Food Tank recently shared how innovative pet treats developed through a partnership between Treasure8 and Shameless Pets help reduce food waste and provide a nutrient dense way to spoil our furry friends.
Pet food, like human food, can have a big environmental impact. In fact, according to research from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), cat, dog, and other pet food are responsible for a quarter of the environmental impacts of meat production. A medium-sized dog is estimated to have a similar carbon footprint to a large SUV, so what pets’ diets are made of matters. But what if the treats we give our pets could be part of the solution to climate change? The pet treats developed through a partnership between Treasure8 and Shameless Pets may help reduce food waste, provide a nutrient-dense way to spoil our furry friends, and are coming to stores near you.
With roughly 40 percent of the American food supply going to waste, every scrap that’s prevented from ending up in a landfill counts. That’s why companies like Treasure8 work to upcycle imperfect produce from fields and post-production sources. Their dehydration technologies turn produce that would have gone to waste into safe inputs for food products. The machines they developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture dry produce so quickly that upcycled fruits and vegetables retain their nutrients. The company is also working on technology that will allow the machines to be fully powered by food waste converted into energy. Among the food products produced by Treasure8 are vegetable chips, cookies, and now, pet treats.
The alignment between Treasure8 and Shameless Pet’s missions made for a purposeful partnership. The pet food company, inspired by their co-founder’s food scrap loving puggle, works with farmers and food processors to rescue leftover ingredients and turn them into healthy pet treats. Safety and nutrition are Shameless Pets’ top priorities, which Treasure8’s dehydration technologies allow them to achieve. Treasure8’s machines create a LOG5+ mycobacterial kill step, which protects pets from any potentially harmful pathogens on the upcycled produce.
“We can take these very large waste streams and upcycle them into safe, tasty, healthy products and ingredients that can work at large scale distribution,” said Treasure8 Founder & co-CEO, Timothy Childs. This type of production capacity is exactly what Shameless Pets needs in a partner as they launch their products in Target stores across the United States.
James Bello, CEO and co-Founder of Shameless Pets, expressed his excitement about the partnership saying, “As the industry works together to find sustainable solutions to deal with post-production output, we are excited to have Treasure8 join us as our technology and ingredient partner, while we work to help develop more sustainable products in this space. This is just the beginning.” As Shameless Pet’s treats roll out in pet food aisles across the country, our pets and our planet might both be healthier.
Serena Baldwin is Food Tank’s Research, Advocacy and Outreach, and Writing Fellow. She is currently finishing up an M.S. in Food and Nutrition Policies and Programs at Tufts Friedman School. Her passion for good food policy has led her to positions in State and Federal government, nonprofit advocacy, and academic research. When she’s not thinking about the food system, she’s most likely doing yoga or roasting sweet potatoes!