Pet food manufacturers are swapping proteins from meat for those from insects in an effort to reduce the environmental impact or carbon footprint of your cat or dog.
Big brands like Nestlé Purina and Mars have recently joined the movement using dried black soldier fly larvae, while other companies, such as Jiminy’s, are using cricket protein.
This change aims to reduce the 64 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted each year from the production and consumption of meat products.
Some companies claim their insect farms generate only four percent of the current emissions emitted each year by farms that raise cows, pigs and chickens.
Using insect protein as a base requires significantly less food, soil, and water, which generates less greenhouse gases per pound than those made with beef, pork, or chicken.
Big brands like Nestlé Purina and Mars recently joined the movement using dried black soldier fly larvae
Thanks in part to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the world has made a huge green shift in recent years, hoping to cut carbon emissions to fight climate change.
And it seems even the pet food brands want to do their part.
In November 2020, Purina launched its Beyond Nature’s Protein range for cats and dogs in Switzerland, which contains two recipes: one made with chicken, pork liver and millet; the second using protein from insects, chicken and beans.
The insect protein comes from the black soldier fly larva, which is also used by Mars in its new LoveBug for cats first launched in the UK.
Using the larva allows companies to create a taste that mimics “beef and cheese,” so our furry friends probably don’t taste like traditional meat products.
Mars uses black soldier fly larvae for its new LoveBug for cats which first launched in the UK
However, the ingredient was not approved in the United States until last January for adult dogs and its use in cats is expected to be given in 2022.
Using the larva allows companies to create a taste that mimics “beef and cheese,” so our furry friends probably don’t taste any different from traditional meat products.
Insect protein also includes beneficial omega 6s, as well as nine pet fatty acids, which can also provide the same nutrients when consumed by humans.
A representative from Mars Petcare told PetFoodIndustry.com via email: “The insects we use and the process by which insects and animal feed are transmitted are all designed to produce safe and nutritious food for your cat. Protix takes the utmost care and responsibility to improve animal welfare.
“It starts from the reproductive stage to the final processing stage, the larvae are well cared for, protected and allowed to express normal insect behavior. “
Larvae can be grown in smaller spaces that would not be suitable for cows or pigs, and the production site can be designed to grow vertically.
Petco, a leading pet chain, added Jiminy’s insect dog food and treats to its product line, which uses crickets, on June 5.
Jiminy products are formulated with insect protein powder instead of traditional protein options such as beef or poultry, which have a significant impact on the environment.
Other companies are replacing meat protein with mealworms to fight climate change
Yora Pet Foods, a UK startup, uses the insect ingredient which the company says only needs 2% of the land needed for raising livestock to produce 22 pounds of protein, while generating around 4%. shows.
In the past year alone, Jiminy’s estimates its products have saved 218 million gallons of water and 20.5 million grams of greenhouse gas emissions.
Jiminy’s Founder and CEO Anne Carlson said in a statement: “The carbon footprint of pet owners is enormous, with more than 89 million dogs in the United States consuming more than 32 billion pounds of protein each. year.
“Jiminy’s use of insect-based protein powders inspires pet owners to rethink their dog’s diets and to make a healthy choice for animals and the planet. We are excited to now offer our full line of products in stores and online at Petco, allowing more dog owners to switch to alternative proteins for their pets. ‘
Crickets are a great source of vitamins, minerals, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and they actually provide more iron, vitamin B12, and magnesium than beef.
Other companies are replacing meat proteins with mealworms to fight climate change.
Yora Pet Foods, a UK startup, uses the insect ingredient which the company says only needs 2% of the land needed for raising cattle to produce 22 pounds of protein, while generating around 4% of the emissions.