Portland Pet Food Company Upcycling Report 2022
When Katie McCarron founded Portland Pet Food Company in 2014 , she was on the hunt for fresh, human-grade ingredients that she could trust. Instead of working with large suppliers and rendering plants, Katie insisted on seeking out local farms and vendors that she could work directly with and trust the quality of the ingredients being sourced. In her diligent search for local, sustainable partners, McCarron also found that there are a handful of high-quality, fresh ingredients that are deemed waste - like small, or misshapen produce. She realized that she could source ingredients locally, while also upcycling these ingredients that were being thrown out. As we have grown, we have put an even bigger emphasis on upcycling, and we now upcycle five of our main ingredients in our meals and biscuits - Salmon, Bacon, Sweet Potatoes, Spent Grains, and Eggshells.
All told last year, we upcycled 68,600 pounds of ingredients:
- 30,000 pounds of Salmon
- 15,000 pounds of Yams
- 13,000 pounds of Spent Grain
- 8,000 pounds of Bacon
- 2,600 pounds of Eggshells
We source our fresh meat and seafood from PNW vendors, such as Carlton Farms and Cascade Farms. In 2021, we upcycled 8,000 pounds of bacon and over 30,000 pounds of Salmon. These vendors supply us with what they call the “ends and pieces” or clippings, which otherwise do not make it to the grocery store, for our biscuits and meals.
We source our sweet potatoes, or yams, from local farmers, such as Stahlbush Farms. We repurpose more than 15,000 pounds of locally grown sweet potatoes per year that have been deemed “too small” or “oddly shaped” to be sold in grocery stores.
We also source spent grain, or leftover barley malt grain, from local breweries. Even though spent grain is a nutritious, fiber rich product, it typically makes up about 85% of the brewer's total waste since many breweries don’t have the time to build partnerships with companies to utilize this product. Last year, we upcycled over 13,000 pounds of spent grain that would otherwise end up in landfills - up from 4,300 pounds in 2020.
Finally, we utilize eggshells as a safe way to increase the calcium content of our products, and they are absorbed at the same rate of the calcium phosphate found in our bones. The eggshells we use are repurposed from products like liquid egg manufacturers, and last year, we used over 2,600 pounds of eggshells in our meals.
As we continue to grow, the sheer mass of the products we offset from heading to landfill will continue to rise through our creative sourcing process for our human-grade ingredients.
At Portland Pet Food Company, our #1 goal is to give humans more years with their dogs. Our fresh dog food toppers and natural dog treats were meticulously developed with ingredients that are good for dogs’ health. Unlike other fresh dog food brands, we understand that feeding fresh can be expensive. That’s why our meals are meant to be used as a topper, mixer, or rotational meal — we believe that any amount of fresh helps your dog. By simply adding a few scoops of our meal toppers into your dog’s food, our meal pouches will last several days and your dog will still reap the benefits. Subscribe to our dog food toppers and/or treats delivery service and receive 10% off every future order. Your dog’s health will thank you!