Can food waste offer the solution to food security? Product uses insects to convert it to animal feed

The X1 product installed at a facility in Wales.

UK-based firm has developed a fully automated insect farm powered by AI to naturally feed chickens

A Cambridge-based agritech business, Better Origin, is proposing a solution to the broken food chain employing both nature and AI.

Their solution to food waste, they say, increases food security and improves animal welfare and sustainability. The product – the Better Origin X1 – uses insects “to naturally convert food waste into animal feed”. And in so doing, it reduces the need for land, crops, transport, water, and other resources required to produce animal feed.

The X1 looks like a standard shipping container, but it’s a fully autonomous, modular insect farm powered by AI. The feed created by this new technology is produced naturally and is highly cost-effective, insists the firm. “It promotes a more circular food system, providing greater resilience and flexibility in times of need.”

“With the global population expected to surpass nine billion by 2050, food production will need to increase by 70% to meet this demand. Sustainably produced animal-grade protein is bound to be a part of a long-term solution to increase food supply to humans,” says a press release.

The push for net zero
Supermarkets and food manufacturers are facing growing pressures to achieve net zero targets. The Better Origin solution helps them address their environmental impact and demonstrate a sustainable food chain, says the firm. It helps to reach these targets without sacrificing productivity or profitability.

The Better Origin X1 recycles local agricultural waste to produce “natural insect protein”. This reduces the farmers’ dependency on unsustainable feeds like soy. “The bioconversion unit grows insect feed on the farmers’ behalf, overseeing the larvae’s feeding and growth. This solution tackles waste and improves productivity, yield, and animal welfare, all while delivering a 130% ROI.”

Insects farms are already operating in four places around the UK, including independent free-range farms and a trial with a supermarket.

Fotis Fotiadis, CEO & Founder of Better Origin, commented: “Humans are terrible at dealing with waste while nature does it perfectly.”

“Food waste is one of the biggest problems facing mankind today. Not only are we wasting the resources that have gone into creating the food, but also continuously filling up landfill sites, contributing to more emissions and exacerbating climate change.

“We knew the world needed a fresh view. To design a new, more efficient & sustainable food chain, to achieve NetZero and ensure food security. We are fixing the food system by bringing it back to its origins. We focus on a local supply chain. Our goal is to help build a food system that is circular and resilient in times of change.

“We can have insects all around the world, addressing food waste locally. They will improve the lives of animals and make the future of food more sustainable. Our technology is on the path to becoming the mark of best practice within the food industry. We are working with farmers, retailers, and food producers to roll out this solution, with the aim to help secure the future of food.”