More and more of us are trying to lead a healthy life while at the same time minimizing the negative impact our practices may have on the environment. Black soldier fly has the potential to help us address many of the current issues humanity and the environment is faced with.
It starts with replacing, whether fully or partially, the feed given to chickens, ducks, pigs and fish, and other pets and switching it to black soldier fly based feed. This is helpful because grubs can be grown on organic waste which would otherwise end up on landfills. The next application is in using insect produced frass as a natural fertilizer. The last application is probably something we are a bit far off from, but will come in future, which is the introduction of the insect in human foods.
Black Soldier Fly Larvae in Animal and Pet Feed
Black soldier fly larvae is an environmentally friendly source of protein. Soybeans and fishmeal, which are currently used in feeds for various animals and pets are far from being environmentally friendly.
Soybeans require vast amounts of land and water, and soybean fields have led to the destruction of unimaginable amounts of trees and the disappearance of wildlife.
Fishmeal on the other hand is produced in a paradoxical and extremely wasteful way because more than 80% of fish caught for fishmeal processing are actually fish that could be fed directly to us, without being fed to yet another fish.
The harvesting of black soldier flies does not have any negative impact on the environment, quite the opposite. Black soldier flies help us by decomposing organic matter, which would otherwise be sitting on a landfill emitting all sorts of toxic gasses, hurting us directly as well as polluting the environment. BSF larvae are one of the most efficient creatures when it comes to the conversion ratio of biomass into feed, but that also means we need more BSF farms to help us process the waste we are currently generating.
However, it’s not just the environmental aspects which put black soldier fly at the forefront of the battle of the feeds. Its nutritional properties are far better than those of soybeans and may be a good full or partial replacement for fishmeal.
Black Soldier Fly Larvae in Human Food
Consuming black soldier flies in future may be a part of a healthy and sustainable diet. All of us at Supreme Grubs have tried these grubs and some continue to use them in their diet. But we are aware that this step, the introduction to the human food chain, may take some time. This is both due to the regulative framework as well as the attitude most of us still have when it comes to the topic of consuming insects as food. It is likely that the introduction will start slow by introducing the powdered version of the insect as opposed to the whole insect to avoid the “yuck” factor.
The benefits of a switch from standard meats to insects, in order to obtain sufficient protein and micronutrients are vast. If the amount of resources needed to grow the food we typically eat now could be liberated, we would likely see the reversal of the many negative environmental changes we are witnessing now. Wildlife and life in the oceans would flourish, if only we are fast enough to act now.
Black Soldier Fly Larvae to Tackle Organic Waste
Black soldier flies are essential decomposers in breaking down organic substrates and returning nutrients to the soil. The effects of accumulating organic waste on our landfills are detrimental to human health directly because the inhalation of particles has a negative impact on health. At the same time, these landfills emit tons of methane gas into our atmosphere every day, further aggravating the climate conditions as methane is a greenhouse gas 80 times more powerful than CO2.
They also have the ability to break down the bacteria in their food. This is why they are considered to be sanitary. Once they’ve completed their digestion, there are no bacteria found in their waste. This is likely due to the lauric fatty acid they are rich in, a fatty acid with powerful antimicrobial effects. Some of these antimicrobial characteristics may be passed on to the animals or pets feeding on grubs, which brings us back to the topic of how great black soldier flies are as a traditional feed substitute.
After processing the black soldier flies, their leftover food, their poop, any remaining eggs, and even some remaining flies are excellent sources of protein for your plants and a great natural fertilizer. In short, there’s absolutely no waste from BSFL production.
Black soldier flies, through their inclusion in feeds, future introduction to human foods and in processing of waste have an extremely positive impact on the environment. You can play a role in supporting the black soldier fly economy by purchasing these incredible creatures and starting to use them.