Vegan pet food startup Wild Earth, which claims to be creating “the new generation of pet food,” has earned high marks in early product testing, receiving ratings of “excellent.”
An independent agency evaluated the digestibility of the cultured product using tests that simulate the digestive system of a dog. In the stomach, digestibility was higher than 80 percent, and in the intestine, it was higher than 76 percent. Nutritional data was also released by Wild Earth, revealing that the vegan pet food has a higher protein content than steak, which has 24 percent protein by weight. Wild Earth’s product has over 45 percent.
In addition to high levels of digestibility and protein, the vegan pet food made from koji, a fungi, has all the ten essential amino acids that dogs need. It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients. “Koji was domesticated by humans around 9000 years ago,” notes Wild Earth on its website. “[It] is used to ferment some of our favorite foods like soy sauce or miso soup. Using modern technology, we’re now using this ancient food staple to create simple and clean proteins of the highest quality.”
The early product testing results of the product are promising and reassuring, maintains CEO Ryan Bethencourt. “[It] is an important milestone that validates we’re creating a safe, healthy, nutritious product to transform the pet food industry,” he said in a statement. “America is in a clean meat revolution, and an economical and scalable cultured protein for pets is an essential part of this shift away from animal agriculture.”
“I am very pleased with these numbers showing high digestibility and complete protein profile,” added the brand’s chief veterinary officer, Dr. Ernie Ward. “Based on these results it appears that Koji is an excellent high-quality protein source for dogs.”
The startup, backed by $4 million from investors such as Stray Dog Capital, Blue Horizon, Macro Ventures, and VegInvest, is due to release its first product, a dog treat, this summer. Dry food is expected to follow in 2019. The company is also working on a clean meat product for cats, derived from mouse cells.