Wild Earth, Inc., a biotech startup, will be using cultured proteins to develop clean, high-quality pet foods for the $30 billion pet food market.
Much like biotech companies creating cultured meats for human consumption, Wild Earth will produce pet foods that are healthier, more environmentally friendly and more humane than conventional products.
The company’s first cultured protein product is made from human-grade Koji, a fungi already enjoyed by billions of people around the world that is eco-friendly and renewably sourced. 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, California.
“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,” Wild Earth CEO Ryan Bethencourt said. “Using biotechnology gives us the ability to scale and to get a product to market safely, quickly and affordably.”
Wild Earth is committed to providing the safest pet foods available. By using cultured proteins, Wild Earth will avoid risks associated with traditional animal-based proteins.
An estimated 25-30 percent of meat’s environmental impact in the U.S. is attributed to pet food, but Wild Earth can produce at scale at a fraction of the environmental cost.
“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.”
Wild Earth products will be tested via a protocol approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials and PETA, conducted by volunteers and animals living in homes, as opposed to caged laboratory animals as in conventional pet foods. These humane, non-invasive, cage-free clinical trials test for qualities such as palatability, preference, digestibility studies, and stool quality. In addition to approvals by PETA and AAFCO, this type of trial is gaining favor in the scientific community because it delivers real-world results.