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Phil Taylor carefully slides back the corrugated plastic door on his 1,800-square-foot barn, on the outskirts of Boulder, Colorado.
He strolls over to a series of wooden shelves housing dozens of black, nine-gallon Rubbermaid mixing tubs and begins combing his hands through their contents. One by one, pale, wriggling maggots, immersed in wasted brewers grains, begin to trickle through his tanned fingers.
They’re native to North America and already thrive across most of the temperate world; they’re high in crude protein (about 40 to 44 percent); they require little land and greatly reduced energy inputs compared to soy and fishmeal; and they can be grown and harvested in two weeks or less.
Unlike their crunchy cricket counterparts that star in the “edible insect” movement, these maggots aren’t intended to reach the public’s plates anytime soon. They’re the larval stage of black soldier flies. Unlike house flies, black soldier flies don’t spread disease.
Taylor, a 34-year-old ecologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, is part of a small group of intrepid entrepreneurs around the world, from Ohio to South Africa to the Netherlands, who are attempting to rear black soldier flies in hopes of revolutionizing the global animal feed industry.
Read the full article on a farming revolution by Gloria Dickie at The New Food Economy