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Innovation in livestock and fish feeds is often the forgotten side of sustainable agriculture

Just a decade ago, Antoine Hubert, a French agricultural scientist, was teaching schoolchildren how to create worm farms, by tossing banana peels into boxes of worms and recycling their waste. It was, he says, an entertaining lesson in eco-farming.
Now Hubert’s worms have slithered on to a vastly bigger stage, with the potential to ­impact a global industry worth about $500 billion a year: animal feed. Rather than keeping insects in classrooms, Hubert’s startup, Ÿnsect (pronounced plain old “IN-sect”), mass-­produces mealworm larvae, then turns them into high-grade protein to feed the animals and fish that we humans and our pets eat. “The last time there was this kind of creation was when they invented fish farming in Norway and Asia, and that was 60 years ago,” says Ÿnsect’s CEO and cofounder, as he shows me around his test factory near Dole, a town in eastern France. “This is a totally new value chain.”
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