Anne Carlson is speaking about insect protein research on Tuesday, April 30, at 2:00-2:25 p.m. during the “Ingredients/nutrition: Alternative pet food proteins, the microbiome” concurrent sessions. Register now
Learn more about Anne Carlson’s presentation below:
What is the single, most important concept you hope attendees will learn from your presentation?
Insects are a complete protein source, however, the benefits of feeding insects to companion animals go well beyond protein. Attendees will learn that insect protein is equivalent to other protein sources on all fronts (e.g., amino acids composition and digestibility).
While much of the initial focus on insect protein has been as a sustainable replacement for other animal protein sources (e.g., cow, chicken), there is now a growing body of evidence that insects are a solution for other issues in canines. The benefits of feeding insects to dogs go well beyond protein, including support for a healthy gut microbiome, enhanced immunity, an alternative for food-sensitive dogs, improved mental acuity, joint health and mitigating arthritis signs.
Please explain the significance of this concept to the pet food industry and yourself:
As the pet food industry grows, we need better sustainable alternatives for our pets. According to a UCLA study, 25-30% of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the U.S. can be attributed to our pets. Insect protein is a superfood solution to this problem, delivering great nutrition coupled with a radically reduced carbon pawprint.
I started Jiminy’s in order to build a better future for my daughter and her generation. By thinking differently about the protein source in our pet’s food, we’ve created a better dog food that delivers enormous benefit. At Jiminy’s, we make delicious, sustainable, insect-based dog food and treats that nourish our pets and promote long-term stewardship of the earth. We’ve made a commitment to being a positive force for change by making sustainable and humane choices while being mindful of the bigger picture.
What are potential next developments in this specific field?
Insect farms are evolving rapidly in the U.S. and beyond. There are exciting developments that are making production even more sustainable – great examples include industrial symbiosis’ production models and use of pre-consumer bi-products as a feed source!
In addition, nutritional studies are ongoing – identifying & confirming additional benefits beyond insect protein as a simple protein source. Ourp lan is to lean into these benefit areas as natural solutions for canine issues.
Latest research: Insect protein for companion animals — Carlson explains that insects are a complete protein source, yet the benefits of feeding insects to companion animals go well beyond protein. She takes a deep dive into the nutritional make up of crickets, black soldier fly larvae and mealworms, presenting research evidence of effectiveness of these insect proteins in solving health problems in dogs. In addition, the discussion includes a deeper dive on published and peer-reviewed studies on supporting a healthy gut microbiome, enhanced immunity, alternative for food-sensitive dogs, improved mental acuity, joint health and mitigating arthritis symptoms.
Anne Carlson is the founder and CEO of Jiminy’s, one of the first producers of sustainable dog food and treats using insect protein. She led the development of the dossier for crickets as a nutrient source in dog food, which included several peer-reviewed and published studies. In 2021, she was elected to the North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture board of directors.
Anne was named 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year in the Food and Beverage category by the American Business Awards for her work on Jiminy’s. Prior to Jiminy’s, Anne was the VP of Market Intelligence at Big Heart Pet Brands where she led Shopper Insights, Market Analytics, and Strategic Projects. Anne previously founded Secant, which she then sold to IRI and has also worked for Accenture, Diageo and Seagram’s.
She holds a BA in Political Science, Economics, and Mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis, as well as an MBA from NYU. Currently, Anne lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband (Eric), daughter (Boothe) and two big pups (Tuco & Timber).