Crickets For Dinner?

Crickets For Dinner
Crickets For Dinner?
New cricket protein-based dog food is making pets happy and the planet healthier

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What if you could help save the environment while feeding your dog? Turns out you can. Anne Carlson, a leader in the pet industry who has worked with Fortune 500s and start-ups alike, got interested in alternative protein sources as a way to address climate change. 

Recognizing the winning combo of nutrition, sustainability, and nutty flavour offered by crickets, she jumped in and is disrupting an industry based on traditional protein sources. We talked to her about her journey to creating a cricket-based line of dog treats and food that is making dogs happy and the planet healthier.
 


 

Q: What was your ‘a-ha’ moment?

A: Previously, I had worked for one of the big pet companies and it was acquired. That’s not too surprising because if the pet industry was a high school student, it’d be in the running for Most Popular. It was the perfect time to try something different, so I started looking for a project with purpose. Creating a tasty dog treat that’s healthy is great, but can we do better and offer more? Finding a problem to solve became the focus and right away climate change raised its hand. It literally looms over all our heads and threatens us and our children now and in the future. Looking back, I guess it was ‘Start Big, Think Bigger.’ 

Then I stumbled across the UN study that pointed to insects as an answer to world hunger, and bells went off—there’s the ‘a-ha!’. So we made some dog treats to see whether dogs would like this new protein source AND to give us some time to do all of the important studies we thought were necessary before developing a complete and balanced food. The great news is the dogs loved cricket protein, the nutrition’s tremendous, and dogs can digest it as well as they can digest beef or chicken!

Q: Why should dog lovers consider alternative protein sources? 

A: One reason alternative proteins are gaining momentum is because pet parents want to avoid their dog developing sensitivities and allergies due to the overuse of traditional proteins (like chicken or beef). There are a lot of great arguments for pursuing a rotational diet for your dog. We change up the proteins in our diet all the time, so why not do the same with our pups? By rotating their foods, you’re giving them an opportunity to reap the benefits from other sources of proteins, different vegetables, and so on. As you can imagine, our insect protein is unique and just a perfect fit here.

Cricket protein provides the nutrition our dogs need AND it is sustainable and humane. We talk about the sustainability a lot—less land, less water, and almost no greenhouse gas emissions. According to a recent UCLA Study, cats and dogs are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the US and that just isn’t on anyone’s radar right now. Choosing an alternative protein over traditional sources (cow, chicken) can make a difference quickly and, really, it’s low-hanging fruit. We can save over 480,000 gallons of water per year for each dog that switches from a traditional chicken protein food to Jiminy’s food. It’s very exciting news for pets and the planet!

Q: Best thing about these treats and food?

A: Jiminy’s offers benefits without sacrifice. Sometimes when you look to choose a product that’s more sustainable, it doesn’t taste as good or has a funny scent, or you might worry that the nutrition isn’t good enough. Jiminy’s has none of these issues—our food and treats taste great, have a familiar scent and, best of all, are nutritional dynamite. Dogs love it, pet parents can feel good about their choice, and it’s great for the earth. Wagging tails all around! How often can you say that?

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