It's no secret that Blue Buffalo representatives have stated publicly at AAFCO meetings that they do not wish to provide consumers with carbohydrate information on the packages. This is one of many companies willingly with holding information from consumers on packages. Blue Buffalo representatives didn't stand before the audience at a recent AAFCO meeting and talk about the importance of responsibly conveying carbohydrate percentages to consumers on the packages. Nor did they urge other industry leaders to join in and help consumers understand the importance of species appropriate nutrition. Blue Buffalo didn't say "we 100% want this information on the packages for pet owners so they can have this important information on the packages." Instead, the representative failed to help bring calorie information to pet food packages. The Blue Buffalo representative at AAFCO actually spoke against the idea of including calorie percentages on packages.
If carbohydrate information were displayed on packages, it would be an easy "go to" for pet owners to make a very important nutritional decision right off the bat. Past the marketing buzzwords and right to the carbohydrate percentage. Pet owners could then compare the carbohydrates in the foods to the carnivore biological requirements and make a decision if the food is appropriate for the species or not in regards to the amount of carbohydrates in the macro and micro nutrients. Since cats are obligate carnivores and dogs are scavenging carnivores, their biological requirement for simple starches and carbohydrates are clearly known. Cat's don't need carbohydrates. Dogs don't need carbohydrates. But many pet food companies include A LOT of carbohydrates in their food recipes anyway.
I called to get carbohydrate information for Blue Buffalo cat products. Do cat parents even know how many carbohydrates are in Blue Buffalo dry cat food products? What does Blue Buffalo say to consumers who call in and ask tough questions?
The first question posed to a Blue Buffalo representative was about their "Blue Healthy Growth".
You can listen to audio from this conversation by clicking HERE!
KOHL: What is the percentage of carbohydrates in that?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: Carbohydrates, we don't have dry matter values. We only have as fed. And that's going to be 31.95% as fed for carbs.
KOHL: Does that mean 31% of the bag is carbohydrates?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: No, so as fed is kind of like when you buy your 2% milk. Your milk at your grocery store. It doesn't matter if you drink one glass of milk, or two glasses, or the whole gallon, that 2% is all that you're getting. Same thing with our bags. It doesn't matter if you feed one cup, two cups, 5 bowls or the whole bag. That's the total amount of carbs they will be receiving.
KOHL: Ok cool. How do I find out how much of the bag is carbohydrates?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: How much of the bag?
KOHL: Yeah. If I were to buy...
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: I wouldn't have that information.
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: Well that's just something we're not provided with.
A LAUGHABLE EXUSE
The next portion of the phone conversation contains what I would argue to be a laughable excuse that doesn't make logical sense if you actually THINK ABOUT IT! With this excuse, Blue Buffalo earns the Pet Fooled "Bullsh*t Award". "Blue Buffalo" wants to claim "there's no room" for carbohydrate information on the bag. Somehow, they can include all of their marketing tag lines and pictures of various sizes. The excuse that "there isn't enough room on the bag for carbohydrates information" makes NO LOGICAL SENSE.
You can listen to that segment of the conversation by clicking HERE or you can read the transcript below.
KOHL: Is there a reason why the carbohydrates isn't on the bags? Because it's a little bit confusing not to have it on the bags.
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: Well, it's just that there's not enough room to put all of that information on there. So we usually just put the most important information also. Our food isn't formulate for pets that have special needs. So special medical conditions. So if you're having to look at carbs, phosphorous, anything like that, we would ask for you to speak to your vet first before making any changes because we aren't really formulated for those pets.
KOHL: Do you guys think you could take off some of your marketing and put carbohydrates on there?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: I can certainly forward that suggestion.
THEY ARE AWARE
Top "Blue Buffalo" players have been VERY AWARE of that "suggestion" for quite a while and they've spoke against having carbohydrates percentages on their on their bags at AAFCO meetings. Let's be clear there.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CARBOHYDRATES IN BLUE BUFFALO CAT FOODS WHEN CATS ARE OBLIGATE CARNIVORES?
You can listen by clicking HERE or read the transcript below.
KOHL: Do you guys provide information about; like what is the carbohydrate requirement, biological requirement, for a cat?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: I don't have that information.
KOHL: Do you guys say that cats are obligate carnivores?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: Yeah, they are carnivores.
KOHL: Are they obligate carnivores?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: I'm not sure what that means but they are carnivores. They do require a higher intake of protein percentage than dogs. I do know that.
KOHL: Are carbohydrates required for cats?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: I don't know. I'm not a vet so I don't know.
KOHL: I'm not asking if you're a vet or not. I'm asking the company producing the food.
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: I don't know. I don't know.
KOHL: Who could I speak to that would know?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: Your vet.
KOHL: Who could I speak to at Blue Buffalo about this?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: We wouldn't know. That's something you need to speak to your vet about.
BLUE BUFFALO HAS "SCIENTISTS" AND "NUTRITIONISTS" But... "YOU CAN'T SPEAK TO THEM!"
Remember in "Pet Fooled" (on Netflix, iTunes, Vimeo, DVD) when Dr. Karen Becker said "A one on one interview with the heads of these companies would never happen because you can ask questions too difficult to answer honestly, openly, or appropriately that could put them in a compromised position."
Above is a screen capture from the feature film "Pet Fooled" where Dr. Karen Becker says "A one on one interview with the heads of these companies would never happen because you can ask questions too difficult to answer honestly, openly, or appropriately that could put them in a compromised position."
Well, here's evidence of Blue Buffalo refusing to give any information about their scientists, veterinarians, and nutritionists. They're VERY PROUD to claim they have all of this professional help, but they won't give any further information in this phone call in regards to WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE!
You can listen to this portion of the phone conversation HERE or read the transcript below.
KOHL: Do you have scientists on staff or veterinarians on staff?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: We do but they don't work here.
KOHL: May I speak to them?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: They're out in the field. They don't work in this office. They're out in the field.
KOHL: How does someone get in contact with them?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: You can't get in contact with them because they don't speak to pet parents.
KOHL: You don't find that to be important? For veterinarians who are formulating diets to speak to pet parents that they're selling it to?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: No. No. Because if you're having to ask those kinds of questions you need to speak to your vet. Do you call a pharmaceutical when you're getting medication? Do you call them or do you speak to your doctor?
KOHL: Do you not think it's important for Blue Buffalo veterinarians to speak to pet parents and answer these questions?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: No, because you would have to speak to your vet.
KOHL: I'm not asking you that. I'm asking for Blue Buffalo's comments.
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: No. Is there something else I can help you with?
KOHL: Yes, I would like to speak to veterinarians at Blue Buffalo.
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: You won't be able to speak to them.
KOHL: Or scientists.
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: You won't be able to speak to them.
KOHL: Ok. So, is there a media contact that you can provide me with?
BLUE BUFFALO REPRESENTATIVE: You won't be able to speak with them. All your e-mails will get directed to us. If you have those kinds of questions you would have to speak to your vet.
THIS IS ALARMING!
You would assume since "Blue Buffalo" is "marketing" themselves as SO TRANSPARENT that they would provide consumers with that information. But as highlighted in the conversation above, "Blue Buffalo" shuts down all opportunity to speak to their veterinarians and scientists when challenged about important dietary requirements for cats.
Regarding Blue Buffalo's marketing, they have no issue criticizing Purina in their commercials. In one commercial, a woman who feeds Purina "Cat Chow" is asked by a Blue Buffalo representative (or actor) "do you ever think about the ingredients in that cat food?"
If you look at their commercial and marketing and compare it to the phone call conversation which continues below, something isn't adding up.
Above is a screenshot taken from a "Blue Buffalo" commercial urging cat owners to look into the ingredients in their foods. So why doesn't "Blue Buffalo" want to put carbohydrates on their packages? You can view the entire commercial HERE if the youtube link below doesn't work.
EVIDENCE FROM THE BAGS
Below are pictures of bags of Blue Buffalo Food. Are you buying their excuse that there isn't ANY ROOM for them to include carbohydrate percentages? It looks like there's PLENTY of room for them to do so. If they have a problem with including carbohydrate percentages, they could easily make the font a bit smaller and include that information.
But there are two stories here. Remember, one of the HEADS of Blue Buffalo spoke against the idea of using carbohydrates. This was a public opposition by Blue Buffalo. He used the excuse "it would confuse consumers". Well, which is it? Confuse or there isn't enough room?
Or maybe they don't want cat owners to know how many carbohydrates are in a food for an obligate carnivore?
CALL WITH ANY QUESTIONS
It says it RIGHT THERE on the bag. CALL US for more information.
But as you can see and hear from the phone call with them, they don't provide much more information if it pertains to hard hitting questions about carbohydrates and cats being obligate carnivores. They also do not provide any more information about the veterinarians and scientists they brag about other than "you won't be able to speak to them."
Do You Know How Many Carbohydrates Are In Your Cat's Food?
Please further research the food you're feeding your cat and research more about percentages of carbohydrates and obligate carnivores. Once you do the research yourself, you'll never forget.
Here is more information from the phone conversation about a few more Blue Buffalo dry cat food brands and their carbohydrate percentages on an "as fed" basis.
Blue Multi-Cat Health
Blue Natural Veterinary Diet
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.