Look, I know the global pandemic pushed us towards growing more of our own food and changing our eating habits. But have we reached the point where we’re ready to grow — and consume — our own insects at home?
That’s the question Beobia looks to answer next week when it launches a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund its Re_ device. The Re_ is a series of five stackable pods that allow you to grow between 100 – 300 grams of mealworms per harvest. According to Beobia, mealworms are 54 percent protein, and “22,000 time more water efficient than beef.”
The grow pods themselves are 3D printed and made from recycled bioplastics. The company doesn’t get into the specifics around the insects or how long it takes to harvest them, but the site mealwormcare.org says they come from darkling beetles, and take between 1– 4 weeks to grow from egg to larvae (which is the mealworm).
The site also doesn’t say how much the Re_ will cost, only that early Kickstarter backers will get a 30 percent discount. The Kickstarter campaign officially launches on July 7.
Edible insects are certainly nothing new to The Spoon. We’ve covered a number of edible insect companies including a cricket protein powder, fried grasshoppers at stadiums, and the funding to build the world’s largest insect farm.
But with almost every story about edible bugs that we’ve written was the caveat, Will people eat them? To be more specific, will people in the U.S. eat them? Despite them being packed with protein, there is still the “ick” factor to get over.
We certainly applaud Beobia and its efforts to create a more sustainable and self-sufficient food system. But at the same time, there is something a little unsettling in the company’s promotional video when it shows someone throwing a handful of mealworms into the blender to make a morning smoothie.
But who knows? After a few more months of quarantine, I may shift my eating habits from too many carbs to a bounty of bugs.