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Black soldier fly

The Black Soldier Fly, native to warmer regions of North America, is recognized by its glossy black color and distinctive wing shape. In tropical areas, they can be found, searching for a food waste source to lay their eggs next to.


Once the fly eggs hatch, they immediately start feeding on organic waste, and have a quick growth cycle of just 7-14 days. Larvae have a remarkable appetite for organic waste. They efficiently consume various materials, including food scraps and manure, swiftly transforming waste into valuable nutrients. This ability makes them powerful agents in waste reduction and closed-loop systems.


By creating systems that mimic the life cycle of a fly, we grow larvae fed on food waste. In this way we ensure that food never goes to waste, and instead the nutrients are cycled back into the food system. Talk about circularity!  


Packed with essential macro and micro nutrients, the larvae can be fed to livestock as a sustainable protein component of feed. Larvae play a crucial role in sustainable development by offering alternatives to conventional protein sources and fertilizers.


Compared to sources like soy and fishmeal, larvae requires low-resource farming methods and draws on existing resources such as food waste. Feeding larvae instead of fishmeal or soya, mitigates issues like deforestation, monocropping, and overfishing associated with soya and fish farming.


The contribution of BSF farming aligns with Sustainable Development Goals, addressing hunger, promoting responsible consumption and production, and tackling climate change. Replacing traditional protein sources with larvae, can reduce costs and lessens environmental impact of the food system.

Not only are Black Soldier Fly larvae beneficial, but their manure, known as frass, is also a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Frass enhances soil fertility and promotes plant growth, providing an eco-friendly additive to compost.

In summary, Black Soldier Flies are unsung heroes in the journey towards sustainability. They play a key role in closing the food loops by efficiently converting organic waste into valuable resources. Their impact on waste reduction, protein production, and soil fertility positions them as essential contributors to creating a more sustainable future for all.


What waste do they eat?

One of the most exciting elements of processing waste with black soldier fly waste is that they are natures recyclers. They are enjoy eating all kinds of natural food waste and believe us they can eat A LOT! Their bio-conversion rate i.e. how much food can consume and convert into larvae and nutrient-rich frass is truly remarkable!

They eat any organic waste other than waste that is high in cellulose, such as leaf matter and garden waste. Examples include: fruit and vegetable waste, animal waste, and spent grains.

Why we care about food waste

In South Africa, organic waste was banned from landfills in 2022 and will be entirely prohibited by 2027. Approximately 40% of the country's waste comprises organics, with Cape Town alone contributing 160,000 tonnes.


Improper disposal of food waste and other organic materials in landfills results in the release of significant amounts of greenhouse gases, particularly methane, which is 78% more potent than CO2.


Sadly, our current waste systems are exacerbating climate change and, ironically, contributing to food insecurity.

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I think Philafeed has been the best thing that has happened to Knysna! What a wonderful initiative that is helping us with our food waste. Food waste has always been a big concern in the food industry and since Philafeed has been helping us work our food waste back into the cycle it has combated many issues that come with throwing food away and bins being full of waste that attracts all kinds of problems – Knysna struggles with rodents due to all the food waste in our bins! So as you know it we do not struggle with those problems anymore. Their service is impeccable and they always communicate efficiently and ahead of time. They are always friendly when collecting and we take our hat off to them for doing such an amazing job – it truly shows their passion and dedication. If you haven’t jumped onto the Philafeed train with your food waste, this is your sign and the time to start is now! You definitely will reap the benefits and play your part in making our world a better place!

- Mary Jane, The Node

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