In the view of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), it will no longer be possible to satisfy world hunger - and presumably the hunger of our pets too - in the future without consuming insects. Something that is already normal in countries such as Thailand and China, or in Africa, is therefore expected to become established in western countries at some point. Insects are regarded by food researchers as not only a promising source of nutrition, but above all a healthy one.
Sustainable and rich in nutrients
Insects boast a high protein content. They are also virtually carbohydrate-free, extremely low in fat and thus cholesterol, and rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements. There's a lot to be said for insects as a source of protein from an ecological viewpoint, too. Keeping and breeding insects takes up less space than keeping livestock, and they require less drinking water. They can also convert food more efficiently, as they are ectotherms and thus no energy is wasted on maintaining body temperature. On the whole, insects cause significantly fewer CO2 emissions than other livestock.
Green Petfood in Germany offers two varieties of dry dog food based on insect protein and is extending its range. It has now announced the addition of dry cat food containing insect protein. "For the owner of pets with allergies, these proteins are a real blessing, but more and more pet owners are opting for insects on ethical grounds, too," states Nina Rimbach, marketing manager at Green Petfood. She adds: "People's aversion to insects as a source of protein is diminishing and their curiosity is increasing."
British company Yora sprang a surprise at the PATS show in Sandown by exhibiting an insect-based dog food and announcing its intention to expand the range further: "We are developing lots of other products, including a small-breed food which will be out in October, a puppy, a senior, a large-breed food and potentially grain-free will follow in Q1 of 2020," said Will Bisset, nutritional expert at Yora. A cat food is reportedly under development, as are treats and wet food varieties.
What retailers are saying
"Asia certainly has the fewest reservations regarding insects in food, but acceptance is growing in Europe as well," reports Nina Rimbach. In Switzerland, for example, three species of insects were approved as food two years ago. However, it is ultimately down to the dog to dictate what goes into the food bowl: "Our products based on insect…