The Other I

May 14, 2012

The potential of tasty maggots

But sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the worst and the best things that happen to us.   Creativity is not just the daughter of inventive minds;  it’s also the daughter of every living organism striving to stay alive.  For us humans, when it’s a question of feeding ourselves and those we love and of keeping a roof over their heads, it’s amazing what sometimes the most seemingly ordinary people think of doing. Between the recession and the challenge of global warming, people are coming up some of the extraordinary ideas.

On of my favorite stories is the maggots.

Jason Drew, an English Yorkshireman living on a farm in South Africa, was told by his doctors that if he wanted to live much longer after his second heart attack, he’d better take it easy.  In the process of lounging around, he discovered that one of his neighbours who raised chickens was feeding them fishmeal.  Fishmeal is a high-protein food used to feed animals.  One-third of all fish caught every year around the world go to make this kind of animal feed.

I don’t know how this idea came to him.  Perhaps he was a fisherman who used maggots as bait.  However it happened, Mr. Drew is now producing a high-protein animal feed called Magmeal.

Drew keeps a breeding stock of millions of flies, then harvests their larvae which he feeds with waste blood from abattoirs — who actually pay him to take it off their hands.  Within three days, fat, nutritious maggots are dried and processed as animal feed.

Every tonne of Magmeal he produces saves a tonne of fishmeal.

Maggots instead of fish:  I wish I’d thought of that.

And I hope Jason Drew lives a long life.  Though it doesn’t sound as if he’s exactly following his doctor’s order to slow down.

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