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article imageMeat-free alternatives developed for pet food

By Tim Sandle     Aug 25, 2019 in Food
Competition is heating up in the world of plant-based meat alternatives, with brands like Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, Burger King, and Subway taking the lead. The next area set to go ‘meat free’ is pet food.
The meat-free alternative for pet food is being led by the company Wild Earth, which is a biotech-driven vegan pet food company. The company has announced the launch of the world's first high protein, meat-free dog food.
The company is seeking to utilize plant and fungi-based proteins in order to produce clean and sustainable pet food. The prototype products to date have gained attention from scientists, environmentalist and consumers, including gaining attention in the U.S. attention from Dallas Mavericks owner, investor & head "shark" on ABC Shark Tank, Mark Cuban, who has invested $550,000 in the project.
According to Cuban: "I invested in Wild Earth because they have the potential to transform the pet food industry just like Beyond Meat has transformed the meat industry. The release of their flagship product, a clean, high protein dog food, is a huge milestone for the whole pet food industry."
Wild Earth are hoping to appeal to those consumers who have elected to go meat-free for ethical reasons, or to improve their health, or for the welfare of the planet, and who see making the same choice for their pets as the next logical step.
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The big challenge that a company like Wild Earth faces is from traditional pet food manufacturers who market the fact that dogs need meat. Wild Earth counters this by saying what dogs actually need is protein, and they also cite the fact that dogs are omnivores, not carnivores.
A key driver for the company is helping to address climate change. A UCLA study worked out that the production of dog and cat food generates the equivalent of 64 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. This accounts for between 25-30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the U.S.
The study has been published in PloS One and it is titled “Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats.”
The company's new meat-free product is set to launch across U.S. independent retailers in September 2019. The formula, with the umami taste, is said to provide a good protein source with an added nutritional boost. This is derived from a yeast-based protein with the addition of oats, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, blueberries, pumpkin, and spinach.
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