I read an article this morning about the ingredients in grain based, dry pet food. Wow! Why would anybody want to feed a product to their dog that contains so much unwanted waste from the human food chain. An understanding of the sourcing of the ingredients would make an interesting topic for 60 minutes.
The rendering industry is basically a secret, unpublished and disguised corner of our human food industry waste chain. The disgusting materials that are cooked at over 250 degrees for up to an hour produce the ingredients for a lot of the major kibbled products. The ingredients for the dry products contain the left over’s from the human production of chickens, lamb, cattle, and swine. The lean muscle is cut off for human consumption and this leaves about 50% left over for processing at a rendering facility and made into meat and bone meal or meat by-products. So basically, what pets eat are lungs, ligaments, bones, blood and intestines. They may also contain spoiled meat from processing plants or supermarkets, road kill, dead, dying, diseased and disabled cattle( 4D), rancid restaurant grease, and euthanized companion animals. It is estimated that 50% of meat meals are contaminated with E-coli bacteria. The rendering process destroys the e-coli bacteria, but it does not eliminate the endotoxin bacteria released when the animal dies. These endotoxins are not tested for by pet food manufacturers.
After the heated batch cools off the grease is skimmed off the top. This is animal fat. The rest is pressed and dried. This is meat and bone meal. Both of these products are then used as spray flavor additives and protein sources for dry pet food manufacturing.
After I read this article I realized the benefits of feeding our raw diet (BARF) patties. When I compare the ingredients between the dry and frozen diets I can see why the results and benefits are so wide spread between the two diets. The old saying that “you are what you eat” in this case is so true. The ability of the domesticated dog and cat to assimilate nutrients from the dry food is a beautiful example of adaptability. We have trained a carnivore to eat like an omnivore and survive on this ingredient sourcing.
Many dry food manufacturers have attempted to improve on the ingredient sources for their dry heat processed food. These improvements have offered better ingredients that utilize more nutrients from the food sources. It is important to read the labels of all pet food to try and eliminate the sources coming from the rendered sources. (In other words-eliminate meat and bone meal and by-products from your choices).
posted by Rob Mueller