Well this just might “bug” some of you…
With today’s ever-increasing need for finding sustainable food sources for both ourselves and our pets, pet food manufacturers are looking “outside the farm” for alternative proteins. And the topic of insects as food keeps…er, buzzing around. In fact, presently, nearly one-third of the world human population includes insects as part of the daily diet. So, the idea isn’t all that weird – to the rest of the world.
Now, before you “bug out” out, insects are not AAFCO approved as an ingredient in pet food, so they aren’t going to start appearing on the shelf tomorrow. But, that doesn’t mean things aren’t heading in that direction. In fact, late last year a new company, Dockside Pet Products and Services, announced in a press release they were developing a line of baked treats, meal mixers, and meal toppers that contained crickets.
Mark Warren, creator of Dockside said, “Our mission through Dockside is to give pet owners sustainable pet food options without sacrificing quality nutrition and we’re doing that by thinking outside the box with cricket protein and tackling the food waste crisis, specifically targeting fresh food wasted at source.”
(As of press time, these cricket products were still not available for sale.)
Besides the ick-factor, a pretty strong case can be made for using insects in pet food:
- Insects, particularly mealworms, provide protein and omega-3 fatty acids that are comparable to the amounts found in meat and fish.
- Insect farming is much more efficient and sustainable than traditional animal farming.
- Insect farming requires far less land use than livestock.