The environmental crisis we are currently witnessing is partially due to a throwaway culture. Around 30 % of all food production is wasted. By valuing waste as a resource, we have an opportunity to change this behaviour.
While there are many measures to minimize food waste, not all parts of plants and animals can be directly consumed by humans. By-products from human food production contain valuable nutrients and can be safely reused as feed ingredients. Through innovation, many can be repurposed and turned into valuable new resources directly or as feed for insects or microorganisms. This way they can re-enter the food system as ingredients in aquafeed.
Land animal by-products (LAPs), for instance from poultry, contain many valuable nutrients essential to the diet of many aquaculture species. They are invaluable resources that can diversify the raw materials portfolio for aquafeed not only as a great source of protein but may also for their strong sustainability profile.
Traceability, quality assurance and market acceptance
LAPs have always been considered a valuable resource. However, poor traceability and monitoring of these raw materials led to the BSE crisis (known as mad cow disease) which put a temporary end to the use of land animal by-products in feed production. Even though strict legal rules and regulations have since been implemented, there is still a reluctance in some markets to accept and approve these raw materials into the food system.
As we strive to decouple from the human food supply chain, we must acknowledge that LAPs and other alternative raw materials can aid in the sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry.