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Need to Know

Mad Agriculture Uses Larvae to Dispose of Food Waste

The larvae feast on pulp from a local juice company and are later used as treats for backyard chickens.

Mad Agriculture, a startup created by University of Colorado Boulder Research Ecologist Phil Taylor, uses a “breeding chamber” to house 20,000 black soldier flies, which mate and lay eggs that turn into ravenous larvae. The larvae are then placed into bins full of pulp from a local juice company to feast.

Once the insects reach an appropriate size and weight, Taylor removes them from the environment, kills them and turns them into treats for backyard chickens. He also uses the leftover castings for fertilizer.

KCUR has more:

Americans waste a staggering amount of food. Instead of letting it rot and wreck the environment, some entrepreneurs want to put it to work feeding insects, and see the potential to revolutionize how we feed some of the livestock that provide us our meat.

Phil Taylor’s enthusiasm for insects is infectious. The University of Colorado Boulder research ecologist beams as he weaves through a small greenhouse in rural Boulder County, Colorado. A room about the size of a shipping container sits inside.

“We call this the breeding chamber,” Taylor says. “I hesitate to say it, but it’s called ‘the brothel.’”

Read the full story here.

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