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The future of food may come from maggots

Illustration for article titled The future of food may come from maggots
Illustration: sirup (Getty Images)

Like it or not, evidence is mounting that the food of the future will be bug-based, as insects provide inexpensive and necessary forms of protein. One more example, CNN Money reports today on brothers Jason and David Drew, who own AgriProtein, a company in South Africa where flies “lay hundreds of millions of eggs on food waste every day. The larvae are then sold as animal feed.” Their two South African factories contain 8.4 billion flies each, and take in 276 tons of food waste every day; the flies then lay eggs on the food waste.

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AgriProtein founder Jason Drew next to one of the fly cages at a fly factory.
AgriProtein founder Jason Drew next to one of the fly cages at a fly factory.
Photo: Jenny Goldhawk-Smith (AFP/Getty Images)

The Drew brothers then sell maggot meals as “an environmentally friendly alternative to fish meal, a widely used animal feed made with ground dried fish.” They tell CNN that while the business took a few years to get off the ground, now business is booming. The company recently signed a $10 million contract to set up 100 more fly factories worldwide by 2024 in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S.

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Jason Drew said: “It is exciting times for humanity as we start to tackle waste and protein problems.” Sure, animal meal isn’t the same as having maggots right on your plate, but who knows what the food landscape will look like in a few decades?

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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DISCUSSION

We have seen this in the historical documentary Blade Runner 2049, the big guy is working, what looks like a maggot farm in the opening scenes.