How many commercial insect farmers have you met? Today, was my first. A woman who always wanted to farm but couldn’t afford land or the costs associated with looking after big animals. These tiny creatures are packed with protein and serve as a valuable food source for farm animals and aquaculture. But looking at the bigger picture, these bugs, specifically maggot powered robots, could be the solution to ending Australia’s food waste problem. The pioneering technology has earned my guest today the title of ACT Australian of the Year. Olympia Yarger, founder of Goterra joins me now.
We discover what an Insect farm looks like and how Olympia found herself here.
Olympia is a climate action warrior, founder of the Insect Protein Association of Australia, and now ACT Australian of the Year. It’s an impressive resume that all started with a decision to farm the one thing she could afford –insects!
The agritech start-up Goterra and the role of the insects both as a food source and food waste management.
It’s been likened to a maggot robot system – aerated containers house the larvae of the black soldier fly and, while growing the maggots break down waste
Solving our food waste problem on a commercial, and residential scale.
How Olympia is also turning her maggots into feed and, who is buying this high-protein product.
The maggot is the hero of the farm and Olympia shares why she chose maggots over worms.
Maggots are very high in protein as they are fed to both stock and fish – it truly is a circular economy for food.
Large supermarket chains have already seen the value of this method and implemented locally to reduce waste.
Olympia has processed 35,000 tonnes of waste and saved more than 66,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
How her initial idea of an insect farm was perceived.
So, does she see herself as a farmer?
The most common misconception about Australia’s waste
Olympia’s most unexpected thing to happen on the farm.
The ultimate dream for the future.
We hope to see you back on the road soon, to learn more about how Australia grows on the next episode of Australian Farmers with Angie Asimus.