NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA — An Australian pet food company has launched to offer entovegan, flexitarian dog food through a combination of trending and sustainable ingredients. Planet A Pet Food is formulated with upcycled vegetables, insect protein and a human-grade, plant-based meat analog to create a meat-free mealtime experience for canine companions.
According to a 2019 study published in PLoS ONE, 42% of Australians have either reduced or eliminated meat from their diets. Of this percentage, roughly 2.7 million dogs reside in the same household. Amanda Falconer, founder of Planet A, has established the pet food brand as a flexitarian option to bring dogs in on sustainable consumerism.
Pet food accounts for up to 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the food supply chain, according to Planet A. In Australia alone, consumers and industry throw away roughly 7 million tonnes of food per year.
A more recent study published in PLoS ONE claims that nutritionally viable vegan diets for dogs could free up at least as much land as encompassed by Saudi Arabia or Mexico, while nutritionally sound vegan cat diets could contribute to land savings as large as Japan or Germany. In addition, these diets could save a significant amount of freshwater and greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
“Even though I’m someone who embraced a vegan diet myself almost four years ago, I know that the majority of people will more readily be meat reducers... and that can still have an enormous impact,” Falconer said. “What we do for ourselves, we can do for our dogs... and as omnivores, dogs can happily and healthily enjoy at least a few vegetarian meals a week. And help save the planet, one dog dinner at a time.”
Planet A dog food is formulated with black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) protein, the byproducts of which involve upcycled food waste and fertilizers. According to the company, the use of insects as a key protein source is estimated to prevent roughly 28 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
The diets also feature upcycled vegetable powders, including from Kagome, a tomato producer that offers LycoFibre® from tomato skins and NinjinFibre® from carrots. Planet A stated up to a quarter of carrots used in juice processing wind up as waste; Kagome dries these materials to transform approximately 7,000 tonnes of carrot pulp into 700 tonnes of vegetable powder annually.
Planet A also utilizes other upcycled vegetable ingredients including off-spec sizes and leaves from cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower.
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