Yeah, so this is pretty gross. But there’s some sense in it as well. Designer and Fulbright scholar Katharina Unger wants to tackle the looming problem of overpopulation and food shortage with something she’s calling Farm 432. It’s a countertop contraption whose only purpose is to provide a fertile environment for fly larvae (otherwise known as maggots) to breed, grow, and… turn themselves into food. In as little as 18 days (or 432 hours), 1 gram of fly eggs can turn into 2.4 kilograms (5.3lbs) of theoretically edible maggots; Farm 432 just makes it simple as pie to grow and harvest them. You feed them scraps of leftover food, and very little water and the insects take care of themselves. Once the eggs hatch, and the larva have grown somewhat, they prepare to pupate and turn into flies. So they’ll look for a drier, safer place to do so, which leads them up a ramp and into an eventual trap. Once in the trap, it’s your turn to grab them and… cook them. Maggots are 72% protein, as well a lot of calcium and amino acids.
Granted this all sounds awful for a western population that generally doesn’t eat insects. But looked at through a purely practical point of view, it’s not a completely unreasonable contribution to one of mankind’s biggest problems of the relatively near future. Farm 432 only seems to have a prototype (or maybe even just some good CG renders) at the moment and we can’t find information on commercialization. We don’t expect there to be much demand for this either… for now anyway.
Hit the jump for a few more pictures, including some of the, uh, resulting food.