Hive is the latest design from alternative food design company Livin Farms. Spearheaded by Austrian multidisciplinary designer Katharina Unger (who also investigated the biodegradable properties of edible mushrooms in Fungi Mutarium), this project was successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter and is currently shipping out its first batch of international orders.
In light of 21st-century meat scarcity and the growing environmental impact of maintaining huge prairies and vast chicken coops to produce meat for human consumption, scientists and designers are looking for dietary alternatives that safeguard the Earth’s resources. The world of insects offers a great deal in this regard as bugs are easily farmed, require only a quarter of the same nourishment and even less real estate to proliferate. Moreover, insects are naturally rich in protein and are already enjoyed with relish in many parts of the world.
Now, Livin Farms aims to make the concept of an insect-based diet less daunting and more accessible with the Hive. It is a compact set of shelves meant to cultivate the lifecycle of mealworms as efficiently as possible, including a number of useful bug-based recipes to get started. The entire device is carefully climate controlled with an electrical ventilation system to ensure healthy growth. It has six separate drawers, each assigned to a different stage of the insect’s life to ensure a weekly output of edible worms for the modern kitchen.
In addition to facilitating a clean and healthy harvest of mealworms regularly, the Hive acts as a totally sustainable food waste receptacle. Kitchen scraps can be deposited into one of the active drawers where the mealworms will happily chow down. The Hive is also hermetically sealed to contain any foul odours that may form during its process.
While a diet involving mealworms may send shivers down the spine of the sqeamish eater, the design of Livin Studio constitutes a valuable step towards making sustainable food sources a more convenient and attainable part of our lifestyles.