Nando’s makes big changes to its chickens – and that involves insects

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The chickens served at Nando’s will be fed insects and algae as part of a testing program to reduce carbon emissions.The South African brand, which has 930 restaurants worldwide, wants to reduce its dependence on soy-based chicken feed, the second largest contributor to deforestation after the beef industry.

The trial is part of an ambitious plan for Nando’s to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero and halve the carbon footprint of its average meal over the next ten years.

“We are launching ambitious new commitments that will be a strong example of what our industry can do to make a real difference,” said Colin Hill, Managing Director of Nando’s UK and Ireland, which has approximately 350 outlets.



Nando’s wants to reduce its dependence on soy-based chicken feed

He added that Nando’s would be the first in the restaurant business to combine improvements in environmental sustainability with animal welfare.

This is something that is generally difficult to achieve because higher welfare animals live longer and therefore consume more food, increasing their overall carbon footprint.

Environmentalists have long recommended insects as a sustainable food source that could help reduce the impact of meat and soybean production.

Insects contain essential minerals, amino acids and fats and are easy for animals to digest. The production of 1 kg of insect protein uses 2 percent of the land and 4 percent of the water associated with the production of beef, resulting in 96 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.

Nando’s also plans to source gas from renewable sources by 2022.

Greenpeace, which released a report last year titled ‘Winging It: How UK Chicken Habit Fuels Climate and Natural Emergency’, calls on companies to halve the amount of meat they sell by 2025.

Around 78 million chickens were slaughtered last month in the UK, according to government statistics, down 2.1% from the same period last year as a growing number of consumers turned to are turning to meat substitutes.

Fast food chain KFC announced last week that it was working with a Russian lab on the world’s first 3D printed chicken nugget.

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