Would you eat chicken- or coconut-chocolate flavoured pâté made from... insect larvae? Búi Bjarmar Aðalsteinsson sincerely hopes you will -- the Icelandic product design student has created something called Fly Factory, which cultivates insect larvae for human consumption. Though insects are eaten as a source of additional protein in many parts of the world, Aðalsteinsson is betting that new recipes will make insect larvae more suitable to Western tastes as a way to increase future food security.
Seen over at Dezeen, Aðalsteinsson was spurred by a recent report by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization called Edible Insects, leading him to realize that insects are an untapped abundant food source that could help mitigate global hunger:
Insects are not only important but rather a necessity if we are to keep on eating and demanding protein rich foods. As it turns out insects have very special capabilities that makes them suitable for farming purposes. First of all they eat almost anything organic and have some natural instincts that makes it easy to harvest without much work. Furthermore they need 5 to 10 times less feed then other meat production.
The Fly Factory would breed the larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens), which is considered one of the cleaner insect species suitable for human consumption. The Factory consists of a small refrigerator, a breeding tank and another part where the excrement of the larvae are collected for other uses, says Aðalsteinsson:
The factory was designed so that it produces no waste and to make use of materials that would otherwise be disregarded and thrown away.
The industrial styling of the Fly Factory derives from Aðalsteinsson's idea that these units would be best suited for large-scale uses, like restaurants or food processing applications, as he believes that most people are not so interested in growing their own food (in contrast to this home countertop insect larvae breeder we wrote about previously).
To dispel any qualms about eating insects, Aðalsteinsson used the Fly Factory to produce an insect larvae pâté that "tasted like chicken," as well as a coconut-chocolate flavoured dessert that apparently won the kids over -- showing that palatability is all in how the larvae are flavoured. More over at Dezeen and Búi Bjarmar Aðalsteinsson's website.