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The Difference Between Human Grade and Feed Grade


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  1. T Allen

    Excellent explanation, as usual. This will definitely help people ask the right questions and decipher the misleading answers!

  2. marlene salter

    does anyone know anything about Earthborn Holistic dog food. My Yorkie died Oct.1, 15 of cancer & am thinking of getting a rescue dog but won’t feed him the poison you buy in the grocery stores & found Earthborn & have never found any recalls on this food.

    1. Trouble

      I’ve only ever heard good things about Earthborn, and actually know a couple who feeds their dogs Earthborn and is very happy with it. To be honest, I haven’t personally done any research on the food, the company that makes it, their ingredients/where they’re sourced, etc etc, so this is just what I’ve heard from others (during my long tenure in the pet industry, lol). However, I hate being the barer of bad news on this, but… Whether or not a pet food company, or any of their products, have had any recalls….means next to nothing. As you can learn via one of the many articles on this site, it’s very rare for pet food to be recalled – unless it happens to be a raw food… then, hold the phone, call the presses, your pet is going to die because it’s.. O. M. G… RAW! Yikes!! Lol. Sorry. Anyways, as I said, it’s very seldom that the FDA actually recalls any pet food, especially the ones that really should be recalled (those companies pad their pockets, so why would they recall them…hmmm…). So, simply because the Earthborn brand, or any of their products, have never been recalled for any reason, doesn’t mean that it’s a good food. I’m not saying the food isn’t good, but I’m not saying that it is good either, based on the lack of recalls they’ve had.

      Honestly, I would much rather see a particular product, or particular lot # for a particular product that a company makes, voluntarily recalled because they found out, after shipping the product, that maybe….the food had a slightly elevated level of Vitamin D, or something of that nature – something that is most likely completely harmless to our pets, yet the company steps forward, admits their mistake, apologizes, and does the right thing…pulls the product from store shelves or out of DC warehouses, etc, just to be on the safe side. But, just to be clear… I’d rather a company have no recalls – legitimately no recalls – but… unfortunately, it seems like the majority of the time, the reason pet food companies have no recalls…is simply because the FDA has no desire to get off their asses, and do anything about the pet foods, or treats, or other edible products, that have something wrong with them or whatever, that would warrant a recall. …I hope what I’m saying makes sense. 🙁 It makes sense in my head… Lol. Doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s making sense…going from brain, to fingers, to this post. Haha.

      But, if you were just looking for an opinion on the food/the brand, as opposed to my long rant about recalls on pet foods… then my opinion is: Do research, call the number on their website, or on the back of the bags, and ask the questions that Susan has listed here, or that are listed in lots of other places around this website. Or… for easier access to those questions:

      1. Are the ingredients USDA inspected AND approved? Don’t accept the “Yes, our ingredients or products are processed in USDA inspected facilities…” (Basically same thing Susan mentioned up above, lol.) Who cares about the USDA approved facility, if the ingredients all came from China and could be full of melamine, right?!? Lol. If they won’t answer this one, fundamental question, about their ingredients or products, then you can consider the conversation over, and thank them for their time. That’s just my opinion anyways. A company that actually uses good quality, human-grade ingredients (even if they’re not necessarily produced in a human-grade facility……yet – that could change, now that there’s an actual human-grade definition) will be very proud of that fact, and will gladly share that information with you. They will most definitely want you to know that their ingredients, their products, are a cut above the rest. 🙂

      2. Where do you get your supplements and/or vitamins from? This is another tricky question, because a lot of companies will give some round-about answer, claiming that, “we get some of our supplements/vitamins from Australia/New Zealand, or we get some from here, or there…” Very rarely do they ever want to come right out and say they get them from China and such. So, I’d come right out and ask if they get them from anywhere like China, Japan, or… I think India was mentioned to me once before, as a common source of supplements/vitamins (a source you’d probably want to avoid, lol). If they claim that certain supplements/vitamins can ONLY be obtained from places like China or Japan, so of course that’s where they get them… then I’d personally be done with the conversation, because that’s a bunch of bologna. There are places here in the U.S, or in Canada, or other very reputable locations (Europe and such, if I’m not mistaken) to get their supplements from… they just choose not to, because… Hey, China is cheaper! Lol. If they say they get all of their supplements and such from the U.S., then I’d ask what states they get them in. If they can’t tell you that, then I’d personally be wondering how truthful they’re being about that information. …They know they come from the U.S, but don’t know where from within the U.S.? Considering how opposed people are to ingredients coming from China, this seems like information you’d have readily available, to share with customers who are calling and asking about this kinda thing. But, that’s just me…Maybe I’m crazy. Lol.

      Anyways those are the two big questions (in my opinion) that I always ask pet food manufacturers, before ever putting their products into my dog’s body. If their answers aren’t to my liking – meaning they don’t use quality ingredients that I trust or feel are safe for my pet – then I move on and try to find something else. 🙂

      So, back to the opinion thing… I’ve heard the food is very good, never really heard anything bad about it. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a good quality food either. None of the sources that I heard this from – that it was a good food – actually did any digging and all that, to find out exactly how good the food is. Their opinions were based solely on their experiences with it and whatnot…. Hope this helps you, and hope it didn’t over-help too much. Lol.

      1. marlene salter

        Thank you so very much for the wonderful information & for taking the time to provide me with it

  3. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    My vet recently (just the other day) recommended a food called, “Zignature” and she gave me a couple samples. A Lamb, a duck and a kangaroo sample. My dog has been dealing with allergies for over a year, red skin, scaly and flaky, looks like he has bad dandruff every where he goes he leaves little white flakes. His skin is so dry and hot when you touch him. He has a urine like smell, he chews and licks all the time. His ears also have been crusty and dry. He has been to the dog dermatologist, he gets two shots a week, he has taken Apoquel, Cefpodoxime, Ketoconazole & steroids. For his ears he has had synoptic drops, Malaseb Ear flush and a couple others. He has had Stella & Chewy’s Rabbit dog food, Mulligan’s Stew dog food, Just Food for Dog’s kangaroo and sweet potato, Just Food for Dogs venison & quinoa, Evermore Pet Food, which he is on right now. These are all quality foods, I’m willing to try this Zignature, just wondered if anyone knows about it

      1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

        Thank you Nancy, I think I will give this a try.

  4. Bambi Jackson

    We feed raw, but it should be noted that some raw pet food manufacturers (maybe all?) have mixes that include green tripe. The healthy benefits of green tripe for dogs is pretty well established, but the moment a facility uses green tripe it will never be considered human grade capable because green tripe (unlike that bleached washed stuff found in a supermarket) is not considered safe for human consumption (and I certainly wouldn’t want to eat it ::smile:: ) Hence in such situations a facility making every effort to source human grade, no 3D animals, etc. except that they used green tripe would be suspect from the way this article is written. I don’t believe you meant to paint all manufacturing facilities with that broad ‘unacceptable’ brush but that is how this is written and I thought I’d point out that with the best of intentions for our pets we will feed them ‘non-human grade’ food because it is in their best interests. Thanks for all your hard work!

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      I have heard of green tripe but I don’t know much about it. I know it is the lining of a cow stomach and not fit for human’s but good for dogs. I have not seen any food that has green tripe in it, I currently feed Evermore, I have fed Allprovide, Stella & Chewys and no tripe. I don’t think. How do we get this tripe. And your grammar was fine! I didn’t see any problems. Thank you for all you information.

      1. Bambi Jackson

        Hi Sherrie,
        Actually looking it up Stella & Chewy’s does sell various types of tripe although theirs isn’t fresh (naturally) I suspect the main important ingredients (those digestive enzymes, probiotics, etc.) are probably not harmed by freeze drying. I wonder if canning it leaves the benefits intact.
        We’re personally dealing with Ross-Wells from up in Northern Wisconsin, USA (they make Eureka raw, originally for Iditarod mushers & HiPro Plus) and their mixes have it in there. They also sell green tripe in both in 50# frozen blocks or 5# frozen tubes, so that happens to be my source. I do know that one of our members is quite adept at finding sources for pretty much everything else but cannot find a source of tripe he likes as well as theirs. My suspicion is that tripe, like anything, if let to sit gets ‘stinky-er’ and in the case of tripe that probably is a VERY short amount of time so maybe it is just a volume thing. Depending upon where you are there may be a co-op ordering from them in your area.
        There are a few different articles online easily available about the benefits of feeding green tripe and I *believe* (have heard) that green tripe can be found in some commercial foods but since I don’t feed them I cannot attest personally. I got into feeding raw because of my boy’s extreme grain allergies so pretty much all kibble & many/most processed treats are a no-go.

        1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

          Thank you for getting back to me Bambi, I live in West Michigan, may be I can look into your source for green tripe. I did find some dog treats with green tripe, VE-Vital Essentials has freeze dried green tripe in small bites, it is designed as a treat for your dog. I bought a bag, at least it will be something. Appreciate your reply and your information.

  5. Bambi Jackson

    Please forgive the grammar, I find myself unable to fix it. Sorry!

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