For those not familiar with AAFCO, it’s a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to ensure that all pet food sold in America adheres to certain basic manufacturing standards. However, some of the processes that the group has allowed to creep into the manufacturing of pet foods leave much to be desired.
What are the AAFCO’s Standards?
You may have noticed that some foods label themselves as “natural,” but what does this really mean? According to AAFCO standards, pet food may be labelled natural if it hasn’t undergone any chemical alteration. However, most pet foods get exposed to extremely high temperatures as a form of sterilization. This process also kills any valuable nutrients, vitamins, and amino acids which may have been present in the food. You may have noticed that some foods are labeled “natural”. But, what does this really mean and is the food really “natural?” Meat and carbohydrates are considered natural ingredients. However, as we all know, these foods would need preservatives, in order to extend their shelf life. According to AAFCO standards, pet food may be labeled as “natural”, if it has not undergone any chemical alteration.
As we all know, these foods would need preservatives, in order to extend their shelf life. According to AAFCO standards, pet food may be labeled as “natural”, if it has not undergone any chemical alteration. However, most commercial manufactured pet foods have undergone some sort of chemical alteration, as these foods are sterilized in extremely high temperatures. Unfortunately these extremely high temperatures also kills any valuable nutrients, vitamins and amino acids which may have been present in the food, prior to the sterilization process.
In order to adhere to AAFCO’s standards, pet food manufacturers add synthetic nutrients to their food. This process also presents its own set of problems since these substances are normally imported from countries such as China and India, countries that have earned unfortunate reputations for having harmful substances make their way into products which are meant for both human and animal consumption.
Furthermore, some pet foods contain excessive amounts of nutrients, which can prove toxic to our pets. One such example is vitamin D. It can lead to lethal levels of phosphorus and calcium (a condition known as hypercalcemia). This ultimately causes calcification of body tissues and normally affects the heart, arteries, and kidneys, as well as the gastrointestinal tract.
Most pet food gets manufactured at a plant, and pet food manufacturers know they can get away with including the four D’s in their products—dead, diseased, dying, and disabled animals. Given such gross raw material, we can’t necessarily rule out the possibility that harmful substances, dangerous organisms, and waste might make their way into the food we feed our pets.
Additionally, pet food manufacturers include by-products in their wares. Such by-products lower manufacturing costs and increase the protein content in their food, but their inclusion should make us think twice about our purchases. Why? By-products are derived from a process called “rendering,” a kind of melting process. The carcasses of dead and/or slaughtered animals are placed in huge vats, ground, and cooked at extremely high temperatures for several hours.
This process removes water and kills parasites, bacteria, and viruses, converting whatever remains into so-called “usable material.” It also separates the fat, which then becomes the animal fat used in pet food. The dried protein solids left over are what manufacturers call lamb or chicken meal, the stuff responsible for the high “protein” content in pet food. As intense as they are, this method of rendering cannot guarantee the complete elimination of contaminants or impurities. Nor does it necessarily add quality to the food our furry friends eat.
Because we at PetsWell Pantry have extremely high standards, we cannot condone the production methods employed by these manufacturers or the sorts of ingredients they use. We have to ask ourselves why these horrible practices continue, and we can find only one answer: They continue because AAFCO tolerates them. This is the reason why we don’t follow AAFCO’s standards.
Our approach is radically different. Informed by quality research, our production methods result in high-quality, nutritious, fresh, organic foods that’s both good for your pet and also tasty. We make this food in a restaurant kitchen rather than a plant environment. This lets us keep our focus firmly fixed on the health and safety of your furry friends.
Items intended for human consumption must meet a higher standard of quality. Why should it be any different when it comes to our pets? They need protection and deserve the right to receive foods of the highest quality. Although commercial pet food has been the cultural norm for decades, don’t forget that adding fresh, organic foods to the diet of our animals offers them substantial benefits.
Love, The PetsWell Team
Shop for healthy fresh homemade pet food free of chemicals here: https://petswellpantry.com/shop/