Forget cows, chickens, pigs, or fish. There's a new animal in town that is the food of the future: black soldier fly larvae (or, as we prefer to call them, Heilu).
Here's why they will feed the future (including you!)
11 Reasons Black Soldier Fly Larvae Will Feed the Future:
They Reproduce Like CrazyImagine a cow that could give birth to 500 calves at once. That’d be insane (poor cow), but it'd sure make rearing cattle easier. Well 500 eggs is typical for an average black soldier fly.
They're Almost IndestructibleCurious scientists with too much time on their hands have found that black soldier fly larvae can survive up to two hours immersed in pure rubbing alcohol and being centrifuged at 2000 G’s (200 times the force exerted by a fighter jet).
They're Space-SaversBlack soldier fly larvae naturally thrive in such high densities that you can raise one ton of them in a space the size of a Smart Car. Industrial farmers wish they could do the same with chickens. Chickens wish they wouldn’t try.
They're Self-HarvestingWhen black soldier fly larvae are ready to metamorphosize into flies, they leave their feeding area in search of a dark dry place to do so. Amazingly, that meanns if you put a little ramp in their feeding bin with a bucket at the end, they’ll crawl up it and jump right in.
They Eat (Almost) EverythingAs long as it’s organic and not alive, they’ll eat it. They'll even literally eat crap. And love it.
But just to be clear, the animals we use for Heilu products are fed strictly controlled, clean food manufacturing leftovers—food that we could eat but choose not to.
They Grow Like CrazyWithin as little as two weeks of hatching, black soldier fly larvae will grow to 15,000 times their size. That’s like a newly-hatched chick growing to the size of a full-grown tiger in the time it takes to grow a moustache.
Needless to say, farmers don't need to give these animals growth hormones.
They're Super CleanTheir digestive systems naturally destroy harmful bacteria that might be present in their food. They break apart and consume waste so quickly and efficiently that no odour is produced. Even their sh*t doesn't stink!
And because they eat so much and they don't like sharing, they have evolved to somehow emit substances that repel dirty pests like houseflies.
They Eat Like CrazyBlack soldier fly larvae grow so fast because they are able to eat over twice their own body weight every day.
That’s the equivalent of an average human eating 1400 hot dogs.
They Are Little Energy PacketsLike squirrels that fatten up before the winter, black soldier fly larvae fatten up before metamorphising into flies. They build up huge amounts of fat (energy) to burn off as fuel when they're adults.
Why the need for so much fuel? Because the adults don't eat. They don't even have functioning mouths. All they do is live for a few days, reproduce, and die.
Heilu products are made from these larvae, so when you eat our products you'll get all that energy.
They Are Waste-FreeMaking Heilu is closed-cycle, meaning nothing is wasted. On the inputs side, the only feed they need is food manufacturing runoff. They don't even need fresh water, as the moisture of the food is enough for them.
And on the outputs side, Heilu uses the whole animal to make its butter and powder and the other outputs (the black soldier fly larvae poo) is used as a fertilizer.
By recycling food scraps, Heilu signficantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. While one ton of composting food waste generates as many greenhouse gasses as driving from Seattle to Alaska (and one ton of beef like driving around the earth one and a half times), a ton of Heilu generates the equivalent of driving a Nissan Leaf to the recycling depot.
They Taste Great!Like any other animal, the taste depends on how you prepare it. At Heilu, we separate the black soldier fly larvae into a protein and micronutrient powder and a coconut oil-like butter. But they are tasty whole too, especially when dried, seasoned, and served with a refreshing beverage.
You can't buy any yet to try for yourself—we're still working on regulatory approval—but if you sign up for our newsletter (click here) to be the first to know when you'll be able to.