How insect feed made carbon neutral eggs possible
August 2, 2022
Last year in December, we announced our partnership with Morrisons to produce carbon neutral eggs.
Today, the supermarket’s Planet Friendly Eggs are available to buy in 50 Yorkshire stores – soon to be rolled out nationwide.
But how exactly was this possible?
According to Promar International, over 80% of an egg farm’s carbon footprint comes from feed. Most chickens in the UK enjoy a diet of grains such as wheat, maize, or soy, all using a lot of land. Let’s not forget that 33% of all croplands in the world are used to grow animal feed. Soy, with its high protein content, is the status quo of the industry – and one of its biggest challenges.
Imported from South America, from areas where rainforest is cut down at an alarming rate, soy poses a risk to the future of our planet. It also poses a risk to food security – as the events of the past few months have shown, our reliance on imported grains makes the cost of living crisis even worse.
For carbon neutral eggs, you need a carbon neutral feed
Morrisons Planet Friendly Eggs come from hens fed a soya-free diet of grains and insects. Phasing out soy allowed the supermarket to reduce deforestation in their supply chain. This in turn drastically limited the emissions associated with animal feed.
Insects are a natural part of birds’ ancestral diets. Wild birds forage for insects for their protein content, nutritious amino acids, and healthy fats. They have no detrimental impact on the quality, taste or shelf life of the eggs.
As the rollout progresses, insect feed coming from the Better Origin X1 containers will feed up to 320,000 free range hens that can lay millions of carbon neutral eggs a year.
Finding a better feed is disruptive, but it’s precisely the thing to do. Rising production costs can discourage anyone in the farming industry from taking such a leap. But finding alternatives to traditional grains is the way forward.
Using waste as a resource
Another factor that contributes to the carbon neutral status of the eggs is the fact that our insects are fed food waste.
We waste an extraordinary amount of food each year – and supermarket supply chains are no exception. However, the problem of food waste can become its own solution – with the help of circular economy and looking into nature for answers.
Waste doesn’t exist in nature – it has a system of recycling, honed over billions of years. And insects are nature’s perfect upcyclers – they love eating our food waste!
Our technology capitalises on that – and converts food waste into insect protein in the span of weeks. In our partnership with Morrisons, we are tackling waste coming from their fruit and vegetable farms and bakeries. Using that, we grow insect feed at their own farms – making carbon neutral eggs possible.
At Better Origin, we have perfected the science of growing insects for feed.