Jiminy’s harnesses the eco-power of insects
The dog treats made by Anne Carlson’s company, Jiminy’s contain an unexpected ingredient: crickets. But her customers, especially the four-legged kind, don’t seem to mind. “A couple of owners have told us that their dogs steal the bags of treats,” says Anne, 56.
A few years ago, after Anne’s career in consumer packaged goods had run its course, she decided to combine her professional expertise, her passion for the environment, and her love of dogs into a pet food company that would have a low impact on the environment. She had been reading about the benefits of crickets–they require far fewer natural resources to raise and emit less greenhouse gas than other animals used for protein in dog foods, like cows and pigs. Crickets also are humanely sourced, meaning they are harvested near the ends of their natural lives.
Jiminy’s treats combine ingredients like pumpkin, peanut butter, and lentils with cricket flour, which adds a nutty flavor. Anne invested in a series of lab tests to be sure cricket protein was nutrient-rich and easily digested by dogs. The final recipes got the thumbs-up from scientists and, more important, satisfied the picky palate of Anne’s Great Dane, Timber, and her lab/border collie mix, Tuco.
Following the success of its treats, Jiminy’s recently introduced a line of dog food that is available in more than 600 stores as well as online.
“Just one bag of our treats saves about 220 gallons of water compared with a bag of beef treats,” Anne notes. And switching one dog from a chicken-based diet to a cricket-based one saves nearly half a million gallons of water a year, says Anne. “With 89 million dogs in the U.S. currently consuming 32 billion pounds of protein, this is a place where a company can make a big impact. jiminys.com