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Automatic Mealworm Farm
Commercializing and automating insect-based animal feed.
Sam Glickstein
6
Founder, Biotrophics, LLC
· Baltimore, MD, United States
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Sam Glickstein

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Sam Glickstein
6
Founder, Biotrophics, LLC
· Baltimore, MD, United States

Hi Meryl Natow, thank you for your note, and it’s very nice to meet you. I both know about and have enjoyed your product before.
You’re right, there are a lot of insect farms popping up, but the vast majority are focusing on the sphere you’re already well entrenched in: insects for human consumption. My company is in the process of working on commercializing and automating the farming process for insects to be used as animal feed. I don’t see the western world consuming that many insects in the long run. As an environmentally minded person, I wish they would, but realistically, I don’t believe insects will be a mainstream product (at least in the short term).
The main incentive to automate is to cut costs and ultimately lower the price to be competitive with fishmeal and other proteins found in animal feed.
While there are many mealworm providers out there, they’ve deal in the bait & tackle/chicken treat markets. Fishmeal is a $5BB market right now, slated to become $10BB in 5-10 years.
Most mealworm suppliers do originate from China. Despite the price point being lower, customers across the board clamor for US grown products (though generally choose the cheaper product anyway).
Do you envision your company using mealworms anytime soon?

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Deleted User
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Deleted but not forgotten
· Centaurus A

Sam Glickstein We probably will stick to crickets for a while. Crickets have the highest protein/lowest fat which works best in our recipes. Interesting to see that you’re after the animal feed market not humans - that makes your regulatory issues far less cumbersome! And you probably don’t have to kill and process the insects since most will want them live? I know someone did cricket-based dog treats and dog food a couple years back — similar but not the same and probably worth checking out.

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Sam Glickstein
6
Founder, Biotrophics, LLC
· Baltimore, MD, United States

Fair enough. Crickets have been generating a lot of buzz (chirps?) lately from what I’ve seen. Unfortunately, I am of the opinion that the human food market is not going to be able to support all of these new startups. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve seen the figure of global (western world) human food insect market valued only to be around $55MM by 2023.
Kudos to you for being an early player.

For animal feed, I will not be selling them live, but as an ingredient (a meal) to manufacturers. Pet food is a market I am very interested in as well.

Would you mind enlightening me on some of the regulations you’ve had to overcome? Any resources would be very appreciated.

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