Feeding cattle flies: Quebeers win awards in Mexico

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 Jérémie Lavoie won the Environmental Cooperation Commission’s 2022 Youth Innovation Competition [groupe trilatéral avec les États-Unis et le Mexique] for project Inscott company.

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, which are an excellent source of protein, are then used as food for the animals, which, when they die, will serve as food for the larvae, thus continuing the chain.

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, eggsMariève Dallaire-Lamontagne explained to The Canadian Press, while she was in Mexico with her colleagues.

After being fed this waste for two weeks, the fly larvae can 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 food made from flies 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 shown, requires a large amount of energy to heat all the biomasswhile fellow proponent Mariève Dallaire-Lamontagne added, use the digestive system of the larvae and […] Less resources, less space and less energy.

Involved by the Canadian Press in Mérida, Mexico, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault agreed with the award recipients.

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, fits perfectly with the kind of projects we are trying to encourage here. [à la réunion de la Commission de coopération environnementale].

Solutions for recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic

The Youth Innovation Contest 2022 invited young North American people aged 18 to 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 pandemicbiologist Jérémie Lavoie said, adding that the Quebe Cancer trio wanted give a little more control back to the communities, then to the citiesBecause 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.Minister Guilbeault emphasized.

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 C$15,000 in startup funds, in addition to the benefit of one year of mentoring.

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