Insect farming can be a touchy subject with most people, as our first reaction (understandably) isn’t to view anything with six legs as food. However, the irrefutable benefits of insects like the black soldier fly larvae (often abbreviated as BSFL) may soon overshadow the negative perceptions commonly associated with insects as a source of food.
Here are ten reasons why black soldier fly larvae farming could play a greater role in the future:
1. Their nutritional value is excellent
Black fly larvae can contain up to 43% of protein, and they are a great source of calcium and amino acids as well. Not to mention that the taste is supposed to be great! The reason why they are packed with so much energy is simple: until they become flies, black fly larvae eat twice their own body weight every day.
2. Clean food production is faster and cheaper
Any animal that is raised for its meat has to be a clean source of food, both before and after being processed. With regular poultry or cattle this means a lot of time, money and effort is put into turning their meat into an edible, clean product. This process is a whole lot faster and easier with black fly larvae, since no matter what they eat, their digestive processes kills any bacteria they may encounter in their food.
3. Their reproduction rate is way above average
What could be better than having more available product at a higher production rate? A black soldier fly can easily lay up to 500 eggs in one go. Also, since they only live for 6 weeks, you can expect even more eggs from the next generation of BSFL. Compared to that, a chicken usually lays only about 200 eggs in a year.
4. They need a lot less fodder to produce more meat
To add even more emphasis on how advantageous their reproduction rate is compared to other animals, black soldier fly larvae excel at converting fodder into food. While you would need 10 kg of fodder to make 1 kg of beef, BSFL only need around 1,5 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of meat!
5. Black soldier fly larvae farming is easy
If you’re looking for a fresh, organic source of protein that you can easily farm, this is it. If you put a little ramp in their feeding area with a bucket at the end, the BSFL will basically harvest themselves: just before they enter the final stage of their growth, they will look for a dark and dry place, and climb into the bucket by themselves.
6. BSFL farming is much more ethical
Black soldier fly larvae prefer to stay very close together. This means that what counts as cruel towards other livestock, is actually a humane, and practical solution here. Also they produce absolutely zero waste since their remains can be used as fertilizer, and take a lot less space than other animals (you can raise a ton of BSFL in a space as big as a SMART car),farming them is puts a lot less strain on the environment.