"Insect larvae -- it's what's for dinner!" That may not be the most appetizing catchphrase you'll ever hear, but it sounds perfectly reasonable to Katharina Ungel, an Austrian industrial designer.
Ungel has dreamed up Farm 432, a kitchen appliance that lets people grow and harvest larvae.
She sees larvae as a low-impact alternative to meat production. Insects are an important protein source in some areas of the world, though that sounds a little strange to people in places where fast food restaurants and massive grocery stores are the norm.
The Farm 432 concept uses black soldier fly larvae due to the high protein content. The adults don't require food and the larvae can be fed on bio waste. It takes 432 hours to turn 1 gram of fly eggs into 2.4 kilograms of edible bug meat. The appliance would host the insects as the eggs turn into adults and lay a fresh batch of larvae for your dinner plate.
If Farm 432 ever becomes a real product, it could turn a lot of people into insect ranchers. "Farm 432 enables people to turn against the dysfunctional system of current meat production by growing their own protein source at home," Ungel writes.
Larvae may have a hard time catching on in our culture as the other, other, other white meat. But given a choice between starvation and bug babies, most people will go with the bug babies. Check out the cheery animation of how Farm 432 works, complete with references to the "fun fly park" and "death trap." Bon appetit!