At Jiminy’s we’ve made a commitment to nourishing our pets while promoting long-term stewardship of the earth.
Core to this is our commitment to sustainability. Keeping our eye on what’s important, we measure our impact in three areas – land use, greenhouse gas emissions and water savings. We’re very proud of our accomplishments this year and wanted to share the results!
We have a challenge ahead of us – in order to feed the soaring world population, we need to rethink our food system. One of the key challenges is how to produce more food on less land.
Finding ways to boost yields with less pesticides, fertilizers and (in the case of protein) less waste. We’ll also have to rethink how food is distributed – transportation and packaging has a cost that can’t be ignored.
At Jiminy’s, we’ve tackled the protein source in our dog’s food. Insect farming is close to ideal. There’s no need for acres and acres of grassland. A cricket barn is self-contained and there’s no waste runoff to foul groundwater. Looking forward, insect farms have the ability to be placed within a city and can go vertical too, so the footprint is extremely efficient and sustainable.
According to the USDA and the United Nations, using an acre of land to raise cattle for slaughter yields 20 pounds of usable protein. That same acre would yield 356 pounds of protein if soybeans were grown instead more than 17 times as much! Now, compare to insect protein.
An acre of land can produce more than 130,000 pounds of insect protein per year, according to various peer-reviewed estimates.
One of the reasons we love this solution is it opens up possibilities of taking back land to create new forests (afforestation).
Greenhouse gases are gases in Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. They let sunlight pass through the atmosphere, but they prevent the heat that the sunlight brings from leaving the atmosphere. Overall, greenhouse gases are a good thing. Without them, our planet would be too cold, and life as we know it would not exist. But there can be too much of a good thing. Scientists are worried that human activities are adding too much of these gases to the atmosphere.
Food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing emissions from food production will be one of our greatest challenges in the coming decades. Unlike many aspects of energy production where viable opportunities for upscaling low-carbon energy – renewable or nuclear energy – are available, the ways in which we can decarbonize agriculture are less clear. We need inputs such as fertilizers to meet growing food demands, and we can’t stop cattle from producing methane. We will need a menu of solutions: changes to diets; food waste reduction; improvements in agricultural efficiency; and technologies that make low-carbon food alternatives scalable and affordable.
At Jiminy’s we’re tackling this problem by replacing protein from traditional livestock with insect protein. The insect protein produces exponentially fewer greenhouse gases. By replacing chicken-based dog food with insect-based alternatives, Jiminy’s has averted more than 10 million grams of greenhouse gases during the past year.
By 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. By 2030, almost half the world will live under conditions of high water stress.
The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimates that 70% of the world’s land water is used for agricultural purposes and the lion’s share of that is used on livestock.
By replacing traditional livestock (cow, pig, chicken) with insect protein, we’re not only using less land and emitting fewer greenhouse gases, we’re also saving water. In fact, in the past 12 months, Jiminy’s has saved more than 116 million gallons of water.
Where do we go from here?
We will continue to focus on three core areas – Land, Emissions and Water – but we will also assess other areas where we can make better decisions. We are guided by the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, and we’ll explain more about that in a future post!