As a creative director working in the pet food industry and having helped develop many successful international food brands Tom naturally wondered that if humans can eat insect protein then surely it could be used to make a sustainable pet food.
The brief was clear, first and foremost the protein source had to be good for the animal. If he couldn’t make a food that was digestible, nutritious, and palatable then there was no point.
Tom teamed up with expert nutritionist Will Bisset and an expert entomologist and the search for a suitable insect protein began.
After months of R&D it was decided that the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) was the ideal candidate. These amazing grubs had an insane growth rate and ability to convert organic waste into high quality protein mass. They can turn fruit and vegetable waste into valuable body mass very fast and with a low impact on resources. One tonne of insect can be grown in fourteen days using a land area of only 20 m2.
They also require considerably less resources in terms of land and water when compared to traditional meat protein sources.
For example (taking into consideration the impact of farming animal feed supplies), only 45 m2 of land is required to produce 10Kg of protein as opposed to 2,100 m2 for beef and 300 m2 for chicken.
In terms of water resources, it’s much the same story. Our grubs only require 54,000 L of water to produce 10kgs of protein compared to a whopping 340,000 L of water for beef and 1,120,000 L of water for chicken.
Farming insects produces far less CO2 than other protein sources. To produce the same 10KG of protein, BSF produces just 60kg of CO2 whereas Chicken and Beef account for 375kgs and 1,500kgs respectively.
Protix, our high tech BSF insect partner actually run cold water pipes through the BSF pens to regulate the insect’s temperature and prevent them from overheating. The thermal activity of the BSF’s heats the water which is then pumped around the entire facility to provide heating during winter.
It wasn’t just our grubs that had to pass tough sustainability standards. We carefully researched the most nutritious vegetables that don’t require as much energy and water to grow.
Ethically sourced potatoes, oats and beetroot all have a much lower carbon footprint to grow than rice and sweet potato. Because these ingredients are farmed locally, not only are we supporting local economies, but the resource and environmental cost of production is greatly reduced.
One of the farms we source our oats from can be viewed from the factory. Ingredients packed with nutrition and better for the planet.
Where possible we go straight to the source of the ingredient for a more sustainable solution. Our Puppy food includes dried algae, a source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) an omega-3 fatty acid that is beneficial for brain development.
Glenn Rankin Yora MD says “Sustainability and animal welfare is at the very heart of everything we do. We go the extra mile to ensure animals thrive on our range of foods whilst reducing their environmental impact”.
Nestlé Purina is launching pet food that builds on alternative proteins to make better use of the planet's resources. The new line includes insects as well as plant protein from fava beans and millet.
Purina Beyond Nature's Protein will first be sold in Switzerland from November. Veterinarians and nutritionists at Purina have put together two recipes: one based on chicken, pig's liver and millet; the second using insect protein, chicken and fava beans. Both recipes are available for dogs and cats.
The insect protein comes from black soldier fly larvae, which are already in use in animal feed in Europe. The millet and fava beans provide protein, energy, and fibre to aid digestion. All the ingredients are steamed to maintain nutrient quality.
The new pet food was developed taking into consideration the different nutritional requirements of cats and dogs, as well as their different taste profiles. The protein sources were blended to deliver all essential amino acids dogs and cats need, with different levels of insect proteins for each.