What do crickets and hogs have in common? They’re both helping the circular economy go ‘round here in Austin, Texas. A circular economy is an economy where waste is reduced by reusing and recycling material as much as possible before it’s sent to the landfill.
So what do crickets and hogs have to do with it?
Aspire Food Group is a food-grade cricket farm located in Southeast Austin dedicated to sustainability and reaching Zero Waste. Aspire Food group raises high-protein edible insects using technology while maintaining a small environmental footprint.
Eden’s Cove Farm is a heritage hog farm that offers various services like homesteading classes, raw milk pickups, and kitchen rental.
As a company centered on sustainability, Aspire Food Group saw an opportunity to reduce their waste through the Austin Materials Marketplace. Because crickets need fresh food, they produce a large quantity of leftover uneaten feed. Instead of throwing it out, Aspire Food Group sought out an opportunity to help another nearby farm.
Each week, Joann Smotherman of Eden’s Cove Farm picks up buckets of this high-quality, nutrient-rich feed from Aspire Food Group for the hogs on her farm. The feed is comprised of organic corn and soy meal – it even contains bonus larvae which are very healthy for hogs.
Beneficial to both farms, this trade allows Aspire Food Group to stay true to their Zero Waste values while providing Eden’s Cove access to high-quality feed at a much more affordable price. To date, they've diverted over 70,000 pounds of organic corn and soy meal from landfills!
Similar values of sustainability and resourcefulness made these two farms a perfect match. According to Vincent Vitale, Business Development Manager of Aspire Food Group, AMM has helped their company solve problems that they don’t have the bandwidth to solve themselves. AMM is helping bridge gaps and make connections between businesses that otherwise would not be able to coordinate these exchanges.