23 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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UNITED KINGDOM
The fly could be the planet's future hero

A self-confessed environmental capitalist called Jason Drew claims the common housefly could help save the planet by providing a natural alternative to fishmeal as an animal feed, thereby feeding the world and reducing the pressure on overfished seas.

In The Story of the Fly and How It Could Save the World, released by Cheviot Publishing, Drew argues that farming fly larvae is essential if the growing global population is to be fed and the seas saved.

He says flies suffer from bad press, as a pest, and are not appreciated for their important role in nature and their fascinating history. Genghis Khan, NASA and the National Health Service have all used flies in war, space and medicine, Drew notes.

Described as a “serial entrepreneur who became a passionate environmentalist and visionary”, Drew co-founded AgriProtein, a company already producing and selling fly larvae – dried and packaged as Magmeal.

"Every tonne of Magmeal we make and sell is a tonne of fish we don't have to take from our seas," he says, adding that the business is leading to what he believes will become a new global industry – that of waste nutrient recycling.

Farming fly larvae as a natural animal feed for chickens and fish and an alternative to fishmeal, could deliver the animal protein the industrial agriculture industry needs, while saving seas and reducing landfill. Drew says that already 25% of all fish taken from the seas is used in industrial agriculture and pet food – not for direct human consumption.

“The fly has a significant role to play in helping save the planet, as the fly larvae feed on waste nutrients that are already produced in huge quantities. Instead of disposing of this waste, it is recycled using flies: the waste is fed to the eggs of flies, which grow into larvae and are then harvested and made into Magmeal.”

Drew says over a few days a single female fly can lay up to 1,000, which AgriProtein then hatches into larvae that are then fed on waste nutrients such as abattoir blood. The harvested larvae are dried, milled into flake form and packed ready for inclusion in animal feed preparations.

"We should embrace the potential of the fly as a protein source given their exceptional breeding rates and the fact that they are a natural food – tried and tested by Mother Nature for tens of millions of years,” he says.

“Nutrient recycling and fly farming could help save the planet, delivering protein for animal feed in a natural and sustainable way.”

According to Drew, flies are not pests but pioneers of the modern world, from being the first animal in space to delivering medical miracles, inspiring aerodynamic design and setting fashion trends. “It is time to rethink the way we view the fly and understand its role in history and nature,” he declares.
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