by Tobias Trübenbacher
Should we eat worms?
Our current way of producing and consuming food causes a great many of serious ecological problems with dramatic consequences for our environment.
Mealworms are a viable alternative to meat. They are nutritious, eco-friendly and delicious.
However, humans are reluctant to change their eating habits. In our culture, the consumption of insects is often rejected because people find it disgusting.
This mobile food-truck aims to make eating mealworms more accessible. By introducing the process of cultivating and eating them into the public space, people actively get in touch with it.
At the beginning of this project I started to grow mealworms in our working space and to cook and eat them for the first time. After an intense experimentation phase in order to study the rearing of the insects and their metamorphosis from eggs, throw larval and pupa stage to the full grown meal beetles, I tried to optimize and simplify this breeding process with different tools and prototypes. In doing so, more and more details of the final concept where formed and developed in sketches, digital renderings and three-dimensional models.
To save space and facilitate an easy breeding the development stages of the mealworms are separated in different boxes, accordingly adjusted to their respective needs and feeding habits. Once a week the bottoms of this boxes can be opened in order to segregate the different stages and to harvest fresh mealworms. This full-grown insects fall down in special containers where the feed substrate is getting filtered away. The containers can be removed and placed in a freezer in order to euthanize the insects in a humanly way.
Below the boxes a particular tray collects the excrements of the insects, which is filtered out all the time in every box through nylon-meshes and can be used as a very good fertilizer.