You may have caught a whiff about insect proteins over the last few years, especially around the environmental, animal welfare AND nutritional benefits. But in case you are still scratching your head on what this means for your pets, we've decided to give you the scoop.
Firstly... why on earth would you feed your dog insects?
Surprisingly, dogs don’t need to eat as much meat as you’d think. While cats are obligate carnivores, dogs have evolved with humans, adapting to a diet requiring less meat. Their amylase genes allow them to digest plant starch – an adaptation believed to have developed during prehistoric times, when they were companion animals fed off campsite food scraps which were often plant based.
Secondly, one of the most common health conditions for dogs include food allergens from proteins, especially those from dairy products, beef, lamb, chicken, chicken eggs, soy or gluten (from wheat). Alternatives such as insects and seaweed offer a complete, hypoallergenic protein which offer equal nutritional value as meats such as chicken and fish. Delish.
Nutritious AND hypoallergenic for our furry friends!
Before you ask how insects can possibly be as nutritionally beneficial as chicken... according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation, "the nutritional value of insects does not differ from the nutritional value of other meat sources such as chicken, beef, pork and fish." Wowee - that's good news.
AniPal Earth Bites' main ingredient is the Black Soldier Fly, a source of highly digestible insect protein. They are rich in fatty acids including lauric acid and omega 3 & 6. These essential fatty acids are important for your pets cardiovascular, brain, joint and skin health. Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals including calcium, zinc and phosphorus, these grubs are great for bone and eye health. They are also delicate on your furry friends stomach, meaning they are perfect for dogs who err on the sensitive side.
Earth bites are also bursting with other nutritional benefits such as:
- Kakadu plum and manuka honey which provides a natural anti-inflammatory and prebiotic effect for good gut health.
- Vet developed with omegas 3, 6 & antioxidants for brain & coat health
- Hand baked with tapioca and chickpea flour, a great source of gluten free fibre
A pets paw print is bigger than you think
From an environmental perspective, alternative proteins to meat and fish for human and pets is critical - especially as global populations continue to climb placing increasing pressure on demand for food. Globally pet cats and dogs consume 20% of meat and fish, which is a rather significant pawprint.
Insect production relies on less resources - in fact only 2% of land, 4% of the water and less energy, while also producing significantly less waste than traditional livestock production. Need more convincing? Insects are 12-25 more efficient than cattle in converting their feed, to produce the same amount of protein. We think that is pretty incredible.
Perhaps even cooler is that our grubs are sourced from a farming system that feeds off wasted food produce that would otherwise end up in landfill. It is estimated that 1/3 of food produced is wasted. In Australia this is over 7.3 million tonnes of food wasted - which equates to nearly 300kgs of food per person per year. So our insects are also helping reduce the harmful impacts of food waste related emissions.