From Pest to Protein: A deep dive into our sustainable and nutritious Green Monstah treats!
Grab the Crab, Help the Kelp! Green Monstah is made from green crab and kelp, two local ultra-rich sources of protein and Omega-3s. And these two ingredients are particularly special. Finding ways to manage the over-abundance of green crab populations in New England waters is the challenge. The reward is the restoration of biodiversity in coastal ecosystems, and the creation of new economic opportunities for local fishers. High-protein kelp, one of the healthiest, richest sources of amino acids, faces increasing stress from warming waters and invasive crab species, New England kelp farming is restoring balance to the natural ecosystems. The ingredients of Green Monstah are as simple as it sounds: Green Crab, Brown Rice, Potato Flour, and Kelp.
If you take a look at the back of our Green Monstah pouches, you’ll notice four small icons that mean a whole lot:
Invasive Species Control: According to NOAA, the green crab is considered one of the most invasive species in the marine environment. It has few predators, aggressively hunts and eats its prey, destroys seagrass, and outcompetes local species for food and habitat.
Regenerative Ocean Farming: This is a tool for climate adaptation. Kelp farms do not require any inputs in the production process such as fertilizer or water. The ocean contains enough nutrients to support healthy growth. These farms also naturally decrease carbon and nitrogen in the water and increase oxygen to regenerate and restore local habitat.
Vitamin and Mineral Rich Kelp: Kelp is one of the richest plant sources of minerals and amino acids. Kelp contains over 20 different vitamins and minerals: iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, Vitamin K, magnesium, and iodine. All of these nutrients in Kelp can help a dog’s energy level and make for more efficient metabolism.
About our leading ingredient; Green Crab:
Green crabs are one of the most invasive species known to man. Green crabs are invaders that first traveled to the US region in the 1800s in the water of trading ships. They have few predators, aggressively eat and hunt their prey, outcompete other native crabs for food, and are able to adapt to new environments fast. They live in both cold and warm waters, and are able to live out of the water for a period of time. Green crabs have the ability to crack open mussels and clams which wreck foreign environments. According to gulfofmaine.org, Maine fisheries have been presented with many obstacles; The Gulf of Maine is heating up faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans, a consequence of the warming Labrador Current, which has historically filled the gulf with frigid Arctic water, and the northward shift of the Gulf Stream, which brings with it warmer air currents and water. This also increases the population of invasive species.
Although they are very invasive, there are many ways to control their numbers. Many believe that eating more and more of this invasive species will significantly decrease the population of the Green Crabs. They are filled with nutritious value for people and pets.
What is an invasive species and why is this harmful to marine life?
Invasive species are non-native species introduced to a new environment, typically by human activity which have:
- Negative impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity and the economy.
- Little to no predators
- Reproduces fast
- Lead to extinction of native plants and animals
- Wildlife and human disease transmission
The Benefits of Green Crab:
Green crab is low in fat and provides a good source of zinc, copper, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Zinc is important for immune system function and thyroid function. It mediates inflammatory response.
- Copper helps make red blood cells for dogs and absorb iron.
- Omega-3 fatty acids have many important roles in a human and pets lives including:
- Supporting healthy skin and glossy coats for dogs and cats
- Supporting heart health, Omega-3 is helpful for reducing levels of bad cholesterol while raising heart health cholesterol
- Increase weight loss in overweight dogs
- Anti-inflammatory properties which ease the symptoms of joint problems of stiffness, tenderness, swelling and discomfort
- EPA and DHA (Omega-3 fatty acids) are important nutrients that help support healthy brain function. DHA in particular has been shown to aid the structure and function of the brain.
- EPA and DHA are important to counter Omega 6 imbalance. Often pets can be fed a diet that is too high in Omega 6 fatty acids. Excess of Omega 6 and shortage of Omega 3 will predispose dry flaky and itchy skin.
Kelp and seaweed have the broadest spectrum of minerals and vitamins than any other plant in the world. Unlike other plants, kelp and seaweed have the ability to absorb minerals directly through the plant tissue from the mineral rich seawater. Kelp contains a variety of salts and minerals (iodine, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium) which are all very important for your body, and your dogs too! Our kelp partners, Atlantic Sea Farms, provide us with the very best kelp caught in Maine to create our Green Monstah treats.
About Atlantic Sea Farms:
Atlantic Sea Farms is a women-run company working to provide new and diversified ways for fishing families to continue to work on the water in the face of climate change. Due to climate change, there is a limit to the amount of wild kelp that can be harvested sustainably and wild beds are facing increased stress from warming waters and invasive species. By leaving the wild beds where they are and farming kelp instead, Atlantic Sea Farms adds to the natural ecosystem, remediating excess carbon and nitrogen while taking pressure off of wild beds from human harvest.
There is an increasing variability in the fishery as the Gulf of Maine warms faster than 99% of all other bodies of water on the planet. Atlantic Sea Farms works with Maine fishermen to diversify their income by starting seaweed aquaculture farms. They provide technical support, lease support, gear set-up, and harvest training (as well as free seeds) to their partner farmers seaweed aquaculture. To say we love what they do, and love working with them, is an understatement!
Health Benefits of Kelp
Kelp is nutritionally rich! By being one of the richest plant sources of minerals and aminos acids, it has many health benefits including:
- Contains over 20 different vitamins and minerals: iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, Vitamin K, magnesium, and iodine. All of these nutrients in Kelp can help a dog’s energy level and make for more efficient metabolism.
- One of the best food sources of Iodine. Iodine helps support your dog’s glandular system, including adrenal, pituitary and thyroid. Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones that help regulate metabolism
- Highly digestible, many other Vegetables can contain a great deal of cellulose which is hard for dogs to digest
- Contains anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants and soluble fiber. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation, redness and irritation caused by skin conditions
- A source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. With Kelp’s soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids it can help support a dog’s heart health
Overall, kelp can support a dog’s energy levels and metabolism, supports heart health, helps with cancer prevention, as well as supports gut health and digestion. The benefits of using kelp to create dog treats are plentiful!
If you’ve made it this far, we hope you have a better understanding of why we chose to create a treat using green crab and kelp, and that you’ll give our Green Monstah treats a try. We’re pawsitive it’ll have your pup begging for more! #YouAreWhatYouTreat