Two Laval University students and a biologist have been awarded an award in Mexico for a circular economy project that uses black soldier fly larvae to remove waste and also as food for animals.
In the presence of the Minister of the Environment, Steven Guilbault, students from the Department of Animal Sciences at Laval University, Mariève Dallaire-Lamontagne and Jean-Michel Allard-Prus, and biologist Jérémy Lavoie won the Environmental Cooperation Commission’s 2022 Youth Innovation Competition (tripartite group with the US and Mexico) for the project “start up» Inscott.
Essentially, Inscott raises black soldier fly larvae to feed on farm waste like animal carcasses, a waste that is complex to handle and requires a lot of energy.
The larvae, an excellent source of protein, are then used as food for the animals, when they die, feed the larvae and the chain continues…
“What we are proposing is to improve the way we manage our animal waste in Quebec and in Canada, using the potential of edible insects. So we are talking about livestock by-products like carcasses, organs, feces, eggs“, Mariève Dallaire-Lamontagne explained to Canadian Press while she was in Mexico with her friends.
After two weeks of eating this waste, the fly larvaecan be included in the diet of pets such as chickens or pigs, but can also be used to make food for domestic pets such as dogs or cats“.
A PhD student in animal science has shown that fly food is much more environmentally friendly than “Common protein sources, such as soy or fishmeal, have been linked to ecological problems“.
Less GHG than traditional process
Agriculture produces a large amount of excess protein produced from brains, spines, intestines, bones, etc.
The traditional process by which these carcasses are processed is called rendering and turns the remains into protein for feed.
However, this process, as Jean-Michel Allard-Prus has pointed out, requires “a large amount of energy to heat all the biomass“, while we, his colleague, Mariève Dallaire-Lamontagne, added,”we use the digestive system of the larvae” and “we use less resources, less space and less energy“.
Joined by Canadian Press in Mérida, Mexico, the Minister of the Environment, Steven Guilbeault, agreed with the recipients of the award.
“The animal waste that we are dealing with as part of this project is a problem, as we have to use a large amount of energy to burn these animal carcasses. So, to find an alternative based on the teachings of nature, perfectly suited the types of projects that we are trying to encourage here (at the meeting of the Environmental Cooperation Committee). ). “
Solutions for recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic
The Youth Innovation Contest 2022 invited young North American people between the ages of 18 and 30 to propose creative and concrete solutions to “help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and identify the intersection between human health and the environment“.
“We’ve all seen the fragility of food supply chains during the pandemic“, stressed biologist Jérémie Lavoie, making it clear that the Quebe Cancer trio wanted”give a little more control back to the communities, then to the cities“, Because “produce quality protein, then treat livestock waste locally, then efficiently“.
“The next step for them is to see if they can do this on a commercial basis.“, emphasized Minister Guilbeault.
The Youth Innovation Challenge 2022 also awards a group of young American entrepreneurs and a group of young Mexicans.
Each of the three winning teams will receive up to $15,000 in start-up funds in addition to the benefit of mentoring for one year.
Stephane Blais, Canadian Press