Yora is a sustainable dog food made from Larvae, I spoke with co-founder and pet nutrition expert Will. He’s extremely passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and his brand's global footprint. Will, along with co founder Tom, started on their journey 7 years ago and their combined knowledge and creative background inspired Yora. Tom who came up with the initial idea has worked as a designer and product developer within the pet industry for over 20 years "I've learned a lot about what makes a great pet food, and how much people care about their pets’ wellbeing".
Their project was thoughtfully named YORA, "in honour of one of the last uncontacted tribes in the Amazonian rainforest. Tribes like these, who have always lived in harmony with nature, are the most at risk from the damage caused by human's appetite for meat.”
Yora believes we need a sustainable dog food brand like theirs as we are about to face our biggest threats within mass land use and the Climate Emergency we now face. We have to support our local agriculture and we need to make a change to how we treat our planet, now.
Statistics show keeping dogs hugely contributes to your carbon footprint, this is hard to fathom when they bring so much joy to many. They enrich our lives, keep us fit and healthy and are proven to help with mental health and wellbeing. Until quite recently most dog foods were made from the by-product of human meat consumption but as we grew more conscious about nourishing and keeping our pets as healthy as possible the pet industry started to promote human grade meats for dogs. Putting this into perspective, if there aren’t enough resources for us humans in the world, and we are trying to keep our consumption to a minimum, then feeding human grade meat to dogs could be viewed as an unnecessary further dent within our global footprint.
The price point of Yora is high which means it’s an investment in not only our pets’ health but the world we live in. Will and I talked about sustainability and accessibility because similarly to feeding ourselves or our families we don’t all have the income to consistently shop sustainably or organically. At the core Yora don’t cut corners, they do the research, they spend more on the manufacturing of their products for a long term gain. That gain is “a more sustainable future for all”.
Yora’s primary ingredient is Larvae! These are high in protein, fats, minerals and amino acids. These small creatures grow full size in 2 weeks whilst the friction they create powers the whole facility they live in. The carbon footprint to produce these larvae is tiny in comparison to using other animal meats as they are fed on the by-product of an organic farms waste / compost! These particular larvae were chosen as they don’t have any pain receptors and so therefore theoretically shouldn’t feel pain .. although we obviously cannot be certain! Animal welfare is something Will feels very strongly about, he explains that when the larvae are fully grown the temperature in their facility is slowly dropped so the larvae are unconscious before being utilised.
The Yora mix includes: potato, kale, seaweed and chicory are all sourced locally whilst adding oats from 3 - 4 miles down the road from their factory, keeping the initial footprint low. Unlike most kibble Yora isn’t sprayed with hydrolyzed animal protein and is Hypoallergenic.
I was a little out of my depth when talking about hydrolyzed animal protein but learnt that this is sprayed on most kibble, it’s a shortcut to make the food more palatable for dogs.
Yora has just launched a selection of treats along with an extensive range of kibble for dogs big and small. Speaking with Will about his new range of treats, I noted that the ‘dreamers’ treats contain valerian root which can have a calming impact on dogs. This could be ideal for those hounds suffering from anxiety, especially at present.
If like Seymour your dog wouldn’t go near kibble you’ll be excited to hear that Yora are working on a new wet food recipe!!
Yora is a great example of a well thought out, sustainable product highlighting a environmentally aware circular economy, which is exciting!
A sustainable life produces a podcast called Sustainable(ish) and interviewed Tom Neish Founder of Yora - if you're interested in learning about sustainability and Yora I think it's worth a listen - click here!
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