Nestlé Purina PetCare is testing a line of pet food made with Asian carp and cricket proteins, among other unconventional protein sources, in roughly 30 Pet Supplies Plus stores in Illinois, according to recent news reports in Bloomberg and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The company launched the line under the RootLab brand name, which currently offers four formulas.
"Issues like overfishing, over-farmed land, invasive species and millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock are all on our radar," the company states on its website. "We strive to use ingredients whose nutrition is currently untapped, and healthy proteins that have a far smaller impact on the environment than traditional ingredients."
The line’s recipes include: Asian Carp & Sprouted Barley, Chicken, Egg & Cricket, Chicken Organs & Ancient Grains and Cod & Chickpea.
"Asian carp is an invasive species that can strip lakes and rivers of vegetation, starving their natural inhabitants. To counter their excessive breeding and make use of their excellent nutritional offerings, we’ve got to be as hungry for them as they are for our waters’ resources," according to the company’s website. RootLab sources its wild-caught Asian carp from Schafer Fisheries, a family-run fishery in Fulton, Ill.
The brand’s grain-free Chicken, Egg and Cricket recipe is "our first step in introducing crickets as a protein source that helps alleviate the growing need for future-friendly food sources," according to the com company’s website. "We don’t view crickets as a trend, but rather a lasting solution for how we bring great nutrition to our dogs while respecting our world." The company sources its "human-edible" crickets from Canadian-based Entomo Farms.
The company features videos and Q&A with its ingredient partners on its website.
Ingredient sourcing is not the company’s only approach to creating a sustainable product. RootLab’s packaging is made using 18 percent post-consumer recycled material and its packaging plastic is made with 50 percent wind energy, according to its website.
Pet Product News has reached out to Purina representatives for more information on this developing story.