About BSF

BLACK SOLDIER FLY (BSF)

latin: hermetia illucens

 

* Insects are a sustainable alternative to traditional sources of protein such as soy and fishmeal which are causing significant environmental problems including deforestation, overfishing and biodiversity loss. We’ve developed technologies to optimise the production of black soldier fly insect protein from anywhere in the world.
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When it comes down to sustainability and the environment, Black Soldier flies (BSF, H. illucens) in their larval stage voraciously consume organic wastes, assimilating nutrients in the waste directly into insect biomass. In doing so they divert organic byproducts and greenhouse gases from ending up in the atmosphere and waterways. The larvae, themselves, are also of significant nutritional value. Birds, salamanders, frogs, many reptiles, other small mammals in the wild, domesticated swine and chicken, and even fish benefit nutritionally in dining on them. As more people learn how to grow BSF in large quantities, and begin marketing the larvae as commercial feedstock, BSF larvae may even one day reduce overfishing of the oceans.
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Our insects can turn low-grade food waste into body mass quickly and sustainably. They need very little room to grow, making for a far smaller carbon footprint than alternative sources of protein. And even though the scale of production is industrial
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They however do not sting, do not spread diseases, and are harmless – one of Nature’s many cleaning crews routinely recycling organic matter efficiently and quietly behind the scene.
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Adults have no sucking mouth parts on emerging from their chrysalis. They live only long enough (about three to five days) to mate and lay eggs before dying. Females lay their eggs in clutches near decaying waste from which the larva will hatch and crawl into the waste on which they then feed and grow in repeating their natural life cycle.
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BSF are quite distinct from the common housefly most people think of on hearing the term “fly”. Because of their appearance as adults
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In the wild they are sought out and devoured by many birds, amphibians, herps and other animals. They can also be formulated into animal feedstocks used in farming fish such as tilapia, catfish, and salmonids in addition to domesticated chickens, quail, ducks and other poultry livestock.
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They aggressively consume and thrive on a wide variety of biodegradable wastes including food and vegetal scrap, agricultural debris, wet grasses, weeds, leaves, rotting produce, etc. They are extremely beneficial to the environment, a valuable source of high quality protein and lipids of proven value in feedstocks, especially as a soybean substitute
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the increased worldwide demand for Menhaden fish meal has led to overfishing and depletion of Atlantic and Gulf coast Menhaden fish reserves which is obviously detrimental to the health of the ocean ecosystem in supporting other fish dependent upon Menhaden fish for their own survival. Menhaden fish meal sold on the US commodity market in 1977 for around $300 ton has now at the end of 2012 reached market levels in excess of $2000 per ton (Fishmeal Monthly Price – US Dollars per Metric Ton), driving up sharply the costs of animal feedstocks including that incurred by commercial poultry and fish farmers. The rising commodity prices of Menhaden fish meal are driving up the cost of producing food worldwide. Worse yet, it is a significant factor driving up the rate of overfishing of ocean waters.
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The larvae of black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) are packed with essential proteins, fats, minerals and amino acids
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Given the high nutritional quality of BSF larvae as a feedstock relative to that of Menhaden fish meal, it is reasonable to anticipate that BSF larvae, produced in large enough quantities to meet the demand presently filled by Menhaden fish meal, could ease the pressure on overfishing oceans off the US and Gulf coasts. To have such an effect, it will be necessary to find ways to produce BSF at levels on an industrial scale to ensure a steady supply of BSF feedstock aimed at offsetting the demand for Menhaden fish meal.
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Black Soldier Fly larvae actually act as a ‘carbon sink’, capturing carbon and storing it – meaning insect bioconversion of food waste is up to 70% more sustainable than composting. Insect bioconversion also:
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* uses no added water
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* is highly productive, producing 200 times more protein per acre of land than soy bean meal
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* is fast – can happen within 10 days
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* can be done almost anywhere – reducing economically and environmentally costly waste transport
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From a sustainable, earth friendly perspective, what could be a better goal than to dispose of our food scrap and agricultural wastes using BSF to assimilate the nutrient value of the waste, to lessen pollution of our atmosphere and waterways as they incorporate nutrients into insect biomass, and in turn to use the harvested larvae in animal feedstock formulations, reducing in the process the pressure on overfishing our oceans? Think of it as spinning gold from garbage, a sort of modern day allegory of the old Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale!