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Pet Food Experiment Results


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  1. Debi Cohen

    Susan, this was so cool of an experiment, why bugs/maggots had to get into the act is sad, but the after pictures look so much like the textured soy product that I used to purchase when I thought it was good for us, of course we all know how this product is unidentifiable in any product but does take on the flavors of the ingredients that is added to, imo, these are soy based foods, what say you?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I think all of the meats (not our human grade meat) were fabricated. It was clear with the Pedigree – those large chunks were like little meatloafs, clearly a fabricated meat chunk. But the others it wasn’t so plain to see. But none looked like real meat – and several had a very strange feel to them. Yes – I agree – whether soy based or pea protein based – I believe all of the meat chunks were fabricated pieces.

      1. Susan

        I think it’s not meat but sieten…. Which is all wheat gluten snd probably shouldn’t be given to pets in the first place

  2. Marsha

    Thank you Susan for doing the experiments. I do not buy any wet food for my dogs but I do know others do. I cook for my dogs. Than way I know what is in their food. Especially since one of my dogs has congestive heart failure and is not allowed any salt. It has been very hard to find dry food for him without salt.

  3. T Allen

    Thank you for doing this Susan, sorry it turned out so bad! I learned several things from this. First all the “meat” was fabricated, second that they all are loaded with preservatives and third that very likely one or more products was infested either internally or externally with some kind of fly eggs or maggots since you’ve never had a problem with them before. It would me interesting to try it again now that it’s cold enough where I am to not have a fly issue. Maybe……

  4. Laurie Matson

    What are the odds the pet foods contained maggot eggs that hatched? Did the human meat sample get maggots too?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      The human food meat was discarded on day 4 – before the gnats and maggots happened. So…no, it didn’t. But to be fair, the gnats and maggots happened somewhere between day 4 (after I took pictures) and day 6 – again, after the human grade meat had to be tossed (the smell was honestly horrible).

      1. Hal

        What I’m not clear on is whether you think the pet food was already infested with flea or fly eggs that resulted in the maggots. About a year ago, I saw one maggot in my kitchen and couldn’t figure out where it came from. I keep the cat’s food plate in a room of my apartment furthest from the kitchen.

        Are you sure that’s a picture of a Fancy Feast canned food above? I haven’t fed my cat Fancy Feast in a very long time, but I don’t remember Fancy Feast looking like that. That photo looks more like Weruva’s Paw Lickin’ Chicken. Could that be one of their FF Elegant Medley foods?

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          I really don’t know if they came with maggots or if they became infested in my garage. I live in Florida – and last week it was 80 degrees each day. So certainly bugs are out and about here. But, never have we had maggots in the garbage can. We’ve had gnats, but never gnat maggots. I have another unopened container of one of the foods – I’m considering putting it into an air tight container and seeing what happens. Will keep everyone posted.

          And yes – that was a Fancy Feast brand. Here is the link to the original post with all of the documentation of foods used:

          1. vicki

            Hi Susan, Thanks for doing a very interesting experiment.
            I just wanted to add two things to above discussion;

            1. I’m sure your at a disadvantage being in a humid, semi tropical climate ( although I envy you – here in Freezing MI 🙂
            However, even with the air conditioning, it’s very possible that the gnats got into the garage, from either cracks under the doors/windows or even from a drain, if you have one in the garage. In a climate controlled, or cold setting, perhaps this wouldn’t have been an issue for you?

            2.I happen to know for certain that many products carried in grocery and other stores do indeed have various larvae enclosed in them! I’ve been battling “closet moths” for months due to purchasing grain, and spices both with bugs already in them. I’ve also had the same/similar experience with purchased pet treats, and years ago with bird seed/treats and etc.
            I consistently put any purchased grains in a freezer we have in the garage before putting them in the house, because this problem in so prevalent here in the Detroit Metro area. I don’t know if it’s related to where we are, or if others also have had this experience?

            Thanks again for all you do for us Pet Parents! 🙂
            Vicki – In Detroit MI.

  5. Laurie Matson

    Just was wondering if the pet food left the manufacturing plants with maggot eggs already on them!!

  6. Johanna

    All I can say is, yuck! Thanks, Susan, for undergoing this experiment and sharing it with all of us. I’m horrified, though not surprised, at the lack of spoilage from the processed pet foods, which just goes to show how loaded these foods are with dangerous chemical preservatives. It also makes me wonder how much of what they’re trying to pass off as “meat” is actually TVP (texturized vegetable protein) or soy-based “meat”. I’m a vegetarian and agree with Debi, it looks suspiciously like imitation meat product to me. I know you said it’s not likely you’d be willing to do it, but I’d love to see somebody attempt this experiment in bug-proof containers. I’m thinking completely sealed, air-tight wouldn’t give you an accurate result to see if there are indeed fly eggs in the food, as the closed environment would lead to quicker spoilage/mold and the anaerobic environment may kill the (alleged) eggs before they hatch. Perhaps a coffee filter secured with a rubber band? Anybody willing to give this a go? 🙂

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Coffee filter sounds like it might work. One of the pet foods I used was buy one get one (I didn’t really want the extra, but now it might come in handy). I’m thinking I will try it again with just the one food to try to find a bug free way to do this. Haven’t got my nerve up yet – waiting till after Thanksgiving might be a better plan 🙂

      1. Johanna

        Good idea 😉 I just had another passing thought- since you said the rest of the unused pet food was in the garbage with the maggots, perhaps the “gravy” might be the part containing the (alleged) fly eggs? Maybe an experiment with the foods “straight from the can” would give more accurate read as to whether or not there really are eggs in the food? Anyway, just a thought!

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          I wondered that too. Tiny maggots were in the food sample containers (those that were rinsed). And the huge maggots were in the garbage can. I did think if I do it again with this one sample left, I’m not going to rinse anything. But I’m still waiting till after Thanksgiving…just in case.

  7. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

    Thanks Susan for conducting this experiment. It is so obvious that the pet “feed” was fabricated “meat ”

    As for what goes on at these pet food manufacturing plants, I really think an under-cover operation needs to insure, at ALL the major manufacturer’s. It is the only way to truly know how all meat & other ingredients are being handled. This needs to be blown open, just like what was done with the tobacco industry.

  8. Hilary Olson

    Thank you For the results of what must have been a very smelly test. I did the airtight container with Fancy Feast by mistake. I left it out of the fridge instead of in the fridge My Nose led me to it 2 days later and the lid was pushed up and detached on one side. I am afraid I just pitched it container and all.
    Thank You also for Sooty’s In Memoriam.

  9. Monica

    That horrible maggot infestation you had happened once, and only once a few years ago, in our outside garbage can within 2-5 days (not sure now) after putting in cantaloupe rinds wrapped in one plastic bag. That was the only food in there as anything else I always dispose of in the garbage disposal. Maggots are just fly larvae and once a fly lays their eggs, it only takes 24 hours in the right environment to hatch…yes, I looked it up. So that’s probably what happened to you too. From then on I always double bagged my garbage no matter what’s in there!

  10. Lisa

    Wow Susan, thank you for doing this. I can’t imagine such a disgusting sight.

    I don’t know about maggots, however, I can tell you that I work out of various Petco stores and I often see moths flying around, where they are coming from – who knows.

    Thanks again for all you do and happy Thanksgiving.

  11. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    Susan I know this question has nothing to do with this feed, but I have been researching all over to find information on a dog food, (it’s a new dog food) call Allprovide. It is recommended by Judy Morgan, DVM who I trust and is very knowledgeable about dog foods. I can’t find any information on Allprovide. I am feeding Orijen right now, just ordered Evermore (which is on your list) and I will be mixing it with my Orijen. I have five dogs, just can’t afford to go all raw. I have heard that Allprovide is cheaper. But is it a good quality? IF you know anything could you tell us. Also, I always purchase your Food List, when does the new one come out. Thank you

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