When it’s dinnertime for Fido, climate change may be the last thing on your mind. But in the U.S., dogs eat tens of billions of pounds of protein each year. Most is meat, and producing it causes a lot of carbon pollution.
But a company called Jiminy’s has created a more sustainable alternative: dog treats and kibble made from crickets and grubs.
Founder Anne Carlson says that, like pet foods made out of chicken or beef, kibble made with insect protein is nutritious.
“Beyond the protein, it also has vitamins and minerals and fiber,” she says. “Because you’re using the entire insect, you get the exoskeleton as well … and that’s where the fiber comes in.”
Producing insects requires far less water and land than raising chickens or cows. And the grubs Jiminy’s uses in its products even eat waste: spent grains from a bourbon distillery and excess dough from a cookie factory.
“All of those products could have ended up in landfill,” Carlson says.
The company’s treats emit a fraction of the carbon emissions of chicken or beef, so they’re better for the climate.
And Carlson hopes that as acceptance of insect-based food grows, our pets’ carbon pawprints will shrink.
Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak/ChavoBart Digital Media