Man, that was an intense movie. *wipes forehead*
As I was perusing Facebook yesterday, I saw a link from my friend Annette over at Biscuits By Lambchop that took me to a column about pet nutrition in the New York Times. “The truth about cat and dog food,” it is titled. You should read it. Then let me know what you think.
As far as I can tell, the gist of the article is this:
- Super premium pet food is rife with gimmicks.
- Most pet foods in the same quality range have similar ingredients.
- At the end of the day, what matters more than the ingredients is the fact that the food is “complete and balanced.”
Well. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I have a slightly different take on those topics.
The article then segues to an interview with the authors of the new book Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding your Dog and Cat. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m dowloading it on my Kindle right now and I will be sure to report back. From my brief perusal, I actually think it’s going to be a pretty good read- nutritionist Marion Nestle’s human book What To Eat is very well regarded. Should be interesting.
Look, let’s just be real here for a minute, ok? I feed my pets commercial food. I do it because it’s convenient. I don’t do it because it’s healthier than taking the time to cook for my pets, and I certainly don’t do it as a way to reduce my carbon footprint.* If I had unlimited time and resources, I’d be in the kitchen whipping up some healthy fare for the pets on a regular basis.
Sadly, I’m not much of a home maker. I do slightly better with the humans in the house, though we have been known to have fish sticks at the ready in the freezer for hectic weeknights too.
Just as good as homemade, isn’t it?
Is that ever the case?
An even stronger selling point? Not only is it more convenient, it’s better. Healthier. More scientific. You’d be a yokel not to trust in this scientific research.
I believe we have heard this one before.
(And before anyone starts getting upset, I both nursed and used formula for my kids so I’m not saying formula is poison. Let’s not even go there, OK?)
I think about how far the pendulum has swung away from feeding our pets any fresh food whatsoever- “You might POISON your dog! Haven’t you read about onions???” and it makes me sad. People are scared to even give their dog a carrot. Not only will it kill them, it’ll make them a relentless beggar. All processed, all the time is the only way to health! Does that make sense to anyone?
I’m very tempted to cook for my pets for a year as a kind of an experiment- a little bit of a learning project. I have a feeling that as long as it’s done with a little mindfulness, they won’t collapse of taurine deficient cardiomyopathy or crumple from nutritional hyperparathyroidism. I have no idea if I could actually do it, but I’d love to.
Do any of you home cook? Is anyone interested but has no idea how to go about it? What are your major obstacles? Inquiring minds want to know.
*A quote from the book: “The pet food industry serves an important ecological function by using up food that would otherwise be thrown out,” Dr. Nestle said. “If everyone cooked human food for the 472 million cats and dogs in America, it would be like feeding an additional 42 million people.”