In recent years, the spotlight on sustainability has led to the rise of insect-based pet food, with advocates claiming that insects offer a more environmentally friendly protein source compared to traditional meat. Sounds great, right?
Well, not quite. It's time to separate fact from fiction and delve into a more comprehensive understanding of pet food sustainability. In this blog post, we're diving into the insect hype and shedding light on the true sustainability champion.
The allure of insect-based pet food
The growing interest in insect-based pet food is undeniable, and in some ways understandable. Insects are highly efficient at converting feed into protein, meaning they require fewer resources (such as water, land and food) than traditional livestock. Claims of lower carbon emissions, reduced land usage and protein-rich diets for our pets sound like the perfect formula for sustainability.
However, like any emerging trend, it's essential to scrutinise the claims and dissect the true impact behind the curtain.
Flawed comparisons: Why insect-based claims fall short
It’s true. According to myclimate.org, an insect-based meal (with black soldier flies) produces 17% less CO2 than a human grade chicken breast meal.
However, the calculation of carbon emissions in the insect vs. meat debate isn't as straightforward as it may seem. That carbon emission comparison stems from the human food supply chain, which involves intricate factors like transportation, processing and consumer demand. Applying these calculations directly to pet food doesn’t provide an accurate representation of the ecological footprint.
When it comes to the data, representations of the sustainability of insect-based pet food are wrong.
Second Chance sustainability: Unveiling the truth
Farming insect protein is still farming, which means it will never be truly sustainable. Enter Second Chance sustainability – a paradigm that challenges the idea that insects are the ultimate ecological choice for pets.
Second Chance ingredients come from often overlooked components of the human food supply chain, like meat offcuts and fruit pulp. They’re delicious, nutrient-rich and proven to be the best choice for the environment.
Upcycled ingredients like kidneys, livers, offcuts and intestines have a far lower CO2 impact than both chicken breasts/thighs and insect-based pet food.
An insect-based meal may produce 17% less CO2 than chicken breast, but a meal enriched with Second Chance chicken produces 95.7% less CO2 (and 94.9% less than insects).
The numbers really do speak for themselves. On top of this, ingredients like intestinal muscle have a better amino acid profile, meaning they provide better nutrition for our pets too.
The making of Second Chance ingredients
Data around the environmental impact of Second Chance ingredients paints an inspiring picture. But what makes them so sustainable?
Second Chance ingredients rescue nutrient-rich organ meats, offcuts and trimmings that might otherwise go to waste, redefining how we view overlooked resources in the food supply chain. Sourcing ingredients from local distances, embracing environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes wherever possible, and maximising energy efficiency also contribute to the sustainability of Planet Pet Society’s Second Chance meals.
The entire practice not only supports pet nutrition but also aligns with a larger movement towards holistic sustainability in the food ecosystem.
Don’t believe the buzz
As conscious pet owners, we strive to make choices that align with both our pets’ health and the planet's well-being. While the allure of insect-based pet food promises sustainability, farming any meat or alternative protein is unsustainable.
It's clear that the true champions of sustainability are those that actively transform waste into nourishment. Second Chance ingredients, backed by data, are redefining pet food.