Optimal Feed for Mealworms

When we have a look at the literature, we can find many articles which talk about the yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor. Most of the papers focus on the research regarding mealworms as the feed for chickens and other poultry species and only some papers write about the optimal density for breeding of the mealworms and CO2 production. Luckily, there are still many scientists who are interested in working on the feeding of mealworms. Not only do larvae need to be fed, but also adult beetles. 

Mealworms consuming oats and carrot.   photo from: https://news.wisc.edu/could-squirmy-livestock-dent-africas-protein-deficit/

Mealworms consuming oats and carrot. 

photo from: https://news.wisc.edu/could-squirmy-livestock-dent-africas-protein-deficit/

In terms of Science, We found out that there are many different ways of feeding mealworms. For example, one article states that we can just feed the mealworms with wheat bran. Interestingly, the scientists also point out the nutrient contents of the wheat bran. The energy per 100g of wheat bran is about 292 kcal; the protein content is 16,2g; fat content is around 5,3g; carbohydrates content is around 24.9g. While the rests are fibres content and a little bit of salt (see table 2).  Another study compares the nutrient contents of different feeds. They found out that we can make an alternative food for mealworms by mixing 50% wheat bran with 50% brewer's spent grain or mixing 50% distillers dried grain in mass production. This mass production can provide food source for larvae with higher quality as well as in lower costs. 

In another experiment, the scientist suggests another food source for mealworms. It contains one-third of wheat bran; corn and also corn stalks respectively. It shows that this method has the best utilization rate and also at low costs. In another article, scientists state that they also use oats as feed (see also table 1).

Water is also one of the important sources for mealworm rearing. Most scientists used vegetables for drinking source. For instance, they used cucumbers. Other than cucumbers, an interesting book suggests that salad, paprika, potatoes, apples and carrots are also good water sources. In some YouTube tutorial videos, we found out that mealworms also like celery but it seems that they are not so into eggplants.  

What mealworms also like as a drinking source includes radish; cooked potatoes; cabbage; bell pepper stems; ginger peelings; pumpkin and salad. As a substrate for your mealworms, you can also use rolled oats; wheat or oat bran; whole wheat flour; whole breadcrumbs; maize flour and corn meal. Real superfoods are brewer yeast; spent grain; bran and coffee grounds (but not more than 10 %). What you should not feed your mealworms are eggs; garlic; onions; meat or fish offal; dairy; post-cooking scraps with oils and spices; wood; wooden stems or leaves; highly treated or non-peeled fruits and of course not the rotten fruits and vegetables.

Table 1:


Table 2:



Anna Adámková, Martin Adámek, Jiří Mlček, Marie Borkovcová, Martina Bednářová, Lenka Kouřimská, Josef Skácel, Eva Vítová (2017): WELFARE OF THE MEALWORM (TENEBRIO MOLITOR) BREEDING WITH REGARD TO NUTRITION VALUE AND FOOD SAFETY. Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences vol. 11, 2017, no. 1, p. 460-465.

Sun Young KIM, Hong Geun KIM, Hyung Joo YOON, Kyeong Yong LEE and Nam Jung KIM (2017): Nutritional analysis of alternative feed ingredients and their effects on the larval growth of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Entomological Research 47 (2017) 194–202.


XU Shi-cai, XI Zeng-jun, SHEN Xue-jian, Al Jia-le (2013): Feed Production for Tenebrio molitor L. by Fermentation of Corn Stalks. Animal Husbandry and Feed Science, 5 (5-6), 244-248.

JUAN A. MORALES-RAMOS AND M. GUADALUPE ROJAS (2015): Effect of Larval Density on Food Utilization Efficiency of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY Vol. 108, no. 5, 2259-2267.

JUAN A. MORALES-RAMOS AND M. G. ROJAS (2015): Effect of Larval Density on Food Utilization Efficiency of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY Vol. 108, no. 5, 2259-2267.

Köckeritz, M. (2015): Mehlwürmer züchten und nutzen. BoD, Books on Demand, Norderstedt.






Sweet´n´Sour Mealie!

This recipe originating from Malay-Chinese cuisine was sent in by Mei Lee, thank you!

Throwing a party and no clue what to serve up? This is the perfect one for casual hangouts or dinner parties with a little spark. This fun recipe will surely excite your friends and family. Maybe a good occasion to raise awareness on the benefits of the Hive and insect farming in general? 

Recipe serving 4 people (consumed as a snack)


150 g of frozen mealworms 

1 teaspoon corn flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg


5 cloves of garlic (chopped finely)

5 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons tomato sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

green pepper, red pepper, pineapple

zucchinis and tomatoes finely chopped (as preferred)


1.    Marinade mealworms with marinating ingredients and leave in fridge for 30 mins.

2.    After taking out from fridge, coat mealworms generously with cornflour until fully coated.

3.    Heat some oil in frying pan and deep fry the mealworms until the coating is light brown. Set aside.

4.    For the sauce, fry the chopped garlic until aromatic, then add in the chopped peppers/zucchini/pineapple/tomato.

5.    Then add the sugar, vinegar and tomato sauce. Stir and mix well.

6.    Add in salt and sugar according to taste.

7.    Add in the deep fried mealworms and coat evenly with the sauce.

8.    Now, your sweet & sour mealies dish is ready for serving


Millet-corn bread with 1500 mealworms protein boost!

This recipe was developed and kindly sent in by Silke Runggaldier, thank you!

Protein breads are popular these days in Europe and the USA with wheat- or rye-based breads enhanced with superfood seeds or nuts to increase the protein content and with it reduce carbs and a sugar-low that comes after eating it. MicroFoods™ offer the same nutty flavors and even higher protein content than nuts and aren´t problematic for the many people suffering from nut allergies (careful with shellfish allergies though! Refer to disclaimer in the footer). 

The result is a nice crust on the outside and fluffy on the inside

The result is a nice crust on the outside and fluffy on the inside

Goes really well with curry hummus, avocado and your summery veggies!

Goes really well with curry hummus, avocado and your summery veggies!

Recipe for a loaf pan (about 15 slices) 

20 g chia seeds
20 g psyllium seed husks
750 mL water
1 package active dry yeast (7 g) 
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp salt
50 g dried mealworms, ground
175 g instant polenta cornmeal
175 g brown millet, ground
40 g millet flakes
75 g corn starch

Do not preheat the oven. 
Put the chia seeds and psyllium seed husks in a big bowl with the water and let soak for 20 minutes. Add the other ingredients and blend with a hand mixer until combined. 
It isn’t necessary to let rise the dough. 
Line a loaf pan with baking paper and fill with the dough. 
Bake at 175 °C (upper and lower heat) for about 60 minutes.

Nutritional values per slice: 132 kcal; 22 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 4 g protein 

Attention! If you are allergic to shellfish, you might be allergic to insects too.

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Make your very own fresh MicroFoods™ Gnocchi !

This recipe and text was developed and kindly sent to us by Silke Runggaldier, thank you!

Who doesn´t enjoy fresh meals with friends on chilled summer evenings? The following recipe is healthy, easy and fast in the preparation, affordable and of course tasty. It goes really well with a glass of Aperol Sprizz too: Gnocchi with red pepper-tomato sauce.

This delicious warm starter is a perfect source of protein (13 g per serving) and fibre (10g per serving). Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies, fibre helps you digest your food better, especially carbohydrates.

The heart of the dish is of course MicroFoods™ (mealworms) no other animal-derived ingredients are present in the recipe. The protein in the mealworms and the contained essential amino acids in combination with the vegetable proteins is the best choice for our body. The dish is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3, 6 and 9) with great health benefits, especially for the brain and blood vessels.

A special hint: the uncooked gnocchi as well as the prepared sauce can be frozen, so no stress about making it the same day. Just unfreeze, boil and enjoy!

Just the right amount of "fill-me-up": hearty but fresh and healthy Gnocchi

Just the right amount of "fill-me-up": hearty but fresh and healthy Gnocchi


Gnocchi with red pepper-tomato sauce

Recipe for 4 persons Ingredients:


700 g floury potatoes 

70 g flour 

40 g dried mealworms, ground 

25 g cornstarch 

10 g psyllium seed husks 

1 tbsp olive oil 

1/2 tbsp turmeric powder 

¼ tbsp grated muscat nut salt freshly ground pepper


1 tbsp olive oil 

1/2 onion, finely chopped 

1 clove of garlic, crushed 

1 red bell pepper, chopped into cubes 

2 tomatoes, finely chopped 

300 g tomato purée fresh or dried oregano and basil salt freshly ground pepper


Simmer the unpeeled potatoes until they are completely tender and easily pierced with a forket. Meanwhile the potatoes are boiling, prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic and cook stirring often. Add the pepper and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the tomato purée and the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano and simmer for 20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes, let them cool just enough that you can handle them and then peel them. Press the potatoes through a press and let cool until almost at room temperature. Lightly flour a work surface. In a bowl, mix with the hands all the ingredients until the dough starts to clump together. Transfer the mass to the floured surface and form strands with 1 cm diameter.

Cut into pieces about 2 cm long and sprinkle them with a little more flour. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the gnocchi have risen to the top. Drain and serve with the sauce. Enjoy!

Nutritional values per serving: 390 kcal; 64 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 13 g protein, 10 g fibre

Revamping the Food Supply Chain – Empowering One Farmer at a Time

Livin Farms - The Human-Centric Insect Company

Our vision

"Empowering humans to co-create lives that are healthy for the people and sustainable for the planet"

Our mission

"We make available the tools (incubator and separation technology) and infrastructure to grow, harvest and market insects as an ingredient for sustainable food applications and high-value fertilizer."


As we dispatch into hundreds of households in 38+ countries, we are grateful to empower such a strong and creative community who supported this movement. At Livin Farms, empowering others are our core belief

We are empowering people to

  1. Make a conscious decision into their food supply chain
  2. Maximize their resources (circular economy)
    • introduce food waste to mealworms to upcycle into high-quality food
    • utilize the mealworms’ waste as high-value fertilizers

Our focus is the people and the community since they are the ones who will be able to make a change in their home, their community, their country, and eventually their world. This is the beginning to many visionaries of taking a proactive role into their food supply chain.

New farmer said, “Your relationship with food really changes…[the Hive] starts to make you make healthier decisions.”

Are you ready to join the movement and start farming?