Waging War on Pollution, One Worm at a Time

If you got excited about the recent discovery that mealworm can chow down on polystyrene, as we did in the video above, you should know that these little guys aren't the only larval superstars out there. Researchers previously discovered that the waxworm, a larval Indian mealmoth, contains the gut microbes necessary to break down the polyethylene in your trash bags.

And we simply don't know what else is out there. That's the hopeful part. Maybe there are other old creatures with a talent for digesting new materials, and their discovery will provide us with even more ammo in the war on pollution. In particular, research scientists like mealworm study author Wei-Min Wu hope that a suitable marine organism will turn up, as this would prove highly beneficial against plastic pollution in our oceans.

As for the consumption of mealworms, we say why not? Given all that's come out about industrialized meat processing over the past several years, maybe some worm meat would come as a relief.