Mealworms Eat Styrofoam

Recently, I read a Stanford study where they fed styrofoam to mealworms and they actually ate it! This is very exciting news as polystyrene is slow to biodegrade and it’s widely used throughout the world. Rob Jordan reports on the study co-authored by Wei-Min Wu through Stanford News Service that “within 24 hours, they excreted the bulk of the remaining plastic as biodegraded fragments that look similar to tiny rabbit droppings. Mealworms fed a steady diet of Styrofoam were as healthy as those eating a normal diet, Wu said, and their waste appeared to be safe to use as soil for crops.”

Well, since I have meal worms and some styrofoam….

Can confirm. Meal worms do, in fact, eat styrofoam! In the first half of the video, you can see the little chew tracks on the styrofoam. Then, a shot 4 days later shows how much they’ve eaten hollowing it out. This was just with a few pieces in the bin on top of a bed of organic chicken feed. They had choices and some of them chose the styrofoam. I am definitely going keep feeding them more and will try a whole bin with only styrofoam as the feed source. Probably should toss some styrofoam in with the crickets and see what happens! Insects and microbes are awesome.

%d bloggers like this: