April 22, 2023
Sustainable Cat Food Proteins
We are what we eat, and what we eat has a profound impact on our planet. The same goes for what our cats eat.
We all know that it’s important to do our part to help pets, people, and our planet. But knowing, and doing, are two different things. Often the biggest thing that prevents us from “doing”, is feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. We’re here to help you, help our planet! One simple way to help is by selecting a cat food that uses sustainable protein ingredients.
But first, what is protein and why do cats need it?
Proteins are the building blocks of your cat’s body and consist of chains of amino acids. They can range in size from only a few amino acids to large, complex molecules. Check out our blog on how much protein your cat needs.
So what makes a protein sustainable? And why should you choose one?
Most simply put, sustainable proteins have less negative environmental impact than conventional proteins (such as beef, pork and chicken in pet food) – especially when looking at land use, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Water is a finite resource, and many once-fertile areas now face annual droughts. And, GHG emissions factor into not only the raising of conventional proteins, but also into the processing and transportation of the ingredients.
Sustainable proteins may be produced from plant-based sources, renewable sources such as algae or mollusks, or alternative sources such as insects or yeast.
Let’s look at a couple of these in more detail.
There are many types of insect protein on the market, and in general, insect proteins are some of the most sustainable alternative protein sources providing a novel, hypoallergenic cat food ingredient which uses far less land and water than livestock - a win-win for pets and our planet!
Specific savings for BSFL (black solider fly larvae) for example include:
- Saves water, using 90% less compared to chicken
- Saves land, using 90% less compared to chicken
Yeast is a rich source of essential amino acids, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron and zinc, making it a highly nutritious protein source. It can be produced with minimal land use, water consumption, and GHG emissions. Yeast is also becoming a popular upcycled ingredient – an extra sustainability bonus!
Algae is a very efficient protein source, as it can convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into protein without the need for extensive land use or resource consumption. It can also absorb carbon dioxide, which makes it a potential solution for reducing GHG emissions. Additionally, some species of algae can be grown using waste streams such as wastewater or agricultural runoff, reducing the need for additional resources.
Happy planet and happy pets
As our world’s population increases, the demand for protein for humans and for our cats increases also. If you are looking for more ways to reduce the carbon footprint of you and your cat, then consider choosing a sustainable cat food brand, made with sustainable proteins.