China tackles food waste….with maggots!
Here at ISL Waste Management, we use many techniques and invest in a number of solutions when dealing with food waste. However we have never tried maggots.
It has been reported this week that China may start using these rather disgusting larva as a way of tackling their huge waste problem. Hu Rong, an enterprising farmer based outside the city of Pengshan, has recently partnered with a local waste management company to help dispose of the tonnes of organic matter they collect annually.
Hu purchases waste produced by the city’s many restaurants, hotels and shops and feeds them to her ravenous maggots, which can consume many times their body weight each day. Rong claims that the larva can work through a heap of food in a matter of hours.
She completes the rather novel example of a circular economy, by selling the fattened maggots on to be used in protein-rich animal feed. Their fecal waste is also sold and transformed into a potent organic fertiliser.
“These bugs are not disgusting! They are for managing food waste. You have to look at this from another angle,” Hu insisted. She explained that just 1KG of maggots can consumer over 2KG of food waste four hours.
Feeding insect meal to livestock and fish is a long-standing tradition in the Chinese farming industry, however it is a practice that is only beginning to gain popularity in Europe and beyond.
After much research into the area, the EU will be permitting fish farms to start using insect feed later in 2017.
In this age of convenience, food waste is becoming an ever bigger problem for society. It’s been reported that more than one third of food produced for human consumption never even makes it onto the plate. On the other hand almost 900 million people around the globe suffer from chronic hunger.
Sending organic matter to landfill creates its own problems, due to the greenhouse gas emissions that occur as a result.
Could maggots be the way forward? We’ll be watching this development very closely!