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Sam Glickstein
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Founder, Biotrophics, LLC (Project Leader)
 · BaltimoreU.S.
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Clarification of mission: animal feed

Hi all, I wanted to clarify Biotrophics’ mission, which I just realized was unclear based on my description (now changed). I am looking to automate and commercialize mealworm production for animal feed, NOT humans. There are several reasons:

  1. $550 million estimated/projected human food market by 2023 vs. $12-25 Billion attainable market in animal feeds by 2023.

  2. I firmly believe that insect consumption is a fad that will only inhabit a niche market, and never reach the mainstream. Culturally, it is not common, and it is regarded with disgust. I certainly hope this changes, but do not expect insects to be part of western buffets any time soon.

  3. I do not believe animal agriculture is sustainable, though hypocritically, I eat meat. I do choose to eat sustainably raised meat, however. I state this to demonstrate that meat consumption is NOT slowing down. It is in fact increasing due to more and more people being lifted out of poverty. Insect consumption is also seen as a poverty item, therefore previous societies that ate insects may be abandoning them.

  4. Raising insects for animal agriculture plays a small, but significant potential role in increasing the sustainability of large animal agriculture operations. Yes, consuming insects would also solve the problem, but see point #2.
    The water requirements in an insect operation are negligible compared to a large tract of land being used for soy.

  5. Aquaculture, specifically: this is the industry where insects will have the highest environmental impact. Fish are being caught with the express purpose of being fed to other fish. This is extremely detrimental to our aquatic environments. Every 1 ton of insects fed to fish keeps 4 tons of fish in the ocean.
    Seeing as aquaculture is now 50% of our seafood consumption, and is increasing by huge numbers every year, insects are vital to the sustainability of our marine/freshwater environments.

  6. This also applies to humans, but insects are healthy. They have a complete nutritional profile, and are able to give animals several benefits, including anti-bacterial/fungal properties from insect chitin, higher growth rates, healthier fat and amino acid profile than plant-based feeds, and more.

Hope this helps to deepen the understanding and necessity of the mission.

Sam G.

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Businessman, developer
 · BrnoČesko
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Hello Sam
Thanks for your explanation.
I agree with your assumption that insects in their original form will not be a regular food on our tables, it will rather be an exotic experience. On the other hand, I think that in the near future it will very often start to appear in the food as a protein supplement.
Protein bars, drinks and other FIT and energetic foods.
According to my research, most people are willing to eat insects unless they see it in its original form.

As you write, the animal agriculture is not sustainable and the wealth of formerly poor societies is steadily rising, which is a way to a dead end. So returning to insect food in the form of a modern, “nice” and delicious diet is an possible alternative. We have to realize that even when we eat pork, we do not thinking about real pig, but we only enjoy the taste of meat.

I have to ask you about your first point. I am not understand to this numbers. How is it possible that animal feed is bigger market. All food is finaly made for human, so human food market must be bigger. The amount of human food should be smaller but logically greater in the price. If this numers are only USA, perhaps those figures distort the high exports of the animal food from USA.

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Sam Glickstein
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Founder, Biotrophics, LLC (Project Leader)
 · BaltimoreU.S.
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Hi Libor,
Thank you for your thoughts.

To answer your question, the $550MM market is what is projected to be the potential market for insect foods for humans, not the total human market. The market for animal feed is shown as a portion of the total attainable market that insect meal can reach. The current European model shows about 10% of aquafeed and pets having insect meal, and 1-2% of poultry and swine feeds. A calculation on those numbers is where I got the $12-25BB.

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Businessman, developer
 · BrnoČesko
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I got it wrong. :-)
These are very interesting numbers.
Thank you for the explanation.

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