Styrofoam is an environmental danger and food insecurity is a human crisis. Wake Forest faculty and students believe one organism with a strange name can help with both issues.

Mealworms are worm-like larvae of a particular type of beetle, and curiously enough, they consider Styrofoam a delicacy. So biology professor Bill Conner and five students designed a vertical garden to raise the creatures. Mealworms can break down plastic, and they can serve as a food source for people in developing countries. Their waste can generate fertilizer worldwide.

It’s a win all around. Even if the name sounds funny.

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