Grubby Animal Feed

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Source: The Guardian

Two Georgia Tech graduates (who also happen to be cousins), Sean Warner and Patrick Pittaluga, are breeding and selling an insect many people consider revolting in order to provide a more sustainable substitute for animal feed (if you are about to eat a meal, I recommend postponing this article for a later, food-free, time). The insect they are growing is larvae, specifically black soldier fly larvae. Grubbly Farms, the name of their company, dries the larvae and sells them whole as chicken treats. This is a more sustainable protein and fat source for chickens, pigs and farmed seafood compared to the more popular animal feed that is based on fish, called fish meal.

Around 75% of the fish used in [conventional fish meal] are wild-caught species of small fish such as anchovies, herring and sardines. Demand for these species will likely increase as the world relies more on fish farming – and less on depleting wild fish stocks – to feed the growing appetite for seafood.

Grubbly Farms’ business plan isn’t just about creating more nutritious and sustainable animal feed, Warner said. It’s also looking to tackle America’s billion-dollar problem with food waste – produce and leftover foods being tossed away by businesses and homes and clogging up landfills at the rate of 52m tons per year. Warner is feeding the larvae fruit and vegetable pulp from a local juicery, and the company has also recently started working with a bakery to add days-old bread to the mix. Warner estimates that once production is up-and-running, they will use around two tons of food waste a day.

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A Podcast Worthy Of The Binge

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Alex Blumberg was only vaguely familiar to me when I listened to an interview with him on a podcast series that accompanied my early morning bicycle rides in late 2015. I had listened to Planet Money on occasion, and found it amusingly interesting most of the time. I had rarely, if ever, listened to This American Life, though many friends had recommended it.

Blumberg caught my full attention in this conversation recorded in October, 2014 as he described the process of sharing his experience starting up a new company. Continue reading

Giving Food a Longer Life

The FoodWa, which comes in two sizes, and is like a big ventilated box. The smaller "Batch" version can handle about 11 pounds at a time. PHOTO: CoExist

The FoodWa, which comes in two sizes, and is like a big ventilated box. The smaller “Batch” version can handle about 11 pounds at a time. PHOTO: CoExist

Each year, the world loses or squanders a third of the food it produces. This means that somewhere between planting seeds in fields and providing nourishment to the world’s 7 billion people, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food with a value of more than US$1 trillion is lost or wasted. These numbers are simply untenable in a world where, according to Food and Agriculture Organization, some 870 million people do not have enough to eat. In fact, according to the FAO-commissioned study that tallied these numbers, if just one-fourth of lost or wasted food were saved, it could end global hunger.

And drying food, to prevent it from rotting during storage, maybe a solution. A clean, green solution especially with the FoodWa system that uses solar energy to dry foods.

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Drawing Inspiration from Paper Folding

The flat-pack design could reduce energy demand drastically compared to a standard canvas structure. PHOTO: CoExist

The flat-pack design could reduce energy demand drastically compared to a standard canvas structure. PHOTO: CoExist

It has long been known that origami has many benefits like developing eye hand co-ordination, sequencing skills, attention skills, patience, temporal spatial skills, math reasoning etc. And now a structure design inspired by the Japanese art of folding paper may help the military significantly reduce its energy demand.

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The Showerhead That’s Ruling the Internet

This shower head Is blowing up on Kickstarter thanks in part to Apple's Tim Cook and Alphabet's Eric Schmidt. PHOTO: Nebia

This shower head Is blowing up on Kickstarter thanks in part to Apple’s Tim Cook and Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt. PHOTO: Nebia

What does it take to have the World Wide Web interested in you? And interested is putting it lightly, when we are talking a Kickstarter project that crossed its goal of $100,000 and how, in less than 8 hours. Not to forget having Tim Cook of Apple and Eric Schmidt of Alphabet back you.Well, it takes a showerhead. An extraordinary one at that. One that promises to reduce wastage of water in the shower by 70%, is iconic in design, and has its heart set on revolutionizing the use of water in developing markets. Nebia is here.

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Sidestepping Oil With Sugar

A service truck drives past an oil well on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, which produces nearly a third of US' oil. PHOTO: Andrew Cullen

A service truck drives past an oil well on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, which produces nearly a third of US’ oil. PHOTO: Andrew Cullen

Oil is one of the non-renewable resources available on the planet, and its scarcity is inevitable if the supply does not meet the growing demand in the current scenario, and it may even lead to “resource wars” among states in the coming years. Oil prices are now near a six-year low, moving down today to about $44 a barrel. The fall has been precipitous: Only a year ago, crude oil was more than $100 a barrel. With the world of oil production being susceptible to the smallest of changes in the global market, it shows up as a space conducive to innovations that can potentially make it economical.

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