Dry food manufacturer’s use a variety of tricks to convince you that meat is the number one ingredient in their product. This video by respected wellness veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, walks through some of the ways manufacturers do a bit of a bait and switch to make it look like their diet is meat based rather than grain based.
A couple of things to think about:
- It is interesting to note that the meat that goes into dry dog food is essentially dehydrated but that when determining the weight of all ingredients to see where they fall on the list of ingredients it is the non-dehydrated weight taken for meat (which includes the 70% of water weight that will be lost in processing).
- A common practice is to split up less nutritious ingredients so that they appear to make up a lesser percentage of the food. For example, you may find a food lists corn meal, corn, ground corn on the label right after the meat. But… all three of these are essentially corn — which if the manufacturer used only 1 type of corn he would have to list it first in the ingredients. By splitting the corn into 3 slightly different ingredients the manufacturer can make it look like meat is the largest ingredient. This can also be done by using a number of different grains ie barley, corn, rice, oats etc — all essentially grains.
What I found particularly disturbing was some of the popular brands in this video (not quite disguised by blurring the logo) that contained ingredients potentially toxic to your pet – ethoxiquin, BHA, and propylene glycol – a relative to anti-freeze. Also disturbing was the additional of flavour enhancers that added sugar to the food.