Black Soldier Flies (BSF)
are clean, non-nuisance flies, high in protein that require minimal effort to raise. BSF have been tested and found to provide numerous ecological benefits. BSF are voracious eaters and can consume up to 10 times their body weight each day. In a BSF farm, a functional 1 square meter is estimated to process at least 40 kg of food per day! This becomes extraordinarily interesting when taken with their diet– organic food matter. Anything that humans eat, BSF will also eat. BSF preferred diet is fruit and vegetable waste. BSF also eat coffee grinds, bread, meat, and cheese but they cannot digest bones or leaves and other plant materials.
BSF are particularly interesting because while they consume organics, they do not eat rotten food. They cannot exist in an anaerobic (lacking in oxygen/rotten) environment. When faced with these conditions, BSF will try to leave from rotting food in search of a more oxygen friendly, dry environment. Studies have also shown that BSF also reduce the amount of dangerous diseases present in their food environment. When test food was injected with E. Coli and Salmonella, researchers found that BSF digestive enzymes helped clear out the contamination.
BSF are also high in lipid content, about 35%. In addition to converting waste into protein, this factor of BSF larvae also presents another interesting opportunity for developers. First, the lipids can be extracted from BSF and this produces a low cost biodiesel. Second, the residue is still useful as a high protein (70%) refined feed.