Insect cultivation and consumption will transform Stockholm’s infrastructure.
Insects have never been big in the typical Western diet. The agricultural revolution dramatically altered modern consumption and transformed the cultural context of our food. Now, as our population booms and food sources become increasingly pressured, another shift is taking place.
Insects are being recognized for their high nutritional value and small carbon footprint. Cricket cultivation is nine times more efficient than that of beef and can even take place in urban factories. Culinary visionaries and other innovators are recognizing the economic and social opportunities that lie within the market.
Belatchew Labs has developed plans to make Stockholm a sustainable, cricket-consuming city with InsectCity and Buzz Building, an integrated network for cricket cultivation and consumption.
Stockholm is among the fastest urbanizing cities in the EU with a projected 2018 population of 940,700. With a mounting pressure on beef producers, InsectCity’s 10 350 m² of farm surface will provide for a substantial portion of the city’s protein needs.
There will be nine Buzz Building complexes, each modeled after the structure of an insect. Their lightweight steel exoskeletons will be lined with an insulated aerogel to provide ideal light and temperature conditions for cricket harvesting. Insect production will be conducted on the second floor and the insects will be prepared and sold in the first floor’s insect restaurant. Buzz building will also have a designated section for bees to preserve the existence of a variety of endangered species.
The entire production process will be visible to the public. This transparency will help ensure quality production and facilitate the acceptance of insects as food.
So far, the idea of harvesting insects for food has been supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and has also taken root in American cities. While packaged insect products and in-home harvesting are some of the latest innovations, cricket production on a visible city-wide scale may be the boldest attempt yet to popularize insect consumption.