Sunday, July 19, 2009

Organic Pet Food or Not

We have sold Life's Abundance pet foods and products for a long time. They have NEVER HAD A RECALL because they use small suppliers for the ingredients and production and it's all in the U.S. Careful inspections keep them from recalls.

We prefer to buy organic foods for our pantry as much as we can and especially for produce, so I have questioned myself for the choice of non-organic pet foods which caused me to do a bit of research. When you look at labels you realize that even those labeled organic are not all organic. I love many of Newman's Own organic products because of all that the company has contributed to good causes. But Newman's Own Organics Premium Pet Food shows these ingredients for the Adult Dog Formula:

Chicken, Organic Barley, Organic Oats, Organic Peas, Chicken Meal, Organic Sorghum, Organic Soybean Meal, Chicken Fat (Naturally Stabilized with Mixed Tocopherols [a Source of Vitamin E]), Organic Brown Rice, Organic Millet, Organic Rice, Organic Flax Seed, Dicalcium Phosphate, Organic Carrots, Chicken Liver, Sea Salt, .... other herbs and supplemental nutrients.

All of the mega-corporation foods have been suspect since the incredible amount of recalls and pet deaths from them. Recently Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM, answered the question of why she doesn't formulate organic products. The response gave me some insight into the pet food industry. I hope it will help you too. There is too much confusion in a marketplace that should be simpler to understand, but then pet foods have always gotten the awful end of the deal with ingredients.

Dr. Jane Bicks on Organic Pet Food

People have been asking Dr. Jane Bicks the following question: "Why don't you have organic food?"

Dr. Jane Bick's Response:

I would love to have an all organic food as long as it fit my mission statement. My mission is to formulate and produce food with the best nutrition I can give to a dog and cat.

Unfortunately, organic meats are still hard to come by. Just go to your supermarket and you will see the small section of organic meats. The price is high because there simply are not enough organic meats produced yet.

I can't find enough HIGH QUALITY organic meats for my formula every week. (We sell millions of pounds of food). You see, the best cuts of the organic meats go to the supermarkets and health food stores.

The left overs (the trims) can be used for pet food. While the meat would be organic it would be the "throw away" parts such as the tendons, ligaments, and visa versa. Muscle meat and organ meat deliver optimum nutrition, not the later. Using organic meats today would violate my mission statement.

If you look at the label of organic foods you will notice that they contain large amounts of carbohydrates. While I believe that carbohydrates are necessary in a well formulated diet, the organic foods use more than I deem acceptable. They have to use carbohydrates to keep the cost down and to add some protein (carbohydrates have protein) because they can't get enough meat protein.

I must have a fixed formula which means that the ingredients (type, amount) will never vary from bag to bag or can to can. Many dogs and cats will get GI upsets if amounts or types of ingredients change. Organic foods have non fixed formulas because they have to take what they can get.

I understand the importance of organic ingredients and embrace it. If you look at my Instinctive Choice you will see that I have a portion of organic chicken. Unfortunately there is not very much CONSISTENT organic chicken to use and unfortunately not enough for my entire formula.

IN SUMMARY: My mission is to give the dog and cat the best nutrition I know how to. Using organic ingredients would be a plus, above and beyond the excellent nutrition. It will take a few more years before organic becomes more available.

Dr. Jane

1 comment:

Jans Funny Farm said...

Interesting post. I didn't know some of that information, especially about obtaining orgainic meats.

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