Food Pharmacy was born during a life-changing moment. Mia Clase and Lina Nertby Aurell had recently become parents and simultaneously experienced the loss of close family, which sparked an existential crisis - a desire to take better care of one’s health. From this point, their journey towards better well-being began, and Food Pharmacy was born. In the beginning, it was about exploring one's own curiosity, learning more about how food affects our health, and at the same time sharing this knowledge with others in a fun way. The blog attracted more people and showed that they had the potential to positively affect public health. Many years have passed since Food Pharmacy was founded, but during this time Mia and Lina have published several books, and are today one of Sweden's largest platforms and podcasts in health.
Hi Mia and Lina, would you like to tell us a little more about yourselves?
Food Pharmacy wants to inspire us to eat food that improves our health, and has less of an impact on our climate. For us, it is obvious that food for animals should be healthy, just as it should be for us humans.
How do you see the role of animals in the family and their impact on people's well-being?
It is known through research that relationships, not only with other people, but also with animals, are something that positively affects our health. I dare to promise that everyone who has an animal can agree with that. You get company, love - it's such an incredibly important part of life, I think, as I've always been surrounded by animals.
Tell us more about your dog, Taxi, and cat Whistler, Mia?
Taxi is 5 years old and is now 100% consuming insect-based food. She has been eating Petgood nonstop for 2 years. Taxi is a classic divorce dog. She was bought as a comfort to the family, during a time in life when we were going through a big breakup. Whistler came along a few years later, because we wanted Taxi to have company.
And Lina, you also have a horse?
Yes exactly, we have a pony that is very active and also gives an incredible amount of joy and love. We also had a dog (Pyret) before, but unfortunately she passed away a year ago.
When I got divorced about 10 years ago, we had little Pyret at home, who was the true rock for my children for many years. But the horse has also brought a lot of comfort. Anyone who has been in a stable knows that there is nowhere you feel so calm and so good as when you hear horses standing and munching hay, and smelling that special “stable scent”.
But a horse is a slightly different pet, compared to a dog and cat, because you don't have it in your house (mostly). I actually know that Lisen Bratt Fredricson, one of the most famous equestrians in Sweden, usually brings her little Shetland pony into the kitchen. Like Pippi Longstocking. I get so jealous of her, because I would have loved to bring my horse into the kitchen, but it's a bit difficult when you live in an apartment in the middle of central Stockholm... But one day, when I live in the countryside, then I'll also bring a horse in the kitchen.
Have you reflected on the climate impact of your four-legged family members?
Yes, but I had no idea that cats and dogs account for such a large proportion of the global meat consumption, even one of the first food and health experts we got to know on our journey, raised this issue early on. He said "It should be forbidden to have a dog" . To which I said, why’s that? "Well, just imagine the climate impact these little dogs have on the planet". We were shocked, until then we hadn't thought much about it, it was at the beginning of our food journey. Now we know better.
What do you think about antibiotics?
We have worked hard to spread knowledge about antibiotic resistance, which is a huge threat today. It is usually said that it is as big a threat as the climate threat. When it comes to animal feed, it can be difficult with the traceability of the meat. I think a lot of companies are focusing on being profitable, and end up buying really cheap meat, perhaps from countries far away where they don't have the same laws and regulations as we have here in Sweden, when it comes to antibiotics for preventive purposes.
What is important when choosing food for your four-legged friends?
Well, definitely that it is nutritious, and contains high-quality protein, and that it has as little climate impact as possible. But also that the dog and cat like it, of course. Animals can be quite picky. But no, we have not had that problem with Petgood, here it's rather the opposite. In fact, I've never seen them throw themselves over food the way they do now. I have to hurry to put the bag on top of a shelf or Whistler will claw it open as soon as the delivery arrives. It's like hiding candy from the kids, but Petgood from the cat.
What was your first reaction when you came into contact with insect-based pet food?
I felt like it was pure genius. Often people do not know what they can do to reduce their climate footprint, and here we have something that is an incredibly simple choice, to exchange something with a large climate footprint for something with a small climate footprint.
What has inspired you to work together with Petgood?
We share the same values, Petgood just happened to have specialised in animals, and we have gone all-in on people, but we share the same foundational values; nutritious and sustainable food that is good for your health and the planet.
What is also important is that we are two animal lovers, who grew up with animals and have always had animals around us. For us it is just as important that animals have good food, as people do. We are crazy cat, dog and horse ladies!
What distinguishes Petgood in your eyes?
Well, Petgood is best in class when it comes to insect-based pet food. There are many companies today that are offering different kinds of insect-based products, but Petgood has invested a lot in research and is paving the way for insect-based pet food in Europe.
Yes, Petgood are the insect experts. And there are insects in everything, not just in the food that Whistler and Taxi eat, there are insects in their treats and the dental sticks too (which Taxi absolutely loves!).
What do Taxi and Whistler think about the food?
Taxi has always been a picky eater, and in the past it has been pretty difficult when it comes to finding dog food, but we have never had any problems with Petgood, she's thrown herself into it from the start. I think it has to do with the fact that she is also a nutrition hunter, just like us. She must have understood something through our books and blog, insta... you shouldn't underestimate a dog.
With Whistler, the cat, it has been easier, he is not as picky as Taxi. And like I mentioned, we have to hide the Petgood packages from him, otherwise he breaks into them. I think that is a pretty good result.
Tell us more about Food Pharmacy’s and Petgood shared messages?
Our message is food for health and the planet, as we usually say; you have two homes; your body and the planet, make sure to give them the best conditions you can. On these points, I think we share exactly the same message.
What tips do you have for those who wish to live a little more healthily and sustainably?
This is one of the best tips we have, to change dog and cat food. It's such a simple way to do the planet and the animals a huge favour.
Complete the sentence “Insects are…”