A sustainable foods-oriented, consumer advocacy organization, The Cornucopia Institute, recently released a scathing report on commercial pet foods. Of course, most of what they found will not be shocking to the readers of this blog. It is interesting to have such a group back up many of my concerns and come up with a few of their own.
The report starts by exposing the regulations that pertain to pet food manufacturing. It shows the loopholes in these regulations and how the pet food companies exploit them to hide the poor quality ingredients used and the toxins permitted in pet foods. The report emphasizes that pet food is basically the dumping ground for food that is unfit for human consumption.
Next, the report takes a close look at pet food ingredients. It gives details about toxins such as carrageenan, synthetic preservatives (which may not be listed on the ingredient list), BPA, sodium selenite, and food dyes.
The report exposes unsavory ingredients such as rendered meat byproducts which may contain dead cats and dogs. It looks at inappropriate ingredients like grains and carbohydrates. It even takes on pea protein meal which is a poor quality protein containing an incomplete amino acid profile. It is also a prime target for melamine adulteration.
An interesting thing about this Cornucopia Institute report is that they come at the critique from an environmental point of view. They point out one particular ingredient, forage fish. These are small fish that serve as food for larger fish. In part because of the pet food industry, these fish are being over-harvested which endangers world fish populations.
The report next looks at the marketing ploys used to fool consumers about so called organic pet foods. The report ends with a section on the virtues of homemade diets recommending Dr. Karen Becker’s diet book (a book that I also recommend).
Of course, the best way to avoid all this nonsense is to feed a balanced raw diet.
If you still feed conventional pet food, you must read this report.