Ingredients We Never Use

Perhaps more important to our ingredient list is the list of ingredients that we will never use, like artificial flavours, artificial colours, artificial preservatives, wheat, corn, by-products, animal digests, beet pulp, gluten meal, or the very misleading “natural flavours”. Below is a list of ingredients you will likely find in most competing brands.

 

Ingredient (purpose)

AAFCO Definition

Comment

Animal By-product Meal (protein)

Rendered product form animal tissues, exclusive of any added hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. It shall not contain added extraneous materials not provided for by this definition. This ingredient definition is intended to cover those individual rendered animal tissue products that cannot meet the criteria as set forth elsewhere in this section. This ingredient is not intended to be used to label a mixture of animal tissue products.

“As may occur unavoidably in good processing practices”.

 “Intended to cover those individual rendered animal tissue products that cannot meet the criteria as set forth elsewhere”.

 

 

Animal Digest (flavouring)

Material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind or flavor(s), it must correspond thereto.

“Might occur unavoidably in good factory practice”.

This is basically an inexpensive cooked broth made from unspecified animal parts and will vary from bag to bag.

Almost certainly contains rendered pets.

Beet Pulp (sweetener)

A digestible fiber residue derived from extracting sugar from sugar beets. Although containing little to no sugar, there is also very little nutritional value and is used to help harden stools.

Promoted as fiber, but in reality is sugar residue. Little nutritional value.

Brewers Rice (carbohydrate)

Small fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. Also less commonly called Chipped Rice or Broken Rice.

Rice sections that have been discarded from human food manufacturing of beer, and contain little if any nutritional value.

BHA (preservative)

Butylated hydroxytoluene – chemical preservative. Total content of preservatives not more than 0.02% of fat or oil content including essential (volatile) oil content of food.

Artificial preservative linked to disease.

BHT (preservative)

Butylated hydroxytoluene – chemical preservative. Total content of preservatives not more than 0.02% of fat or oil content including essential (volatile) oil content of food.

Artificial preservative linked to disease.

Corn Gluten Meal (binder carbohydrate)

Dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm. It may contain fermented corn extractives and/or corn germ meal.

There is little, if any, nutritional value in this glue-like substance. Dangerous when toxic ingredients like BHA/BHT are included, as these substances will stay in your pet’s system longer.

Corn Grits (carbohydrate)

Medium sized hard flinty portions of ground corn containing little or none of the bran or germ. May also appear in the ingredient list of mixed feed as Hominy Grits.

“Little or none of the bran or germ” means little or no nutritional value.

Ground Yellow Corn (carbohydrate)

Entire corn kernel ground or chopped. It must contain not more than 4% foreign material. May also appear in the ingredient list of a mixed feed as Corn Meal or Corn Chop.

Yellow corn is one of the lowest nutritional varieties of corn.

 Further, corn is a high allergen for dogs and cats.

Ethoxyquin (preservative)

Chemical preservative. 0.015% in or on feed.

Artificial preservative linked to disease. Not as common as it was a few years ago in pet foods, but still used. Originally developed to keep the rubber in tires from oxidizing.

Fish Meal (protein)

The clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil. It must contain not more than 10% moisture. If it contains more than 3% salt (NaCl), the amount of salt must constitute a part of the brand name, provided that in no case must he salt content of this product exceed 7%.

Does not indicate what type of fish, and therefore can vary from bag to bag.

 If not the whole fish may not contain many of the fat-soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids required by your pet.

Fish Oil (fat)

Oil from rendering whole fish or cannery waste.

Non-specific. Why not state the type of fish used? Can vary from bag to bag. Be careful of the “cannery waste” . . . 

Meat (protein)

The clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the esophagus; with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of skin, sinew, nerves and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.

This is animal meat. But, does the label say what kind of meat or just “meat”? Without a descriptor, can vary from bag to bag.

You could also just be getting sinew, nerves and blood vessels.

 

Meat And Bone Meal (protein)

Rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in small amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

“May occur unavoidably in good processing practices”

From what origin? Almost for certain this contains rendered dogs and cats as well as 4D sources.

This is basically the definition of “meat meal” with bone included.

Meat By-products (protein)

Non-rendered clean parts other than meat derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs.

From what origin? Almost for certain this contains rendered dogs and cat.  Can vary from bag to bag.

You are feeding your pet brain, blood, and intestines.

Any guesses as to why the kidneys and livers are not being used for human consumption?

Meat Meal (protein)

Rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

“May occur unavoidably in good processing practices” – this is a very suspect statement repeated throughout. Unavoidable due to what conditions? What is considered good processing practices?

From what origin? Almost for certain this contains rendered dogs and cats. Can vary from bag to bag.

Natural Flavours (flavouring)

Natural is defined as “feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.”

Natural flavours of what? Why not be specific? Will vary from bag to bag.

A common industry trick of re-naming “Animal Digest”.

 

 

Peanut Hulls (carbohydrate)

Consists of the outer hull of the peanut shell.

Cheap filler; very low nutritional value.

Dried Potato Products (carbohydrate)

Dried residue of potato pieces, peeling, culls, etc., obtained from the manufacture of processed potato products for human consumption.

Left-overs from processing potatoes for human consumption.

Powdered Cellulose (binder)

Purified, mechanically disintegrated cellulose prepared by processing alpha cellulose obtained as a pulp from fibrous plant materials.

A fancy name for sawdust, used to help bind the food together. Very cheap filler.

Poultry (protein)

The clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of poultry or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.

Nonspecific. To be of good quality, it should be descriptive: Chicken or Turkey. Otherwise, contents will vary from bag to bag.

Poultry By-products (protein)

Must consist of non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice. If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, the name must correspond thereto. 

“Except in such trace amounts”.

Heads and feet are allowed.

“If product bears a name” . . . doesn’t have to. Will vary from bag to bag.

Poultry By-product Meal (protein)

Ground rendered clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feather, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

“Except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably”.

Necks, feet and intestines are allowed.

Poultry Meal (protein)

Dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts of whole carcasses of poultry or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails. It shall be suitable for use in animal food t it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.

To be of good quality, it should be descriptive: Chicken Meal or Turkey Meal.

 

Rice Gluten Meal (binder carbohydrate)

No AAFCO definition.

 

Exactly the same process for corn gluten meal, but with rice. Used by some upscale pet foods, as rice is higher quality than corn. However, the gluten meal is acting primarily as a binder, not a carbohydrate.

Sodium Nitrate (preservative colorant)

Preservative & color fixative in canned pet food containing fish; meat; and fish and meat by-products.

Artificial preservative and colour.

Wheat Flour (carbohydrate)

Consists principally of wheat flour together with fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ, and the offal from the “tail of the mill.” This product must be obtained in the usual process of commercial milling and must contain not more than 1.5% crude fiber.

“Tail of the mill” is a fancy term for the sweepings of leftovers after the process run.

Wheat is another high allergen for dogs and cats.

Wheat Germ Meal (protein)

Consists chiefly of wheat germ together with some bran and middlings or shorts. It must contain not less than 25% crude protein and 7% crude fat.

Wheat germ + middlings or shorts.

Wheat is another high allergen for dogs and cats.

Wheat Middlings (carbohydrate)

Consists of fine particles of wheat bran, wheat shorts, wheat germ, wheat flour, and some of the offal from the “tail of the mill”. This product must be obtained in the usual process of commercial milling and must contain not more than 9.5% crude fiber.

Wheat is another high allergen for dogs and cats.

“Tail of the mill” is a fancy term for the sweepings of leftovers after the process run.

Wheat Shorts (carbohydrate)

Consists of fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat flour, and the offal from the “tail of the mill”. This product must be obtained in the usual process of commercial milling and must contain not more than 7% crude fiber.

Wheat is another high allergen for dogs and cats.

“Tail of the mill” is a fancy term for the sweepings of leftovers after the process run.