Black soldier fly larvae as protein alternative for hungry humans

Seriously … that’s the title of a recent scientific publication – from University of Queensland. Here’s the summary, quote: “Black soldier fly larvae contains more zinc and iron than lean meat and its calcium content is higher than milk. Less than half a hectare of black soldier fly larvae can produce more protein than cattle grazing on around 1200 hectares, or 52 hectares of soybeans. New research has identified the barriers for introducing fly protein into Western human diets as a sustainable, healthy alternative to both meat and plant proteins.”

Ok. All good with its contents, the environmental impact and the feasibility of making it work. But it’s just that human response (culturally refined) that says ‘never eat bugs!’. The authors hit that obstacle and then, what I think absolute genius, they subtly offer an alternative use for those fly larvae that could equally positively impact the earth.

Quote (my bold) – “Professor Hoffman has been studying the hurdles that need to be overcome before flies can directly enter the human food supply chain. “There’s a lot of research that’s already been done on black soldier fly larvae as a feed for livestock, but we need to ensure we address safety issues before it can get legs as a human food,” he said. “This includes understanding the different nutritional profiles of the fly at key stages of its growth, and the best ways to process the fly to preserve its nutritional value. In addition to its nutrition profile, Professor Hoffman said there were strong environmental reasons for humans to eat fly larvae. It’s estimated that less than half a hectare of black soldier fly larvae can produce more protein than cattle grazing on around 1200 hectares of cattle, or 52 hectares of soybeans.

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