This is a company that claims to care about the health of your animal. Purina also claims they have SCIENCE behind their research but science clearly states that dogs do not have a carbohydrate requirement or starch requirement per se, but carbs do provide a form of glucose...as glucose can come from other sources other than carbs. Carbohydrates aren't even recognized as AAFCO as an essential nutrient. Why is a company like Purina using SO MANY CARBOHYDRATES in their foods? 44.5% carbohydrates is almost HALF of the food in the form of carbohydrates!
I hate to ask this, but is Beneful a product for a specific income level and the carbohydrate content doesn't matter? Does the carbohydrate content allow Purina to make, distribute, and then allow the store to sell the food for a specific price point that's STILL affordable for certain incomes after it's marked up by manufacturer, distributor, and retail?
Is it that the people buying this product don't know any better? Do they think they're buying a product that's fit for a carnivore?
I don't know of any research that states an appropriate amount of carbohydrates for dogs is 44.50%, almost 50% of the foods. There's no double blind placebo controlled study that states this is a healthier diet over a native diet. Carbohydrates of this level do not amount to what many define as a dog's native diet.
Please ask your pet food company questions about carbohydrates. Look deeper, do more research, and keep asking questions.
It has been more difficult than necessary for "Pet Tao" to provide information about how Evanger's plays a role in their sourcing. You would think that a company would be proud of how their foods are made and all the information would be out for the consumer to get quick answers on. It's been a bit of a back and forth with "Pet Tao" even though they market themselves as being transparent and holistic. But asking them questions has only brought to light that Evanger's is responsible for a bulk of the "Pet Tao" sourcing. Evanger's has a horrible ethical relationship with pet owners, stores, and suppliers at this point. It's a mess.
The purpose here is to figure out WHO ELSE besides Party Animal that Evanger's manufactures. This is IMPORTANT INFORMATION. You should be asking all of these questions to the companies who make your pet "food". Where is it being made? Is it a white labeled product? Is someone else doing the sourcing?
For back conversations with "Pet Tao", please click HERE and HERE.
KOHL: It looks like you guys white label with Wisconsin Freeze Dried.
SAMANTHA (PET TAO): YES
KOHL: So Pet Tao comes up with the packaging and marketing and then Wisconsin Freeze Dried takes care of the rest?
SAMANTHA (PET TAO): YES, we do all the packaging, labeling, and moisture, rancidity, microbiology et al. All of our products are custom formulated none are Evangers formula with the exception of defunct select cat foods.
KOHL: Is that the case with Evanger's as well?
SAMANTHA (PET TAO): YES, they co-pack our foods currently.
KOHL: I see nothing in that link that talks about you sourcing the raw materials or anything of that nature. Is that left for Evanger's to do and then you pack it with your label?
SAMANTHA (PET TAO): Not entirely! It depends on the availability of raw materials. For instance, we supply our own custom premix derived from our AAFCO testing and formulated by Trow Nutrition. We do not source ALL the raw materials as that defies the bulk price point discounts of the manufacturer. We do not source the meat ingredients. Because of our diet formulations we cannot cost effectively source the meats in frozen or fresh form. They would have to be powdered and we chose not to do that.
KOHL: Also just to confirm with Evanger's, do you guys test the ingredient once per year for guaranteed analysis?
SAMANTHA (PET TAO): We are responsible for product testing, not Evangers because we do not use their canine formulas. GA is an average not an absolute so the products are tested per calendar year depending on production by us. GA is for labeling only and doesn’t indicate much since it is an average over time. There is latitude in the GA but it does ensure minimal consumer confidence. We perform the GA and other tests including Ca and P not necessarily every 12 months but per calendar year. Products not labeled “for supplemental feeding only” have been through AAFCO testing and GA testing. I'm not seeing any further tests being conducted on the products other than that so I could love to confirm that as well. Pentobarbitol tests done during the recall at Texas A and M. salmonella, botulism and listeria on as needed basis on select at risk products.
KOHL: All of these questions are completely in line with what Pet Tao is marketing, which is wanting 100% confidence in your manufacturer. It doesn't appear that you're actually manufacturing anything at PetTao but sourcing that out.
SAMANTHA (PET TAO): When we first started, we produced all of our foods in our own facility. It was not feasible with all of our fresh meats and vegetables, no powders.
KOHL: Many companies do that and it technically doesn't mean anything bad...but I think you can understand from the terminology used on your blog how that can be confusing. Would love confirmation.
SAMANTHA (PET TAO): I think our statement at the end of the article may be confusing. We meant if you truly want 100% confidence in your manufacturer, the only way to have that is make the food yourself at home.
That's why we link to our course about Eastern Food Therapy after that statement. We teach people how to cook at home and how to follow the Eastern principles we base our formulas on. We also have all of our recipes on the blog because we want people to have the option to make our food at home if they don't want to buy the cans.
"Pet Tao" is not the only company out there that sources out their manufacturing like this. "Pet Tao" is not the only company that allows a 3rd party to do all of their meat sourcing.
It's questionable to me how "Pet Tao" can talk about themselves being ethical and transparent, yet none of this information about sourcing and manufacturing is in their literature or marketing.
Have you had uncomfortable conversations with your vet about nutrition? It's time to let your voice be heard.
Please send your story or experience to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if your vet is/was for a species appropriate diet, against a species appropriate diet, and how you feel about what you were told.
Can't wait to hear from you.
"A one on one interview with the heads of these companies would not happen because you can ask questions that are too difficult to answer honestly, openly, or appropriately that could put them in a compromised position."
That's a quote from Dr. Karen Becker in "Pet Fooled" now streaming WORLDWIDE on Netflix. It's true, there's a LOT of questions regarding pet foods on the market. So I was wondering what companies can answer basic questions when asked.
There are some themes many deem as super important. What degrees are dry foods extruded at? What's the origin of ingredients? What is the quality of ingredients? Are the ingredients even appropriate for the animal to consume.
Cats are obligate carnivores. Purina "Friskies" has several dry foods on the market so I'm wondering how "ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, ground wheat, and soybean meal" are appropriate for an obligate carnivore.
So I decided to chat with Purina "Friskies" to ask these basic questions, but it became clear VERY quickly that Purina "Friskies" has information that appears to deflect the consumer versus answer the question thoroughly.
Buckle up! Here we go!
PHONE CALL WITH PURNA "FRISKIES" REPRESENTATIVE
KOHL: I'm just wondering with the dry cat foods at "Friskies", at what degrees are they extruded at?
JIM (Representative): I don't understand the question, sir.
KOHL: What degrees are the dry cat foods cooked at? Extruded means heated.
JIM (Representative): Hmmm. That's a good question. Hmmm. And why do you want to know this information?
KOHL: Because it deals with the transparency of the company and the heat of the cat food is important with what it's cooked at no?
JIM (Representative): What I'm going to do is put you on a brief hold and try to find this information with you. It's going to take 1 or 2 minutes.
4 minutes 33 seconds pass
JIM (Representative): Thank you for holding sir. Unfortunately I don't have this information.
KOHL: Do you have the moisture content of any of the dry foods? Like, how much moisture is in the dry foods?
JIM (Representative): I have the "Friskies Gravy Swirlers" and the moisture is 12%.
KOHL: Is that appropriate for cats?
JIM (Representative): I don't get your point, sir.
KOHL: Is 12% moisture an appropriate level of moisture for cats to be consuming in a food?
JIM (Representative): As fed is 6.4%
KOHL: What is the the appropriate moisture level for a cat in regards to a food?
JIM (Representative): I don't know.
KOHL: Are cats obligate carnivores?
JIM (Representative): Yes, I can say so.
KOHL: I'm confused because if I look at the foods for "Friskies" it's ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, ground wheat. So I don't know how that is an obligate carnivore food. Are you confirming that cats are indeed obligate carnivores?
JIM (Representative): Yes.
There is is! An admission by a Purina employee that cats ARE INDEED obligate carnivores! So why are there so many grains in their foods for an obligate carnivore? Why is it difficult when contacting Purina to receive information about calories in the foods? Is calories not important to Purina? Even Cornell University states "It means that cats are strict carnivores that rely on nutrients in animal tissue to meet their specific nutritional requirements. In their natural habitat, cats are hunters that consume prey high in protein with moderate amounts of fat and minimal amounts of carbohydrates." .
Expanding on the information pointed out above, cats rely on nutrients in ANIMAL TISSUE. There is no animal issue in "ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, ground wheat, soybean meal." The critisism from many is that ingredients like ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, ground wheat, and soybean meal are cheap ingredients for companies to use. Sure, they can provide you with excuses as to why they are in the foods. But when doing more research, they don't appear to be ingredients appropriate for an obligate carnivore. Allowed by AAFCO, sure. But that's a whole other story.
Again, taking the above information that cats are obligate carnivores, carbohydrates are important to know. How many carbohydrates are in the Purina "Friskies" food? This is important information for every cat owner to ask their pet food companies.
Here is a chat conversation with Purina "Friskies" asking about carbohydrate percentages in their dry foods.
The amount of carbohydrates in a food for a cat is VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION! You would think that a company that "cares about the health of your pet" would have this information on hand at all times.
But Purina "Friskies" doesn't have that information on hand.
They DO have all the excuses for corn, wheat, and by products on hand. Calorie information is more difficult for them to answer.
I give Purina another call at 1800-778-7462 just to clarify if they can provide that information over the phone. Here is the conversation.
KOHL: I'm calling about Friskies cat food. In particular, the Tender & Crunchy combo, I was trying to figure out the carbohydrate content of that food. Or, carbohydrate percentage.
PURINA REPRESENTATIVE: It's not showing it to me. Is it okay for me to put you on a brief hold?
2 minutes 12 seconds pass.
PURINA REPRESENTATIVE: Unfortunately it's not showing the carbohydrate amount and I'm at a loss to explain why.
KOHL: Do you have carbohydrate content for any of the dry cat foods?
PURINA REPRESENTATIVE: Yes we do. This one isn't showing us for I don't know what reason.
KOHL: How about the indoor delight?
PURINA REPRESENTATIVE: That is so weird. For any of our Friskies products, for some reason it's not showing us the nutrient profile for that one.
KOHL: No carbohydrate percentage?
PURINA REPRESENTATIVE: Yeah none of the carbohydrate percentages.
KOHL: Is there a manager or someone I could speak to to try and figure that out?
PURINA REPRESENTATIVE: Yeah, I can transfer you to a supervisor. Give me one second.
3 minutes 44 seconds pass
PURINA REPRESENTATIVE: Thank you for holding. Unfortunately we don't have a supervisor available.
Once again, why aren't Purina representatives armed with information to give callers carbohydrate information? All cat owners should be able to receive clear and concise information in real time about the level of carbohydrates and starches in the foods, since cats are obligate carnivores.
All cat and dog owners should be enlightened enough about nutrition to know what amount of carbohydrates are appropriate for the species. Calling and asking questions is very important. Investigating what you're told is important. Getting various points of view and then researching even further is very important.
All the love,
3 out of 4 cats will die of KIDNEY FAILURE. This is beyond appalling and this is a call for all cat parents to evaluate WHY?! Why are 3 out of 4 cats dying from kidney failure?
There's a ton of information out there already on cats and kidney failure. I suggest all cat owners read these two articles as a starting point.
In the name of "Pet Fooled", I want to remind and stress all pet owners to MAKE SURE the foods you are feeding are moisture appropriate. If you're feeding a dry pet food, please look into the moisture content and consider feeding fresher foods that contain appropriate moisture levels.
It's 2017 and close to 2018. There's no reason in this day and age that animals can't eat appropriate foods. The information is out there. Corporate interest is out there and they want your money. But consumers have to step up and take action. Appropriate foods are different than "convenient" foods. Since humans crave convenience, there's a marketplace out there providing CONVENIENCE for you but that's different than NATIVE FOODS for DOGS and CATS.
Sorry for the all caps, but lets all feed moisture appropriate foods!
All the love,
Only Fans is a premium platform where you can watch out takes from the Pet Fooled film and view exclusive content and interview that are only available to Only Fans members. At only $5/month, you can access this fun and informative archive of entertainment!
It's imperative that lines of communication between consumers and companies are as open as possible. How are ingredients sourced? How are the foods made? How are they packed? Where are they packaged? The list of questions could go on and on.
Evanger's has a history of questionable conduct with their pet food manufacturing. They were even involved in utility theft back in 2010. If Joel Sher of Evanger's was ordering employees to use jackhammers to dig through asphalt and divert gas lines, as reported, what do you think they're doing to their dog and cat food?
Look no further than the recent 2017 revelations of Evanger's using inedible horse meat that was tainted with pentobarbital. That didn't stop them from packaging the ingredients as USDA organic for the brand Party Animal! Anyone can finger point all they want and of course, mistakes CAN indeed happen during manufacturing. But finger pointing aside, it's the company's responsibility to validate and test the raw materials that they are purchasing.
After the Evanger's recall, Party Animal was forced to remove their products from shelves. The question then became, who else is made at Evanger's or white labeled by Evanger's? There are companies that exist who allow Evanger's to source their raw materials (meats and other ingredients). Yet, these companies can claim to be transparent and honest.
I reached out to "Pet Tao" recently and was not given any confirmation regarding their involvement with Evanger's. What a disappointment. This company claims to have integrity and transparency. But the basics of transparency is being open about how products are sourced and made. See the pictures below for the "Pet Tao" response.
Why not respond back with the information? Hmmmm. It's a pretty simple question and if you truly are a transparent company, this should be a question that you're proud to answer.
One company that I reached out to with this SAME EXACT QUESTION is a company by the name of "Pet Kind". Look at the difference in their response below. This is what transparency is all about. This is honesty. This is what a pet owner deserves when asking a question from a company on the market.
What a difference between "Pet Kind" being truly transparent and "Pet Tao" claiming integrity and transparency then not answering the question.
All the love,
Ah. This lovely pet food industry. It never ceases to amaze me.
I received this e-mail from "Pet Tao", a brand that calls themselves holistic and transparent.
They send this e-mail to their newsletter subscribers. I'm thinking, YES! No one wants secrets. Yay for integrity and transparency.
But it appears that THEIR version of transparency isn't OTHER people's version of transparency. That's what you get with companies. Their agenda can be completely different than a consumers.
I get another e-mail from "Pet Tao".
Yes, actually I do have a few questions.
It has been reported that "Pet Tao" makes their foods at Evanger's and even allows Evanger's to source their raw materials.
That plays into transparency and integrity.
So I e-mailed them a basic question.
I get this response.
An NDA is required to receive basic information about HOW their products are made?
Hence, this is the constant and reoccurring problem in the pet food industry. Consumers want convenience. They're providing convenience. Consumers want health. This company talks about Eastern Food Therapy. This is a company bragging about how transparent they are. They say they have integrity.
Yet they appear to NOT WANT CONSUMERS TO KNOW HOW THEIR PRODUCTS ARE SOURCED AND MADE! How is refusing to answer a basic question about Evanger's sourcing your raw materials integrity or transparency? I understand how after the phenobarbital fiasco, "Pet Tao" probably wants to sweep that bit of information under the rug. But that doesn't meet the definition of integrity or transparency in my book.
I reached out to a few other companies regarding products made at Evanger's. I received one good response from "Pet Kind" with easy to understand and transparent information. You can write them yourself as a consumer if you feed "Pet Kind" and get an appropriate response from them.
As you can read above, that's not the case with "Pet Tao."
Anytime "Pet Tao" wants to be transparent about Evanger's and the sourcing of their ingredients, we're here listening!
All the love,
Disclaimer before you read any further. You can indeed make your own cat or dog food. The good thing is that information is out there. You will need to read and research and get a well rounded scope of information before making your own foods. Dr. Karen Becker has great information out there. Catinfo.org is another great resource.
The "Two Crazy Cat Ladies" (who aren't too crazy) recently went on a journey to make their own cat food. You should check out the video below if you have a cat and see what they're up to. .
The great thing about videos like this is that it shows that it's POSSIBLE to make your own balanced meals for your cat or dog. Again, it takes a lot of time, effort, research, and dedication but it's 100% possible.
A lot of you are asking about specific brands during Facebook Live sessions or via e-mail to our website. "Pet Fooled" doesn't recommend specific brands but if you're looking to learn more about various brands on the market and how foods are made, you can check out our "Talk To Us" campaign. http://www.petfooled.com/talk-to-us-campaign.html
For one reason or another, some of you on Facebook aren't paying attention before asking questions and it's a bit confusing as to why. For example, we are engaging with different companies for the "Talk To Us" campaign and some of you have been asking different companies what they think or feel about other brands on the market.
It's as if some people aren't even watching what's going on and instead just posting the first thing that comes to mind.
Pet Fooled the film asks you to think about the appropriate approach to nutrition. The reality is, consumers want convenience. You can continue to seek out and be confused by what's on the shelves at any store OR you can dedicate more time to researching what the appropriate approach to nutrition means to you. That means you have to dedicate time and research to finding this answer for yourself. What does quality mean to you? What about sourcing? How can you verify that?
Don't look for shortcuts and don't be afraid to challenge yourself and research this topic as much as you can. You don't have to solve every one of your questions in one night. It took me years.
But please step out of the "scroll" life on social media. Don't be a scroll. Instead, think about being an enlightened individual who can bring substance and intelligence to conversations. It's not about getting a quick answer or demonizing manufacturers because the reality of everything does indeed, at some point, fall back on the consumer. It's your purchasing habits that keep companies in business. We all need to be responsible when purchasing any kind of product, not just pet food.