In today’s world, the demand for protein is higher than ever. While traditional sources such as meat and plant proteins are available, they can be unsustainable and unhealthy. New research has identified black soldier fly larvae as a sustainable, healthy alternative to both meat and plant proteins. Just like meat, it contains all the nutrients humans need for health, including zinc, iron, calcium and more. Let’s explore what makes this insect-based protein so special.
The Benefits of Black Soldier Fly Larvae
Black soldier fly larvae provide an abundance of benefits when compared to traditional sources of protein. For starters, the larvae contain more zinc and iron than lean meat and its calcium content is higher than milk. In terms of sustainability, 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. This means that farming these insects requires significantly less land while still providing plenty of protein to those who need it most.
Another benefit is that black soldier fly larvae can clean up toxic waste including heavy metals from landfills. The larvae are capable of breaking down biodegradable material such as food waste into valuable nutrient-rich soil amendments which can be used to improve soil fertility in agricultural applications. This means that not only do these insects offer a healthy source of protein for humans but they also help clean up our environment.
The Biggest Barrier
The biggest factor that prevents fly proteins being used in our food supply is Western consumer’s’ acceptance of insects as food. While many cultures around the world have been eating insects for centuries, most Westerners have yet to embrace them as part of their diet due to cultural taboos and lack of knowledge about them. As a result, there is still much work to be done in order to convince people that insects are safe and even delicious. To help with this process researchers have begun breeding flies specifically for human consumption which limits any potential contamination from other materials found in landfills or compost piles where wild flies may feed on hazardous materials such as lead or arsenic before entering the food chain.
According to new research, black soldier fly larvae offer a sustainable alternative source of protein for hungry humans—one that contains more zinc and iron than lean meat and its calcium content is higher than milk! Not only does farming these insects require significantly less land but they also help clean up our environment by breaking down biodegradable material into valuable nutrient-rich soil amendments which can be used in agricultural applications. However, the biggest barrier preventing consumers from embracing this insect-based protein is Western consumer’s’ acceptance; convincing people that insects are safe and even delicious will take time and education but has huge potential reward once achieved.