Could feeding our pets food using insect protein rather than meat be key to protecting the wider environment?
Around half of adults in the UK own a pet, and all of these need food. While most pet food uses by-products of meat and fish destined for human consumption (e.g. offal and other cheaper grade cuts), there is an increasing trend to feed pets ‘high-grade’ or ‘premium’ cuts of meat, which raises significant concerns about sustainability and creates competition with the human food chain.
Also, there is a greater demand for offal-based products in parts of Asia, for example, therefore the products which are currently seen by Western society as only fit for pet food, could in fact be exported and used overseas, potentially reducing the amount of land required for animal agriculture.
Insects use fewer resources and less space than traditional agriculture and therefore a smaller environmental footprint. Research has shown that insect protein is high quality and could be a viable source of protein for pets and humans alike. Further research is needed to ensure adequate health and welfare issues and food safety but, with some insect-derived pet foods already on the market, could this be the future? Please let us know by commenting below!