Portland Pet Food Company has been exploring ways in which waste can be upcycled into human-grade pet food, with their latest venture utilising brewery waste to produce dog treats.
Founded in 2014, Portland Pet Food Company sought out ways to source fresh, trustworthy, ethical, human-grade ingredients, whilst seeking out local vendors and farms for sustainable partners (avoiding large suppliers and rendering plants). During this search, they found high-quality ingredients that had been deemed waste, and decided to upcycle these waste ingredients that otherwise would’ve been thrown out.
Previously the five main ‘waste’ ingredients used for their meals and biscuits included salmon, bacon, sweet potatoes, spent grains, and eggshells. The ‘waste’ by-product comes in the form of ‘ends and pieces’ or ‘clippings’, which would not be sold for human consumption due to reasons such as misshapen appearance.
Now, the use of brewery waste has been introduced, using what’s called The ‘Draff’ (leftover by-products of brewed beers from the fermentation of grains and barley). This provides a cheap and nutrient-dense source of fibre and was previously already being fed to livestock. The ‘Draff’ can be processed into dog treats, called ‘brew biscuits’, which Portland Pet Food Company originally started on a small scale in 2014. They now process multiple pallets of a mixture of waste spent grains and natural flavours, all at once. The spent grain and leftover barley malt grain comes from local breweries, and would typically take up 85% of brewers’ waste. Nowadays, the nutritious, rich-in-fibre beer waste can be used for pet food products, with over 13,000 pounds being upcycled in 2021 by Portland Pet Food Company instead of discarded in a landfill.
Additionally, Portland Pet Food Company has used eggshells as a safe beneficial way to increase the calcium content of their products, as they absorb at the same rate as the calcium phosphate found in our bones. The egg shells were repurposed from liquid egg manufacturers, and in 2021, they repurposed over 2600 pounds of eggshells in pet meals. Their meat, seafood, and sweet potatoes are sourced locally from vendors in the Pacific Northwest, including Carlton Farms, Cascade Farms, and Stahlbush Farms.
Portland Pet Food Company continues to grow and intends to offset the amount of waste sent to landfill by creatively sourcing human-grade ingredients that benefit our pets and the environment.
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