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Black soldier fly maggots: high in protein with a small carbon footprint (scmp.com)
88 points by classichasclass 32 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 129 comments



I went deep down the rabbit hole for almost a month trying to figure out how to farm escamoles[1] in an industrial ant farm. They sell for $40-100 per kg and are apparently delicious (still haven't had the chance to try them myself). I decided I didn't want to spend the effort involved in trying to set up the world's first industrial ant egg farm but all the research did convince me there should be a market for insect protein, although I think the effort should be directed at feeding livestock.

Chickens are an obvious option but what really stuck out to me was the opportunity for feeding farmed fish. Farmed fish need protein to grow (duh) and the protein they are fed is generally fishmeal made up of smaller "worthless" fish caught by commercial fishing vessels. The problem is that it takes 5 lbs of fishmeal to grow a pound of farmed fish. Not very sustainable if farmed fishing is supposed to protect wild fish populations. Fishmeal fetches a price between $1500 and $2000 per metric ton [2], so there is a market for a viable replacement.

In the end, I realized I was basically redesigning a company that a fraternity brother had started several years earlier - Grubbly Farms [3]. All this is to say that I think insects as a protein source are very exciting and I look forward to seeing how the industry evolves.

1 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escamol

2 - https://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=fish-meal&...

3 - https://grubblyfarms.com/


I can attest that escamoles are indeed quite good. They can be found at a lot of trendier restaurants in Mexico City. As someone who also has an interest in permaculture, I'm interested in your idea. All practicalities aside, I think the largest hurdle would be developing new markets. As it stands, I believe escamoles aren't that popular outside of Central Mexico.

Edit: Wanted to add that for a while I've toyed with the idea of using BSF larvae to feed trout in an aquaculture/aquaponics system. The biggest issue for me is that trout require a much lower stocking density than most other fish suitable for aquaculture. I'm just not into tilapia.


I would be really interested in trying out escamoles! and the idea of a business around that sounds quite appealing (even though, yes I imagine it would be hard to convince the average red-meat fed american).

Any idea where to find this delicacy in California?


> [Escamoles] sell for $40-100 per kg

> what really stuck out to me was the opportunity for feeding farmed fish. Farmed fish need protein to grow (duh) and the protein they are fed is generally fishmeal made up of smaller "worthless" fish caught by commercial fishing vessels.

> Fishmeal fetches a price between $1500 and $2000 per metric ton [2], so there is a market for a viable replacement.

You want to replace $2,000 / ton fishmeal with $100,000 / ton escamoles? How are you planning to convince anyone to do that?


> You want to replace $2,000 / ton fishmeal with $100,000 / ton escamoles? How are you planning to convince anyone to do that?

You make 2 assumptions here that don't really make sense in context of the comment:

1) That escamoles are 1:1 replaceable with fishmeal in terms of feeding fish.

2) That the price of escamoles would not go down if industrially farmed


> Chickens are an obvious option

Chicken are fed with soybeans. What would you feed ants so you can feed them to chicken in turn that would be more efficient?

The fish aspect seems more reasonable, if we can't figure out how to feed farmed fish with plant products.


> What would you feed ants...?

Garbage.

What do they eat? Only the highest quality pre-consumer food waste will do. Rather than using animal by-products, we link up with juice bars, bakeries, breweries, and the likes to divert their food waste. While a mushy banana may not seem appetizing to you, our grubs would happily do the honors.

https://grubblyfarms.com/pages/faq


> Only the highest quality pre-consumer food waste will do.

...why? I guarantee the ants don't care about this.


Because each step in the food chain tends to concentrate any substance that bioaccumulates. One example is vitamin A. Fish have lots of it in their livers, seals eat fish, polar bears eat seals. Polar bears have so much vitamin A that eating the liver of a polar bear is almost certainly going to be fatal.

So if your food waste contains heavy metals (as another example) and you feed that to the ant larva and in turn feed the ant larva to fish, you're likely to end up with fish that have high levels of heavy metals.


What bioaccumulation occurs between pre-consumer food and post-consumer food? It's the same -- already dead -- substance.

Are you worried about chicken bones getting thrown away along with lead and mercury, and picking those metals up before being fed to the ants?


And it's not possible to feed it to the chicken directly or mixing it into their soy feed?


It totally is. Chickens will happily eat anything. Especially other chickens.

I grew up on a chicken and sheep farm. Between letting the chickens roam the vegetable part of the farm area and eat bugs (bonus: we didn't need pesticides) and feeding them our organic food waste, we basically spent nothing on chicken feed. I found out about chickens being zealous cannibals accidentally when I was a kid taking the trash out to feed them. We'd had fried chicken for dinner, and I wasn't thinking about it and just threw all the bones into the feeder like I always did with the food trash. They went berserk over those chicken bones. They absolutely loved them. It was a shark-style feeding frenzy. I was weirded out by that for a while.

It was a pretty small operation though. OP's idea for chickens might make sense in a factory farm situation where there's no space to let them roam for bugs. And maybe the logistics of getting them fresh trash don't make a ton of sense.


I would say it is not allowed to feed them trash when you want to sell their flesh:)


Fresh trash really isn't problematic. It was the food scraps we just finished eating and we would feed it to them as soon as we got done with dinner. It didn't sit around in a bin for days to rot or anything. But yeah, if we had been a regulated operation that probably wouldn't have been okay.

We used the chickens for eggs mostly and meat when they stopped laying. We used the sheep for meat every spring. We would trade with the neighbors in exchange for helping farm our vegetable crops or fresh milk from the small-ish dairy farm down the road. It wasn't the kind of thing where we were selling to a grocery conglomerate or anything.

Probably none of our farming practices would have been acceptable at scale. But that wasn't our point. It was mostly just for our family. Honestly, not the worst way to grow up. You farm your own food and slaughter your own meat. You learn a certain respect and appreciation for what sustains you.

But anyway, yeah, I don't know what the rules are if you're selling your livestock. Feeding them trash probably isn't allowed, even though it's efficient.


You can feed chickens most food scraps, but some stuff harms them. Avocado and potato peels are toxic. They tolerate less salt than humans, so too much canned food causes trouble. Anything that's started fermenting (as any sugary food left out will) will contain alcohol which they don't tolerate well.


Insect diet is healthier for chickens than soy. Industrial grain products were not available to the wild chicken.


That's a lot of work and a strong opinion for having never tried it, lol.


It's what I'd expect from an experienced entrepreneur to do: sense an opportunity, investigate market deeply, and make an impassioned decision about starting a venture or not, if the business model makes sense & they'd be ideally positioned to make a run for it.

(edit) gender neutral


By try it, I meant actually try the food. I'd expect a experience entrepreneur to know the details of the product, e.g. taste, mouthfeel etc.


So it's nice to think that maybe this could work to turn food waste back into edible protein, but is this actually more efficient than just composting the waste and using it to grow crops? Sure, maybe this is a good source of protein, but so are, say, beans, right?

I would hazard a guess that for most western cultures, it's probably easier to convince people to replace meat with plant-based food than it is to replace meat with bugs. So if we want insect-based foods to take off, I feel like there's got to be some fundamental advantage over just switching to a vegetarian diet. Maybe that advantage exists; I just don't know what it might be.


"So it's nice to think that maybe this could work to turn food waste back into edible protein, but is this actually more efficient than just composting the waste and using it to grow crops? Sure, maybe this is a good source of protein, but so are, say, beans, right?"

The reason that I am currently (as in, right now) building a soldier fly breeding box to mass produce these larvae is that the exit ramp of the box goes directly into the chicken run.

The conversation that spurred this was a thought experiment wherein a friend and I wondered how we might keep our flocks going in the absence of chicken feed available for purchase.

It's easy for him: He lives on many acres of flat, tillable land in Minnesota - if he wants his chicken flock to be self-sufficient he can just grow and harvest corn.

Our ranch is in Marin County, however, and while I have more than double the amount of land he does, very, very little of it is flat and almost zero is tillable. We're not going to take the precious 2-3 acres of flat land we have and grow corn in rows on it.

Hence the soldier fly larvae breeding operation.

As for efficiency, we are converting food scraps to larvae to chicken eggs. So the original input is "free" but there are then two animal conversions involved to produce the chicken egg since we have no intention of eating the larvae themselves.


Here's a DIY Black Soldier Fly Composter with an Automatic Chicken Feeder

https://gardenpool.org/beneficial-insects/black-soldier-fly-...


By running it through two species, especially one that is a scavenger, you are also reducing the pathogen load.


Composing fatty and high protein waste can be difficult, if for no other reason than it attracts vermin. I think that's one of the areas Black Solider fly larve excel.

Realistically, using them as a food source for farmed fish and poultry is much more likely. Although obviously less efficient in a gram for gram basis.


The added efficiencies in composting could also help solve the massive problems with monoculture farming. Imagine this approach for replenishing the nutrients in an acre of overused farmland:

1. Container full of food scraps, bio waste, and carbon scraps arrive from city, get spread over fallow land

2. Maggots are released, reproduce, ingest meat scraps

3. Chickens are introduced into environment, eat maggots and larger scraps, release compost as manure and scratched bedding

4. Remaining maggots and waste is collected, maybe dumped to tilapia or pigs

5. Replenished field is plowed for cash crop, nitrogen releasers, or untouched for a season to allow grasses to grow as grazing land

EDIT: Admission time - I wrote this article before reading the article about the maggot cultivating process. I'm just a little passionate about armchair-ecology. Maybe this process could be completed in a mobile facility that moves from acre to acre on a monthly basis?


From TFA:

> An acre of land used to raise soldier fly colonies can produce more than 60,000kg of protein per year, according to various peer-reviewed estimates. That’s several orders of magnitude greater than the per-acre protein yield of cattle (about 18kg), soybeans (430kg) or chickens (816kg).

At least from a land density POV, it wins hand over fist.


Probably not the full story. What do these bugs need for food? Plants take in water, micronutrients, air, and sunlight.


They eat the organic waste


So in order for us to farm these flies, they need organic food. So we're back to growing food for our food, just like we do for livestock.


The examples given in the article are difficult to dispose of waste products from other food industries such as brewing. We're already making beer. Might as well use the waste products for something productive.


How scalable is this then? What happens if the local breweries can only supply 50% of the waste demand for the larvae?

What if it's not 50% but only 10%? How do you feed the insects then?


It's not easy to convert waste to a commodity. Recycling has a big problem with this - if the waste isn't provided in the right way, then it's totally useless (ie. plastics need to be completely clean, all food waste has to be washed out, otherwise it just goes to the landfill).

What if different breweries output different quality waste? Some is too watery, some too thick. Is it now worth it to reprocess this waste to make it usable? Is the collection and processing of this waste cheaper than just growing food for the flies?


>It's not easy to convert waste to a commodity. Recycling has a big problem with this - if the waste isn't provided in the right way, then it's totally useless (ie. plastics need to be completely clean, all food waste has to be washed out, otherwise it just goes to the landfill).

We need to acknowledge that the requirements of 'almost-perfection' required in our recycling stream is something we built into it. We had reusable systems that operated without issue for decades that we discarded in favor of modern co-mingled recycling (which is obviously failing us). There's no rule of recycling or reusing that says the parent material needs to be pristine in its condition to be recycled, thats a rule we introduced because of how 'we' thought to do recycling. We could build re-usability back into our systems, we are choosing not to do so.


The article makes it pretty clear that the soldier flies aren't fussy at all:

“They’re generalists,” Tomberlin says, and eat just about anything. Pig manure? Check. Human waste? Check. Food scraps? Check. The only organic materials they haven’t had luck with are bones, hair and pineapple rinds, he says.


For these maggots, our waste is it's fuel. Biology's produced a whole bunch of bizarre, extremely niche DNA coded self replicating machines. If the machinery is already there, and the ethical concerns are minimal, why not exploit them?


The difference is that we're using stuff that's already being grown. It's re-using that which already exists. This could be lawn clippings, coffee grounds, or other compost stuff. It could be rotten food and help solve the food waste problem. We're not growing more food, we're making wasted protein available.


Yes, but the protein conversion factor is orders of magnitude better.


They are also great animal feed. Chickens and fish find them irresistible


We call it “chicken crack” where I live. It’s a blast going out to the flock with a bucket of these.


Sooo... you should get more than 816 kg of chicken per year, clearly.


Compost is microbe and invertebrate poop with some indigestible bits mixed in.

BSFs are going to create castings as well. In a large operation you probably get both.


Agree. I don’t get it. Plants fill the protein need without the need for bugs. Bug protein seems like a solution in search of a problem.


Aren't plants not very protein-dense?


Whether that matters depends on whether people are eating enough protein. A cursory search shows that most people in the west vastly overeat protein beyond their needs. Yet aggressive marketing has Americans thinking they need more protein.

20g of protein in a cup of cooked lentils sounds pretty adequate to me. At 180lbs, it's only recommended that I get 63g of protein. It's not a challenge. I get almost half that in a single lentil salad including any other plant matter I toss in there with its own amino acid profile.


Maybe so, but Americans are also some of the tallest people (especially compared to those who eat much less). I'm not saying this is necessarily for the better or for the worse, but it's not easy to just say "you should eat this". Recommendations for diet change - remember when it was "don't eat fat", then "don't eat sugar", then "don't eat either"? Who knows.

After all the diet recommendations and panics about obesity, I still think most of us know what healthy eating is.


USA, just cherry-picking the non-hispanic whites, isn't even in the top 25 of average height, height is hereditary, meanwhile USA is known for catastrophic eating habits that I find hard to spin in a positive way.

Are you sure that was the evidence you wanted?


I heard somewhere that anybody 6’ tall or above has back problems. Anecdotally, this seems plausible enough to me.

Meanwhile there’s been a decades long marketing campaign to sell people on eating all the animal fat and protein they want with the dubious promise of weight loss and that always being healthy. Also decades long increases in cardiovascular diseases and death.


I'm over 6' tall, upper 30s age, and have never had a back problem. I also squat and deadlift frequently, which a lot of people don't do.


Protein isn't monolithic: there are 20 amino acids which are found in different proportions.

Plants, specifically, often have less leucine than animals, which is an important signalling molecule that feeds into mTOR as well as protein synthesis regulation.

https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpendo.00153.20... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3322509/

This doesn't make plant protein 'bad', but it is something to consider, especially if using a plant-based diet.


Many beans and lentils are protein dense. For example, Soybeans have more protein than chicken.


Dried beans have more protein than chicken, not cooked beans though. I could say that dried chicken jerky has more protein than dried soybeans if you are disregarding water content as it contributes to weight.


oh, interesting. Thanks for the heads up.


Take a look at the nutritional information for tempeh though.


Is that really a problem? People tend to vastly overestimate our protein needs.


You can make plant based foods arbitrarily protein dense with things like gluten/seitan and nutritional yeast.


> but so are, say, beans, right?

Beans (and other non-animal) proteins are not "complete", meaning they lack certain things that the human body needs to be healthy.

Edit: For those saying it's untrue, the research has been done to prove it. Of course, you're free to deny any research and reach your own conclusions, but that doesn't make it untrue.

Edit 2: I just stated a fact in answer to a question. I did not provide any context, such as individual eating habits, beyond what was implied by the question. The fact is that bean proteins are not as good for us as animal proteins when compared directly.


That's not true, at least for humans.

On a related note, I came across Nixtamalization recently. It's one of those stories reminiscent how the Royal Navy managed to 'forget' the cure for scurvy. It had been practiced for thousands of years in South America but when the western countries discovered maize they didn't understand why. Turns out it's responsible for making maize a complete protein source.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization


Even if that were true, presumably people eat more in a week than one type of bean for every meal.

You're basically suggesting that people need to vary their diet with at least two things instead of one thing. I don't know anyone who struggles with that except maybe poor uni kids where eating beans would likely be an upgrade to their normal cuisine.


While this is technically true, it's not a problem for 99.9% of people. If you are eating any kind of varied diet, you'll be fine. The only people that might have a problem are people who only eat 1 thing.


From the article: "In one year, a single acre of black soldier fly larvae can produce more protein than 3,000 acres of cattle or 130 acres of soybeans"


Compost costs ~$50/ton vs fish meal (a comparable protein BSF is trying to displace) costs ~$1,500/ton. Why? Compost is a very low level of organization, whereas protein is a very high level of organization.


Could be used to feed animals!


Reminds me of the movie Snowpiercer[1]. The "protein blocks" served to the population are made from ground-up cockroaches.

The setting is on a train during an ice-age so they really need to make use of the space efficiently. They don't really go into what the cockroaches eat, I can only assume waste from the population.

1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706620/


IIRC the way it's presented in the film was as a horrifying surprise -- or perhaps as an element of the subjugation/cruelty that the movie focused on. But when I watched it all I could think of was, "Uh, yeah, that's actually the kinda thing that we're considering now."


In Snowpiercer, it was only the poor inhabitants of the last coaches that were fed insect protein bars. The rich and powerful in the first coaches ate fillet mignon and the like.

My guess is that is how things would play out with insects as food for humans in the real world, too. The poor will have to eat grubs and crickets "for the environment" while the rich continue to eat as and what they please.

This is my guess based on my experience of how food works in the UK. If you can afford it, you can eat fresh fruit and vegetables, or the best cuts of meat. If you can't, then tough: it's kebabs, sliced bread that's high in trans fats, sugars and salts, and at best tinned veg and fruit, for you.


> If you can afford it, you can eat fresh fruit and vegetables, or the best cuts of meat. If you can't, then tough: it's kebabs, sliced bread that's high in trans fats, sugars and salts, and at best tinned veg and fruit, for you.

What? In continental Europe vegetables, fresh or tinned, are by far the cheapest option. Meat is always expensive.


Yea, it was played as almost a "Soylent Green is People!" sort of reveal, but I couldn't help but just think it was pretty much the only reasonable way to handle food in the setup. If it tastes good enough, and you've gotten used to eating it, what's really wrong? It's not like it's some ethical horror to be eating bugs.


> It's not like it's some ethical horror to be eating bugs.

In fact (AFAIK) in some countries outside of the US it's not even uncommon/surprising. That's what I thought was weird: the director was Korean. IIRC there's Asian cultures that eat scorpions or other similar stuff.


Or the "portions" that Rey was buying from the trading post in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


I just checked the label of my freshwater guppies' favourite food: sure enough, it's pure fly larvae. It was so shocking to me how voracious they were for the tiny grains of ground larvae compared to the typical fish/grain meal flake food. It was touched on in the article: it's not very cheap yet. But it's abundantly clear to me that this type of highly efficient nutrient transfer is going to change the agricultural food chain forever.


Suggests that it could be an important component of aquaculture.


It is. And it's an excellent input for aquaponics too. I used to do this about 10 years ago for a while. It was fun.

I learned a lot, and the peppers were delicious.


Not even Bear Grylls wants to eat something called a "maggot". They're going to need some serious rebranding upfront.


All you need is a clever marketing name, like Chilean Sea Bass. Problem solved.


Grubs?

Fly calves?

SFMHPP? (Soldier Fly Maggot High Protein Powder)

I suspect some variation of the latter is how this will get into the food chain. Identifiable insects get in the news, but it'll probably be as an additive where it sees most use. After all what percentage of chicken is sold as actual whole pieces of chicken rather than reformed, breaded, sauced, otherwise processed meat?


> Fly calves?

Micro-veal! Bam, now it's fancy.


Wee-veal?


I think you're misunderstanding what we're trying to do here. We're trying to get away from the insectiness, not charge towards it.... Otherwise it would obviously be beeftle.... Until the horse fly meat scandal.


“Bug Bites” is the name of the fish food in my local pet store. Comes in goldfish formula and algae eater formula. The package says it is grown by Enterra Feed in Canada using unconsumed fruit and vegetable that would go to waste.


Reminds me of the pesticide spray bottle that had a magnified picture of a giant juicy grub right where you would have to put your hand to pick up the bottle.

Um, great marketing there folks.


That episode when Bear killed and "ate" the skunk was hilarious. I recall him saying that cooking it "smelled like burning tires". Hilarious.


Perhaps "Le Magot -- the new cuisine"



I'm pretty sure he would eat a maggot, its not anything that is different from what he has already eaten


Andrew Zimmern would surely eat them and maybe has done. He's eaten everything else. I recall him saying the only things he will not eat are Durian and oatmeal (texture thing).

Editing to say he did eat grubs on one episode and said something along the lines of it feeling like a massive pop of pus in his mouth. I swore then I would never follow suit.



Black oysters.


May I suggest 'worm', as it doesn't seem to stop tequila drinkers.


The presence of a mezcal worm is a good indication of a shit product using marketing. No one drinks that stuff unless they are naive.


Nope, nope, nope. Not good enough.


Might end up in Beyond Meat and similar for all we know.


True story. (Long but also topical, so just bear with it.) I had become fascinated with a traditional band from the region of Asturias on the northern coast of Spain, named Llan de Cubel. I liked a lot of their tunes, but there was this rousing song of theirs I liked, though I never knew what it was about. A few years after I discovered them, I got to meet them at the Lake Eden Arts Festival, where they finally explained the song. It turns out the song was about this kind of soft, moldy, strongly flavored cheese (somewhat like Gorgonzola) made in households in Asturias. Often, flies would land on the cheese and lay their eggs. However, the flavor of the cheese is so strong, the maggots would just end up tasting just like the cheese, so many of the locals would simply eat the maggots for the protein.

(If you like British Isles trad music and are curious to check out Llan de Cubel, start with the tune set San Roque.)



I'm a big fan of cricket flour, and I look forward to seeing more options like it on the market. It looks like they are on their way to producing some, I wonder what the barrier to doing so is if they are committed to getting over the 'ick' factor.


What do you use the cricket flour for?


Mostly I include it in my protein shakes, but I also use it for baking.


Cool! I have to try it.


My brain is sold on the reasons for producing bugs to eat, but my stomach is sadly queasy about it. Maybe if they ground them and made patties out of them or something to get past the feeling of eating tiny bugs?

Does anyone have experience getting over this?


I'm in the same boat as you. But maybe we aren't the target here--if we were to feed this to our children from a very young age, maybe they wouldn't have the same reaction as us.

When I saw a video of how sausages were made much later in my life, it didn't have the same queasy feeling since I have eaten and enjoyed sausages from childhood. My brain says that the way sausages are made is _far_ more disgusting than the way these larvae are produced, but my stomach doesn't feel the same way.

Let's help guide the next generation's stomachs in the right direction. In the meantime, I'll see if I can get used to eating some kind of ground-up bug meal.


Prediction: we will evolve to find tasty what we formerly found disgusting.

Actually, I wonder why we find bugs disgusting (from an evolutionary perspective). I mean, presumably they're "dirty", but isn't that why we invented cooking?


> "Some think Americans will develop a taste for creepy-crawlies, just as we learned to enjoy other foods we once scorned. In 1876, the lobsters that were abundant along the coastlines of North America were still being used as fertiliser for farmland; in Eastern Canada, "they boil them for their pigs, but are ashamed to be seen eating lobster themselves," wrote the essayist John Rowan at the time. Lobster shells inside a house would be seen as evidence of "poverty and degradation," he said."

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-drink/article/2008077/ar...


An evolutionary perspective is the wrong perspective; there exist plenty of cultures where bugs are not considered disgusting.


Yeah, like... Seattle? Toasted grasshoppers are fairly popular at Mariners games.

https://www.si.com/eats/2017/07/06/seattle-mariners-grasshop...


Cochineal is generally acceptable in western cultures, so there are obviously certain insects acceptable to otherwise non insect eating cultures.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochineal


It's not acceptable in my experience. People are just ignorant to the fact that this is an ingredient.


I think it occupies the same sort of place as factory farming and Turkey Twizzlers. People know about it but prefer not to think about it. You don't get the tabloids announcing the 'hidden insects in our food' either.

I suppose you could argue the acceptability of it? people get on with their lives and diets though, it doesn't occupy the same space as eating maggots, can we agree on that.


I talk to a lot of people about animal products in our food and the treatment of those animals. In my experience, I really disagree that we're talking about the same phenomenon.


Turkey Twizzlers?


Highly processed, contain just 34% turkey, rose to (in)fame on the back of Jamie Oliver's series on school dinners in the UK.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_Twizzlers


I find it odd that some people will eat snails (culturally acceptable) but are disgusted by crickets.


Maggots indicate meat (and other organic matter) that's been dead and/or decaying long enough not to be safe to eat anymore.


Probably right. The same is true of roaches and flies.


Young children find bugs fascinating, until someone tells them not to touch them.

Cooked maggots would seem like something adaptable to food, they have the appearance of rice after all.

It's just the fact that when you encounter maggots in a trash can or something, whatever they are eating is rotten and smells so putrid you associate them with that smell.


Maybe we will not have to go such extreme lengths on the ick factor scale if we just ate significantly less farmed meat. I'm a life long Caucasian vegetarian in my mid thirties (raised that way by my parents). Many people have tried to convince me how it will negatively effect my health, trying to scare me basically. I'm not exactly the model of perfect health, but you would think I'd be showing signs by this time in lack of energy, ect. I certainly don't feel disadvantaged in energy compared to my meat eating friends. Just have to wait another 50 years to declare my experiment a success.


Hindus (and related religions) have been vegetarians for thousands of years, and they're fine. It's veganism that is untested.


Though not a strict requirement of the religion, veganism has been common practice in the Jains of India for thousands of years. Some Jain monks even sweep the floor as they walk to avoid killing bugs.

Not to mention Buddhist monks in some Asian countries were effectively vegan because dairy was just not part of their diet.

Besides that, though low in numbers, veganism has been active in the West for several generations.

So veganism has been tested alot more than, for example, the relatively new practice of eating meat and dairy contaminated with antibiotics and HGH.


Roach farms have been a thing for a decade or so now: https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-c1-china-cockroach-20131...


Check out Rust Belt Riders, another business that is using black soldier fly larvae for compost. https://www.rustbeltriders.com/

and they do use the flies as chicken/fish feed.


I found this nifty video that explains the operation of such a facility in Indonesia! Cool stuff! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M6u9ZX5ecE


I wonder if this could be useful for mars or moon colonies


whats with all this bug eating propaganda?


We need protein to feed the world. Beef and lamb are environmentally horrific, and for some people there are ethical problems too. Chicken is less harmful for the environment (still pretty bad), but the ethical problems for most forms of chicken (anything other than properly free range) are severe.

We could try plant based diets for everyone, and if done correctly that would increase health, but it's possibly tricky to do.

Supplementing a plant based diet with entomophagy could feed the world at considerably lower carbon footprint than current meat based diets.


Could someone paste the text, please?


If it's any vote of confidence, our bearded dragon finds them very tasty.


Gawd, I really don't want to click on that link without disabling images.


There's nothing too gross. I was a bit hesitant but it's not the typical larva with legs, eyes and mouthparts all over the place. They look a bit like rice.


[flagged]


Since we're being pedantic, insects are still animals, and therefore eating them is not vegan.


Yeah, obviously. I meant "beyond" in terms of fashion. One might work at Facebook destroying democracy and the fabric of society, but hey, they follow some food taboos so it's all good! To really go "beyond" veganism would be to follow a traditional Jain diet where roots and some fruits are also banned.


How much money do you want to bet that millionaires and over will elect to opt-out of the bug cuisine? That means they want to make poor people eat bugs! The only way this "program" could be fair is if both billionaires and joe schmoe are both forced to eat bugs by law.




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