You probably have already eaten black soldier fly larvae, at least indirectly.
Farmed fish and other livestock are starting to feast on feed made from these fast-growing maggots, which themselves can be fattened on rotting food waste.
The growing demand for such high-quality feed attracted investors to Protix, a Netherlands-based insect-based feed producer that is expanding into the aquaculture market. Its latest funding round was backed by sustainable aquaculture fund Aqua-Spark, BOM Capital, and RaboBank, one of the company’s early investors.
The need for protein-based foods is expected to increase by almost 50% in the next 30 years (see “What to feed the fish”). Growing insects as a feed source can reduce the need for forage fish, and is even more sustainable because varieties like the black soldier fly — Protix’s flagship product — feed on food waste.
Aqua-Spark has also invested in Calysta, a California biotech company that uses microbes to produce a fishmeal substitute. Aqua-Spark’s Mike Velings told ImpactAlpha the fund will encourage the fish farms it invests in to try both types of feed.