About 25 years ago I began formulating pet foods at any given time if the entire pet food industry seemed quagmire and focused on things such as protein and fat percentages without any real regard for ingredients. Since boot leather and soap may make a canine with the “ideal” percentages, it was clear that analytical percentages usually do not end the storyplot about pet food value. I was convinced then, as I am now, that the food can be no better than the constituents of which it can be composed. Since this ingredient idea has caught on within the commercial dog food industry, it’s taken on an advert life that distorts and perverts the meaning in the underlying philosophy of food quality and proper feeding practices. Is health reducible this agreement ingredients an advertisement product does or doesn’t have? As contradictory as it may appear to what I have just said, no it can be not. Here’s why.
The official Publication from the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) gives wide latitude for ingredients which may be employed in animal foods. As I have stated in my book, The Truth About Pet Foods, approved ingredients can include*:
undried processed animal waste products
polyethylene roughage replacement (plastic)
hydrolyzed poultry feathers
hydrolyzed leather meal
poultry hatchery by-product
meat meal tankage
ground almond shells
(*Association of American Feed Control Officials, 1998 Official Publication)
Simultaneously, this same regulatory agency prohibits the usage of many proven beneficial natural ingredients which one can find accessible for human consumption such as bee pollen, glucosamine, L-carnitine, spirulina and a lot of other nutraceuticals. It can be simple to conclude that reason doesn’t rule with regards to what officially can or can not be employed in pet foods.
From the regulators’ standpoint, they operate from your simplistic nutritional proven fact that the need for food is related to percentages knowning that there is no special merit to your particular ingredient. They deny the tens of thousands of scientific research articles proving the kind of ingredient and its quality can make a big difference regarding health. They also are silent concerning the damaging effect of food processing along with the impact of energy, light, heat, oxygen and packaging on nutritional and health value.
So regulators are not the spot to go to determine the way to feed pets for health. For their state of mind, as long as a packaged food achieves certain percentages, in spite of ingredients, the maker can claim your meals are 100% complete. Pet owners begin to confidently feed such guaranteed foods at each meal thinking even while they’re doing the right thing because of their pet. This old school nutritional view is standard practice in human hospitals too where official dieticians feed diseased and metabolically starved patients a fare of jello, instant potatoes, powdered eggs, white flour rolls and oleomargarine as their charts say such diets offer the correct percentages of certain nutrients. Hospitals are a fantastic spot to go if you need to become ill!
The 100% Complete Myth
Consumers are increasingly becoming tuned in to value of holistic foods. Everyone intuitively knows the closer the diet plan is always to real, fresh, wholesome foods, the better the chance that good health will result. Unfortunately, people usually do not apply this same sound judgment to pet foods. Instead they purchase “100% complete” junk foods, maybe even going the extra mile and selecting “super premium” or “natural” brands, thinking they do the very best that might be done. They surrender their mind to an advert ploy (100% completeness) and do today to their pets the things they wouldn’t caused by themselves or their family – consume the same packaged product each and every meal, day in and day trip. No processed food might be “100% complete” because there is not only a person in the world who’s 100% familiarity with nutrition. The claim on its face is absurd. Understanding this straightforward principle is a bit more important than any commercial dog food formulation regardless with the merits of its ingredients. Everything that follows begins with that premise, i.e., no food must be fed exclusively with a continuous basis whatever the claims of completeness or ingredient quality.
Genetics Is The KeyPets require food they are biologically adapted to. It’s a few context. Just as a fish needs to be in water to be healthy, a dog needs its natural food milieu to get healthy. All creatures must stay true to their design. What could be more obvious or simple? For a carnivore the right genetic match is prey, carrion and incidental fresh plant material, and in many cases some fur and feathers, as well as the occasional surprise of unmentionables within decaying matter. It’s not really a pretty picture to believe that “FiFi” together with her pink bow and polished toenails would stoop to such fare, but that’s precisely the food jane is made to eat. Since that is certainly her design, matching food to that particular design (without the more disgusting and unnecessary elements) can also be the important thing to her health.
The Disease Price
We may want to feed a packaged, sterile, steam- cleaned, dried, farinaceous chunk cleverly in the shape of a pork chop, but let’s not kid ourselves, that is not the meals a dog is ideal for….regardless of the claims about ingredients on the label making one think it can be five-star restaurant fare. Pets may tolerate such food for some time, but within the end nature calls to account. The price to become paid is lost health inside the form of the likelihood of infections, dental disease, premature aging, obesity, heart and organ disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis as well as other cruel and painful chronic degenerative diseases. Because our pets are certainly not out inside the rigors of nature where they would quickly succumb to such conditions and end their misery, they languish inside our protected homes and under veterinary care that will not usually cure however treats symptoms and extends the time of suffering. That suffering begins while using way in which we have been feeding our pets, not the constituents in a supposed 100% complete canine.
The Perfect Food
What may be the solution? It is simple and another I happen to be preaching within the past two-and-a-half decades. Return pets on their environmental roots. They need – daily – interesting activity, clean air, clean water, romps as the name indicated, a lot of love, and food as close for the form they would find within the wild as possible. Fresh, whole natural foods fit to get a carnivore and fed in variety are just like it could get. Anything below that is certainly a compromise. Compromise the very least if health may be the goal. (Same principle applies to your household.) To get a packaged food as close as possible to that goal requires the right starting philosophy of feeding (described above) and also the expertise to style and manufacture such foods.
Enter The Profiteers
Elements of those principles (often distorted or misunderstood) are actually adopted by a never-ending line of commercial dog food entrepreneurs. The low fat craze resulted in low fat pet foods. The high fiber craze triggered high fiber pet foods. The “no corn, wheat or soy” craze triggered no corn, wheat or soy pet foods. The “omega- 3″ craze triggered pet foods with omega3. The “variety” craze led to pet foods supposedly offering variety. The “four food groups” craze led to all four bundled in a package. The “raw” craze has generated raw frozen pet foods. The list is endless and the race for pet owner dollars is a a fever pitch.
One is only able to feel sympathy to get a concerned pet owner because they stroll along the huge array of canine options in pet food aisles. Unfortunately, equipped with only sound bites and lore they could be familiar with from your friend, breeder, veterinarian or on an industrial, they create choices that only do not serve the health of their pet but may directly help with weakened immunity and disease.
The very first thing consumers should keep in mind is the ideal diet for pets as described above. No packaged product irrespective of its wild claims occasion to equal that. The next most sensible thing would be to home prepare fresh meals. (Contact Wysong for recipes and instruction.) If that is certainly not necessarily possible, then products needs to be selected which are as close to the ideal as you possibly can. (More suggestions below.)
Raw Frozen Pet Food Dangers
At first glance, with the perfect feeding model I have described – raw, natural, whole – the most effective food may seem to be one in the raw frozen pet foods now clamoring to capture the “raw” craze. I’m sorry to say that some of these purveyors use my books and literature to convince owners that their frozen merchandise is on target. They take odds and ends of excellent information and distort it into something basically misses the idea and misleads consumers. Also, these exotic frozen mixtures of ingredients of unknown origin, manufacturing and freezing conditions are most certainly not economical nor the most effective choice. They may, because in the water content and raw state, be outright dangerous.
[The Case Against Raw Frozen Pet Foods]
Natural And Organic
At second glance then, it may appear that the next ideal thing would be one from the many “natural,” “organic” and “human-grade” dried or canned brands which are now flooding the marketplace. Between these and also the frozen foods, ingredient labels start to look outright ridiculous. For example, these are from some typical labels:
Every types of “pureed” vegetable
Organic beef, rabbit, chicken, turkey, goat, lamb, duck, pork
Organic papaya, persimmons, blueberries, oranges, apples, pears
Organic alfalfa, millet, quinoa and barley sprouts
Cod liver oil
Everything but the kitchen sink is place in so as not to risk losing any customer … knowning that can be inside too if the new myth appeared concerning the special health attributes of porcelain. I say this list is ridiculous not because such ingredients is probably not wonderfully nutritious but because the consumer does not really know what part from the ingredient will be put in, of what form, how it’s being shielded from degradation and toxin formation and, as you will see below, the cost-effective math doesn’t mount up. Additionally, feeding complex mixtures of foods (grains, meats, vegetables, fruit, dairy, etc.) at every meal is a digestive stress. Pets require a break once in a very while and should have simply a meat meal, a slice of watermelon or whatever fits their fancy, all alone so their digestive tract can focus and they also can relish the flavor of an actual food.
Although thinking about organic agriculture is excellent, the use of the “organic” name simply for marketing isn’t. Something could possibly be labeled organic to entice customers but only include a small percentage of organic (see below). Or, it may be the particular organic ingredient may be of low nutritional merit – chicken heads, feet and feathers may be “organic.” Regardless, even if the food is 100% organic prime rib, which is not an argument to the exclusive feeding from the food to pets.
Then you’ll find claims about “USDA approved” ingredients, “human grade” ingredients and ingredients purchased out with the meat counter in the food store. Again, at first glance – and superficiality ‘s what marketers prefer to take care of – it might appear that such foods could have merit over others. But such labels only create a perception of quality. People wouldn’t normally consider the meals pets focus on inside wild – whole, raw prey and carrion – “human grade” or “USDA approved.” Because something isn’t “human grade” does not mean it can be not healthy or nutritious. For example, chicken viscera just isn’t “human grade” but carries more nutrients and vitamins compared to a clean white chicken white meat. Americans feel that chicken feet wouldn’t normally be fit for human consumption however, many western countries relish them. On the other hand, “human grade” beef steaks fed to pets might cause serious nutritional imbalances and disease if fed exclusively. Pet foods that can cause the superficial perception of quality (USDA, human grade, etc.) using the intent to get canine owners to give a certain food exclusively just isn’t what health is approximately.
There are also the larger concerns with the Earth’s dwindling food resources and swelling population. Should “human grade” foods be studied out of the mouths of men and women and fed to pets with all in the excellent nutritional non-“human grade” ingredients put inside garbage?
Think about the humane facet of converting all pet food to “human grade.” Millions of a lot of pet foods are made each year. Should cows, pigs, sheep, fish, chickens and also other sentient creatures be raised and slaughtered of those foods? Or if your perfectly good and nutritious by-products from human meat processing be utilized instead of wasted? Why would caring and sensitive canine owners and pet food producers want other creatures – which can be themselves capable of being pets – needlessly raised in factory farm confinement and slaughtered when alternative sources of meat can be obtained?
Pet Nutrition Is Serious Health Science
Pet nutrition isn’t about marketing and who may make the most money quickly. Unfortunately an aspiring commercial dog food mogul off the street can go to any number of white label manufacturers where you can new brand made. These manufacturers have numerous stock formulas that could be slightly modified to match the current market trend. Voilà! A new commercial dog food wonder brand is done.
Pet foods are about pet nutrition, and nutrition can be a serious health matter. There is an implied ethic in gonna market with goods that can so seriously impact health. But the ethic is simply by and large absent inside canine industry. Starting using the 100% claim and also on to everyone the fad driven brands that glut the shelves, health isn’t being served. Nobody apart from our company is teaching people the principles I am discussing here. Instead, companies headed by people with no real technical, nutritional, food processing or health skills put themselves out on the public as intent on health … because that’s what people wants to hear and what sells. Never mind whether producers really understand or can implement healthy principles. The façade sells and selling could be the game. Ingredients are crucial, true, and not less important than the expertise and principles from the producer who is choosing them, preparing, storing, processing and packaging them. Consumers place a great deal of trust that nondescript processed nuggets are what individuals are being generated believe they may be. Many a slip may appear involving the cup as well as the lip. There are many slips that may appear between your cup of business claims and what ends up within the lips in the canine bowl.
The consumer isn’t without guilt on this unfortunate – steady diet of processed commercial dog food – approach to pet feeding. They want everything basic and inexpensive. They don’t would like to learn or need to expend too much effort, and they also want something all to easy to base decisions on like: “corn, wheat and soy are evil,” or “USDA approved,” or “human grade” or “organic is a useful one.” They also want something for nothing and think they’re able to understand it in the pet food. People want prime choice meats, organic and fresh foods all wrapped up tidy in the easy open, easy pour package, hopefully for 50 cents a pound. They may even pay $1 or even a bit more if your producer can convince them about how precisely spectacular their product is or just how much cancer their pet are certain to get when they choose another brand.
Doing The Math
Now when I go on the grocer or local health store in order to find these types of ingredients in raw, unprocessed, fresh packaged form, I don’t see hardly anything for $1 a pound, not to mention 50 cents. Some in the organic meats are more than $15 a pound! Something’s afoul. But individuals are not putting two and two together. How could a producer buy such expensive ingredients (as they may be leading the public to think they do) transport them on their “human grade” factory, grind, mix, extrude, retort, freeze, package, ship, advertise and pay salespeople and hefty margins to distributors, brokers and retailers and then sell them at retail for below the cost in the bare starting materials? They can’t. So obviously manufactured pet foods making such claims are misleading (to put it gently). They may have organic filet mignon and caviar within the food but it could have to get an inconsequential sprinkle at best. Consumers must do the math and get realistic inside their expectations.
Are By-Products Evil?
In the processing of human foods you’ll find a large number of tons of by-items that can’t be readily sold to humans. Does that produce them useless and even inferior? No. Such by-products could include trimmings, viscera, organs, bones, gristle and other things that humans tend not to desire. Should these perfectly nutritious items be buried in a very landfill? As I mentioned above, while Earth’s resources always decline and individuals starve worldwide, should we feed our pets only “human grade” foods and let perfectly edible – and sometimes even more nutritious – by-products be wasted? How is that conscionable or justifiable for either the individual or even the producer?
Road Kill and Euthanized Pets
This shift to “human grade” for pet foods is partly due with a variety of myths who have gotten much more resilient legs compared to they deserve. Lore has spread within the marketplace that road kill and euthanized pets are utilized in pet foods. I have never seen the proof with this outrageous claim and after 20 years surveying ingredient suppliers I have never found a supplier of these. However, fantastic myths easily get life and the more fantastic they may be the more life they have. It’s the intellectually lazy way and what lies on the root of so much misery. Sloppy superficial thinking is what contributes to racism, sexism, religious persecution and wars. People would like to believe the entire world is sharply split into right-wrong, good-evil, black-white. Marketers utilize this by looking to create such sharp distinctions for consumers to easily grab onto: human grade = good/all others = evil; organic = right/all others = wrong; rice = white/corn and wheat = black. Such simplistic and naïve distinctions are quick and easy for advertisers and salespeople to work with to sway public opinion. But nobody stepping back and utilizing sound judgment would ever think that something as complex as health could ever originate from precisely what is or isn’t in a processed bag of food. Reality just isn’t black or white; it really is in shades of gray. Grayness requires a little knowledge, judgment and discernment prior to choices. It’s a bit more work but is exactly what we all must do if the world is ever to get a better place and individuals and pet health are to improve.
Digests, Meals And Other Boogeymen
Many producers attempt to sell a few by claiming they contain no “digests” or “meals.” The idea is the fact that they’re wicked ingredients and consumers should stay away from all products which contain them. A digest is really a product created when enzymes breakdown foods. After you follow a meal and it can be subjected for the acids and enzymes in the digestive tract it becomes a “digest.” Fermented (digested) foods produced from soy, dairy and vegetables are probably the most nutritious coming from all foods. Some “primitive” peoples bury food inside the ground to rot and ferment and then uncover it later to consume it with great savor and nutritional benefit. Scavengers survive, and survive quite nicely, on fermenting, rotting and digesting foods. Meats, organs and trimmings might be likewise digested in vats creating both liquid and dried forms of business canine digests. Being predigested they are highly concentrated and nutritionally efficient. If we are to listen on the taste buds of pets they’d vote yes on digests since they see them highly palatable.
A “meal” is often a food product that has become ground, mixed and dried. Meals are often found in pet foods because these are stable, easily transported, stored and handled. Dried pet foods can be ground, mixed and dried meals. So that makes an interesting dilemma for those who promote their products as having no meals. As far as processed canine ingredients go, meals and digests may have their merits. There are levels of quality as you will find with any ingredient. There may be better options like using fresh whole ingredients, but centering on obtaining a product without digests or meals and feeding it exclusively is not the key to health. Given in sufficient dose, anything could be toxic and dangerous, even water and oxygen. Healthy food is often a mixed bag of variety, form, preparation, quality, balance … and reason, not fear mongering or sensationalism.
There is concern about dead, dying, downed (disabled) or diseased (4D) animals being found in pet foods. Other as opposed to fact that this just won’t “sound” like wholesome food, there may be the concern that these animals may contain drugs or communicable pathogens (even though this can be true of “human grade” ingredients at the same time). My point here will never be to guard unwholesome or dangerous meats but to offer some perspective. As you are learning with this paper, almost any marketing angle employed by commercial dog food manufacturers is more sensationalism than it is substance. What does a carnivore eat inside wild? Is their diet just the strongest, most robust, fastest, healthiest and most elusive prey? Of course not. They seek and primarily feed upon the dead, dying, down and diseased – 4D prey. That’s exactly what humans that are alone within the wild, facing survival, seek as well. Also, consider this, one with the largest markets for 4D meat is racing greyhounds. Not only are 4D meats fed, these are fed raw. Would kennels that will make their living about the athletic performance with their animals feed foods that diseased their superstars or didn’t create results? These owners could buy commercial concoctions not containing 4D meat on the same price or less, however they don’t. There’s a reason.
If a cow breaks a leg within the field and is down, whether it is killed and hauled with a landfill? How about a chicken that was bruised for the processing line? Should they all be taken to a landfill simply because they may be called “4D,” “by-products” or “non- human grade?” What will be the ethic in discarding a creature which has basically sacrificed its life for food? That’s not how nature will it. Nothing is wasted.
But the supposed evilness of “4D” makes great marketing fodder and soap boxes for some who require a cause or possibly a conspiracy to advertise. People don’t like the sound of “4D,” ” by-products,” or “non-human grade.” Producers know this and play to it. Thus begins the race to determine that can be able to market first with “USDA approved” and “human grade” pet food labels. Whether it really has almost anything to do with health isn’t important. Perception and propaganda create profits.
(To put such fear mongering in perspective, consider that over 500,000 people [proportionate numbers in animals], very similar to over five each day in our largest jet liners packed full, die every year because of modern medical measures [doctors, drugs, hospitals]. Yet we hear more fear and commotion about boogeyman food substances that rarely, when, take a life. You figure it.
[Why Modern Medicine Is the Greatest Threat To Life]
To repeat, none on this is to diminish the need for wholesome and nutritious ingredients for pets or humans. But the buzzwords currently bandied about – “human grade,” “4D,” “by-products,” “USDA approved” as well as the like – do not supply the proper criteria for making decisions simply mislead consumers into thinking health and good nutrition are only a phrase on the package away.
What To Do
How do concerned owners looking to cut through every one of the marketing clutter negotiate a path? It is very simple if the basics I have discussed above are kept at heart. Here are tips on the way to implement a brilliant health insurance and feeding philosophy:
1. Learn the way to feed fresh foods. Alternate these with honest unhealthy food fed in variety, and complement these food types with well- designed supplements.
[How To Apologize To Your Pet]
Don’t get all particular and paranoid about balancing nutrients and ingredient do’s and don’ts. Rotate, vary, mix it up and fast once inside a while. Trust as the name indicated, not some marketing hype. (Use the same principles by yourself and your loved ones if you want optimal health too.)
2. If you will need to have human grade or organic foods to your pet, go find the real thing with the grocery meat counter. Take it home, cut it up and feed it raw. Freeze the rest into small meal portions and rehearse them for subsequent meals. Don’t turn the human brain off and go buy “organic” or “human grade” pet foods that for his or her cost could only contain hints with the the real guy. Pet food manufacturers could be clever at marketing, but they may be not magicians. One thing is for sure; they do not buy ingredients and selling them to you for less than what you purchase for them for.
3. Use appropriately designed supplements including Call Of The Wild™ and Wild Things™ to balance raw meals and help to make them safe if you are not skilled at such meal preparation.
4. The best raw, processed food substitute for fresh foods from your grocer is non-thermally processed dry foods – not raw frozen ones. (See Wysong Archetype™.) Use this food for alternate meals so that as top dressing to heat processed foods.
5. Check the credentials with the person making the decisions inside the company whose products you acquire. Don’t go with a plumber for too difficult , nor expect serious healthy products from people.
6. Steer away from brands which are pushing any particular hot buttons for example “natural,” “no by- products,” exotic ingredients (quail eggs, watermelon, persimmons, etc.), organic, omega-3, rice as well as the like. Although these traits would bring some merit to some food (if these are devote at besides “pinch” levels), these are not an end boost the local tissue and in the event the packaged meals are fed exclusively might cause more harm than good.
7. Steer away from brands that fear monger. For example, there is the no corn or wheat scam – “buy our brand; they have no corn or wheat.” (Just saying something has “no” something is enough to scare the non-thinking public on the brand which doesn’t contain the boogeyman ingredient. Profiteers know this and play it towards the hilt within the commercial dog food industry.) The truth is, grains are place in dried nugget foods since they contain the starch necessary for your extrusion process. Starch is basically starch regardless of whether referring from corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, millet or whatever. Grains also help decrease the price of pet foods. They contribute some nutrition however in a correctly formulated meat-based commercial dog food the majority in the nutrients comes in the meat. It is true that animals may develop allergy to corn or wheat but that will happen with rice or another grain or ingredient too. Problems are prevented by varying the dietary plan. That is why Wysong has developed all the different formulations they have and puts them in small portion packs so the foods could be rotated. Of all of the Wysong formulations, those with corn are chosen on almost a 5:1 ratio over everything others and therefore are the diets we obtain the thousands of raves about, even just in those pets supposedly allergic to corn!
This is just not to tout the merit of corn, or any grain in pet food as an example. They are sort of a necessary evil in dried extruded foods and then for any of them brings some benefit if rotated inside diet.
8. Do not feed any product exclusively. Variety is the spice of nutrition and also the route to health.
9. Features to watch out for in the packaged product can be those that bring the item close towards the raw-whole-fresh-natural standard described above: active enzymes, probiotics cultures, natural preservation and protection against food-borne pathogens, proper packaging, intelligent formulation and balance, micronutrient dense, freshly produced, fresh ingredients – and also the expertise to perform all of this, not merely say so with a package or brochure. (Some brands trying to get around the raw food bandwagon make outright false claims about “cold” processing.)
10. The company must be able to intelligently explain what they do with regards to processing, packaging, product preservation and prevention of food-borne pathogens. It is one thing to in other words some ingredient right into a food, quite another to guard it until it’s consumed. For example, Wysong owns its manufacturing facilities so that you can go above industry standard techniques. Special portion pack, light- and oxygen- barrier bags, modified atmosphere flush and natural ingredients to prevent oxidation and food- borne pathogens are part of all Wysong products. (See technical monographs on Packaging, Antioxidants and Wyscin™.)
11. Most important, learn. Support a business that can help you educate yourself on the truth and explains how you can be at least somewhat independent of commercial products. Demand that producers provide proof because of their claims within the form of fine logic, evidence and science. Try to discern the business’s true motives, your pocketbook or your pet’s health. Learn the way to go beyond The Pet Food Ingredient Game.
Wysong R. L. (1993). Rationale for Animal Nutrition. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
Wysong, R. L. (2002, June 19). Why Modern Medicine is The Greatest Threat to Health. The Wysong e-Health letter. Wysong Institute, Midland, MI.
[The Wysong e-Health letter]
Wysong, R. L. (2002). The Truth About Pet Foods. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
Wysong, R. L. (2004). Nutrition is a Serious Health Matter: The serious responsibility of manufacturing and selling. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
Wysong, R. L. (2004). The Thinking Person’s Master Key to Health (60 Minute CD Discussion) Wysong Institute, Midland, MI.
Wysong, R. L. (2005). Comparing Pet Foods Based Upon What Matters: The First Study of their Kind in the Pet Food Industry. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
Wysong, R. L. & Savant, V. (2005). The Case AGAINST Raw Frozen Pet Foods. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
For further reading, or for more info about, Dr Wysong along with the Wysong Corporation check out or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. For resources on healthier foods for people including snacks, and breakfast cereals go to <a href=”http://www.qualifoodacademy.com/”>food policy</a>