Environmental and Health Concerns of Pet Food
The environmental effects on the food we eat is a major concern, especially given that considerable amounts of pesticides, fertilizers, and pollution are entering the food chain and eventually ending up on the dinner table. Pet owners are doubly concerned given the fact that their beloved pets are also becoming victims of the environmental changes affecting the pet food supply chain. As a result, many companies and pet owners are working together to bring high quality, safe, cost-effective, and eco-friendly food to their pets through embracing science and revolutionary techniques in food design and processing. The advances being developed will not only affect the health and longevity of pets, but will also increase their quality of life and well-being and potentially reduce the cost of pet insurance.
Historically, pet food was primarily manufactured and produced using meat products that were not fit for human consumption including the use of organs, brain matter, ruminants, mixed scraps, bones, tissues, intestines, fat, and food byproducts. Even Upton Sinclair, the writer of The Jungle which exposed the meatpacking industry in 1906, nausea and disgusted by the manufacturing and industrial methods used in the production, preservation, and distribution of the pet food in the global supply chain.
Most people who love and care about the wellbeing of their pets are educating themselves using the internet, networking using social media, and blogging about their reviews, observations, and experiments in artisan and organic pet food consumption.
Scientific Exploration of Industrial Pet Food Production
Recent research findings published by leading industrial food experts clearly demonstrates that pets such as dogs and cats can receive all the nutrients and vitamins they need from a complete-and-balanced, pure veggie and organic commercial food diets.
However, it is important to note that no scientists have performed any long-term clinical trials comparing various dietary options using a randomized control trial method that is considered the gold-standard in experimental design.
Even pet owners who are unwilling to radically change their pet’s diet from meat to vegetarian may want to consider replacing some of their pet’s diet with a mixed, healthy blend of vegetarian and organically free-range sourced meat products.
An example of revolutionary changes occurring in the pet food industry could start with a case study exploration of an organic meal from Evanger’s. This meal and diet are considered to be one of the most eco-conscious dog foods available in the pet food market. The company is certified organic because a majority of its ingredients for its pet food production operation is sourced from a 100-mile radius of Evanger’s Illinois food production plant. The Evanger’s company emphasizes a multifaceted approach to environmental and eco-friendly food production by ensuring all details including the packaging of the pet food are made from 80% recycled steel composites. The Evanger’s food production and lab facility is being fitted for LEED certification.
Ingredients for Healthy Pet Food
Dog insurance companies are finding that dog owners are becoming more concerned with nutritional and calorie intake for their pets because pet obesity is a major concern that is leading to a significant number of pets developing early onset heart disease, dementia, intestinal disorders, and experiencing premature death. Pet food that contains excessive preservatives, fillers, and artificial chemicals may increase the likelihood of short-term symptoms in pets, such as, excessive diarrhea and vomiting.
Developing healthy pet food that is appetizing and satisfying for differing pet taste preferences is often described as more of an art than a science because of the variation in pet appetites and discriminatory taste palates that have evolved over millions of years. Ingredients that are universally considered to satisfy even the pickiest pet gourmand include eggs, free-range chicken, organic flaxseed, spinach, sweet potatoes, and cranberries. This combination of ingredients offers a healthy balance of protein, nutrients, and fibers and through the practice of portion control can reduce a pet’s chances of developing coronary heart disease, intestinal discomfort, and obesity. A healthy pet is a happy pet that is more friendly and eager to spend time with their owner. Pairing healthy pet food with regular veterinarian visits and dog or cat insurance can lengthen a pet’s life.
A leading example of healthy pet food is the case study of Zoe’s Premium, which is primarily a dog food company paving the way for pet food industrial processes that are state of the art and often equivalent or even exceed the standards held to human food production. Their use of high-quality organic ingredients that are sourced from across the New York and the tri-state area includes the use of non-genetically modified meats that have been lab tested and do not contain steroids, hormones, and antibiotics. The food is packaged in high-grade BPA-free pouches in order to reduce shipping waste and their carbon footprint. Zoe’s Premium Chicken and Sweet Potatoes is one of the top-selling products that they make for dogs. Cooked in meat broth, it contains peas, millet, and carrots. These simple yet satisfying ingredients are a reflection of the changing pet food culture that is causing dogs to bark and pet owners to smile at the rapid and revolutionary changes affecting the pet food industrial process and supply chain.