Don't let the name fool you
Let’s talk about the tiny, under-appreciated miracle that is yeast. The first ingredient in Wild Earth’s dog food is ‘Dried Yeast’ aka 'Nutritional Yeast' - which is a very unassuming name for something so powerful.
We feel yeast is long past overdue for its moment in the spotlight. That’s why, over our next series of articles, we’ll be exploring all the benefits of this ancient nutritional powerhouse and the reasons we’ve selected it as the primary ingredient for our plant-based dog food.
It’s a strain of yeast, after all, that gives us bread and beer - both reasons enough to sing its praises from the rooftops. However, it also creates another food product called nutritional yeast, which, despite its distinctly unsexy name, imparts a savory, nutty, umami flavor. Nutritional yeast is also an absolute superfood, packed with protein, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals. (Tragically, the same cannot be said for beer and bread.)
Basically, nutritional yeast is the total package. Not only is it straight-up delicious, it’s dense with nutrients that keep our dogs healthy and thriving.
Let’s focus on one of the most exciting aspects of yeast’s profile: its potent protein punch.
Stronger than you realize
For our first order of business, we have to debunk the myth about meat.
It has been perpetuated that meat is the best, most complete source of protein out there. (Meat, incidentally, has a great PR team.)
When you break it down, though, this ends up being an absolute falsehood. Calorie for calorie, nutritional yeast contains more protein than any meat product. By weight, it is 45-49% protein, whereas beef is only 24%-26%.
Leveraging nutritional yeast as the primary food source means your dog will always have adequate protein in their diet.
This is essential because proteins provide the building blocks for health.
Here are some basics about how protein works and why it’s so important for your dog:
- A dog’s body uses amino acids to build different protein molecules, which then works to grow and maintain muscle, fur and nails; produce hormones; transport nutrients; and aid in the functioning of the immune system.
- When dogs eat protein, their digestive system breaks the protein down into amino acid “building blocks.” A dog needs about twenty common amino acids to build all the proteins it needs for health and vitality.
- A dog’s body can break down protein into about half of the essential amino acids acids it needs. However, the other half cannot be created by the canine body, which means that the dog must consume them. This includes arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
High-quality plant, fungi (that’s yeast!), bacterial or algal protein sources contain all of these amino acids essential to a healthy canine diet. Look at your pet’s food label to see if it has an AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement on it, which will indicate whether or not the product contains enough of these amino acids.
More broadly, this means choosing a plant-based pet food and feeding your dog a nutritionally comprehensive diet go hand-in-hand! It’s pretty simple -- protein keeps your dog’s physical health in tip-top shape, and yeast is an astonishingly good source of protein for dogs.
Wait, there's more!
In addition, yeast is far more environmentally-friendly and safe way for your canine to consume protein.
Yeast grows abundantly, affordably, and quickly, going from start to finished product in about three days, all on a diet of sugar that places significantly less load on precious environmental resources than raising livestock.
With yeast, you can gain complete clarity and peace-of-mind, knowing that your dog is receiving their protein from a source that grows through a 100% natural and sustainable process.
Yeast: clean, green, and packed with protein! Could you ask for anything more for your best friend? (Besides all the love, infinite cuddles, a treasure chest full of squeaky toys, and everything good and pure in the world, that is.)
Amazingly enough, we’re barely at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the benefits of yeast. Stay tuned for more in our upcoming series on this small-but-mighty powerhouse and all the ways it can help create a healthier, more holistic diet for your dog.