Insect growing pods: the future of the everyday kitchen?
Thomas Constant, Founder and CEO of BeoBia, answers New Food’s questions about how and why the British start-up has launched home insect growing pods.
Q: What is BeoBia?
A: BeoBia means ‘food for life’ in Gaelic. Founded by Thomas Constant in 2019, the meaning of the word embodies his belief that we can produce and consume sustainable food without compromising our planet’s health. This ethos led us to our first product ‘Re_’, which we have just launched on Kickstarter. Re_ aims to help reduce your carbon footprint, recycle your food waste and help you rethink your relationship with food. Our secret weapon… insects!
Q: How does the insect growing pod work?
A: Re_ is an insect growing pod that empowers you to create your own source of healthy and sustainable protein. Re_ is simple and easy to use and consists of five modular trays that can be placed anywhere in the home. Re_ enables you to produce between 100-300 grams of mealworms per harvest and you can feed your mealworms fruit and vegetable waste, and you can use their frass (mealworm faeces) as plant fertiliser – a truly sustainable solution!
Q: What are the benefits of eating insect protein products?
A: The mealworms taste like almonds and aren’t just delicious, but are also extremely sustainable. They use less of our precious planet’s resources, and require a fraction of the land, water and feed compared to traditional livestock.
They are also extremely healthy. Mealworms are over 54 percent protein, contain all nine essential amino acids and are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and antioxidants.
Q: Do you think Western societies are ready for the concept of eating insects as part of the everyday?
A: We believe that we are living through a food-enlightening period, with consumers aiming to become more self-sufficient, reducing pressure on the global supply chain. It’s all about what is available, sustainable, and affordable. Edible insects are well-placed to solve this global issue. Already, over two billion people around the world eat insects, and we expect to see the edible insect industry continue to grow in Western countries throughout the 2020s.
Q: How have you campaigned to promote the benefits of eating insects?
A: Education around the benefits of edible insects is the key part of their appeal. We actively promote their benefits through social media, events and on our website. We typically have positive interest around what we are doing, especially young males (men under-35) who seem to be most interested in our growing pods.
We launched our product on Kickstarter on 7 July and within seven hours we reached our initial target goal – a great milestone for our company! Our Kickstarter campaign runs until 7 August, so we are extremely excited to see where we get to by the end.
Q: What do you hope for the future of the market?
A: I have no doubt that edible insects will grow in popularity due to their sustainable credentials, high protein content and versatility with cooking. And we hope to become the market leader as we see huge potential growth and scalability for our company. We believe that in the not too distant future insects will become an intrinsic part of our diets.
Samsung states in their 2019 Future Report that ‘every kitchen will be equipped with counter-top growing pods, with a small harvesting drawer’.
We are at the forefront of edible insect innovation and we expect to grow as demand for this ecological superfood continues to increase.
About the author
Thomas was studying design at university when he discovered the terrible impact intensive meat production has on the planet and society. When he found out that 25 percent of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock, he knew he had to do something about it. So, he combined his passion for sustainability and design skills and created BeoBia.