Apologies for the delayed weekly posting. I am currently visiting colleagues in China so I am a bit busy with meetings, and my clock is a discombobulated due to travel. But, I made it safely to China, and the visit has been great so far. So many great projects taking place- they are really pushing the envelope with regards to optimizing the BSF process. Now, on to the publication of interest this week.
So, with my weekly readings, I came across the following article:
Nyakeri, E. M., M. A. Ayieko, F. A. Amimo, H. Salum, and H. J. O. Ogola. 2019. An optimal feeding strategy for black soldier fly larvae biomass production and faecal sludge reduction. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 5: 201-213.
As I read it, my mind kept circling back to a question that has been discussed in detail around the world- what should we digest, or not, with BSF?
As expected many developed nations have taken the approach of limited use of BSF as a means to avoid health issues that could result from using the resulting products. On some level, I completely understand the mindset of government and research officials. However, my concern with this approach is that it has narrowed the scope of research being conducted. Most efforts that we see published are focused on producing materials that can be used in developed nations- and again, I completely understand.
However, such a culture has resulted in limited efforts in expanding the use of BSF for processing other wastes, such as animal waste (e.g., dairy, swine, poultry, aquaculture) or even fecal sludge from urban populations. I recognize researchers are at the mercy of funding agencies and what they want to see accomplished. Believe me, I have received a number of critical reviews of grants I have submitted that stated such efforts would result in producing products not approved for use in the USA (i.e., grant rejected). This expected (unfortunately) response serves as a major limitation in terms of, 1) finding out if the process works, 2) developing methods for ensuring its safety, and 3) diversifying the industry while protecting the environment, creating jobs, and saving lives.
So, with that said- I encourage everyone to read the abstract of the article or the full article if you have access....then consider tackling research projects outside the mainstream of our science... expand our industry.... create opportunities for nations that do not have the resources that others possess. Who knows, such efforts could even benefit industrialized nations?! (a bit of sarcasm)
In the end, congratulations to the authors on a job well done! I hope to read more about your research in the future.
Insects as Food & Feed in the News (not much this week)
CNN Jumping on Board the Insects as Food Train: A nice article on the production of ice cream with insects. I didn't realize it looked so good. I admit, I am an ice cream snob....I simply love it and I am particular with regards to my selection- but I think I would try this ice cream if I had a chance.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, Gelato lover
Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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