Frequently Asked Questions
What is a black soldier fly?
The black soldier fly, hermetia illucens, is a native species found in the tropics and throughout warm temperate regions. Black solider fly larvae have insatiable appetites and thrive in unusually high densities. Often, black solider flies colonize in decomposing animal and vegetable matter where they have the unique ability to efficiently decompose this organic waste.
Soldier flies are harvested in the larval stage where they consist of 42% crude protein, 35% lipids, 7% fiber and 5% calcium. Feeding studies have shown that these prepupa are an excellent source of nutrition for tilapia, chickens, catfish, swine and many other commercially raised animals. Many believe that mass rearing black solider flies on waste food could be the answer to sustainable protein and lipid production for the future.
What is the problem?
The development of sustainable protein sources is critical to support the human population growth expected in the coming decades. A United Nations report suggests, by 2050, the world's population will increase by 30% to over 9.7 billion inhabitants. Globally, in 2016, 815 million people were malnourished or food insecure, yet in just three decades the world will demand 60% more food than we currently produce. (Tie this to paragraph below)
Food waste is a significant issue around the world. The United States alone produces 430 billion pounds of food every year, of that, approximately 133 billion pounds, 30%, goes uneaten. This waste is often disposed in landfills where it decomposes and produces harmful greenhouse gases. Over 34% of all human related methane production can be tied directly to landfills. The FAO suggest, that in 2014 waste food carried a $2.6 trillion liability to the world.