We’re not exactly sure whether it’s a a good thing to feed silkworms dyed food but someone thought so and when they did something pretty cool happened…
According to a recent article from Popular Science, when silkworms are fed dyed mulberry leaves they will produce colored fibers. Scientists dyed mulberry leaves with fabric dye and fed them to silkworms which then began to create colored silk. The research from this study was published in the ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Journal.
So just what is the benefit to feeding dyed mulberry leaves to silkworms? It’s an effort to create a more sustainable method to dying fabrics. Feeding silkworms dyed leaves will cut out a huge portion of the manufacturing process as well as reduce the output of contaminated toxic waste released from traditionally dying fabrics. This new dying method drastically reduces the amount of water utilized in the dying process and results in a significant reduction of contaminated waste water.
What is the long term effect on silkworms that have been fed dyed foodstuffs? There is no data available on this at this time but you can be sure that PETA is looking in to it.