Insect larvae turn pan-ready with home appliance Farm 432

Insect larvae turn pan-ready with home appliance Farm 432

Scientists concerned about world hunger, dwindling resources and wasteful processes are looking more closely into alternative prospects for protein, and edible insects are of considerable interest. An Austrian industrial designer, Katharina Unger, who "rethinks systems and design strategies," and studied at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, has proposed a way to harvest and eat insects via a domestic harvesting machine.

"By 2050 meat production will have to increase by 50 percent. Considering that we already use one third of croplands for the production of animal feed, we will have to look for alternative and alternative ways of growing it," she said. Her suggestion for alternatives is in the form of a domestic appliance that can make protein food out of black soldier flies.

This is a tabletop insect farm for harvesting and preparing food for meals. "Insects are healthy, nutritious alternatives to mainstream staples such as chicken, pork, beef and even fish [from ocean catch]," says a recent United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report."Many are rich in protein and good fats and high in calcium, iron and zinc."

Unger's home-maker appliance is called Farm 432. She designed it to counter the "dysfunctional system of ," instead growing a source of protein at home.

To start, one would take black soldier fly , drop them into an appliance chamber, where they would grow and then move to a larger chamber, mate, produce larvae, the latter falling down into a kindergarten area, mature, move on up a tube, and fall into a cup. The cook removes them from the cup and cooks them for eating. A few of the larvae are dropped back into the top of the machine to restart the cycle.

Unger said, "After 432 hours, 1 gram of black soldier fly eggs turn into 2.4 kilogram of larvae protein, larvae that self-harvest and fall clean and ready to eat into a harvest bucket." She also pointed out that the larvae can be fed on bio waste, and the production almost costs no water or CO2. In nutritional value, "Black soldier fly larvae are one of the most efficient protein converters in insects, containing up to 42 percent of protein, a lot of calcium, and amino acids."

Unger had first worked on fly larvae for food using a prototype system. She ordered the larvae and built her fly colony as an experiment to ensure the process could work. She then scaled the system to perform the same process on a machine for home use.

Farm 432 is a concept that, in theory, might take a few really brilliant marketers and creatives to convince a large segment of Americans and Europeans that insects are good to eat. Certainly, however, eating insects would not be a difficult adjustment for many. Two billion people do eat insects, from ants to beetle larvae, according to the FAO report, largely in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Crispy-fried locusts and beetles are eaten in Thailand,

As for taste, it has become commonplace for testers to use "like chicken" to describe their first experiences with strange foods. As for Unger, in describing the larvae, she said, ."When you cook them, they smell a bit like cooked potatoes."

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Jul 29, 2013
Who keeps pushing this crap? Its like there is some hidden agenda, turn the poor class into insect eating consumer sheep or something.

There is no dwindling resources problem, only lack of applied science and technology.

Jul 29, 2013
Can't we just feed the insect-products to cattle? I'd be OK with that. That way we could reuse the bio-waste that is currently too far gone to be used as cattle feed.

But black-fly paddies is something I don't relish eating in my time. Pass the...erm...I think I'll just pass.

Jul 29, 2013
I am not against the idea but there are a couple of points I would like to make:

Re "dysfunctional system of meat production," it is not dysfunctional. If you were to replace the calories and protein provided by meat with plant matter, you would need to increase land use substantially and produce alternate processing streams for the agricultural waste products and byproducts that currently go into animal feed. People overlook that source of input when calculating the amount of food needed by meat production acting as if every morsel of food they eat is pure corn that is grown strictly for them. If we didn't have cows grazing the land it would either deteriorate or be grazed by wild animals which would cause predator populations to increase and the next thing you know people are whining about their kids' playgrounds being infested with coyotes.

Both meat and agriculture industries have vastly increased their yields over the years and are continuing to do so.

Jul 29, 2013
The reptilian overlords just want us eating more insects so they can more easily buy their preferred food when they travel amongst us.

Jul 29, 2013
I think some of you might be missing the point. Its about efficiency! Look how efficient this device is! Compare it to standard beef production, where a cow is born, fed and mantained, food must be grown and mantained for it, then it grows to maturity and can be slaughtered and deliverd to your grocery store. Then compare that to this tiny device that produces protein rich food in a self-contained system. It is obvious that raising insects is vastly simpler and more efficient. What if you were on a space station, or a station on the moon or mars? Are you going to have Moon Cows up there with you? No, but you could take this device with you and have a source of protein efficiently produced. What about the methane cows produce that is a greenhouse gas? The point is, you have eaten insects at some point, and if you just get over yourself and realize food that your body can use to replenish itself is GOOD, regardless of the source. And its Super Efficient!

Jul 29, 2013
The more you push biofuels, eating bugs, using a singly sheet of toilet paper to wipe your butt and other ridiculous crap, the more you harm environmentalism.

It's just not going to happen and it invites ridicule, and rightly so.

Jul 29, 2013
I think some of you might be missing the point. Its about efficiency! Look how efficient this device is!

If all we cared about was efficiency we would eat nothing but potatoes.

Jul 30, 2013
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Jul 30, 2013
"There is no dwindling resources problem" HaHaHaHaHa
"only lack of applied science and technology" And this doesn't qualify?

Jul 30, 2013
"By 2050 meat production would need to be doubled"... and we are already using 2/3 of worlds land resources to grow meat.

In fact, the concept that proteins are so absolutely important that we need a lot of the stuff per day dates back to the early XX century when protein was just discovered. The last commonly accepted values are 80g for an athlete of 172cm and about 70kg of weight (note the word "athlete").

Proteins are not directly for muscle building: Only essential aminoacids are "recycled" and the rest is broken down for energy production or adipose storage. And protein is not quite effective as fuel either, being carbs the preferred source. Some figures handled now are 30g per person/day for an average European male (that's 1.71cm, 70kg, normal activity grade).

This means that in the case of meat becoming more expensive people will surely prefer the easier solution of vegetarianism than switching to insects (being the latter not a bad idea IMHO)

Jul 30, 2013
Then compare that to this tiny device that produces protein rich food in a self-contained system.

It's not all about the proteins. If it were that simple then there would be no point in doing this, either, but just making protein chains in a lab and mashing them together for sale.

I'd rather chow down on artificial meat (shmeat) than this.
But I realise that is an entirely culture specific reflex.

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