Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science Technology

The Lepsis Is a Terrarium For Growing Edible Insects At Home 184

Posted by timothy
from the plus-you-can-floss-with-the-legs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A recent UN report suggested that people should be eating more insects, because they're much less harmful to the environment that traditional meat. In response, designer Mansour Ourasanah has created the Lepsis, a small insect breeder that could be used to grow and harvest grasshoppers in urban homes."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Lepsis Is a Terrarium For Growing Edible Insects At Home

Comments Filter:
  • I wonder what it would take to raise shellfish indoors. Probably not worth it economically, but I can't imagine home insect rearing would be cheaper than buying them from a large producer.

    • by niado (1650369)
      Crayfish [wikipedia.org] are commonly raised indoors. Depending on volume, you pretty much just need a tank.
    • by WillAdams (45638)

      Why indoors? Why not commoditize it and automate it as a part of one's home?

      Imagine a replacement window, which is an aquarium, which plus into one's electric and has a small computer to monitor food levels &c., as well as a wireless connection to one's broadband to report on conditions inside the tank.

      One pays to have the window installed, plus a monthly fee to have the aquarium serviced and topped off from the outside through a locked access panel (there's a second set of locks on the inside panel, on

      • Well dude, there you have your idea for a start-up. Get yourself some venture capital, and off you go !
  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @11:10AM (#43973725)
    Now excuse me while I rip apart this lobster!
  • It could also be used to breed extra-noxious stink bugs for en-masse deployment at bachelor parties, graduations, and other prime prank targets.

    Or would the NSA brand me a terrorist?

  • What's wrong with soy, tempeh and other alternatives? Don't tell me people need to eat meat to live, look at places like India.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      This might be competitive cost wise.
      Soy is fine, but tempeh is just inedible. People do not need a lot of things to live, but what is wrong with eating insects? It is not like they have the complex nervous systems that animals have. They can almost surely not even feel pain, they are practically simple biological machines.

      • by slim (1652)

        This might be competitive cost wise.
        Soy is fine, but tempeh is just inedible. People do not need a lot of things to live, but what is wrong with eating insects?

        I find it strange that you call tempeh (which is, by the way, made of soy) inedible, but you feel you could stomach insects.

        Of course it's subjective, but I find tempeh pretty easy to enjoy, whereas I can can see how tofu is an acquired taste.

        Whole insects - that turns my stomach. Something I know to be ground-up insects, also turns my stomach. I can handle small amounts of insect matter as an additive (e.g. cochineal) or a contaminant. Yeah, I'd give it a go - I've eaten all sorts of things to be macho -

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          It has a taste like peanuts, which I find to be horrible.

          I like tofu just fine. I find nothing disturbing about eating insects.

    • by Rhacman (1528815)

      What's wrong with soy, tempeh and other alternatives?

      The taste.

      Don't tell me people need to eat meat to live, look at places like India.

      I don't need meat to live. Eating meat is among reasons I _enjoy_ living.

    • If God didn't want us to eat meat, why did he make animals so tasty?
  • They do it [blogspot.ca] well.

    • Sure, or for that matter cave people.

      Some of us like the idea of progress, you know. Holding up the 3rd world [Also, Dude, 3rd world is not the preferred nomenclature. Undeveloped world, please] as some shining example of where we should be heading doesn't appeal to many people in our society.
  • by SpaceManFlip (2720507) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @11:18AM (#43973843)
    many people have lawns. Lawns are mowed to look nice. Nice looking lawns are not useful for food production. Kill the grass and plant the whole yard with food for your family, and then maybe they won't have to eat bugs.

    also if you have a yard, you could parcel off a small bit of it for a chicken coop for not too much money and grow your own eggs / chickens

    I think I'll probably try things like that before I raise insects for food.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Chickens are vile creatures. They shit everywhere and are in general pretty much horrible. I have seen them peck giant gaping wounds into each other. So not only are they terrible to non-chickens, they are equally bad to other chickens.There is no way grasshoppers are that filthy or evil.

      Also many urban and suburban areas thankfully have zoning that does not allow the keeping of chickens. I would rather not be woken up at 4am because you don't want to go to the store to buy eggs.

      I would probably rather eat

      • by operagost (62405)
        So you're telling me that you only eat nice critters?
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          I never said that.
          I just would rather not be around the damn things.

          I would prefer to eat cleaner animals though.

    • by niado (1650369) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @11:30AM (#43974031)

      many people have lawns. Lawns are mowed to look nice. Nice looking lawns are not useful for food production. Kill the grass and plant the whole yard with food for your family, and then maybe they won't have to eat bugs.

      also if you have a yard, you could parcel off a small bit of it for a chicken coop for not too much money and grow your own eggs / chickens

      In most municipalities, you can't really raise chickens. E.g where I live chickens cannot be kept within ~100 feet of a dwelling structure.

      Gardening is usually doable though! Unless you are under a super obnoxious HOA, you can usually get away with a food-garden.

      • Here it's 50 feet from a dwelling on an adjacent property, but you can keep them near your own dwelling no problem. That's enough space for many houses, even in suburban areas - provided there's no HOA of course.

    • by JThundley (631154)

      The whole reason people have lawns is to show off that they own land and that they're so rich they don't have to farm on it. Let me also remind you that this whole eating bugs idea is for poor countries that don't have enough food to go around, not us Americans. We have too much food.

  • I'm sure my HOA won't mind at all if I set one of these up and create a personal plague of winged insects to fill my belly and do my bidding.

    "Fly, grasshoppers! Vanquish my enemies and bring back all the yummy meat from their refrigerators!"

    Hmmm... This Lepsis thing might actually work.

  • More meat for everyone else.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @11:24AM (#43973917) Homepage
    and because 'eat some bugs' gets clicks, slashdot cant stop peddling it.

    full disclosure: im vegetarian

    most bugs dont contain anything more than protein and a bit of fat, and the ones that do are hands-down unapproachable by a consumer whos traditionally a meat and potatoes person.
    http://www.ent.iastate.edu/misc/insectnutrition.html [iastate.edu]
    if you want some calcium, it would mean getting used to this guy in your mouth:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belostomatidae [wikipedia.org]

    Its absurd, but hey so is the chicken nugget/finger/ring and its violent extrusion the KFC "double down."
    Are we seriously so opposed to broccoli and other vegetables much loathed as children that we're going to eat bugs instead? we already have alternatives to meat that are cheaper, more nutritious, and widely available. The issue at hand is that we put meat in absolutely everything whether it needs it or not. Speaking for the midwest, even salads have cold-cuts liberally interspersed between the nutritionally devoid iceburg lettuce trucked in from new mexico and california. "lets eat bugs" is not a solution to the "meat is expensive" issue because it ignores the underlying problems of factory farming, monocultural foods, and a population of nutritionally ignorant and chronically obese adults and children. until we solve that shitstorm then no matter what we select as our meat methodone its just going to go down the same route.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Danathar (267989)

      I have incisors, which means I was designed for meat. I also have molars which means I can grind pulp and veggies.

      To deny either denies what my body was made for.

      • You also have canines to keep your squirming, live prey from breaking the vice-like grip of your jaws. I get your point, though.

      • by Rhacman (1528815)
        It isn't that we are "designed" to eat meat but that we are adapted such that our bodies are capable of gaining nutrition from meat sources. Nature puts no labels or restrictions on what we should / shouldn't eat beyond what our bodies are capable of processing and what spectrum of nutrients our bodies require to operate. We are the ones making declarations of what we and others should and shouldn't be eating.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't think you have a clue how bugs will be consumed if/when they are. The won't be raised on small farms and sold/eaten whole. They'll be produced in huge industrial plants where the process can be mostly automated. They'll then be processed and ground up in to a paste and sold as a protein product to be made in to other food. Gross? Yeah, but that's pretty much how the meat packing industry works now anyway. Meat is often an industrial processed product, thus the "pink goo".

      The only thing that separate

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      I thought the whole point of the bugs was a bit of protein and animal fat. isn't that the point of steak? just make it taste good and look like a burger. it's not like broccoli would fill that role ever... maybe if you genetically engineer the broccoli to consist of animal proteins and fat.

      • by dubdays (410710)

        ... maybe if you genetically engineer the broccoli to consist of animal proteins and fat.

        If I could make bacon out of broccoli, well, you'd see quite the garden in my yard!

        • by kraut (2788)

          That's an easy process.

          1. Buy a pig
          2. Feed it broccoli (& other stuff)
          3. Slaughter pig
          4. Salt & cure bacon.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Hatta (162192)

      most bugs dont contain anything more than protein and a bit of fat,

      Neither do most animals. If you want vitamins, that's what vegetables are for.

      • The OPPOSITE is true: Vegetarians have to look out to get all nutrients. (Disclaimer: I'm talking about real meat. I won't even touch the TOPIC of what's sold as "meat" in US supermarkets, even less that stuff itself) Google "vitamins meat vs vegetables", don't take my word for it. Also, common sense.
    • Vegetarianism is not consistently correlated with a lower obesity level - high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, cane sugar, white flour, and agave nectar are vegan foods. Honey is a vegetarian food. French fries are vegetarian, and can be vegan depending upon what you use to fry them (most fast food restaurants mix some animal fat in their fryers). Cake is vegetarian. Donuts are vegetarian. Hash browns are vegetarian. Soda, apple juice, grapefruit juice, Budweiser, Miller Genuine Draft, Heineken, and
    • by jdavidb (449077)

      Are we seriously so opposed to broccoli and other vegetables much loathed as children that we're going to eat bugs instead?

      No, I'm going to have a hamburger or a steak. I have no idea why "UN says people should eat bugs to have less impact on the environment" would lead to anybody actually eating bugs.

  • The Lepsis Is a Terrarium For Growing Edible Insects At Home

    No. No no no. I assure you. It isn't.

  • Just mash them and make them look like a hamburger. It's not like we need to process these bugs in a way that they still look like bugs.

    • by turp182 (1020263)

      Interesting idea. How about using the bugs (properly prepared and ground) as an additive to ground animal meats?

      The result would be a higher protein/lower fat meat that, with the animal meat would look and probably taste similar to pure animal meat.

      I'd be fine with something like that (labelled accurately of course), but I've eaten grasshoppers in the past (combining them with animal meat would go a long way to making it a more pleasant experience, but that's just my cultural bias...).

    • Or feed them to your fish and chickens.

  • I tell you what, when the UN converts all its restaurants and cafeterias to raise and serve insects then get back to us.

  • The only people who are going to go out an eat a bug are the very daring Fear Factor types. Heck, I know rural kids who won't touch seafood because they never grew up w/ it and the smells/sights are off-putting. But, in a country were there's nothing close to a food shortage, good luck promoting a new, very small, very gross alternative!

    • It just needs a little marketing. For a first world country, you just need to charge a ridiculous amount for them and call them something fancy. Works for snails anyway.
  • When McBurgers are readily and cheaply available I doubt you'll see a huge increase in insects in our diet. The parts of the world where bugs are common in the diet are also places that can't afford to raise cattle and pigs etc. As contrary and diverse as our Western culture has become it might be possible to introduce this as a 'cool' alternative, at least in part. Personally I've eaten grasshopper and ants. Both were presented as delicacies, the ants as chocolates and I don't even recall how I ate the

  • perception and packaging. We aren't use to eating insects and as such we don't find it appetizing, even though in many parts of the world, they have found them to be delicacies. But, say for example someone makes a chocolate flavor protein shake where the protein comes from insects, that will be palatable. I would have a hard time trusting myself to eating insects, especially considering the amount of pesticides these creatures are subject too.
  • Sure it looks nice next to your kitchen aid blender right now, but these bugs will make it look like crap in a few days.

    I spent a good many years of my life taking care of reptiles. Part of this involved growing all kinds of food items from fruit flies to cockroaches. Most of these things turn their housings into a shit encrusted shell relatively quickly. it's not the kind of thing you want in the kitchen. It also quickly turns into a ton of work. You'd have to be feeding your bugs every day, cleaning up
  • 1) This is much too small to grow enough bugs to make anything but a light snack once every few weeks/months.
    2) Bugs stink. Any kind of bug- try raising them in any quantity and you'll quickly be turned off by the smell.

  • Why would you eat something as repulsive as insects when you can eat spirulina [wikipedia.org]? It's a perfect food. You could eat nothing but spirulina for the rest of your life and have all your nutritional needs satisfied. It's an easy additive to smoothies, puddings, soups, and anything else. It doesn't taste like much on its own, so it blends well with other ingredients. So it's a much lower bar than eating a worm, grasshopper, or any other insect.

  • A lot of people around the world enjoy eating snails (l'escargot). And, apparently they are quite easy to grow for yourself! Don't bother going to an expensive French restaurant and paying tens of dollars for six or twelve snails. Spend that cash on a terrarium, put some various stuff in it, put snails in, and feed them regularly on a diet of fresh greens. Soon they'll be big enough to chow down on.

  • Let's say I'm gungho for incorporating bugs into my diet. Seriously, let's just make this assumption to consider things a bit here. Next, let's assume I'm completely selfish and care not at all about "the environment". That is, let's just even the playing field and evaluate "bugs" just on the merits regarding two factors: nutritional benefit; cost (to me).

    Now... why would I want to eat bugs again? For protein? Let's assume so. These days, it seems protein goes from about 4 cents a gram (dairy, etc.) u

    • It would seem you could reduce this cost to next to nothing by growing these critters yourself, as in the Lepsis. But that's silly. You still have to feed the critters.

      They're insects. Do you think you have to go out and buy quality, expensive feed? I presume they'd feed on plant life and leftovers you've got lying around.

  • Please don't eat the ants especially covered with chocolate, honey pot species, etc. :P

  • I have an idea, let's name it like a horrible medical condition!
    That'll get consumers to accept it!

"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it." -- C. Schulz

Working...