support to this product by preordering several hundred desktop hives. Unger believes that edible mealworms just need a little bit of rebranding to move past the initial stages of doubt from the consumers.
So, what would you say to a nice chili mealworm or mealworm manchurian? Sounds appetizing? Let us know.