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Insect Farms Gear Up for Global Protein Demand

Insect farming has captured attention and investments from those in the $400B-a-year animal feed business

Layers of squirming black soldier fly larvae fill large aluminum bins stacked 10-high in a warehouse outside of Vancouver. They are feeding on stale bread, rotting mangoes, overripe cantaloupe and squishy zucchini.

But this is no garbage dump. It’s a farm.

According to a report at Reuters, Enterra Feed, one of an emerging crop of insect growers, will process the bugs into protein-rich food for fish, poultry - even pets. After being fattened up, the fly larvae will be roasted, dried and bagged or pressed to extract oils, then milled into a brown powder that smells like roasted peanuts.

The small but growing insect farming sector has captured attention and investments from some heavyweights in the $400 billion-a-year animal feed business, including U.S. agricultural powerhouse Cargill Inc., feed supplier and farm products and services company Wilbur-Ellis Co and Swiss-based Buhler Group, which makes crop processing machinery.

Fast food giant McDonald’s is studying using insects for chicken feed to reduce reliance on soy protein.

Read the full report here.

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