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Is the Petsumer Getting Burned with Grilled?

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  1. B Dawson

    I just re-watched Food, Inc. and was wondering if anyone has attempted a similar film about the pet food industry.

    Even some of the premium brands of pet food aren’t dropping whole chickens, fresh apples and perfect carrots into hoppers and kibbling it up, although that’s what you’ll see on the wrapper. While those ingredients may actually be in the food, the graphic representation is also misleading isn’t it? Celebrity chefs are shown in their kitchens chopping up real meat and sliding it into their dog’s bowl to hawk their brand of pet food. Misleading or marketing? While the examples you provide are clear cut, the line does become subjective at some point and I think that is what is holding back enthusiastic enforcement. Large companies like Purina and Del Monte are only too happy to sue for unfair treatment.

    I subscribe to Pet Food Industry e-News, PetFood Forum and couple other trade rags and it is disturbing what is being done to ingredients. It’s nothing more that molecular manipulation to maximize the usage of raw materials. I closed my holistic pet supply because I became so disheartened with not just the manufacturers but also with the consumers. As you pointed out in your article, at 42¢ per pound how good can the ingredients possibly be? Anyone seeing that price on a pound of meat in the butcher case – heck that price per pound for hot dogs – would immediately be suspicious.

    Time to convince Morgan Spurlock to do a pet food documentary, yes?

  2. di gleich

    ALL those pet foods ARE misleading! I have learned enough from all your hard dedicated work to know better than just look at the advertising pictures… READ the LABELS and see for yourself what is actually in there!!!!

    This goes for people food too!!!

    What the companies wont do to try and fool us into buying their products.
    It’s all about money, power and greed. Not our best interests…. which is sad to say.

  3. Peter

    Nicely written. And you make a good point: that if consumers only exercised a smidge of common sense… they’d realize that paying less than two quarters for a pound of food (as they insist upon, paying so little) would quickly exclude real “meat” from being included in the recipe. Grilled or not.

  4. Pat P.

    Misleading advertising is all over the place–not just pet foods, human food, too.
    I am not duped (that I know of, or most of the time), by their false claims, yet, I know that many people are–even those intelligent in other ways. I just had to tell a friend, recently, not to believe all the advertising hype on foods, just the ingredients list–if you can even do that. She, surprisingly, believed claims that I thought were ridiculous. Of course, I used to be more gullible than I am now about foods, after extensive research. Sometimes, almost everything seems suspect!
    These companies know that they can get away with it, and that it works with a lot of people. They should not be allowed to deceive the public like they do, but they are.
    There SHOULD be a documentary about the pet food Industry. Of course, the people who really needed to know, often wouldn’t even see it. If it was well made, I, certainly, would go. What a boon to pet owners that could be!

  5. Regina

    Some people have no concept of the front of the package being very different than the back (and sides). They just look at the front of the package, and that’s all they need to see. I was talking to someone who used Purina Pro Plan “Shredded blend” dry food. This person actually thought those “shred” pieces were actually pieces of shredded chicken and not processed kibble in a unique shape.

    1. Amanda

      You’ve gotta love the people who think that stuff is real meat. A woman practically vomited when I told her that Royal Canin used reconstructed meat to make the perfect chunky morsels in their Feline Instinctive wet food. Its more like making a chicken nugget rather than diced chicken breast which is what everyone thinks.

  6. g.r.r.

    Just curious, but is there a stamp/tag/etc that shows the food is safe, recomemded, etc? Think along the lines of ‘Florida Orange Juice’.

    It seems like a smart thing to do is come up with a branding, that initially, you give to all of the companies that have decent food with NOTHING from China, no false advertising, etc
    and in return, you obtain a promise from them to notify you IF these change. i.e. you have the opportunity to pull the sticker if these conditions change.
    In addition, they agree that they will display the logo on their bag in the front.

    Ideally, you will require that they also list where items come from.

  7. g.r.r.

    BTW, Love your work. Please keep it up.

  8. Ellie

    Basically the pet food industry is being allowed to use whatever leftover food parts they find to make pet food and then they add synthetic vitamins (manufactured in China) to make the mix meet the “standards” that the pet food companies make for themselves.
    Sadly, Americans are far too trusting of the FDA in thinking that they are looking out for the citizen’s best interests. When it comes down to it, when there are millions and even billions of dollars to be made there is no real honesty or the use of ethics in the decision making process. It is all about the bottom line. The large pet food companies are not owned by individuals that are concerned about producing the best possible product. The owners are the share holders that are expecting to make a profit no matter how it is achieved.
    Our media oriented society is far too easily sold a bill of goods by the fancy Madison Ave advertizing agencies that use pictures of healthy food and puppies to advertize their trash.

  9. chuck linker

    Every dog owner should read Science Diet/Hills ingredients.

    That would change their feeding those 2 brands inmediately.

    Vets suggest it beccause they get free food from Hills.

    Folks don’t buy what they should. They never will because “it’s just for the dog”. Why don’t adults say that about their children? “It’s just for my kids !”

    Beneful does not have one veggie pictured inside the bag or can.

    Pedigree is appealing because of the bright yellow bag.

    Some unfortunate dogs have for 14 ywears eating the same thing all their lives.

    Yes, one can choose and wean their cogs on another goodiet.

    Dogs will eat most anything. Why does the owner say “My dog loves ‘Ol Roys or Iams”. They are not dumb as the owners are. Dogs will eat most anything resembling dog fod– dry or wet.

    It’s the poor canines that suffer and die younger than than they should.

    1. Peter

      Science Diet also makes deals with shelters, providing them food in exchange for promotion. That includes placing display of Science Diet in a conspicuous place (right in the lobby), and giving a bag of food to each customer when they adopt. The shelter must use Science Diet for the animals in their care, and cannot use or promote any other product. The animal is “already used to” Science Diet, the customer will be told. If you donate premium/natural food to them, the shelter will not be allowed to use it, and at best, will donate it to another charity. Science Diet gives them posters and banners and tags that hang on the cages. You can’t blame the shelters… many are desperate for contribution. But the whole process is so cynical.

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