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Sell Your Rotten Spoiled Waste Food to Pet Food

Sell Your Rotten Spoiled Waste Food to Pet Food

There are companies who broker spoiled, rotting foods.  Salvage food brokers.  There are even state regulations governing these businesses.  And guess what industry they sell this waste to?

The state of Texas website defines a Salvage Food business as a firm that buys or sells distressed or reconditions distressed merchandise.  Texas defines ‘distressed merchandise’ as “any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that has been subjected to prolonged or improper storage, loss of label or identity, or abnormal environmental conditions such as extremes in temperature, humidity, smoke, water, fumes, pressure, or radiation that are due to natural disasters or otherwise, or that may have been rendered unsafe or unsuitable for human consumption or use for any other reason.”

Food that as been “rendered unsafe or unsuitable for human consumption” is salvaged…sold to other industries.  So who would purchase foods that were subjected to extreme temperature or radiation?  Who would purchase foods found unsafe for human consumption?  It appears pet food will gladly purchase salvage food.

The website A1 Seafood says…(bold added)
“If you are looking for a list of pet food manufacturers and you found us it’s more than likely because you have a product that HACCP deems you can’t responsibly sell it for human consumption. Why destroy the product when you can sell it to the pet food manufacturers? You can spend all day making phone calls and sending email’s to various pet food manufacturers but trust me you will never have the years of contacts we have.”

Under the above statement we find this image –

pet food manufacturers list

and the words…

“We turn your trouble into revenue $”

This company is stating they will help businesses sell waste meats and vegetables – for a 8% fee – to pet food manufacturers.


The website for Midwest Ingredients states (bold added): “There are few things we enjoy more than hearing that someone was told to “call Midwest Ingredients because they can find (or sell) anything”. This indicates our ability to discover a ready market…or a reliable source of supply…for any item that can be used for feed purposes. We are familiar with and can easily work with the Research and Development stage in your industry.”

Under ‘Services’ the Midwest Ingredients website states…(bold added)

Many manufacturing companies rely on Midwest Ingredients, Inc. to find a place in the market for their waste stream.  We are committed to working closely with the manufacturer to ensure their specifications are met. We are able to help these manufacturers through our commitment to service, proven reliability, and extensive resources.”

Have you ever seen on a pet food label any mention of “salvage” food ingredients?  Has any pet food label ever stated “Made with Salvage Chicken (exposed to radiation and stored in a hot warehouse)”?  Has any pet food manufacturer ever told us they purchase “waste stream” ingredients?

The pet food consumer is shown glossy pictures of choice cuts of meat and fresh vegetables on the pet food label…but what guarantee is the consumer given that those labels are truthful, honest depictions of the ingredients used in the pet food?  None.

Salvage spoiled food – unfit for human consumption – ground and cooked into a pet food – sold to pet food consumers with no warning or disclosure statement is wrong.  It’s illegal.  It’s a crime that – for decades – federal and state regulators and pet food manufacturers pretend doesn’t exist or states that it doesn’t matter (Compliance Policies that allow a long list of horrendous wastes to become ‘suitable for use in animal food’).  It is mind boggling no one of authority (state and federal regulators) cares what pets or other animals are consuming.

And they wonder why we don’t trust them.

My thanks to one of you out there in pet food world that ‘outed’ this salvage industry to me!


Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Association for Truth in Pet Food
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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  1. Do you know which cat food companies buy this type of material? Any?

    • No – we don’t know. Regulations do not require them to tell the consumer. This is one reason why the Pledge is so important – we at the very least need their verbal promise (signed as truthful by a President or CEO of the company) they don’t use waste ingredients.

  2. Yet another reason to hate big pet food companies. I’m not surprised. Disgusted but not surprised. Thank you Susan for your tireless efforts on behalf of pets everywhere. I wish someone could find the customer lists. I can make pretty good guesses who’d be on it.

    • Wouldn’t it be nice if there was someone with a heart that worked for one of these companies would make copies of invoices and send them to us?

    • In the Midwest blizzard that devastated the region a couple of months ago, it was estimated that a 100,000 cattle froze to death. A friend of mine happened to drive thru the area on her vacation trip and saw the fields full of dead and rotting cattle, just lying out there wasting.
      I have wondered if any of this decaying meat was shipped off to rendering/pet food manufacturers to be used in pet food. If not, it likely won’t be long before this becomes an FDA approved method to dispose of catastrophic livestock losses in the agri business. The FDA will probably call it an “innovative use” and waive the 4D restrictions on it due to extraordinary circumstances.

  3. This makes me SICK to know what’s out there.
    My Dear Cat Bandit and His Sister Died not long ago from CANCER, I trusted the Food I fed them, but I know now it was not what it said on the Can.
    I was thinking of adopting an other Kitty, from the same Cat Shelter, ? bur teading all this, I can’t, there is no way I will ever have a Pet again. I have been blessed, I had a Poodle “Dandy” that , and a Cat “Butch” that lived to be 20 Year’s old. Poor “Bandit” and His Sister “Smoky” only lived to be 16 years, and Died of Cancer, caused by this Horrible Food that is out ther.

    God Bless the former U.S.A.

    • There are other options, plain Jane. Thankfully, pet parents can bypass this nightmare completely and feed raw or cook what they buy themselves. There are good resources to balance the meals and it’s not that hard. (We feed raw and use holistic vet Karen Becker’s wonderful little book “Healthy Food for Dogs and Cats” (third edition). You can get it from the mercola site ( or Amazon or most any other mainstream bookstore. I hope you reconsider having another pet. The need is so great and good homes are not always easy to find!

  4. The next, inevitable chapter in this story will be that pet food manufacturers will all claim that they don’t use inputs (ingredients) of this type. That’s why a pledge is so genius. It doesn’t allow you to hide behind the plausible denial curtain. You have to positively, absolutely, say here’s what we do use, here’s where it comes from, and here’s it’s quality. No more “we don’t use that.” Somebody is buying this, even when everybody denies it.

    Just sayin’.

    • Thank you Jay Smith for returning one of the very few Pledges received back on behalf of “Fresh Fetch.” Truly an outstanding prouct.

    • I am sorry, but signing pledges doesn’t assure honesty in marketing. Only verification by 3rd (i.e., unbiased) party inspections can make sure that what’s claimed to go into pet food is what goes into pet food. OR: Strict regulations plus independent oversight – but it would be an amazing thing if law makers would seriously work on this matter these days.

      • If we don’t give companies the opportunity to be transparent then we’re becoming extremists or even PF fanatics. That doesn’t help our cause, because people won’t even want to have a dialogue with us (as an Association). Nothing is foolproof in this world. But the Pledge can be viewed in totality with the entire product picture. For example, is the company family owned, or does it have limited ownership? Is it a low profile advertiser (relies on word of mouth)? Are they doing things right, packing and processing in-house, sourcing locally, and do they have a good track record (no recalls)? Do they come up clean through Internet research, and have good feedback (successful results) from owners? Are they knowledgeable, and add to the TAPF discussions? If so, saying yes to most of those questions, then they’re probably reliable and quality oriented. The fact that about 13 companies out of nearly 90 surveyed returned the Pledge, says many companies weren’t willing to even sign a “false” document (if you’re thinking that way), otherwise everybody would’ve jumped on board the idea – just to sell more product. I don’t think the majority of commercial PF companies are even that “forward thinking” to understand what the customer values. But those select 13 “get it”. Kudos to ones that some of us have to rely upon and Thank You.

        • If possible, I’d love to see the pledge with the answers of these companies.

          As far as I can see from the inside of this competitive industry, much can be claimed without being true–unless there is an organic certificate. Organic certification is currently the only way to be certain that labeling and marketing claims including ingredients, sources, processing methods, etc. of a certified organic product follows USDA NOP rules, and are true as stated. This also involves at least one annual manufacturing site inspections by a 3rd party.

          I know that even companies which are considered as trustworthy or ‘honest’ can be more than dishonest in marketing (i.e., selling) their products. For instance there is one company I have observed for several years. It is very respected among many customers who are generally vary of pet food companies. But this company is extremely talented in stretching the truth. It markets its products as organic although they may use only a few organic ingredients (or maybe they don’t, who really knows?), or as raw, although it has been known in business circles for years that this company uses cooked/steamed ingredients (meat, veggies) instead of dehydrating both ingredients and final products at low temps as promised. They also make it appear as if they manufacture their products themselves, while their manufacturing has been contracted out for years to a big processor across the country which makes pet foods for a number of pet food companies. They say they buy locally but how could you tell if this is true? There is nobody to check the accuracy of all these claims.

          They get away with it because they don’t make certified organic claims, and appear very forthcoming in the sheer plenty of information they offer to their potential customers. However, nobody except the owners and their accounting, development and marketing staff of 6 or 7 know what is true and what isn’t. It’s sad but it’s true.

          Anyway, do you have a link to the pledge report? I’d love to see it. Thanks!

          • But, a company claiming organic and even with products certified as such can purchase Organic Chicken or Turkey remnants (meaning carcass & cartilage, necks, backs and refuse organs), grind all of it up into a mix that resembles ground chicken and market it as Organic Chicken product in a perfectly legal way. But, you wouldn’t know that it’s not WHOLE chicken as the marketing material suggests that it is.

            And, the National Organic Program allows a LOT of synthetic substances to be used in food production that I don’t want in my dog’s food. Substances like Furosemide, Flunixin, Chlorohexadine, Sodium Hypoclorite (Bleach), and Calcium Hypochlorite.

            The disillusionment of this realization, early in our company’s history, led us to test products from our suppliers under our own program.

            Even the NOP isn’t assurance that you’re getting what you may *think* you’re getting. So, at some point, you have to do it yourself or beleive that you can trust someone.


          • Hello Heidi, I’m Mike L

            Well I’m pretty late to this discussion and hope that you are still around.

            Your post has me very concerned. I may not be reading you correctly .. and hope that’s the case .. but I suspect that the company that I admire, the company who’s food I feed my mutt, the company that I have recommended to many is the one that you have alluded to. At least if the clever use of the word “honest” is the key.

            I’m frustrated here because I would like to know if you can name this company here for me/us, or, failing that, if I can name the company and have you confirm. Either way I would VERY much appreciate knowing more. Is there any way for you to confirm or share details of your source of information so that I may investigate for myself?

            I don’t want to get Ms. Thixton in hot water. I do not work for any pet food company or government agency. I have zippo insider type connections like you do. I’m just a concerned fella wanting to know more and would appreciate the tools to educate myself better. Please help out if you’re still around.

            Many thanks,
            Mike L

      • Even third-party systems can become corrupted over time. Organizations, like AAFCO, were intended to be 3rd Party organizations to responsibly inform legislation and the direction of industry. But, now, they’re largely dominated by industry groups.

        A great defense against buying something that’s objectionable is to be able to see it, judge its quality, color, and similarity to quality that you’re accustomed to seeing and buying for yourself. This is harder, if not impossible, to do when products are processed, and hidden behind bags that you can’t see into.

        That’s why we’ve taken the direction we’ve taken in our packaging and ONE of the reasons unprocessed foods work to correct market malfunction.

        And, when you have the option of seeing, smelling, judging, coupled with a pledge that risks an entire business investment for a small company, and you STILL believe that’s not trustworthy, you have the option of making your own food. But, unless you’re on the farm, on the ranch, and in the fields where harvest is taking place, and know what to ask, where to look and how to judge it all, you’re still trusting someone, somewhere.

  5. Susan, you are amazing! This happens because people are, for the most part, trusting. Young children trust, pets trust and most adults trust; until their experiences lead them to believe otherwise. We just can’t believe that the greed that drops directly to the bottom line would compel anyone to do anything that would be dishonest or dishonorable. We are becoming a more mature society and no longer accept what corporations suggest is good for us because we have been taught, by them, that they do not deserve our trust. It is hard to imagine that there will be anything that will cause them to “do the right thing.” They, left alone, never will! Only relentless pressure, exposure and the impact on profits will change the course. What you are doing embraces all three of the prerequisites for change. You are a dynamo in your quest to provide the truth to those of us who do not know, but care and those who do not know and do not care. Your indomitable spirit to correct these miserable truths will someday, I believe, matter and you will have had a huge impact on the changes that will follow. I thank and admire you! Don’t stop believing!

  6. I knew complete crap went into pet food but I had no idea that there is a business who prides itself on selling rotting, truly sickening “food” to the pet food industry. I am going to print this and give to every pet owner I know. I am going to plaster it on cars parked in Petco, Petsmart, veterinarians’ offices, dog parks, etc. Maybe I will tape it to the pet food section in super markets. I hope others do the same. Is it illegal to stand in front of a pet food store and hand out this information??

    I am wondering if companies are allowed to call their food “human grade” if it is rotting human grade or human grade exposed to radiation. Scary.

  7. Susan,
    I am a devoted follower of your website & newsletter & I want to thank you for all you do. You are an angel working tirelessly to protect our precious animal children. We all owe you so much for everything you do to save our pets from sickness & death. I have never written to anyone on the net before, but this needed to be said. Our sweet pit bull “Miss Kitty” thanks you as well for all the bad food & dangerous treats you have saved her from. God Bless You! Ruth Thomson in Rio Verde, AZ

  8. fake it that you have several downers and then call.
    I suspect that they will tell you the lists.

    • This is not a bad idea actually – anyone want to volunteer to call (and be more believable than I) and see what the outcome is? I suspect it’d have to be more than a few, for cost purposes, and you’d have to not let your disgust show, but if anyone does and posts/links a transcript we’d be interested.

  9. thank you for this information Susan. This just keeps getting worse. No wonder our beloved companions are dying so young. I will cross post this to anyone I know. Has Nature’s Logic signed the pledge?Primal, or Bravo?
    I am almost scared to trust any of them.

  10. I think it is time to rally the troops, it is important that we all take this info and share it everywhere!! Someone is going to read it and speak up.

    So please hit the share button and lets see what happens.

    Thank you Susan for the heads up!!

    • Thanks Marge – we do need this information to become public knowledge. We need FDA and State Department of Agricultures to realize that no animal should be forced to eat spoiled rotten food. And we need these agencies to stand up for the animals – to require that all animals are fed properly. Human or animal – we all deserve clean healthy food.

  11. Did anyone notice the ad for BlueBuffalo pet food at the bottom of the page? Also, to the right are ads you can click on, most of them related to pet food; even Whole Dog Journal is on there! I don’t think they can pick what site they are linked to but I’m going to call and tell them how disgusting it is, they should hear from us. Same with BlueBuffalo.

  12. I think this is disgusting. I’m so glad in New Zealand euthanized animals and waste materials aren’t put into our pet food (yet our supermarkets are lined with Purina etc). I wish there was something we could do on a large scale to overhaul the pet food industry. It has become the norm for people to just trust the picture on the front of the packet and believe it’s healthy, when really its the equivalent of feeding your pet KFC every day.

  13. Not surprising.
    Thank you Susan for everything you do to bring to light the Good & the Bad in the petfood industry.

  14. (last wee)I asked my Frito Lay rep
    “what happens to expired chips?” …(I really just wanted some free chips)
    As I was grabbing my free bags…he told me

    “expired / damaged product is grounded down and sent out to be re-purposed/ made into feed” end quote
    I was surprised he mentioned that to me.

  15. Oh. My. God. This is disgusting and why am I not surprised that they are selling to pet food companies.

    I have several unprintable words to call those people who run these businesses…..and thank you, once again, Susan, for shedding light on all these heinous practices.

    I wish I knew of the best books I could find, for cooking pet food at home.

    There are tons of them on the market, but I am not sure which one will include the proper vitamins, etc. that our pets need. I know that it can cost their health dearly if we don’t put the right vitamins and minerals in the food tailored to their unique specie-needs.

    • We love Karen Becker’s “Healthy Food for Dogs and Cats”. She’s a holistic vet and her Mercola site ( is a fabulous resource. There are many others out there. Just make sure you check the credentials of those putting out the info.! I favor holistic vets because they’ve gone that extra mile and have studied nutrition apart from what they got in vet school — which was very little and from questionable sources (big pet food industry).

  16. Folks – please remember to comment on the proposed rule for animal food which specifically allows for “waste” ingredients. Our government has to hear from consumers why this is not acceptable. If people don’t object – nothing will change. Just sayin’.

    Tell them why waste is an unacceptable material for use in pet food and animal feed:

    • Yes, please do this. It is not difficult. The comments field even has built-in spell check. You can edit multiple times before you submit. You do not even have to disclose your name, and if you do, nothing more than your first name will appear. Even if you only submit a few brief sentences, it is worthwhile that the FDA understands the public is interested.

  17. Holy Crap!
    I just googled “salvage food” and was surprised at the options Google presents.

    Take a look at this comany
    and see who they are selling to. Garbage recycling seems not limited to the pet food industry.

    I had no idea that another big industry is devoted to selling garbage for resale to consumers. Salvage food auctions are another scary way to get rid of garbage and get paid for it.

    • lettucehavewhirledpeas7

      Thanks Gitta, One of their recycled items is “pet-prodects”. Just went to the website you gave. This company sells to: “Deep-discount retailers, Inner-city independent stores, Mom & Pop stores, Correctional intitutions, U.S. Schools !!, Food Banks, and Feeders”. Don’t know what a “feeder” is, but the idea that this junk is going to SCHOOLS has to be unethical.. if not illegal.
      One of the many items that they re-distribute is “PET PRODUCTS” …doesn’t say what kind.

  18. It is good to share facts on what really goes in to the pet food process. Call it chain of supply, chain of custody. One of the keys for consumer is to understand how the chain works, and the players.

    Here, for example, the largest producer of animal rendered products in the US, Darling/Griffin, purports to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    While the entire pet food safety act by FDA is on the table, the underlying facts are these conglomerates have very little oversight, and a great deal of power. Griffin recently sold to Darling for nearly $1BB US dollars, not a bad pay day for a company dealing in salvage.

    They may provide a service for waste, but make it known, in particular in the pet food arena by labeling, and consumers can make better, informed decisions.

  19. I used to think highy of Champion Pet Foods (aka Acana and Orijen) till I read this
    Read the article captioned (Pet) Food for Thought. I was disappointed to say the least. :(

    • lettucehavewhirledpeas7

      Went to the link that you gave. The fish company is vague about what exactly is included in the “minced by-products” that they sell to Champion. I always thought that the heads and tails went into the batch as well – which would be good eatin’.

      Went to the Origen website and that says that their cat food is fresh wild caught Canadian fish “whisked” to their kitchens. They would never mention that it was spoiled or rotting.

      The dog recipes are meat based and seem to have no fish in them except Tundra, which has some trout. It might be worth a phone call to Champion; they might give you info on the offal.

      I, myself, would avoid all fish products, re mercury, and Fukushima, Japan. Besides, the big fishing operations are always suspect of fishing “Unsustainably”. This includes the “long line” fishing nets with hooks, stretching 40 miles that catch bluefin tuna and other ”unintended marine species” that get mistakenly caught in the nets, are now dead, and thrown back into the sea. Talk about waste.

      • A quick google search will tell you that all but one of Orijen’s dog formulas contain fish products and all but two of Acana’s dog formulas contain fish products. I’m not sure where you were looking that you weren’t able to read all the ingredient panels that would’ve told you that. And I don’t care what parts of a fish it is, I’m not feeding my animals a product that a company previously had to pay to have it disposed of. Can’t be all that good! The pet food company is purchasing it because it is a cheap ingredient. Look how much fish costs in the grocery store or market. There’s no way we’re getting that much good fish even in the most expensive bag of food.

        • lettucehavewhirledpeas7

          I completely agree with you, about garbage in the food.
          Because the recipes are “proprietary”, one will probably never know what exactly the ingredients are. One may be buying from a reputable company, but might not be getting quality beef – but maybe a “slurry”, which will not be labeled as such. Most of us will never know of the nefarious practices that go on with the making of a pet food, unless the company is outed. Big companies are only out for profit. Period.

          If you want to be guaranteed of the ingredients, it might be a good idea to make your own food. The best part is that they go ape over it!!! It seems daunting at first, but once you’ve made a batch, it gets easier. You can start small but eventually make a huge batch, depending on how big your freezer is. You can buy from your local farmers, or a Farmer’s Market, so you know your sources.

          But if you don’t have the time to make your own, you might be interested the brand Nature’s Logic; and it is available in Canada. It has absolutely NOTHING sourced from China. On the front page, they have a FAQ section and an Information section, etc., etc. Lots of great info! We had to special order it from the health food store, but now they carry it permanently.

          I don’t live in Canada so don’t know your options. Have you been to Susan’s Petsumer Report? It is only 5 cents a day and well worth it! She has researched, and is still researching, thousands of pet foods and their varieties – in detail. A great resource. I helped a friend out once who was feeding his dog Kibbles and Bits!

          • You are right…and just as scary is the same in the human food chain. Processed foods are full of stuff you have never eaten. Dig into the “standardized” products accepted by FDA. You will find that many, many ingredients aren’t even listed on the labels. So, unless you grow or raise it you can’t be sure what’s in it.

  20. You correctly point out that if the cans of food were labeled “Waste Stream Flavor Dog/Cat Food” and if the ingredients were accurately (PROPERLY) listed and if the deceptive pictures were more realistic to what was actually in the can…

  21. The greed that some Americans exhibit is just beyond belief.
    Pet food companies have been given the green light to cook whatever disgusting ingredients they can find into a yucky mass of goo and then bake the heck out of it until it is dried into a hard but artificially colorful substance that brainwashed American consumers will buy.
    Don’t people realize that their animals are putting out waste in the same amount as the food they are taking in? Most of that kibble is useless to the pet’s body. It is mainly the chain of synthetic vitamins and minerals tacked on the end of the ingredient list that their pets are existing on. You cannot cook ingredients at such high temperatures 3 or 4 times and have any nutritional value left in the substance…..that is if there was anything nutritional to begin with.

  22. I just had a glance at one of the companies that signed this pledge. As I suspected, this is all based on trust only. If there is no unbiased party on ground to verify what’s listed here, on websites, or other marketing materials, such information is meaningless to me (and others who know the industry).

    Organic ‘statements’ without organic certification of the product in which the supposed organic ingredient is used in is not verifiable. For me this is just another marketing hype to elicit trust and increase sales. USDA inspected–even pink slime is made from USDA inspected animal products, isn’t it? Nobody knows if the sources that are stated in this pledge are correct. ETC.

    It’s nice if you can trust somebody. If you don’t see an organic certificate for a pet food product, you are counting on trust. Which is fine with me. I don’t work like this since I am probably too familiar with this industry.

    Unless you see an organic certificate on a product, the best thing one can do is to prepare the meals for the family (human and animal) from scratch. This leaves no questions as long as you know where to buy the ingredients. This is esp. true if you’re concerned about allowed synthetic ingredients (they include most minerals and vitamins in your pet foods, be they organic or not) in certified organic products. If you want to avoid pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, growth hormones, and other obvious toxins, I think you’re clearly be better off with certified organic products.

    In any case, if you do buy commercial pet foods, you can only win if you inform yourself.

    Thanks for the article.

    • Heidi,
      With any third party certification – there remains an element of trust by the consumer. And that trust of third party certification programs don’t always work out properly. Example of this is the recent Jensen Brothers cantaloupe recall. Just weeks before this recall – Jensen Brothers went through an extensive third party inspection. They passed with flying colors. The certified third party inspection company missed entirely the problem that resulted in the Salmonella recall.

      At this point in time – our pet food consumer association (who asks for Pledge from pet food manufacturers) is young thus we have little funds. A Pledge is all we can do. One day we hope to have our own certification program – but until that day arrives – this Pledge is the best we have. It is far more than a customer service representative telling an unknowing pet food consumer what they want to hear. It’s signed as a promise – a pledge – as truthful accurate information by company President or CEO.

      Is it perfect? No it isn’t. But third party certification isn’t perfect either. There is no easy answer – unfortunately. I think for now – the Pledge is the best pet food consumers have for honesty.

      • Elequently said Susan. I think it’s all too easy for us to go down the rabbit hole of negativity, being how much we’re faced with dauting PFI practices. The Pledge is a chance to focus on the positive, and certainly upon the well-intentioned. If doing so (signing the Pledge) helps their sales, more power to them. I have talked with a couple of owners of a few of the companies who signed the Pledge. And I like that they’re so accessible and I always learn something. Which is far different than being “massaged” by the fake customer service representatives at most commercial companies. I believe that those I’ve spoken with who have so much to teach are a real asset to the business. And that they would have no reason to be doing other than how they’ve discovered to make their products better! And better for all of US. Thank heavens we have go-to products for when we can’t always home cook!!

    • Heidi, this information was posted earlier, but it sounds as though you haven’t seen it or had a chance to review it. But, I urge you to review the National Organic Program’s List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, linked below.

      And, consider that any company claiming organic products, even those with “certification” can buy, for instance, Organic Chicken or Turkey waste ingredients from what was originally whole chicken, (meaning carcass & cartilage, necks, backs and refuse organs), then grind all of it up into a mix that resembles ground chicken and market it as Organic Chicken/Turkey product in a perfectly legal way. To these companies, this misleading scheme seems perfectly legitimate, even though, to the rest of us, it has a clear intent to mislead consumers.

      That’s because, unless you dig into the company practices, and provided that you get accurate answers from the company — instead of evasion — you wouldn’t know that what you’re buying isn’t WHOLE chicken as the marketing material suggests that it is.

      And, the National Organic Program allows a LOT of synthetic substances to be used in food production that I don’t want in my dog’s food. Substances like Furosemide, Flunixin, Chlorohexadine, Sodium Hypoclorite (Bleach), and Calcium Hypochlorite are all ALLOWED to be used in the production of organic products, including livestock (meats & poultry). So, it can hardly be stated that you avoid synthetic substances, toxins or otherwise, by choosing an “organic” label — even when it’s “certified.”

      The disillusionment of this realization, early in our company’s history, led us to test products from our suppliers under our own program.

      So, even the NOP isn’t assurance that you’re getting what you may *think* you’re getting. So, at some point, you have to do it yourself or believe that you can trust someone.

  23. i just checked out this link & am SUPER disappointed! i live in london ontario & try to buy only canadian made products for my 2 cats so before i adopted them, after extensive research & emailing pf companies, i decided on orijen. that being said, we are working on the transition to primal raw; i LOVE the many different protein choices! i just sent champion a lengthy email expressing my disappointment in discovering that their “fresh fish” is actually “minced by products that would otherwise be disposed of”. i also requested that they sign “the pledge”. if i recieve a response i will share it with you.

  24. “Sebs” brings up a good point. If we (as the Association) could enforce just one regulation it should be “Truth in Advertising.” Fresh fish is not “minced by-products.” That is, at least as far as serving your family goes. So why should PF companies get away with selling products deceptively? If it’s a combination of whole and pieces, then it should be labeled that way. For example, when you buy a can of Tuna, you expect chunks of Tuna inside, but not by-products (fins, cartilege, scales, innards and other yuk!). Otherwise you’d never buy it. Theorectically speaking, there may be value in using protein “seconds” (not fit for retail) if they’re not diseased or toxic. So if there’s nothing wrong with doing this, then PF companies should have no problem listing it on the label. So at least consumers can decide between good value and ascetics. The CRIME here, is the absence of accurate disclosure (misleading) and deceitful imaging. A couple of decades ago people actually used to be charged with False Advertising!

  25. i received a response from champion foods; basically what was stated to me was that before they signed the contract with freshwater fish to purchase product freshwater fish did not have the equipment to process the fish that was left after the fillets wefe removed. so it was disposed off. champion provided freshwater fish with the necessary equipment to process the fish provided fwf sell the product to champion. so it was stated to me that the remaining part of the fish (meat & fat) is still perfectly fine for consumption; it would normally be made into fish cakes for example. cbampion also stated that they are part of the first alert program & that they are working on brwaking down their ingredients to be able to provide the necessary information to sign the pledge. so there”s the response; sorry for all the typos :)

    • Sebs

      Questions: If the remaining product could be made into “fish cakes,” why were FWF disposing of it?

      And, why, according to their own marketing material, were they paying someone to haul it away for disposal? Even if they didn’t OWN the equipment to process the leftover carcass (fins, bones, vertebrae), their reply to you implies that it was still valuable and useful for human food. Somebody would have purchased that product from them, even if it were for pennies on the dollar. That would still be better than paying someone to haul it away.

      Lastly, did they answer your questions about the amount of fins, skin, bones, tail heads etc. that is present in the minced product they buy in proportion to the clean meat of fillets?

    • I used to be a big Champion Foods supporter. My older dog was raised on it, given it agreed with his low-fat requirements. As long as it was the 70%-30% formula. The day they changed to 80%-20% (eliminating the carb. element, I believe) both my dogs stopped digesting the food. As in seriously runny stools! I could not understand how a 10% change would affect them that drastically. I called the company several times. Their best answer was that some dogs just can’t handle the food. I also tried Acana (their recommendation). I tried beef, chicken and fish. I tried adding pumpkin (their recommendation). I tried serving less (their recommendation). I made sure both my dogs were healthy (at the time). Both my dogs are vastly different ages, the younger one has never had medical challenges, and they are not related.
      Looking at breed forums I discovered that “many” dogs couldn’t handle the formula. And a lot of those owners switched to TOTW. Nobody ever had a good reason why, or even a guess. Odd, that if a company has been producing a “revised” formula for 4+yrs and so many dogs are having issues, doesn’t it strike you as strange? I wonder if there is any connection to CF buying/using the FWF “fish waste” to augment the protein content? Did they go from using whole natural fish, to fish-squish? Did they do it to improve their profit margin? And was the unintentional effect to make the food too concentrated?
      Okay, so what’s the point? It is to say that CF’s explanations (or lack of them) don’t always add up. Why would a PF company supply a 3rd party with the equipment needed (meaning CF already had a way to work with the fish waste) but choose to BUY it back!? Especially when CF prides itself on full in-house processing?
      My biggest question is WHY hasn’t CF returned the Pledge when they received the solicititation in April of 2012? Their customers have been hounding them for it to be returned. I fear their marketing/image projection is not unlike Evanger’s (until you learn the back-story). I only hope CF is everything that they themselves are hoping the public believes.

      • jay & reader, very good questions & i will email champion back today & ask:) my 2 cats have been eating orijen for about a year & a half now & i have been very happy with the results (they were eating blue wilderness when we adopted them, which i knew had to go!) i had planned on orijen/acana being the mainstay dry brands of food (along with natures logic) if i am ever able to open my own store. all these unanswered questions concern me. i’ll let you know when i receive a response:)

  26. This is a really interesting article, though very disturbing. Many human foods can be bad for dogs while fresh, let alone when past there edible state for us. There needs to be better regulation and transparency placed upon dog food manufacturers. Raising awareness of the issue will certainly help.

  27. We always keep our Saint Bernard’s food and water in the hall. Every time my husband fed him Pedigree it stunk. No wonder! What all is in it! I must say though rather than run from all pet food makers once they have a recall. I read it closley. Why was there a recall? Was it mandatory or voluntary? Once it is voluntary I am normally impressed that they took the steps to ensure the safety of all our pets and did a voluntary recall.So a recall isn’t always a reason for me to flee from a pet food. Not unless it’s a killer pet food.We do use pet food on all our pets. We also feed them a portion of human food daily. And I don’t mean just what you would spit out, but good clean organic no antibiotic type added meat. And our wolf/chow is about 14 and he still jumps around like a pup. Has never ever been sick a day in his life.

    • You might want to read the ingredient list on your pet food bag or cans. See if it is anything you recognize or would want on your table. Really your pet is living on the synthetic vitamins at the end of the ingredient list. There isn’t any real nutrition left after what was put in the mix has been cooked 3X at very high temperatures.

  28. i was shopping for our weekly food supplies and our fur childrens . when a butcher came over and asked what we do with all the meats we buy each week.he said that i was rude for buying meat people could eat… i special order some of the meats like rabbit and wild caught salmon and lamb. he then said when he worked at a grocery store that’s well know through out the u.s.a. so i won’t say their name. but the stuff like dirt ,scrapes that fall while cutting meats as well as what ever is swept up daily and bagged for dog food companies. i just felt sick as he said only rotten meats could be sold for dog foods. then he laughed and asked my husband if he could come home and eat at our house. i am so glad that i home cook more and more each wonder with all the other dangers and rotten junk pet food makes pets ill or causes death .and, the bags show different pictures to give us the idea that is what is going inside. i have cooked for years for my fur kids … this is the first time anyone( butcher )asked why i buy so much meats weekly… but what was said sickens me very much and makes me so sad that those who buy these foods these companies are making lots of money to cause such harm to pets is important to balance everything but it worth the effort to do so. i was so very sadden to hear this from a man that knows what they do with their spoiled meats.i will never pay a dime to any pet food company… period! my pets are my children.

    • Good for you Lynn, I have switched to raw meat from human food sources over my great disappointment in the dog food industry. All one has to do is look at the deception of labeling and companies like Evanger’s to have your confidence shaken in the honesty and trustworthiness of the producers and the regulators. I tried to buy some meat that was set to expire in a huge grocery chain and was told that they don’t sell that meat. When the meat expires it is collected and sent to their own pet food manufacturing facility for their branded pet food. I know from past experiences that the industry is replete with sins of regulation, advisory groups and the manufactures themselves. I guess the reply the butcher made to you was way over the line. They sell meat what does he care where it goes (pets or humans) obviously they don’t sell enough to humans or they wouldn’t be shipping it off to pet food manufacturers. I am so happy I made the change, at least I don’t worry anymore about what is in the can.

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