With this project in progress I explore practices of home-farming and DIY growing that claim to be sustainable and environmentally sound. In particular, I am interested in the emerging hype regarding entomophagy (eating insects). Recent data show how overproduction of meat and the consequent waste, unnecessary use of farmland for the breeding of large cattle, and their subsequent release of pollutants in the atmosphere might force humans to search for new sources of proteins. Insects (a daily source of proteins for many non-Western cultures) might become, in a not-too-distant future, a necessary alternative to meat consumption. Besides the issues related to the (hard) acceptance and embracing of this option, my concerns lie in how it might be exploited. Despite its current status as a niche trend, and despite the rhetoric being disseminated by its pundits, preliminary inquiries with “early adopters”, participation in meetings and events and my very own experiments with insect farming have already revealed the following:
1) there is an overall tendency to maximize production and capitalize on the product, rather than making sure that the life of farmed insects respect ecological cycles
2) efforts to improve and speed-up acceptance often leads to over-packaging, attention to the aesthetics but not to the nutritional factor
In other words, the sustainability claimed by those who engage in these farming practices is only perceived.
This is an ongoing project. Follow my project here
an essay questioning the relationship between insects, technoscience and sustainability culture made possible by recent developments in fabrication, micro-robotics, and design is forthcoming for the journal Technoscienza