Dish of the Day for Your Environmentally Friendly Pet

The pet food trend tends to be 12-18 months behind the human diet. There are many options for cats or dogs to consume a low-allergenic, gluten-free, or superfood diet. There is also an increasing market for ” Raw Foods.” They are made up of only premium meats and raw vegetables and are minimally refined.

This new addition to the range is a high-protein pet food made from insects. It has a low impact on the environment. Yora Pet Foods describes their “Green Insect Pet Food” as:

This delicious dog food is made from 100% insect proteins and contains no grains. It has a low allergenic potential.

What your pet needs to eat

Domestication has enabled canines to develop systems that are more efficient at digesting starch found in grains and beans. This adaptation allowed the domestic dogs to thrive on human grains and foods. The gut microbiome of domestic dogs has adapted so that it can break down carbohydrates better and, to a certain extent, produce amino acids normally found in meat. Dogs can survive by eating both plants and animals, unlike their carnivorous forefathers.

Read more: Vegan dogs: should canines go meat-free?

Our domesticated feline friends, on the other hand, remain obligate carnivores – much like their larger and wilder ancestors. Cats still require many essential nutrients that can only be obtained from eating meat.

Responsible pet food manufacturers describe their product as “complete” when it meets all nutritional requirements for a cat or dog, according to guidelines. Ideally, they should register with the Pet Food Manufacturers Association in order to ensure that their product meets certain standards.

Around 41% of UK dogs and 77% of UK cats are fed wet pet food, such as tins or pouches. Most often, the label will say “meaty” flavors such as lamb, beef, poultry, or duck. According to the claims on the title, the amount of meat varies from 4% up to 60%. These foods are in stark contrast to the ultra-processed, ultra-refined dry “kibbles,” which account for 85% of all pet food sales.

Carbon paw print

It is estimated that pet food alone in the US produces around 60m tonnes of CO2-equivalents of methane and nitrogen oxide per year. This is a massive amount. Could insect-based food for pets be the solution?

Yoga is the first company in the UK to offer pet food that has enough protein for our pets and also one with eco-credibility. Some other manufacturers have entered the fray, offering online a few pet foods based on insects.

Yora’s website claims that to produce 10kg of beef protein, 2,100 m2 of land is needed. This has 1,500 kilograms of greenhouse gases and 1,120,000 liters of water. Yora’s products use 60 kilograms of insects, which require 45m2 of space and 54,000 liters of water. Independent studies are needed to determine if such products have a positive nutritional impact.

Protein of Choice

It’s not just pet food that is being questioned about its environmental credentials. Nutritional scientists have been looking for ways to increase the quality of protein in food sources that are more efficient because of an increasing global population.

Academics at the University of Nottingham are, for instance, working to evaluate the use of insects both as human food and animal feeding. The question of what to feed insects is a major challenge. Both plant and animal waste have been considered. If they are provided food that humans and farm animals more commonly consume, it would defeat the purpose.

There are so many options for pet food that it can be difficult to choose. Shutterstock

Cynics may say that the solution is to eliminate pet ownership. It’s important not to forget the positive effect that pets can have on people’s lives. Ownership of a dog increases social interaction and reduces the risk of premature death. A family pet can also lower the risk of an asthmatic child in the house by exposing them to novel antigens.

Owning a cat is also known to make people happier. Our feline companions can reduce our stress levels and blood pressure, as well as make us feel more comfortable.

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