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Impact 0524: Sustainable pet food from black soldier flies

Teo Xue Shen · 11 April 2022
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Youth Action Challenge (YAC) is a platform for youth to provide solutions that tackle the issues we are concerned about. Since October 2021, over 80 teams and more than 310 youths have undertaken the YAC Season 3 journey.

Teo Xue Shen, 23, is an Environmental Studies student at NUS. He worked as the Feed Nutritionist at Insect Feed Technologies, where he conducted research on the Black Soldier Fly life cycle and formulated different types of feed using BSF (Black Soldier Flies) larvae.

This would eventually contribute to a circular economy in Singapore and provide a more sustainable source of animal feed, alleviating food wastage, over-harvesting and deforestation issues. Today he shares more about the project!

What was your role within your YAC project?

I focused more on the technical aspect of the project that concerned BSFs and their life cycle, nutritional value and more. I was also one of the presenters for the final open mic pitch.

What motivated you to join YAC?

YAC was a very good platform for us to gain mentorship, exposure as well as connections. It was an excellent learning opportunity and enabled us to receive funding for our newest venture: pet food.

Can you share with us your experience with your YAC project?

We learnt a lot throughout the course of the YAC project. The sessions were useful and helped create a step-by-step process which we could easily adapt to before embarking on the final pitch.

What are some challenges you faced while working on your YAC project?

It was difficult to work out what was required for the final pitch as it was very different from the pitches/presentations we had done before. With a social enterprise project, we had to learn to work with financials and timelines, which we had very little experience with.

Could you share more on how your project has a positive impact?

Our project will provide a more sustainable source of pet food, which will contribute to Singapore’s circular economy. This aims to reduce overharvesting of wild fish stocks and deforestation for soybean plantations. 

BSFs are able to consume food waste, have very little water requirements and do not require much space to farm, making them protein production for pet food with very little environmental impact.

Were there any key takeaways or learning points from your time with YAC?

I learnt the importance of being able to pitch an entire project within a very limited time.

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