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Insect-based dog food aims to cut your pet’s carbon pawprint




Meat has an enormous carbon footprint, with livestock liable for about 15 per cent of worldwide emissions, as we have beforehand mentioned on this e-newsletter. That is prompted specialists to suggest consuming much less meat for sustainability (and well being) causes.

However what about your pet? One research discovered that the methane and nitrous oxide emissions generated by canine and cat meals within the U.S. alone had been equal to about 64 million tonnes of CO2, or roughly the quantity produced by 13.6 million automobiles. And it might be getting worse, with a development towards feeding pets “human-grade” meat.

That is prompted some pet meals makers to look to lower-carbon protein sources — together with bugs.

Research present that producing insect-based meals requires far much less feed, land and water and generates far fewer greenhouse fuel emissions per kilogram than meats comparable to beef, pork or rooster.

That is one of many causes increasingly more pet meals containing insect protein are hitting the market. Purina, a model owned by multinational Nestlé, launched a line of canine and cat meals containing black soldier fly larvae in Switzerland in November.

In Canada, Montreal-based Wilder Harrier began promoting canine treats made with cricket protein in 2015 and pet food made with black soldier fly larvae in 2019. It plans to broaden to launch a line of insect-based cat treats later this yr and cat meals in 2022 due to “a ton of demand,” mentioned firm co-founder Philippe Poirier.

Wilder Harrier initially labored with animal nutritionists on insect-based merchandise to unravel a unique downside — specifically, the founders’ canines had allergy symptoms to frequent meats utilized in canine meals. Poirier mentioned now about half its prospects hunt down the product due to their pets’ allergy symptoms and about half for environmental causes.

Dr. Cailin Heinze, a U.S.-based veterinary nutritionist licensed by the American School of Veterinary Vitamin, has written concerning the environmental influence of pet meals. She mentioned we’re typically “not as involved as we probably ought to [be]” concerning the environmental footprint of pets.

Alternatively, she famous that the longer-term influence of newer diets, comparable to vegan meals and people containing bugs, hasn’t been nicely examined in comparison with conventional pet meals.

Maria Cattai de Godoy, an assistant professor of animal sciences on the College of Illinois who research novel proteins for pet meals (together with bugs, yeast and plant-based substances), mentioned such substances are rigorously examined to find out their security and diet earlier than being added to pet meals. 

“This can be a very extremely regulated trade,” she mentioned, however admitted it is also evolving.

Relating to bugs, she mentioned constructive information “reveals promise in direction of utilizing them increasingly more in pet meals.” Insect-based proteins have additionally earned the endorsement of the British Veterinary Affiliation, which says some insect-based meals could also be higher for pets than prime steak.

However Godoy famous that there isn’t any one-size-fits-all resolution, and pet homeowners ought to take into consideration the wants of their very own particular person pet and analysis whether or not a specific weight loss plan can be appropriate.

She mentioned that other than the kind of protein, issues like packaging and manufacturing strategies may also make a distinction. For instance, utilizing meat byproducts that may in any other case turn into waste would not drive elevated meat manufacturing the identical approach as utilizing human-grade meat.

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Globe Climate: Canada’s resource reckoning is coming





Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.

This afternoon, the Alberta government announced that it is restoring a coal mining policy it revoked last spring. At the time, the move provoked a widespread public backlash detailed by The Globe. The original decision, which opened up more than 1.4 million hectares to exploration, was made without public consultation. Premier Jason Kenney previously defended the changes.

Lots more on coal and Canada’s resources industry in this week’s newsletter edition.

Now, let’s catch you up on other news.

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‘Incredibly destructive’: Canada’s Prairies to see devastating impact of climate change





As the climate continues to warm at an alarming rate, experts warn if dramatic steps to mitigate global warming are not taken, the effects in Canada’s Prairie region will be devastating to the country’s agriculture sector.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the country is warming, on average, about double the global rate.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. recently found 2020 was earth’s second-hottest year on record, with the average land and ocean surface temperature across the globe at 0.98 of a degree C above the 20th-century average.

However, the agency found the northern hemisphere saw its hottest year on record, at 1.28 degrees C above the average.

“(In Canada) we are looking at about 6.4C degrees of warming this century, which isn’t much less than one degree per decade, which is just a terrifying rate of warming,” Darrin Qualman, the director of climate crisis policy and action at the National Farmer’s Union said.

Qualman said there is “massive change coming” to Canada’s Prairies, which will be “incredibly destructive.”

“It’s not going too far to say that if we made that happen, parts of the Prairies wouldn’t be farmable anymore,” he said.

According to the federal government, in 2018 Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system generated $143 billion, accounting for 7.4 per cent of the country’s GDP.

The sector employed 2.3 million people in 2018. The majority of the 64.2 million hectares of farmland in Canada is concentrated in the Prairies and in southern Ontario.

The effects of climate change are already being felt on the ground in the Prairies, Qualman said, adding that the NFU has already heard from farmers complaining of “challenging weather.”

“People are sharing pictures of flattened crops and buildings, et cetera, that have been damaged,” he said. “And we’re still at the beginning of this.”

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Majority of Canadians want plastic ban expanded: survey





TORONTO — The majority of Canadians want to see the federal government step up when it comes to expanding the list of banned single-use plastics, according to a new survey.

According to a poll released by Oceana Canada, two-thirds of Canadians think the federal government should expand its plastic ban to include additional harmful single use plastics.

“Canadians are overwhelmingly concerned about the plastic pollution crisis with 95 per cent saying they were concerned about the impacts on oceans and marine life,” Oceana Canada plastic campaigner Ashley Wallis told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

Last fall the federal government announced a ban of six single-use plastic items that are set to be phased out across the country by 2022. The list includes plastic grocery bags, straws, stir sticks, plastic cutlery, six-pack rings and food containers made from hard-to-recycle plastics.

At the time, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said retailers will be expected to provide plastic alternatives to customers. 

Oceana Canada says the list only covers a “fraction” of what is actually used on a day-to-day basis.

“We know that only nine per cent of plastics are currently recycled in Canada, and we know that the vast majority of plastics that we use are actually challenging to recycle,” said Wallis.

She says Canada’s recycling systems were never designed to handle the volume or complexity of materials on the market. Despite the amount of work that still needs to be done, Wallis recognizes that the government is making good first steps.

“It’s great to see leadership in this space, but if we’re serious about handling this crisis, we need to get more serious about reducing our plastic use and consumption overall,” said Wallis.

The survey of 1,500 Canadians was conducted by Abacus Data. Of those surveyed, most said they want to see the government add more harmful products including hot and cold drink cups, cigarette filters and all forms of polystytrene including Styrofoam.

Each of these products are commonly littered and often end up in waterways as a result. The federal government’s initiative to ban six plastic products is part of a larger plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. 

But unless additional items are added to the list, Wallis says pollution will only get worse.

“It’s estimated that plastic production is going to double by 2035,” said Wallis.

However, a separate survey by Dalhousie University from last summer suggested that since the beginning of the pandemic, Canadian support for stronger single-use plastic regulations actually fell, possibly due to increased concern about the spread of the virus and the need for plastic-based PPE. 

The report suggested that support for stronger regulations on plastics fell to 79 per cent compared to 90 per cent before the pandemic, and support for a total ban fell to 58 per cent, compared to 70 per cent before the pandemic. 

Although Wallis said she is optimistic people will change their attitudes towards plastic use, meaningful change will inevitably fall on the government.

“At the end of the day this is a systemic problem that’s going to take legislative action, not just you as an individual making the best choices you can in a world that is constantly inundated with more plastic,” said Wallis. 

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