Abstract for: Multi-solving Waste Reduction and Food Production Model Feeding Styrofoam to Consumable Mealworms

As the human population continues to increase, there will be a need for more food sources, particularly protein. A second global problem is the production of waste. Styrofoam accounts for around one third of the waste (by volume) in United State landfills. Research indicates that mealworms (T. molitor) can safely consume Styrofoam and render the styrene harmless as well as be a consumable protein source. Our Multi-solving Waste Reduction and Food Production Model serves as a test bed for the production of mealworms as food and the use of Styrofoam as their feedstock. The first iteration of the model explores the basic life history of mealworms without introduction of different feedstocks. The next iteration of the model will include different feedstocks to explore their effect on mealworm lifecycle and nutritional values. After the entire live experiment has run its course there should be five generations of data to average and input. This in turn should serve as a calibration for the model. This model will serve as a complimentary part of the overall experiment in dictating what future behavior would be observable from these experiments that extends past a five-generation test.