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Startup launches pet food made from insects

beagle sitting in the sunshine

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that the environment is a hot topic right now. With huge swathes of the population switching to reusable cups, going vegan and reducing their plastic consumption, doing your bit for the environment is more than just a passing trend. So it’s only natural that someone has reconsidered what we’re feeding our pets and the impact that is having on the world around us.

Founded by Brighton-based dog owner Tom Neish, Yora is made up of 40% insects as well as oats, potatoes and other British vegetables that have been chosen for being highly nutritious without taking much energy or water to grow. The grubs used in Yora are said to be as nutritionally good as chicken and easier to digest, making it a good choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs or intolerances.

Neish told The Argus; “When compared to beef farming, the grubs take up just two per cent of the land and four per cent of the water to produce each kilogram of protein,” He added, “The insects grow naturally at a rapid pace, reaching full size in just 14 days, so there’s no need for growth hormones or antibiotics.”

dalmatian drinking from a bowl

The team at Yora work closely with Protix, a high tech farm based in The Netherlands. A world leader in insect farming, they produce the hermetia illucens larvae used to create the pet food. A total of 29 different recipes were tried and tested by nutrition expert Will Bisset before finding the perfect combination. The company only offers dried pellets currently but are looking to expand into wet food in the future.

As well as the food itself being good news for the environment, the company sees this philosophy through in other areas of the business too. The packaging is completely biodegradable and uses water-based inks. They also offer a ‘zero waste’ refund where they encourage you to give your unwanted bag of food to a friend or animal shelter if you are unhappy with the product to avoid any unnecessary waste.