Skip to comments.Unconventional Kitchen Appliance Breeds Insects for Food
Posted on 09/19/2013 3:34:00 PM PDT by nickcarraway
As global meat consumption and demand continue to rise, it's clear that there will be increasingly severe environmental impacts associated with the growing demand, from using arable land for growing animal feed to the release of potent greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide. While some may say alternative diets like vegetarianism maybe the answer, in her proposed kitchen gadget University of Vienna grad designer Katarina Unger turns to an unlikely -- and possibly unnerving -- untapped source of protein: insects.
Unger's Farm 432 is a small-scale fly incubator that fits on your kitchen counter, which "enables people to turn against the dysfunctional system of current meat production by growing their own protein source." In particular, Unger focused on black soldier fly larvae as her research showed that they are the most efficient insect converters of protein at 42 percent, plus a lot of calcium and amino acids.
Here's how it works: fly larvae are dropped into the machine's top chamber, where they develop into adults and move into another, larger chamber, where they mate and reproduce. These new larvae drop down into a "kindergarten" area, where they are matured and harvested through a removable cup. Some of these larvae are re-introduced in the machine, starting the cycle again. A video of the prototype:
While the idea of eating insect larvae may leave some squeamish, there are numerous cultures where insect-eating is not so unconventional. Unger tells Dezeen that black soldier fly is but one of 1,000 edible insect species:
The larvae I bred have a very distinctive taste. When you cook them, they smell a bit like cooked potatoes. The consistency is a bit harder on the outside and like soft meat on the inside. The taste is nutty and a bit meaty.
With my design I am proposing a new lifestyle. It's about a potential new western culture of insect eating and breeding... It is really about making people see that there is a great variety of food on our planet that we rarely consider.
We say, why not. Culinary tastes are but a cultural construct, and with the right flavourings and ingredients (and in an adventurous spirit that you're doing some good) a lot of seemingly unpalatable things may actually become acceptable. So this bold idea might come to your kitchen counter someday, as Unger is now looking for manufacturers to collaborate with for further development. More over at Katarina Unger's website.
I’m thinking she was inspired by her father Felix’s toaster.
Some people may secretly be reptiles, but I am not.
Consider that extreme prepper material.
Oops. That would be his roommate Felix Unger. Nevermind.
Old meat in a bowl will pull off the same thing for much less.
THIS IS A GREAT IDEA!!!
Cities that have global warming initiatives should pass laws that all civil servants eat this for lunch. All civic functions must serve this as well!! The mayor and their family should eat these everyday also!
Should give the cat something to watch while the hoomans are gone.
I had a kitchen range that bred cockroaches, is this something like that?
or is it: this bud is for you?
Better gave a little extra wasabi.
I think I’m going to erp now!
Hmmm, I wonder what Aristotle (well-known proponent of Spontaneous Generation) would think of this thing?
"The [fire-roasted] worm's skin is crispy and light; the flesh is creamy and delicate. Witchetty grub tastes like nut-flavored scrambled eggs and mild mozzarella, wrapped in a phyllo dough pastry. This is capital-D Delicious. Maybe my idea of circling the globe seeking out cultures that eat bugs isn't so crazy after all."
On second thought...
A much better system for meat production using fly larvae is to pick up road kill on your commute or daily travels. Toss the critter in a plastic storage tub until you get back to the homestead. Remove critter and place on a shelf on a 6-8 foot pole inside your chicken run. Using a bucket to cover the carcass (off the body but keeping rain and scavenger birds away), allow nature and other flies to lay their eggs on the carcass. When the eggs hatch and the larvae emerge, you will have an automatic protein vending system that will last until the decaying roadkill is little more than hair and bones. The chickens, of course, will love the rain of delicacies and convert them to delicious fare for the family table. Mmm-good!
One proviso: keep the roadkill digester and the chicken run well away from the house or recreational areas.
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