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In a move towards more environmentally friendly sources of protein, the world’s largest food conglomerate is offering Swiss pet owners a new kibble for Fluffy and Fido. The secret ingredient? BSF larvae.
According to the first report, Nestlé’s Purina Beyond Nature’s Protein line will launch in Swiss Coop stores this month, with plans to expand into other European markets. One option uses chicken, fava beans and fly larvae protein. The other uses pork liver, millet and chicken.
A company representative told NPR, Nestlé’s Purina brand is embracing what the company sees as a growing trend among consumers looking for protein alternatives for their dogs and cats. The more environmentally conscious desire to drive consumer change, as well as the perceived health benefits of a meat-replacement diet.
Purina also plans to offer US consumers an insect-based dry milk recipe in January, said Lorie Westhoff, Purina spokeswoman. It will be deployed alongside a number of other formulations that use protein alternatives, like invasive Asian carp, she said.
Meat production is responsible for releasing large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas. The United Nations says the world must change food production to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming. A number of companies in recent years have developed plant-based alternatives such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods in hopes of attracting meat-eaters who don’t eat a lot of real food by offering a product similar to beef or sausage in terms of taste and appearance.
Insects, high in protein, are also seen as a potential solution to global food insecurity. The UN predicts that more than 9 billion people will use the plant by 2050. To feed all of them, the United Nations estimates bugs will need to be an important source of protein.
Nestlé has no estimates of the potential environmental impact of switching pets to a bug-free diet, the company told NPR. But they say they “generally see the need to diversify dietary protein sources for a variety of reasons, including environmental goals like combating climate change and protecting biodiversity.”
It is not clear where Purina gets the error the company uses in its food.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recommends pet owners adopt a vegan diet for their pets.
“No need to add flies to dog food – PETA always recommends nutritious vegan food for dogs and cats,” an organization spokesperson told NPR. “Animals used for food are those that experience pain, hunger, fear, thirst, love, joy and loneliness just like dogs, cats and humans – and we should all respect them. even life, even its smallest forms. “
The American College of Veterinary Nutrition recommends that pet owners speak with their veterinarian for information on the appropriate diet for a particular pet.