We’ve written recently about developments in the startup food space. For example, we highlighted an emerging industry looking to commercialize lab-grown meat products.

Given the amount of emissions that come from factory farms, there’s no surprise that we’re seeking alternatives.

In the United States, factory farms – a facility that raises large amounts of livestock for the purpose of producing meat, dairy, eggs, etc. – are responsible for 70% of the water pollution in the country. They are also responsible for 37% of the methane emitted.

The detrimental impact on society – and the inhumane treatment of the animals under its purview – have spurred a host of different movements to change the way we view food.

Lab-grown meat might be something you have a hard time wrapping your mind around.

However, there is a new type of factory farming being pioneered by startups – and while it may be controversial, it could also be world-changing…

We’re talking about insect farming.

Rich in protein, healthy fats, iron, calcium, and low in carbohydrates, roughly 80% of the earth’s population consumes insects spanning thousands of different species.

All that said, in the West, the consumption of insects is viewed as nothing short of repulsive.

Well, FlyFeed, an England-based startup, is one of a few that are looking to flip the script when it comes to bugs. And while it knows it will be a bit of an uphill battle before humans start supplementing their daily diets, the startup has a viable plan to mature into that point.

And it is executing it by first bringing its insect feed to the pet-food market.

For what it’s worth, that’s a pretty low bar to clear…

To produce dry kibble, factories purchase ingredients such as corn gluten, raw meat, vegetables, and other various inputs. These ingredients travel hundreds of miles on train cars before reaching their destination. During these trips, rodents and insects inevitably have first crack.

Meanwhile, the “raw meat” used for these products makes hot dog-making appear organic in comparison. There are horror stories of animal carcasses and diseased or dying creatures piled high.

All of these “ingredients” are mixed together and baked at extremely high temperatures to create those uniform, dry, crunchy morsels. These pieces of kibble are then sprayed with animal fat and supplemented with vitamins and artificial colors – because, rest assured, no nutrients survived the cooking process, and even dogs, which lack complex tastebuds, would turn their nose at these raw, unfinished pellets.

In FlyFeed’s opinion, a new option is not only viable, but long overdue. And so it’s aiming to bring its larvae to the animal feed industry and set the startup on its course.

This is just one of a handful of startups seeking to turn insects into ingredients. Even if it never reaches your dinner plate, making it to Fido’s represents a multi-billion-dollar opportunity of its own.

That’s why we’re actively looking for opportunities in this sector. We’ll let you know what we find.

The A+E Network Deal Research Team