27 Jul What is Organic Pet Food? Know All About Organic Pet Food
Marketing refers to the promotion process of a good or service to gain potential clients or customers. The modern marketing machine is well-oiled and efficient, often so much so that it can sell an idea which is not necessarily true. Therefore, it is essential to conduct research into the facts; not everything said in the process can be taken as gospel. If something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t as great as a campaign might lead you to believe.
One such trend which has been growing in the public consciousness is the term “organic”. Organic is a term used to classify and provide a description for food products, such as food for humans and feed for livestock. This includes a wide variety of foodstuffs; meat, multi-ingredient processed items, and products which are grown or produced in accordance with the rules and regulations of the government of a country. As an example, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) splits it across three categories; organic plants, organic meat-producing animals, and organic multi-processed food.
For organic plants, the guidelines relate to:
- Not using certain prohibited synthetic pesticides/fertilizers
- Not using genetically modified seeds
- Preventing GMO contamination on the farm
Organic Meat-Producing Animals
For organic meat-producing animals, the guidelines include:
- Raising the animal in living conditions that accommodate its natural behaviours
- Feeding organic feed
- Not using antibiotics or hormones
- Processing the meat product prior to packaging in a certified facility to avoid contact with any prohibited substances
Organic Multi-Ingredient Processed Foods
For organic multi-ingredient processed foods, the guidelines relate to the exclusion of artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives; however, some approved non-agricultural ingredients may be included.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S.A, “There are no official rules governing the labelling of organic foods for pets at this time, but the USDA is developing regulations dictating what types of synthetic additives, such as vitamins and purified amino acids, may be used in pet foods labelled as organic.” To summarize this short quote, it basically means that you can still see the word “organic” on foods which are not necessarily being produced with fully organic practices, which may or may not contain synthetic additives. The fact of the matter is, the word organic, its use and what count as ‘organic’ are subject to change, depending on the government classification of foodstuffs and the definition of “natural”.
Coming back to marketing, it is curious how organic foodstuffs have seen an extreme rise in popularity amongst the public when it should supposedly be a given that everybody wants clean and unaltered foods; both for human beings, and their pets. If the definition and classification of organic foodstuffs are subject to change upon further research, the question is, is organic food any better than regular, “inorganic” foodstuffs for your pet?
The truth is, to this day, there is no link found between the consumption of organic produce and the increase in the nutritional value of said consumption. The research conducted on humans has so far been inconclusive, with no notable difference in the nutritional values between food produced in the traditional manner, and food produced using organic practices. As such, while there might be an incremental increase in nutritional value, this isn’t exactly better for the health of your pet, as the traditionally produced foodstuffs meet your pet’s daily minimum required nutrients, and often exceed it. So, a higher concentration of one or many specific nutrients won’t exactly lead to better health for your pet.
To identify the impacts of organic versus conventional food production methods, a thorough, well- researched test is required across two controlled groups, in which any advantages or disadvantages in the consumption of organic foods may be identified. As the government themselves say, the data is limited on the subject for humans, let alone pets, so as of now, it may be folly to believe the well-oiled marketing machine. If anything, growing your own produce, ensuring your meat is sourced properly and is free of any contaminants, and making your own ‘organic’ food is the most viable and reliable option, as, without any further research or evidence, results will remain inconclusive. The organic label on the packaging can hardly be an all-encompassing guarantee of quality when any research pointing to the same has been inconclusive.