Grow-your-own mealworms business launched with Huddersfield a hotspot for orders
A unique kickstarter-backed invention which allows people to grow edible insects at home has been a hit in Yorkshire.
Foodtech brand Beobia uses strong and reliable recycled bioplastic locally sourced from Yorkshire to create Re_ kits - which turns waste into insects.
The insects can then be eaten whole or as a powder, and used in all meals, salads, and baked goods—from pizzas to cookies to smoothies.
The foodtech company, based on the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park campus, launched Re_ through online funding platform Kickstarter in July.
It exceeded its funding target in 24 hours - while also achieving status of ‘Project We Love’ on Kickstarter.
The product, currently retailing at £94.99, is being shipped around the world for Christmas after hundreds of backers pledged more than £21,000 of advance orders.
Re_ ‘s modular, cable-free, and user-friendly design means it can be placed on kitchen worktops or anywhere that’s dry and at house temperature.
The user simply needs to feed each tray with fruit and vegetable waste, wait for the insects to develop, harvest them, and then turn them into sustainable and healthy food.
Thomas Constant, Founder and CEO of Beobia, told the Yorkshire Evening Post the kits have been extremely popular in Yorkshire - with Huddersfield an early hotspot for those growing their own edible insects.
He said insects were a "secret weapon" to produce food without comprising "our planet's health".
Mr Constant said: “Over two billion people around the world eat insects.
“The turning point for me was when I learnt that if cows were a country, they would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter worldwide after China and America.
“Meanwhile, to meet demand for the increasing global population, a 70% increase in food production is required by 2050.These facts shocked me. I wanted to do something about it.
“I read a UN article about the benefits of insect production and how sustainable they are to produce; for example, they are much more land, water and feed efficient than traditional livestock.
“But not everyone has access to garden space.
"Therefore, I designed an insect growing pod which can be used even if you live in the middle of a city.
"Using it to grow delicious insect-based food means everyone can reduce their carbon footprint, recycle fruit and veg leftovers and rethink their relationship with food.”
Mr Constant claims Re_ has the capacity to produce protein that is 22,000 times more water-efficient than beef while being over 54% protein.
Re_ uses sophisticated 3D printing techniques to manufacture in Loughborough using recycled British plant-based plastics from renewable resources, such as corn starch, that can be easily composted using industrial methods.
Beobia was founded in 2019.
Mr Constant grew up in Brighton but now lives in Leicestershire after studying Industrial Design & Technology at Loughborough University.
Beobia means ‘food for life’ in Gaelic., the meaning of the word embodies Thomas’s belief that mankind can produce and consume sustainable food without compromising our planet.
The company focuses on introducing technology for producing more insect-based foods.
Beobia has published a recipe book to explain how to make the product into nutritious meals, available on their website.