We’ve taken on a little pet food experiment. With the use of preservatives and fabricated meats rampant in pet food, I wondered…would a meat from a pet food mold/spoil in the same way real meat would? Would a pet grade/feed grade meat mold/spoil in the same way human grade meat would?
Here’s our experiment…
Eight different pet foods were purchased from Petsmart and Publix grocery on 11/16/15; seven wet pet foods and one semi-moist refrigerated pet food – four cat foods, four dog foods. All of the pet foods chosen are manufactured in ‘pet food facilities’ thus all pet foods are considered pet grade or feed grade. Each brand, best by date, and lot number was documented (listed below).
Each wet pet food was opened, and the contents poured into a stainless steel colander. Individually, the pet foods were thoroughly rinsed with tap water to rinse off any preservative and to separate meat chunks from other ingredients. The colander was washed with soap and water between each pet food. After rinsing, the sample section removed was blotted dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
The semi-moist refrigerated pet food included small pieces of cooked chicken. With this pet food there was no need to rinse. Pieces of chicken were removed from the bag and placed directly into the sample container.
Also included in our experiment is a sample of human grade Non-GMO Project Verified chicken. This meat was purchased raw (whole chicken) and roasted in my oven on 11/15/15. Meat was removed from the bone same day and immediately refrigerated. On the same day the pet food samples were placed into test containers, so was the non-GMO human grade meat; slightly shredded to be similar to the pet food samples.
All pet food meat samples and the human grade meat sample were placed in food storage containers – plastic base with glass covers (they are upside down as we wanted the space to spread the meat across each container – minimal bunching of samples). These containers are not air-tight. All samples are being stored at room temperature.
Foods included in this experiment…
Perfect Portions Soft Loaf Chicken Recipe Cat Food
Best By 8/14/17
Lot 534A1ARKF1 17:32E
Divine Duos Savory Pate Topped with Cuts in Gravy with Chicken Pate & Diced Turkey Cat Food
Best By July 2016
Lot 09:28 NP2150
Healthy Gourmet Flaked Chicken Entrée Cat Food
Best By June 2, 2018
Lot 1852 U 61XCM4
Purely Fancy Feast Natural White Meat Chicken Entrée in a Delicate Broth
Best By June 2017
Delectable Delights for Dogs Chow Down Chowder with Chicken, Peas & Carrots in a Tasty Gravy Dog Food
Best By 6/18/16
Lot DDD434757 RP54
Vital Grain Free Chicken, Beef, Salmon & Egg Recipe Dog Food
Best By 2/24/16
Chopped Blends with Chicken, Liver, Peas, Brown Rice & Sweet Potatoes Dog Food
Best By March 2017
Lot 52521162 L2KH30212
Choice Cuts in Gravy with Chicken & Rice Dog Food
Best By 8/15/17
Lot 534BKKKCE 2332MG
Human Grade Meat
Murray’s Whole Chicken raw, Non-GMO Project Verified
Some Notes: It was interesting to me that the meat from the Fancy Feast cat food and the Natural Balance dog food felt…stiff…cardboard-ish. In touching the meats in all of these pet foods, these two foods felt significantly different. Most of the rest of the meats felt soft, some almost spongy.
The Wellness cat food did not separate well with rinsing, especially the bottom third of the can.
How this experiment came to be…
About a year and a half ago, I purchased a loaf of bread from the deli at a local grocery. After consuming about half of the loaf, somehow the remaining half loaf of bread got lost in the pantry. We found it a month later. But…the bread was still reasonable soft and had no mold on it. Zero mold. So we decided to keep it around just to see if it ever would mold. A year and a half later, the bread is hard but never molded. I was stunned. My thoughts went to…what chemicals are in this bread to prevent it from molding? And then my thoughts went to pet food and this experiment was born.
So…what is your guess will happen in this experiment? Will the human grade meat show signs of spoilage first or will the pet food meats? Will the pet food meats ever show visible signs of spoilage (think pet food preservatives)?
My prediction…the human grade meat will be the first to show visible signs of spoilage. I also am guessing that some of the pet food meats will be exactly like the loaf of bread…they will look picture perfect for a long, long time. We’ll see.
As spoilage occurs…I will post updates.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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