Wild Earth Introduces Cultured Protein-Based Pet Food
A biotech startup, Wild Earth, is launching a line of pet food products made from cultured proteins, the first of which will feature human-grade koji, a fungi already enjoyed by billions of people around the world that is eco-friendly and renewably sourced, the company reported.
“Wild Earth will be the first to bring cultured protein and cultured meat products for dogs and cats to market that are nutritious, humane and without the devastating ecological impact of factory farming,” said Wild Earth CEO Ryan Bethencourt. “Using biotechnology gives us the ability to scale and to get a product to market safely, quickly and affordably.”
Wild Earth can create a range of proteins and carbohydrates, with varied textures and flavors. All products and ingredients are sourced, formulated, and made in the U.S., and the company is headquartered in Berkeley, Calif.
Wild Earth has also pledged its commitment to providing the safest pet foods available. Recent recalls have raised concerns over contaminated trusted pet food brands; however, by using cultured proteins, Wild Earth will avoid risks associated with traditional animal-based proteins, the company reported.
According to Wild Earth, an estimated 25 to 30 percent of meat’s environmental impact in the U.S. is attributed to pet food, but the company can produce at scale at a fraction of the environmental cost, company officials stated.
“Wild Earth has found a novel way to deliver protein and will have a great nutritional profile to meet the same requirements as meat-based pet foods,” said Wild Earth chief veterinary officer Dr. Ernie Ward. “Pet lovers want healthy, humane, and environmentally friendly choices, and Wild Earth formulas will deliver nutrition without affecting the planet.”
The company said its products will be tested via a protocol approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), conducted by volunteers and animals living in homes, as opposed to caged laboratory animals as in conventional pet foods. These humane, noninvasive, cage-free clinical trials test for qualities such as palatability, preference, digestibility studies and stool quality, the company added.