Protein and Fat from Mealworms


#1

Anyone consider raising mealworms and grinding them into flour for the protein and fat? It looks like their nutritional information breaks down to 27% fat, 49% protein. 100 grams = 471 calories and 6.9 grams of carb. Once the colony is going the only ongoing cost is food to feed them, which will be a lot less than the cost of other protein sources.


#2

Not on your life :slight_smile: That’s bait, not food!


#3

Now there’s a brilliant idea! I raised them briefly many, many years ago, in the 1970s IIRC, and they are dead easy to propagate. Someone should try this one! I don’t remember where we got the starter stock, though – any idea of easy sources, Chris? @bigepidemic


#4

Seems easy enough but I feel a little ill just considering it :wink:

http://www.nyworms.com/mealworms.htm


#5

This is really interesting. I can see a future where soylent is made from bacteria and insects.


#6

I’m going to give it a go. We just bought some fatties from the local pet store so they should progress the fastest and start the colony. We set up a 4 drawer tupperware and will swap beetles between 2 of the drawers every two weeks, keep the pulpa in one of the drawers and have the worms in the 4th. Hopefully low maintenance.

We’re starting with about 35 worms. I’ll update the status of the experiment over time.


#7

Here’s a scientific paper on the farming of mealworms and a breakdown including amino acids.

The Yellow Mealworm as a Novel Source of Protein


#8

I’m personally a while away from being able to stomach it personally but that’s just me being an idiot – it’s definitely a good idea. If you can market this I’ll buy it, but making it myself just puts me off.


#9

This sounds awesome! (Never had bug myself, though). Could you keep us updated on the cost, maintenance routines, etc? I’m also curious if they have a smell to them during cultivation.


#10

$17 in so far. I already have the tupperware container. I’ll probably have to really jack up my starting batch so I don’t wait forever to get going. The smell is just the oats they live in.


#11

Chris, you may already be aware of this, but for those who aren’t: one of the most usual culture media for Tenebrio molitor is wheat bran. This is also probably the cheapest decent option, IF you buy it at a feed store in sacks. Don’t get it from health food store or supermarket; the cost there is many multiples of the feed-store price. Any place that caters to the horsey set will have it; it’s a regular item on the menu of the well-cared-for equine. If you use oatmeal it’s usually intended for human consumption and therefore is needlessly expensive, again especially if you buy it in small household quantities. Oatmeal is also available in 10 Kg paper sacks from bulk suppliers. But for mealworms I’d go with the bran!


#12

Here is the nutritional info on other insects.


#13

I would say, if you learn how to breed mealworms wisely, why not? People are starting to switch from regular food to insects to save money and for healthy reasons. Mealworms and other insects like roaches are very good insects to eat for protein. Cavemen did it back then, why can’t we now :smile:


#14

What would happen if you made Soylent from mealworms and crickets? HEAD ASPLODE!

(maybe cockroaches too?)


#15

Excited to hear your progress on this. Mealworms make way too much sense as a protein source.


#16

Taste? 20 chars…


#17

Interesting, any updates or pictures…

Maybe you could pop them in a dehydrator and then a flour mill, to get the powdered form when harvesting.


#18

I was able to find more nutritional information on various bugs here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/zoo.10031/pdf

Here are some reports regarding taste: http://abigalesedibles.com/mealworms-as-food/


#19

yes yes please do keep us updated. I’ve been wanting to try using insects in my food for a while and im so glad someone is trying it.