From this article, you’re going to learn about Black Soldier Fly larvae and how they are going to revolutionize the livestock sector. So, what are Black Soldier Fly larvae? Well, they are a non-pest insect that is now the focus of the sustainability community. They are an efficient recycling army that is extremely efficient in converting a wide variety of organic materials into insect biomass that can be used as fertilizer. They effectively reduce waste while creating zero waste.
When we think of flies, we tend to be reminded of the common housefly which is an annoying pest that buzzes around our food. We don’t typically think of flies as food, as something to munch on. But, how about Black Soldier Fly? Just ponder on that fact while we delve into how BSF is going to change the game for the livestock sector. The huge rise in the human population, the rise in urbanization has driven the demand for livestock to eclipse production. One of the key factors affecting the product is feed costs. In fact, feed costs often amount to 70% of production costs. This is where BSF can come in handy as BSF is a potential alternative to the conventionally used protein sources in livestock feed and here’s why :
- Reduce impact on the environment
Black soldier fly production is synonymous with sustainability. Black soldier flies are not only a sustainable source of protein that can be produced easily, they are a full force army that is able to consume literally everything! In fact, at Life origin, we deploy the help of BSFs in recycling food waste into organic biofertilizers. BSFs also consume less feed than other meats such as beef. To put this into perspective, to make 1 kilogram of beef, around 10kg of feed is consumed whilst BSFs would require 85% less, roughly around 1.5kg of feed to produce 1kg of meat. It can be said that BSFs do more good for the environment than any relative meats, requiring less feed, less space, and the added benefit of reducing waste!
- Excellent nutritional value
Black soldier flies as larvae consume twice their own body weight daily, packing in the nutrients they need to become flies. This in turn benefits the animals that are fed BSF as they can take advantage of all those nutrients. In fact, black soldier fly prepupae contain a high amount of protein (42%) on a dry matter basis. Black soldier flies have also been found to support good growth in animals such as pigs, chicks, rainbow trout, channel catfish, and blue tilapia. They are a great tried and tested source of sustainable protein for animals.
- Ethical and clean
Factory farming often crams animals together and practices unethical methods in a bid to boost productivity. The pictures of such farming practices have haunted our screens and highlighted the need for a solution. Well, for BSFs who love to stick together, space is not an issue. You can raise them in a small and sanitary environment, putting less strain on the environment. They are also able to kill any bacteria in their food through their digestive processes, hence they are safe to consume, unlike other meats that need to go through intensive processes to turn into a clean product.
Black Soldier Flies as a game-changer
Black Soldier Fly larvae are a great substitute to other protein sources in commercial livestock feed, as they prove to be both nutritious and sustainable. They are a sustainable protein source that can greatly reduce the ecological and economic footprint of feed leading to more sustainable animal husbandry systems. Clean, easy to grow, and packed full of nutrients, BSF is a great insect that is going to change the livestock sector.