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The Pet Food Consumer’s Mantra: Food, Not Feed

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  1. Michele L Tremblay

    Food safety regulation in general has never been led by human or animal health but by profit and whose lobbyists or friends in Congress are the most powerful. Excellent insights are in this article in this week’s New Yorker: It’s clear that citizen legal action is virtually our only tool.

    1. Dianne

      that is a very interesting read. I wonder if he would be interested in pet food lawsuits.

  2. Herb Neu

    Here is my problem. In the past, we were rescuers of dogs and cats, either providing foster care or permanent homes. Today, in our 70th years, we now have 3 dogs, 30-50 lbs., and 2 cats. We do our very best to buy human grade food for them. But, living on a small, fixed income, and with no butcher shops nearby, or anywhere within a hundred or so miles, we generally provide raw store-bought beef liver, beef intestines, turkey hearts/gizzards/livers, and marrow bones (2 of our dogs for some reason are allergic to chicken). Marrow bones (which used to cost nothing, but now cost $2 a lb.), are used for making bone broth in our crockpot, to which we add some vegetables and coconut oil. Since even the organ meats are highly expensive, we supplement them with kibble (Fromm or Grandma Mae’s) which cost $55-$65 for 25 lbs each month even though 35% to 45% is pure starch. The commercially sold “raw foods” at the pet stores cost as much or more than human food. The pet food industry is incredibly profitable for the manufacturers and it seems they cater to emotions and not budgets when it comes to genuine pet nutrition. Just wondering if you might have some suggestions for po folks like us.

    1. Kelley

      There are virtually 100 comments responding to the article “FDA’s Warning to Purina Plant” and so many people reference sick pets. I have 2 dogs. Together they weigh 30lbs (one third of your’s). Here’s my problem. I’ve been chasing ‘round the PF Dilemma Tree for 8 years, and have tried every format of diet possible. One dog is very old, had pancreatitis twice (a diet mistake), both can’t eat fat, chicken or fish. Of the two commercial PFs I depended upon (which backed up home cooking at the time), one company stopped making a baked kibble, and the other (a base) reformulated creating a new problem. In general I spend my food budget $ on human grade for the dogs and limit mine (at least I can eat peanut butter and can give up meat, wink!). Unfortunately as the food allowance dwindles I need the most efficient diet possible. Then I read (tho I already knew) what’s in this article.

      “And then we have the concern of multiple mycotoxins present in a pet food. The cumulative effect – as described by science – magnifies the risk (as compared to the single mycotoxin risk)… .” “One of the deadliest concerns of pet food is the risk of mycotoxin contamination. It was alarming to learn that the agency has no maximum level established for numerous mycotoxins as well as the cumulative or synergistic effect of multiple mycotoxins in pet food.” “Veterinarians, furthermore, often overlooked mycotoxins as the cause of chronic diseases such as liver and kidney fibrosis, infections resulting from immunosuppression and cancer. These findings suggest that mycotoxin contamination in pet food poses a serious health threat to pet species.”

      The people I know call me an alarmist! They say owners have fed PF for decades!! They raise generations of our breed on some of the worst. But you know what? My dogs aren’t sick. One is outliving all his generational counterparts. So if I go out of my way to avoid chronic illnesses for myself (and granted peanut butter isn’t helping) then why shouldn’t I do the same thing for my dogs? Otherwise I’m just as guilty as the PFI! Thinking that pets (animals) should be eating something less. Especially knowing what we all do at this point! So instead I have to do what I can. Or maybe I shouldn’t have the responsibility of their care in the first place. I didn’t know 15 years ago what a predicament this horrible PF issue would become. And most pet owners don’t either, in the beginning. But the more we read, the more we learn. And the more responsibility exists!

      The next milestone in PF advocacy must be to change the fundamental concept of what pet food should be from FEED (the short term diet of livestock) to FOOD. Yes the concept really IS that simple. Just get rid of the toxins and contamination and we might get somewhere. We ONLY want to keep our pets healthy. It isn’t Rocket Science. What I’ve paid for in safe food, I haven’t paid in Vet bills, or prescription diets, or medications, or treating allergies and ear problems, and on down the line.

      The best solution I’ve come up with at this stage is raw (HPP treated). The most cost effective for the level of nutrition delivered, without all the other worries, and because mine can only eat beef. About $22 a month, augmented with a little human food filler. The product has ground up bone too. I just can’t home cook for that price anymore or feed in any other way.

      1. Dianne

        I feel like I am in the same predicament. Pet ownership is becoming out of reach for anyone who wants to give the best care they can.

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