Nestlé is the latest pet food manufacturer to start using edible insects.
Insect farming produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions than beef, chicken or pork.
Insects can provide essential proteins and amino acids needed by cats and dogs.
Do you know what goes into your pet’s food? And would it trouble you if the answer was maggots?
Nestlé has announced it is launching a new range of its Purina pet food made partly from insect protein. The cat and dog food, initially to be sold only in Switzerland, combines black soldier fly larvae protein with plant proteins and some meat.
It’s not just vegan and vegetarian pet owners who are behind the increasing demand for alternatives to meat. As awareness of the environmental impact of meat production grows, owners are realizing that changes to their pet’s diet, as well as their own, can have a positive impact on the planet.
Feeding the world’s pets is big business, using surprisingly large amounts of land and resources, and producing significant levels of greenhouse gases.
One recent study estimated the pet food industry’s annual emissions as the equivalent of between 56 and 151 Mt of CO2 – on a par with Nigeria, the Philippines and many medium-sized European countries.
Meat production – and especially beef – has a much bigger impact on the environment than other forms of agriculture – as our chart above shows. But simply cutting animal products out of pet food is not always possible – or even desirable.
Two billion people in the world currently suffer from malnutrition and according to some estimates, we need 60% more food to feed the global population by 2050. Yet the agricultural sector is ill-equipped to meet this demand: 700 million of its workers currently live in poverty, and it is already responsible for 70% of the world’s water consumption and 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
New technologies could help our food systems become more sustainable and efficient, but unfortunately the agricultural sector has fallen behind other sectors in terms of technology adoption.
Launched in 2018, the Forum’s Innovation with a Purpose Platform is a large-scale partnership that facilitates the adoption of new technologies and other innovations to transform the way we produce, distribute and consume our food.
With research, increasing investments in new agriculture technologies and the integration of local and regional initiatives aimed at enhancing food security, the platform is working with over 50 partner institutions and 1,000 leaders around the world to leverage emerging technologies to make our food systems more sustainable, inclusive and efficient.
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