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  • Imagine a future where we're all eating insects.

  • In the fight against food waste, it

  • might be closer than you think.

  • These black fly larvae might not look that appetising,

  • but they yield a high-quality protein.

  • They're being farmed in a small facility under the rail arches

  • by London Bridge.

  • Oh, the smell.

  • Oof.

  • First, black soldier flies are encouraged

  • to meet in an artificial and controlled environment.

  • Their eggs are then extracted and the baby larvae

  • are fed food waste from local businesses.

  • So we collect food waste, such as coffee and beer waste.

  • We process it and then we put it into feeding units

  • where we add baby larvae.

  • We wait for a 12-day cycle and they've

  • left behind the fertiliser.

  • So we now then can separate the larvae from the fertiliser

  • and then use the fertiliser to grow new crops

  • and obviously use the larvae to dry and turn into the products.

  • Nothing goes to waste.

  • The main product for now is fish food,

  • but the insect protein powder could eventually

  • be sold for human consumption.

  • Founder Kieran believes he's producing

  • the most efficient and environmentally friendly

  • protein source on the planet.

  • That's important because the UN says around a third

  • of all food produced globally every year is wasted.

  • That's 1.3bn tonnes or $1tn US dollars.

  • And that means wasted water, wasted land,

  • wasted energy, wasted money, and greater greenhouse gas

  • emissions.

  • The perfect business would be to go into the gym industry

  • and to people who want high protein,

  • low-fat diets because it is incredibly high quality

  • protein.

  • Your vegetable-based proteins have an amino acid profile

  • around here while your meat-based proteins.

  • And of course, all other meat-based proteins

  • have that environmental degradation.

  • The question really is, why wouldn't you eat insects?

  • There isn't a why not.

  • Would you eat an insect?

  • Go on, then.

  • Let's give it a go.

  • Here we go.

  • Yeah.

  • That's not bad.

  • Quite nutty, isn't it?

  • Exactly.

  • With some added salt and chilli, I'd

  • even go as far as saying the black fly larvae could taste

  • pretty good with a cold beer.

  • In the same London Bridge unit, SafetyNet

  • has developed technology to combat waste

  • in commercial fishing.

  • The UN says around 27 per cent of fish caught

  • are lost or wasted.

  • Bycatch can include juvenile fish, protected species,

  • or crustaceans, which are then thrown back

  • into the sea, often dead.

  • We design lights that fit into fishing nets like this,

  • called Pisces.

  • And we use these to help guide fish out of the nets

  • by selectively communicating with them,

  • if you like, based on what they can see.

  • You communicate with the fish.

  • How does that happen?

  • So we turn these lights on and some fish can see some colours.

  • So, for instance, like a blue light

  • if you're a particular species of fish.

  • And other fish maybe can't see that so well.

  • So we might light up one part of the net like Las Vegas

  • and make it really bright.

  • And they'll be like, what's that?

  • And they'll swim over and look at it and find their way out.

  • And the other fish swim past as if there's nothing

  • really going on.

  • And that helps us separate species out.

  • Household waste is a big part of the problem, too.

  • UK households on average waste the equivalent of seven meals

  • a week.

  • Tessa Clark was so stunned at the scale of the problem that

  • she founded Olio, a mobile app that lets consumers with

  • unwanted food connect with neighbours living nearby who

  • might take it off their hands.

  • Food waste as an issue has not yet had its moment,

  • but it is growing rapidly in terms

  • of the level of public consciousness around the scale

  • of this problem.

  • But I very much hope that food waste

  • is going to be considered in the same way

  • as plastic waste now is.

  • It is completely unacceptable.

  • It's going to take someone who is really sort of a mainstream

  • leader to step forward and to highlight to the world

  • the scale of this problem and the immediacy

  • with which we need to solve it.

  • Tech start-ups are doing their bit,

  • but there are low-tech ways to reduce food waste, too.

  • One of the most simple solutions is raising awareness.

  • Most of us don't realise just how much we're throwing away

  • or how much it's costing.

  • It's costing us on average in the UK about £60 a month.

  • For a family of four, that's over £700 a year.

  • The most important thing is we understand

  • that we waste food in the first place,

  • understand how much we're actually wasting.

  • This is particularly true in businesses.

  • And then taking simple steps to actually reduce it.

  • Make a list before you go shopping if you're in the home.

  • For business, the critical thing is to operationalise food waste

  • measurement.

  • The UN's sustainable development goals

  • aim to half global food waste at the retail and consumer level

  • by 2030.

  • Tech start-ups can play their part and maybe one day,

  • insects will be on the menu.

  • But understanding how much we waste in the first place

  • is at least a first step to hatching a solution.

Imagine a future where we're all eating insects.

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B1 US FinancialTimes waste food waste fish wasted protein

Bug appétit! How insect farms and tech fight food waste

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/24
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