Have you ever thought of mealworms as an alternative to beef or chicken? They have the same amount of protein as beef and are loaded with just as much amino acids as tofu. They can be added to soups or made into burgers. But where do you find them?

Livin Farms, a company out of Hong Kong, has developed the Livin Farms Insect Hive. This product is a countertop hive—that’s right, it goes right in your very own kitchen—and harvests mealworms for you. The founder and CEO of Livin Farms told Tech Insider, “We want to empower people to know where their food comes from and grow it in their own home.” She also said mealworms taste “nutty.”

At just two feet tall, the Livin Farms Insect Hive cuts factory farm impact on the planet. Fans and filters eliminate any unpleasant odors and ensure the mealworms can’t escape. The process takes about a week and makes one to two cups of mealworms, Tech Insider reports.

So how does it work? The countertop hive is comprised of drawers and comes with pupae, which turn into beetles. The pupae are placed in the top drawer. Once the pupae turn into beetles, they mate and lay eggs. The eggs drop down to the second drawer, where they turn into mealworms. Once they’re mealworms, you’ll need to feed them. Give them food scraps, oats, carrots or apples. Press a button to vibrate the hive. The waste will separate from the mealworms, causing them to fall into another drawer. The mealworms are chilled in this drawer. Some, however, will transform into pupae in the last drawer, so that the process can begin again.

Before using the mealworms, freeze them overnight.

Right now the Livin Farms Insect Hive is looking for crowdfunding on Kickstarter. As of press time, the campaign, which ends in 52 days, has already reached $54,082 of its $100,000 goal. Backers can get their own countertop hive for $500; the expected retail price will be $700 USD. The hive ships anywhere in the world.

For more information or to back this project, visit the Kickstarter page.


Cari is a former dancer and current dance enthusiast who incorporates all forms of art into her daily life, which includes writing about dogs, cats and farm animals. She has an MFA degree in creative writing and has written short stories, poetry, and two novels, which are patiently awaiting revision.

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