Weekend podcast: Insects key to reducing food waste

Nature never ceases to amaze and in this FIT episode, insects are under the spotlight, given their remarkable food waste reducing capabilities

This week we are joined by Professor Abdullahi Yusuf, researcher working in the Social Insects Research Group also known as the Bee Group at the department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

This week we are joined by Professor Abdullahi Yusuf, researcher working in the Social Insects Research Group also known as the Bee Group at the department of zoology and entomology at the University of Pretoria. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

By now you’ve probably heard all about the buzz on black soldier fly farming. But did you know that this alternative and smart farming method can aid our fight against the climate crisis, food insecurity, and food waste? By the sounds of it, insects certainly aren’t just useless creatures.

In this weekend’s episode of the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast show, Professor Abdullahi Yusuf, a researcher working in the Social Insects Research Group, examines how insects can help reduce food waste.  

According to Yusuf, the use of insects might free up an additional 325 million tonnes of wasted food since insects play a crucial role in reducing food loss.

Yusuf believes that the issue of food waste is not exclusive to wealthy nations, but that is a worldwide phenomenon.

It is estimated that around 17% of the world’s food output is often wasted. This equates to around 931 million tonnes of food wasted annually.

“61% of food wasted comes from households, 26% from food services and 13% from retail. Globally, this is a lot of waste and accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions which is linked to unconsumed produce,” Yusuf says.

Insects play a significant role  

There are, however, ways in which humans can use insects to reduce food waste.

According to Yusuf, insects participate in recycling fresh organic plant materials so they are biowaste recyclers.

“Insects like black soldier flies could make available an extra 325 million tonnes of food. If you take that out of the 931 million tonnes of food that goes to waste, it’s a lot. So insects are very important when it comes to reducing food waste,” he explains.

In the podcast, Yusuf also discusses:

Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.

Option 1: Click here to listen on Spotify (all mobile and other devices).

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Option 3: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.

ALSO READ: Tips on starting your own black soldier fly farm

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