As more people have become more conscious of how they impact their environment with the products they use, one business is helping minimise environmental impact with their pet food.
Planet A Pet Food has just launched what it describes as “Australia’s freshest, sustainable dog food” which offers a sustainable and “flexitarian” alternative for raw, fresh, and high-meat pet food diet which has become a hot trend but that is also criticised for its high environmental impact.
Research has revealed that up to a third of greenhouse gas emissions globally come from the food system and pet food accounts for about 25 per cent of that and growing. In addition, about a quarter of all food grown never leaves the farm and about 7 million tonnes of food end up being discarded every year.
Planet A Pet Food looks to address both these problems, with nutritionally complete, meat-free food for dogs, that harnesses circular economy ingredients.
“I already had a pet supplement business targeting raw feeders,” Planet A founder Amanda Falconer explained. “But a few years ago I’d moved to a vegan diet myself, and I became really uncomfortable about just recommending a high-meat diet for dogs. But what could you feed that was not kibble? I really understood the dilemma food-conscious pet parents were facing. When I saw the ABC TV show Planet A: Our Climate Challenge, I decided I had to create a better food option.”
The Planet A No-Meat Dinners combine food by-product ingredients together with sustainably harvested algae and a human food-grade plant protein, developed to have the taste and texture of meat and used in restaurants and food service around Australia.
Working with small animal nutritionist Dr Anna Sutton, Planet A Pet Food created nutritionally complete meat-free food formulated for dogs. Consumers just add water to rehydrate the food so it remains fresh when they need it.
It is estimated that 42 per cent of Australians have either reduced meat consumption or stopped eating it altogether and have about 2.7 million dogs between them. A study released in October 2023 also quantified the environmental impact of dog and cat diets which revealed that if dogs moved a nutritionally sound vegan diet globally, that would free up land equivalent to the size of Saudi Arabia or Mexico and reduce greenhouse gases equivalent to that produced by the UK or South Africa.