natural food safety

Natural Food Safety: Dung Beetle Power

natural food safety

Natural food safety is the ideal method that people want to take. This is especially for organic farmers, who are constantly being challenged by food safety guidelines. The answer might be found in dung beetles. Entomologist (people who study insects) at Washington State University are continuing their study to see whether dung beetles can suppress harmful food-borne pathogens in soil.

Dung beetles are known for removing feces above ground and killing the pathogens in the feces they feast upon. The feces left behind by wildlife and domestic animals have a very harmful E. coli that can contaminate crops on farms which puts consumers at risk and farmers at the risk of law-suits. Farmers are currently installing complex systems in attempts to prevent contamination from rodents and birds. This method is expensive and has no scientific reasoning.

The research on dung beetles hopes to adapt their eating, living in and laying their eggs in animal feces. Based on farms, the experiment will collect data at organic, conventional and integrated livestock/produce farms about the number of dung beetle species, how they are spread across different types of farms and how quickly they consume animal feces.

If the research proves to be correct, it will push for better food safety throughout the entire food economy. Since the food safety chain begins with the farms, a safer way to regulate produce will help the advancement of safer food.

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