What’s For Dinner? Pet Food Company Goes Green With Grubs
In many parts of the world, humans get significant portions of their protein from insects. So one pet food company has some asking, “Where’s the beef?” as they’re now substituting soldier flies as a protein ingredient in their dog food. And, they’re doing it in the name of the environment.
Related: The Effect on the Environment of Feeding Cats and Dogs
How, you ask? Well, it turns out the cattle used to make the dog food are fed on soya, and environmental advocates believe soya plantations are releasing too many greenhouse gasses into the earth’s atmosphere. To cut back on the use of the Brazilian beef in the food, UK-based startup company Yora uses soldier flies as a bulk protein ingredient. Other competitor companies are jumping on the fly-protein based pet food and include Insectdog, Chippin, Wilderharrier and Entomapetfood.
Yora uses insect grubs that are fed the waste from food in the Netherlands. They are brought to maturity in about two weeks. And, they deliver high protein levels much more gently to the environment than do the Brazilian cattle in their use of land/soil and emission in the atmosphere.
But are flies safe pet food ingredients? Dr. Aarti Kathrani is with the Royal Veterinary College in the UK and says that insects are very strong, sustainable sources of protein. She believes that more studies need to happen to show just how much of the insect-based protein is absorbed by a dog’s body before she’d fully endorse it, but there are current studies that suggest insects do have nutritive properties for dogs and it could be a thing.
Additionally, because insects contain taurine, an important amino acid to both dogs and cats, it could be eventually used as cat food as well. Cats typically tend to be more selective about their foods because they can’t make taurine and find it in their foods instead, but dogs will eat just about anything. Provided it gives the right nutritional balance, it may be a viable food source.
Related: 5 Common Pet Food Ingredients That Could Harm Your Dog
And one that protects the enviroment as well. It’s estimated that pets eat about 20% of global meat and combine that impacts emissions of CO2 and methane. Flies can produce 40% of the protein in these pet foods much more efficiently than cows can and use less natural resource like water and land to do so.
So what do you think? How do you feel about bug stew for doggy’s dinner?
More by Lori Ennis