Why should you be thinking about feeding your pets insects?
Sceptical? Well The Bug Factory is here to tell you exactly why you can’t go wrong with these delicious critters.
First of all, insects are a more sustainable way to feed your pets than traditional forms of pet food. Secondly, you won’t be sacrificing your pets health as insects are packed with the protein and nutrients they need to thrive.
Why are insects sustainable?
The answer is simple! They are tiny, meaning they take up a fraction of the resources needed to raise animals for meat. Insects need less land and less water, reducing the amount of land that has to be destroyed to farm animals for meat.
To produce 1 kg of protein, mealworms require only 10 litres of water, as opposed to chicken which requires 2300 litres and even more shockingly, beef which requires 10,000litres. Considering that by 2025, it is predicted that 1.8million people will be living in countries with water scarcity with agriculture consuming around 70% of fresh water worldwide, saving as much of it as possible is a priority. Think of all the water your saving by feeding your pets insects!
Not only do insects take up a small amount of water and space, they can be grown easily in most environments, including your own home! One of the perks of growing insects locally is that there is no shipping needed, cutting out the carbon emissions involved in the shipping of commercial products. So by feeding your pets , you are doing a little extra bit for the environment.
Also contributing to insects small carbon footprint is that they produce a lot less greenhouse gas than farm animals. One study found that mealworms produce about 10% of the Ammonia that pigs do and another found that insects also generally produced less methane and nitrous oxide both per unit of body mass and per unit of mass gained than pigs or cattle. Currently, animal agriculture is responsible for 87% of greenhouse gas emissions, so anything we can do to reduce this is the way forward.
As if all this wasn’t enough, insects are zero waste. This means that the whole insect can be consumed by your pet without leaving behind any waste products. On top of this, insects can be fed your food waste and potentially waste from other industries!
We are also unlikely to run out of insects as they reproduce much faster than traditional livestock, meaning they evolve faster and can adjust to environmental changes easily. This means they are better equipped to deal with the fast growing effects of global warming such as flooding which could compromise our ability to farm livestock. Insects really could be the best way of ensuring food insecurity for our growing population in our fast changing world!
Insects could be not only a solution to food waste, but a way to actually create something of value out of it.
Every year, a third of all food produced is wasted. Thats an estimated 1.3 billion tons. And the worst part, all this food has to be disposed of, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and landfills. Though composting does offer a slightly more environmentally friendly alternative to throwing food straight into landfills, this does still have a significant carbon impact.
The alternative? Insects! One study found that feeding food waste to insects had a much lower carbon impact than attempting to compost it. Feeding organic waste to insects is a way to make use of all this wasted food, meaning that the resources that went into making it, such as water, land, energy, labour, money are not completely lost! Insects can take what we consider rubbish, and turn it into valuable energy for animals. They are essentially money makers!
Nutrients: Are insects really good for my pet?
YES, even better than what you’re feeding them right now!
Insects are loaded with protein and a large range of other nutrients that will do nothing but good for your pets health. To put it into perspective for you, chicken is 19% protein, beef is 20% and mealworms are 54%. Mealworms are the clear winner here.
Studies have also revealed that insects contain more calcium, zinc and iron than chicken, pork and beef. As well as this, they have also been shown to contain an array of helpful vitamins, beneficial fats, minerals, antioxidants and they are a prebiotic fibre. What’s not to love?
Not only are insects nutritional but they are less likely to cause harm to your pets. At least 10% of an insect is made up of Chitin which has been shown to reduce the growth of pathogens in the stomach such as E-coli and Salmonella. So, they could even be protecting your pet from food poisoning and other illnesses.
If you’re an animal lover which we are guessing you are if you are reading this blog with your pet in mind, then why not choose insects. The farming of livestock for meat and dairy has raised non stop issues for animals rights reasons, and here is a way to avoid contributing to it further. If you are already a veggie or vegan, why not cut down your pets meat intake by introducing insects into their diet?
Are you sold?
To summarise, choosing to feed insects to your pets as a key food, not only makes the world a more sustainable place and helps save the environment, but also provides your pet with everything they need from a health point of view.
If you’re still not convinced, then stay tuned for all of the latest on insect feed and let’s see if we can convince you to give it a go?