I’ve been on the lookout for some way to produce protein rich chicken and pig feed, or even animal protein for people, and I found it.
As a fruit and veg grower, I’ve found that to actually turn a garden into a food supply, you have to grow staple crops, and you have to get animal protein out of it. If you don’t want the daily grind of raising animals, you can just grow animal feed and trade, but it’s got to be protein-packed, satisfying feed, not lettuce leaves. Local livestock raisers will be delighted to get their feed from a local person instead of buying bagged feed from Agway.
So even if you aren’t doing a garden, you should experiment with raising BSF and mealworms. Get aquariums cheap off Craigs list to get started. When you get good at it, you can solicit donations of rotten fruit and veg from local farmers nad hobby gardeners to feed to your soldier flies, and then sell feed to the farmers raising animals. There’s a business you can do from your home, as long as you keep it discreet from the neighbors/landlords whatever!
Black soldier flies (BSF) are a widespread, harmless, and beneficial insect. BSF can not bite or sting, and do not spread disease due to their unique life cycle. The adults (winged stage) only live a few days for the purpose of mating and therefore do not migrate between waste matter and humans or their food as pest flies do. To learn more you may read: “Black soldier flies are not vectors of human pathogens”
BSF larvae (BSFL) or “grubs” are uniquely suited to serve humans. While the BSF adults only live for a few days their larvae can live for several weeks, and during that time they can consume huge quantities of food waste or manure. Consequently they are very well suited to process the constant stream of rotting waste that we humans produce as well as manure produced by livestock, but that’s only half of the story. There are two useful byproducts of this process; the residue or castings which can be used as a soil amendment, and the larvae themselves which represent an excellent source of food for many types of animals including fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and more. BSFL are already commonly used as food for exotic pets and the potential exists for large scale use on a commercial basis. If you like to fish, BSFL are also fantastic bait: LINK
If you haven’t seen them in action, you’ll be amazed when you get to see what these bugs can do. The quickest way to appreciate BSFL in action is to visit YouTube and watch a few videos. You can find my channel here: BlackSoldierFly