Do you love eating bugs, but can never find enough of them to satiate your endless cravings? Did you take "The Lion King" too seriously as a kid? If you answered yes to either of these, we have some great news for you: for a mere $650, you can have the Hive, a device that grows live worms on your kitchen counter that you can gather and eat at home. No more foraging!
This climate-controlled ecosystem will get you approximately a pound of bugs each week. First, you fill the Hive with pupae, which hatch into beetles, according to Quartz. The beetles then lay eggs that turn to larvae, which grow in to mealworms, which end up on your plate for dinner. An intricate system of vibrators, sensors and manual levers move the bugs from one tray to another as they go through each phase of their lifecycle. This is a self-sustaining process, and the bugs will happily much away at any food scraps that you give them like vegetable peels and rotten food.
After "harvesting" the grown worms from the trays and freezing them, they can be fried, baked, boiled or ground into powder.
"I wanted to create a way for people to independently grow their own protein using minimum space in their home," said founder Katharina Unger. "I grew up on a farm with cows and animals. But raising insects requires less space, and is cleaner than raising animals." She and co-founder Julia Kaisinger formed a company called Livin Farms in 2015, where they developed the Hive, thanks to $145,429 that they raised on Kickstarter.
If this still sounds completely bizarre to you, it might come as a surprise that insects are not only highly sustainable, but they are also ridiculously healthy. Mealworms are almost 50 percent protein and have as many omega-3s as fish, according to Prevention. They are also a very cost-effective way to feed a family on a budget.
But how do they taste?
Josh Horwitz from Quartz tried a big heaping spoonful of fried mealworms and said that they tasted like dried shrimp, a common Chinese noodle topping. They are a little fishy with a "subtle, nutty bitterness" to them. Horwitz recommends crushing them into harmless-looking crumbs and sprinkling them onto stir-fried vegetables.
What do you think? Would you eat bugs?