Would you eat insects? The United Nations released a massive report this year arguing that bugs are good for us—healthy, nutritious, cheap, and many times better for the environment than meat. It's not the first time world leaders have made the case for bugs. And while actually eating insects may be a hard step for many to take, there's now a new design to make it a little more convenient.
The Lepsis Terrarium, a finalist in this year's Index Awards, lets you raise grasshoppers in your own kitchen. Mansour Ourasanah, a designer originally from West Africa, created the terrarium along with Kitchenaid. Ourasanah explains that he was discouraged by the food waste he saw when he moved to New York City, especially as he learned that meat production contributes to a large chunk of the world's greenhouse gases. As populations skyrocket, he sees insects as a way to meet growing food demand sustainably:
According to the UN we will need to double our food production, which means double the meat, in order to feed everyone. But what if we didn't need to double meat production? LEPSIS improves life by offering an unconventional but sustainable alternative to meat/protein production that doesn't require burning forests, cutting down trees, speeding global warming, and crippling the economy of third world countries.
The design includes modular units that can be combined to breed, feed, harvest, and kill grasshoppers for food. In order to fight climate change and move toward a sustainable future, Ourasanah says, "we must do away with our culinary hangups and redefine the paradigm of food."
Will this join Sodastreams and juicers on city dwellers' lists of covetable kitchen appliances?
Not quite ready to eat a bug? Start by pledging to reduce your food waste.
Images courtesy of Mansour Ourasanah