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How Insect Larvae Can Turn Food Waste Into Chicken Feed

December 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The process starts with the collection of food waste – in this case, leftover pulp from a juice factory – that is stored in a room the size of a shipping container that also contains, according to University of Colorado research ecologist Phil Taylor, about 20,000 black soldier flies whose only job is to mate and reproduce. The offspring comprise ravenous larvae (i.e., maggots) that are harvested at a certain size and weight, killed, and turned into chicken feed. Leftover castings, called frass, are processed into fertilizer. Taylor’s goal is to grow the business to the point where tons of larvae are processed into protein-rich feed for large-scale chicken farms and fish farms. He’d also like to put small-scale insect refineries in municipal waste facilities across the country. [ Black soldier fly larvae. Image credit: © Wikimedia Commons ]
Luke Runyon, "For These Entrepreneurs, Cutting Food Waste Starts In a Maggot Bucket", National Public Radio, December 13, 2016, © npr
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