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Japan's insect-material startups attract swarms of investors

Superflies, spiders and worms create organic solutions to sustainability problems

TOKYO -- Watching millions of squirming insect larvae devour animal manure is a stomach-churning experience, but Japanese startup Musca and its investors see money in the maggots.

The young company, established in 2016, aims to use "superflies" to turn a profit turning organic waste into fertilizer and animal feed. It is just one of many startups that are developing insect-based materials to address sustainability issues such as global warming, food security and the ever-rising mountains of plastic waste.

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