“In 18 days, 1 gram of Black Soldier Fly eggs convert into 2.4 kg of protein. These insects have the potential to be right up with bees in importance in feeding the human race.”
At a time when the world is running out of land and water to grow soybeans and corn for animal feed, Black Soldier Fly larvae have the potential to revolutionize the global food system by turning almost any organic waste stream into protein, fats and minerals.
In many places around the world BSF larvae are already being farmed on all scales, homestead through to big-agri and are either fed whole (living or dried) to livestock or incorprated into a pelletised feed with other grains & supplements.
Nutritional Content of Black Soldier Fly larvae
So what’s in a BSF larvae? (values are provided for dried larvae)
Protein – 41.3%
Fat – 35.3%
Fibre – 9.4%
Calcium – 32.5 g/kg
Phosphorus – 7.4 g/kg
Magnesium – 3.3 g/kg
Zinc – 105 mg/kg
Copper – 13 mg/kg
Iron 261 mg/kg
From the above figures, it’s clear that these little critters are a rich source of nutrition and can be used as a supplementary feed for many types of livestock, perhaps most importantly chickens and pigs.
Keeping Black Soldier Fly’s at home or on a small scale.
If you keep poultry, and live in a warm temperate to tropical climate then keeping a home BSF bin is a great idea. Not only do you get free chicken feed from household & vegetable garden waste, but you also get a ecologically sound means of disposing of cooked foods, meats & fats that you would not ordinarily want to put in a compost heap or landfill.
BSF also make a great food source for pet lizards and birds.
If you don’t keep chickens, BSF bins still produce good compost out of food waste and perhaps you can find someone in your local area who keeps hens and you can exchange BSF larvae for eggs. A small tub of larvae makes a delicious treat for laying hens who need all the nutrients they can get.
Getting started with a home BSF bin
Check back soon for our guide to getting started with BSF farming at home!