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Better Origin - the startup that's fixing the food chain

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by Startacus Admin


The lowdown on Better Origin, the startup that's creating the ‘Internet of Insects’; a global network converting excess nutrients into essential nutrients...

Better origin image.We have all heard that the world’s need for food will increase significantly in a fairly short time, and that this will be one of the biggest challenges we face as a species. That need will require food supply to grow by about 70% over the next 30 years, and yet one third of all food produced every year is wasted. 

Even if this were not the case, our current food production system, by many estimations, cannot cope with this required increase. Which is where that other thing we’ve probably all heard about comes in: insects as a food source. Yes, the idea of a mouthful of fly wing and spider legs isn’t pleasant, but what about if the insects were being used to feed our livestock? For now.

Cambridge-based foodtech startup Better Origin has a solution to fix our food production system and make us ready for this huge increase in demand using insects.


Their goal is to establish what they call the ‘Internet of Insects’ - a global network converting excess nutrients into essential nutrients. They say that the Internet of Insects will ‘bring about a new symbiosis between nature and technology to transform livestock productivity and welfare, reduce carbon emissions, and achieve food security’. 

Better Origin picBetter Origin is aiming for a network of decentralised, fully-automated, AI-powered insect farms, in the form of their X1 units, which are essentially shipping containers converted into mini insect farms. The X1 converts waste biomass, such as excess feedstock or food waste into insect biomass, which is rich in proteins (up to five tonnes per year) and fats. This can be used to produce any animal feed.

Because it is converting this waste, it means that landfills aren’t needed, not only reducing emissions from those but also reducing emissions from transportation of the waste. And because protein is being created on-site, it also means less deforestation for soya farming and the transportation of that.

In October, the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) delivered a £10m funding package to a consortium including Better Origin. The startup will use their share to scale insect processing and their value-extraction technology to convert insects into animal feed and human food.


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Published on: 26th October 2020

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