Fishing is About to Change
Practices like bottom trawling, blast fishing and cyanide fishing result in unintentional by-catch and the destruction of coral reefs. As the world’s population continues to increase, finding regenerative sources of protein is imperative. Kulisha is betting on the Black Soldier Fly as an alternative source of protein.
Its waste treatment process converts organic waste from food and beverage producers into a high-quality insect-protein animal feed. The black soldier fly larvae feed on organic waste, becoming a safe, high-protein alternative to fish meal in a matter of days. In terms of sustainability and food waste benefits, insect protein should not be ignored.
Food Tech Connect’s "Millennial Innovators Uprooting Our Food System" series, which profiles bright, creative and driven university students from around the world and makes up Thought For Food, a next-generation food innovation platform, interviewed Eric Katz, one of the founders:
Katz was working at the Quinault Indian Nation, one of the largest salmon hatcheries in the United States and talking to his soon-to-be co-founder about an interesting concept in which a social enterprise was encouraging rural people to farm insects as a source of human food because of its nutritional benefits.
He told Katz about the village he grew up visiting in Kenya, and how it was being ravaged by trawlers that are fishing for small fish for use in animal feed. He said: ‘You know what would be cool? If you could replace these fish with insects .’
Kulisha addresses two problems with one solution. First, it supports food and beverage producers — such as breweries, restaurants, and fruit- and vegetable-processing plants — by treating their organic waste. Waste from these producers is rich in carbohydrates and proteins, yet often is not valorized and ends up in landfills. Disposal of this waste is costly, time-intensive and inconvenient for these companies.
In addition, the demand for fish meal for use in animal feeds is driving the destruction of the world’s oceans. More than one-third of global fish catch is ground into meal and is the primary protein source for poultry, fish, and swine feed. The feed industry is a major contributor to the fact that more than 85 percent of the world’s fisheries are exploited. Kulisha says it will create a sustainable insect protein and, in the process, cut costs for food and beverage plants by reliably and consistently using their waste.
Katz has some advice for other food startups that want to change the world: "Dip into all existing resources and networks that are accessible to you! Constantly getting your idea questioned is the best way to develop it, and when people identify problems, they can often help to identify solutions. Make connections, build your network — food security is truly a global wicked problem, and there are so many amazing minds tackling various facets of it that you can’t afford not to make connections with others."