LEPSIS: The Art of Growing Grasshoppers
Growing, eating grasshoppers in city homes in order to curb meat production and consumption by 2050.
Our appetite for meat and a rapidly increasing urban population are causing a multitude of environmental and nutritional problems that will culminate into a global food shortage in 2050. Lepsis will evolve attitudes toward sustainable food production methods within urban environments by enabling us to grow grasshoppers as a sustainable alternative to meat. This is a symbol of change and a vessel for responsibly growing, harvesting and neatly killing insects before turning them into food.
Known drawbacks of design:
Status of realization:
Education, Environment, Food, Health, Lifestyle, Mobility, Urbanization
Region of use:
Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America
In order to move toward a sustainable future, we must do away with our culinary hangups and redefine the paradigm of food. This conviction inspired the aesthetic treatment of LEPSIS. Growing grasshoppers can be messy, but the clear acrylic walls and the wooden base reflect my desire to make this activity a natural and transparent part of the urban kitchen environment by 2050. LEPSIS comprises four modular units that attach and detach with ease for functional flexibility and space efficiency in small urban dwellings. When combined, the units create a vessel optimized for neatly breeding, feeding, harvesting and killing grasshoppers, before turning them into food. The details of the vessel visually dictate how the units are assembled, making the process intuitive and fluid. The assembled vessel, inspired by traditional clay pots, is a functional kitchen appliance, a decorative item, and a symbol for a sustainable future.
In 2008 there were 6.7 BILLION people in the world. That year the head of the U.N.'s Nobel Prize–winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Pachauri, urged the world to cut back on meat in order to combat climate change and feed a rapidly growing population. Five years later, there are now 7 BILLION of us, a number that is projected to reach 9 BILLION by 2050. With 70% of that population projected to be city dwellers, we are faced with a looming environmental and food crisis that will result in natural and human disasters far worse than anything we've experienced so far. According 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.
I was born and spent the first 16 years of my life in Togo (West Africa) where I experienced hunger and poverty due to inflation and droughts. As a consequence I developed a profound appreciation for food as an exhaustible natural resource. In 2001 I moved to New York, happy to leave my hungry days behind me, only to realize that food in the US was either being overeaten or thrown into the trash. I discovered that this propensity to overproduce and waste played a big role in global warming and food shortages around the world; accelerated meat production and consumption by a rapidly growing city population is at the forefront of this problem, contributing to 18% of global warming. In my opinion, any real change must begin in places of the world where food, meat in particular, is being overproduced and overconsumed; i.e. the developed world. I’m now a citizen of the developed world and this is my contribution to this cause.
Other relevant information
The concept of breeding grasshoppers is repulsive to most people in western societies, although 80% of the world population already enjoys this immense source of protein. However, the sustainable advantages should be incentive enough for us to abandon our hang-ups. Like most insects, grasshoppers require little room and few resources to grow. It also takes them less time (about 1.5 months) to grow to edible maturity, laying hundreds of eggs before they die. This is a gift that will keep giving.
Proven and/or potential effects:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18813075 "Rising food prices, the growing population and environmental concerns are just a few issues that have organisations - including the United Nations and the government - worrying about how we will feed ourselves in the future. In the UK, meat prices are anticipated to have a huge impact on our diets. Some in the food industry estimate they could double in the next five to seven years, making meat a luxury item. "In the West many of us have grown up with cheap, abundant meat," says food futurologist Morgaine Gaye. "Rising prices mean we are now starting to see the return of meat as a luxury. As a result we are looking for new ways to fill the meat gap." QUOTED FROM BBC NEWS
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How has the development of the design been financed hereunto?
Company development costs
Is there a plan for future investments?
Is there in-house competencies to secure market roll out of the design, with regards to investment, distribution, sales, etc.?
Designer, Researcher, Photographer, Film maker.
Professional status of designer:
United States of America
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Name of company:
Project Sponsored by KitchenAid