by Scott Freeman, Founder of Nature’s Logic
The case has been made for many years now about the health benefits of raw food. In a nutshell, feeding a raw diet in most cases, creates the following benefits:
Most raw diets are grain free with high animal protein content. This alleviates the negative effect of the traditional high carb and *high grain content kibble diet which can lead to so much obesity, dental gum disease, and diabetes.
Raw diets contain the natural enzymes and some beneficial bacteria which aid in better digestion and give immune system support.
Most raw diets supply all essential nutrients from real food and do not have the need of fortification with synthetic supplements.
This last bullet point is what I want to expand for the readers of this article. You will notice that all commercial dry diets and canned diets are fortified with what is called a feline or canine vitamin mineral pack. It helps the manufacturer insure it meets the AAFCO analytical requirements for feline and canine nutritional profiles. It also allows the manufacturer to do with chemicals what nutritionally safer should be done with real food. In other words, instead of adding some expensive suncured alfalfa meal to make sure the diet meets the required level of vitamin K naturally, it is much cheaper to add chemically synthesized Menadione Bisulfite. This very toxic supplement has been banned in Europe, and it cannot be put in human food in the USA. Yet, it is still allowed in animal supplementation.
What about chemically synthesized vitamins and minerals? I challenged you to do some research for yourself. There is probable cause that two of these elevated elements in a diet had to do with dozens of deaths of pets back in 2003 and resulted in the recall of a pet food brand the pets were eating, and a number of lawsuits against the brand owner, the manufacturer and the main pet stores selling the product. Another synthetic supplement element was the reason for two more recalls in February and March of 2006 which resulted in the death and sickness of many dogs and cats eating several veterinarian diets. A brand of cat food was recalled a little over a year ago due to an elevated toxic level of added zinc. In Florida about a year ago, just the simple mistake of measuring a supplemental dose of sodium selenite (man-made form of essential selenium) caused the death of 21 horses within 4 hours of being administered the supplement. And just in the last month or so, yet another brand of a pet food had to recall several of its sku’s of dry food which was causing hypercalcemia and was linked to too much added synthetic vitamin D3. Just so I am clear to you about what I am talking about, I am talking about any of the added vitamins and minerals in pet foods such as Vitamin A Supplment, Vitamin D3, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin B12, etc., etc. There are usually 20 to 26 added to every commercial dry and canned pet food.
If you want to avoid the potential toxicity of these elements, use raw food, but not any raw food. Lately, there have been more and more commercially prepared raw foods also adding these synthetic elements. Look for diets that are 100 totally natural using real, whole foods and other natural ingredients. I would recommend these over raw foods adding any synthetic supplementation. Another thing to also be aware of are diets that look kind of raw or fresh but are really not. There are some refrigerated foods now that are totally cooked and are marketed in refrigerators. I call these refrigerated canned foods. There is absolutely no need to buy these which are almost always higher priced than canned diets and have a short shelf life. They also all contain synthetic supplements. In my opinion, they are no better than an equal canned food in ingredients.
The other thing to be aware of are frozen diets that are high pressure sterilized. Canned food is sterilized, too. It means all the bacteria has been killed which kills the good along with it. These foods have been exposed to both high pressure and some heat. A truly raw diet will be made of fresh raw ingredients and then frozen. They will never have been exposed to high pressure and heat for sterilization. A process like this mutes the whole point of a raw food diet.
So in my opinion in making a different case for raw food, a real raw diet is one that supplies all essential nutrients from real food and is not supplemented with potentially toxic synthetic vitamins and minerals. A true raw food is formulated in such a way as to supply everything your pet needs with real food. Also, a real raw diet has not been sterilized like a refrigerated or canned food is. Why not buy the cheaper canned food if you want a sterilized diet?
A real raw diet of 100% totally natural ingredients, (which means no added synthetic supplements and not cooked and put in a cooler and not high pressure sterilized which also includes some heat), can provide for your pet vital nutrients for better health for weight management, better dental health, increased immunity, better digestion and stool quality, and the chance for a lot less trips to the vet.
*There are many companies jumping on the grain free kibble band wagon. Keep in mind the so-called “bad” grain has just been replaced with another starch such as potato, tapioca, or peas. The good thing about grain free kibble, is not the grain free aspect which has been replaced with another starch, it is the introduction of diets with more animal derived protein than the amount diets with grain traditionally had. So watch out for those companies coming out with grain free but are still rather high in starch content. You might as well be feeding the traditional lamb and rice or chicken and rice diet rather than purchasing a grain free with lots of starchy potato or tapioca or peas.
Scott Freeman created and launched Nature’s Logic in 2006. It is the only full line of pet food in the world in which all categories (dry, canned, raw frozen and supplements) provide all essential nutrients from 100% food and all natural ingredients. No chemically synthesized vitamins or minerals are ever used. He can be contacted for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.