Flies could be key to tackling food waste: Australian scientists

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-14 11:27:59|Editor: Lu Hui
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CANBERRA, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- The mating habits of flies could hold the answer to tackling food waste according to researchers from Australia's peak scientific organization.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) partnered with Goterra, a Canberra-based start-up, to find the perfect combination of lighting, temperature moisture and diet to encourage black soldier flies, the most common type of fly, to mate.

By boosting the rate at which the flies lay eggs Goterra will be able to breed more insects to eat food waste and turn it into compost - reducing landfill and enriching soil.

In addition to tacking food waste, the CSIRO and Goterra, along with the University of Adelaide are now looking into which insects are the best nutritional options for human consumption.

Insects require less land and water than traditional livestock but are still a good source of protein.

The CSIRO will host an international conference on edible insects and begin working on a roadmap to identify future unique opportunities for Australia's insect industry in August.

Larry Marshall, the chief executive of the CSIRO, said in a media release on Wednesday that food security and sustainability challenges call for unique solutions.

"CSIRO has been at the forefront of agricultural and food innovation in Australia for over a century, so it's fitting that today we're using that expertise to grow a new local industry using native Australian resources like insects," he said.

"Growing a new industry is a complex, multidisciplinary challenge, but with CSIRO's expertise spanning farming, insects, nutrition, economic and environmental forecasting, and collaboration with industry, government and universities, we have a strong track record for turning excellent science into real-world solutions," he added.