Bug Blog

Entomologists Starts Her Own Insect-Feed Company

Entomologists Starts Her Own Insect-Feed Company

These days the Internet is telling us all about the benefits and virtues associated with insect consumption over beef consumption. It goes without saying that the idea of eating insects disgusts many people in America, but there are many valid reasons to cultivate insects as feed, especially if the feed is meant for livestock. These days there are a lot of economic opportunities to be taken advantage of when it comes to raising insects as animal-feed. Many farmers seem interested in pursuing a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to feed livestock. One doctor of Entomology, Virginia Emory, has recently started the first business in the state of Washington that sells insect feed to farmers around the United States, and her business is reportedly booming.

Dr. Emory is hoping that her business will also promote the practice of insect-eating (entomophagy) to humans, but this is only a hope for the long run, at the moment she is focused on revolutionizing the business of animal-feeds. Dr. Emory spends almost all of her time raising mealworms that will eventually be used to feed livestock and fish. However, Dr. Emory’s business sells products to human consumers as well. For example, Dr. Emory’s business, Beta Hatch, is packaging the fecal waste produced by mealworms in order to sell the waste as fertilizer for gardeners. The bags are sold in packages as large as twenty ounces, and as small as two ounces. The prices of the fertilizer range from three to twelve dollars.

According to Dr. Emory, there is currently a wave of new entrepreneurs popping up all around the world with the hopes of profiting off of the sale of insect-feed to farmers. Although Dr. Emory believes that she is the first of such entrepreneurs in her home state to indulge in the insect-feed business, she also mentions that there does exist large-scale insect-farming sites all over the world. For example, the South African company, Agriprotein, sells maggots for livestock consumption. Microsoft bigwig, Bill Gates, backs this company financially. Another company from California, Tiny Farms, sells crickets for human consumption. And another startup, Exo, sells insect protein bars.

Do you believe that at least half of the American population will have consumed some type of arthropod before 2030?