About 25 years ago I began formulating pet foods at a time when the entire pet food industry seemed quagmire and focused on such things as protein and fat percentages without any real regard for ingredients. Since boot leather and soap could make a pet food with the “ideal” percentages,The Pet Food Ingredient Game Articles it was clear Cheri Honnas that analytical percentages do not end the story about pet food value. I was convinced then, as I am now, that a food can be no better than the ingredients of which it is composed. Since this ingredient idea has caught on in the pet food industry, it has taken on a commercial life that distorts and perverts the meaning of the underlying philosophy of food quality and proper feeding practices. Is health reducible to which ingredients a commercial product does or does not have? As contradictory as it may seem to what I have just said, no it is not.
Simultaneously, this same regulatory agency prohibits the use of many proven beneficial natural ingredients that one can find readily available for human consumption such as bee pollen, glucosamine, L-carnitine, spirulina and many other nutraceuticals. It would be easy to conclude that reason does not rule when it comes to what officially can or cannot be used in pet foods.
From the regulators’ standpoint, they operate from the simplistic nutritional idea that the value of food has to do with percentages and that there is no special merit to any particular ingredient. They deny the tens of thousands of scientific research articles proving that the kind of ingredient and its quality can make all the difference in terms of health. They also are silent about the damaging effect of food processing and the impact of time, light, heat, oxygen and packaging on nutritional and health value.
So regulators are certainly not the place to go to determine how to feed pets for health. For their way of thinking, as long as a packaged food achieves certain percentages, regardless of ingredients, the manufacturer can claim the food is 100% complete. Pet owners then proceed to confidently feed such guaranteed foods at every meal thinking all the while they are doing the right thing for their pet. This old school nutritional view is standard practice in human hospitals as well where official dieticians feed diseased and metabolically starved patients a fare of jello, instant potatoes, powdered eggs, white flour rolls and oleomargarine because their charts say such diets contain the correct percentages of certain nutrients. Hospitals are a good place to go if you want to get sick!