June 13, 2023 by Student Andrea D.

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Learning Targets

  • 21st Century Skills
  • Applied Sciences & Technology
  • Inquiry and Research Design
  • People and Cultures
  • Self Development and Social Intelligence

Driving Question:

How can I reduce food waste, help dog shelters, and start a campaign in Peru and Oman by creating dog food?

Project Summary:

Andrea D, a Grade 11 student from Peru, observed the plight of stray dogs and the immense food waste generated each year. With over 300 million stray dogs globally and six million in Peru, many of which forage in garbage dumps, she saw an opportunity to tackle these issues simultaneously.

In 2021, it was reported that half of Peru’s food was discarded, and Andrea realized that this wasted food could potentially feed countless stray dogs. Motivated to make a difference, she founded “Sustainable Kibble,” an initiative focused on creating dog food from food waste.

Through extensive research, Andrea discovered that many commercial dog foods contain harmful preservatives and artificial colorings, which can cause health issues like allergies, high blood lipid levels, and cancer. She found that natural preservatives such as cabbage and beets not only preserve food but also provide natural coloring and make it more appealing to dogs. Additionally, papaya seeds were identified as an effective natural dewormer.

Andrea experimented with different formulations and flavors, even testing the kibble on her own dogs to ensure its effectiveness. Her research, which demonstrated the viability of using natural ingredients in dog kibble, was documented in a paper she encourages others to read.

To broaden the impact of her project, Andrea created a multilingual website (available in English, Spanish, and Chinese) where people can access her research, donate, share information, replicate the project in their communities, and purchase affordable dog food. Her ultimate goal is to establish a non-profit organization funded through donations and sales, with profits used to sterilize stray dogs to help reduce the stray dog population.

Andrea’s vision is to feed and deworm stray dogs while reducing food waste, fostering a compassionate community, and promoting sustainable practices. She invites everyone to join her in making a positive and lasting impact on both the environment and the lives of stray dogs.