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Read your pet food labels, Part 2

Reading pet food labels is a must, and your kitty has a greater chance of being healthy and disease free if you pay close attention to their diet.  Previously I discussed three of the most common ingredients found in commercial cat food that must be avoided:  Corn (and corn products), wheat, and soy.  Today I will cover 3 more offensive ingredients that have no place in your cat’s food:  powdered cellulose/dried beet pulp/rice hulls, by products, and animal fat.  Prepare yourself…this gets pretty disgusting!

Powdered Cellulose, Dried Beet Pulp, and Rice Hulls.  All these products are basically used as fillers.  Powdered cellulose is essentially sawdust and this is commonly used in attic insulation.  Rice hulls are also used in building materials, insulation and fuel.  Do these photos below resemble anything that can be called food?  Furthermore, would YOU eat this?

Powdered cellulose

Powdered cellulose

 

Beet pulp

Beet pulp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Products.  These are essentially leftover wastes from human food consumption, and are categorized as “named” or “un-named.”   As defined by AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, the organization that creates guidelines for livestock feed and pet food, “Chicken by-product meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.”   Un-named by-products include “meat by-products”.

Chicken meat by products

Chicken meat by products

The AAFCO definition, “Meat by-products consist of the 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 de-fatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hooves.”  (optimalpetfoods.com)  By-products are not even classified as meat products, and are commonly sourced from “dead, dying, diseased, or disabled” animals.  Yes, you read that right.  By now I hope you are totally grossed out.  (Using select bone and organs from healthy, free-range and pasture-raised animals ARE preferred and can be found in reputable raw cat food brands.)

More meat by products

More meat by products

 

 

 

 

Animal Fat.   This type of fat, defined by AAFCO – “is obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting.  It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids.  If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words “used as a preservative”.”  (optimalpetfoods.com)  This animal fat is often sourced from dead, dying, diseased, or disabled animals and can often cause the pet food to have a very unique or pungent odor.  Used restaurant grease is also rendered animal fat unfit for human consumption.

Rendered animal fat

Rendered animal fat

None of these items should be on anyone’s menu, much less in our cats’ food.  I hope this has been very eye-opening, and I anticipate you are running to your pantry or refrigerator to read your pet food labels as soon as you finish reading this post!

Stay tuned for more in upcoming posts, and forward this information to your friends.  We must spread the word and save our cats!



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