LIVIN Farms Edible Insect Hive

Posted: November 15, 2015
$499 - $599
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They don't call them mealworms for nothing. LIVIN Farms' Hive might look like a storage tower for your loose screws and bolts, but slide one of these drawers open and the only spare parts you'll find are the squirmy ones ready to be fried, salted, and tossed down the pie hole like your Cheetos and corn nuts. The LIVIN Farms Hive is a countertop-sized insect farm you can raise at home and use to produce a rich, sustainable source of protein for yourself and your family.

LIVIN Farms says their Hives will produce 200 to 500 grams of protein-dense mealworms per week, about the same you'd get from over a pound of meat or other animal protein. Why would you want to make the switch? I mean, besides their succulent, mouth-watering appearance? First, Hive insects are GMO- and hormone-free. The mealworms grow, thrive, and reproduce in their drawers with no additives buts the vegetable scraps you toss in from your kitchen. Second, environmentalists and survivalists will like that the Hive is a sustainable, renewable source of protein. Provided you're a good farmer and don't kill them, the mealworms will constantly lay new larvae to nurture and eat. Third, they taste grrrrreat!

That's what LIVIN Farms says anyway. I don't know. I've eaten chipotle crickets before and they were OK, so I guess I'd try a mealworm as long as it were crunchy and doused in smoky spice. But definitely no morning bowl of mealworm porridge. LIVIN Farms describes the worms' taste as "quite neutral with a bit of a nutty flavor." So they're not really a main dish so much as food to be mixed into existing dishes to beef up the protein content. Grind them and sprinkle into yogurt or cereal, toss with salads, mix into soups or veggie burger patties. As with most weird and slightly disturbing things, mealworm applications and recipes are bound only by your imagination.

General care and harvesting instructions are listed on the LIVIN Farms Hive Kickstarter page. They generally involved rotating drawers, throwing in carrot peels, emptying a waste tray, and freezing your harvesting mealworms before eating them. If you want to get your hands on one of these DIY food revolutions, get your Hive pledge in by January 8, 2016.

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