Unfit for Humans — Legal for Dog Food?


Manufacturing waste — that endless flow of scraps and rejects left over from virtually every human food enterprise.

Rejected for Humans Yet OK for Dogs?Restaurants.  Meat packers.  Cereal makers.  Supermarkets.

They all produce waste.

Yet each and every day, every one of them must ultimately face the same vexing problem:

What to do with tons of inedible waste — by-products classified “unfit for human consumption”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all that garbage could be recycled… re-used to generate more cash profits for the food industry?

But for making what?

Turning Trash Into Cash

Think about it. What industry could be routinely counted on to purchase such unwanted leftovers — and use them to make a salable (money-making) product?

You guessed it — the pet food industry.

You see, pet food companies have become an important waste disposal vehicle for the human food industry. A sinister way for manufacturers to use — and profit from — their own garbage.

Many companies practice this legal form of witchcraft by magically turning their own worthless by-products into dog food. And (of course) profit.

For proof, look no further than this list of unsavory ingredients. Yet even though they’re appalling, each one can be lawfully used to make dog food:

A dog food’s ingredients list can present a cryptic picture — hiding some of the most grisly and outrageous food rejects you can imagine.

So, when picking dog food, always watch for words like unidentified meats, by-products, middlings or “tail-of-the-mill”. Any one could be a tip-off you’re about to buy an inferior product.

  • Janine Keluche-Jordan

    You know I appreciate that I am also not committed because there hasn’t been enough time tracking results… every company wants to make money so it’s so hard and even vets disagree… so you are kind of voicing what I was thinking so thank you I’m definitely going to put a lot more thought into this before I do it! Appreciate your time and replying! Thank you.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I didn’t watch the film because I could tell by the comments and trailer on Netflix that it was biased and propaganda from the raw feeding community and the homeopathic vets.
    I choose to believe in science based veterinary medicine. My only experience with raw food has been negative, so, I can’t help you with questions about raw, except to say I don’t think it is worth the risk.

  • Janine Keluche-Jordan

    Anyway I would be interested in your opinion and what brands you would recommend…
    It sounds like you are knowledgeable and know what you’re talking about just watch that documentary on dog fooled… it was really interesting so that’s what got me on the kick… so I was thinking of doing Steve’s… but I would be interested to know what you thought thank you!

  • Janine Keluche-Jordan

    Awesome good for you.

  • Janine Keluche-Jordan

    Right…they came up when I did a Google search for raw food meals etc thanks app for letting me know that they are not and don’t claim to be Etc they are dehydrated human grade dog food. Thanks for your reply.

  • Janine Keluche-Jordan

    Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks are in the Allium family, and are poisonous to both dogs and cats if the dose is right. Garlic is considered to be about five times as toxic as onions for cats and dogs. … While minute amounts of these foods in some pets, especially dogs, may be safe, large ingestions can be very toxic…

    But you know what I’m prone to believing you…

    Anyway thank you so much and what is thk I know you said thk is not a raw food diet…

    And I don’t know if you are pro raw food diet but that’s what I’m thinking about doing and there is a brand “Steve’s…” something something what do you think about that?

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Here is some science based veterinary medicine

    Homeopathic vets offer a different opinion, as explained via the above link

  • Janine Keluche-Jordan

    Well that whole garlic thing is interesting you Google it and the first article says absolutely garlic chives and onion are poisonous to both cats and dogs it doesn’t say mildly irritating or if taken in large doses… every single article is flat-out poisonous but I guess my question is why would you want to do that question mark and I did read someone’s response and they said that garlic can be beneficial I just don’t understand where are they getting their research from because there are so many articles saying the word poisonous… for me I always try to make the food interesting and I don’t feed my dog the same thing every week after week… it’s me I would think garlic would be good that’s why I was kind of surprised to read it supposedly isn’t good but even more stringent that it is poisonous…

    Absolutely I’m not arguing with anyone I’m just learning the basics right now so I mean information scientific information would be awesome and so many times you get conflicting information it’s hard to know what is true and not…

  • InkedMarie

    I do lab work before any procedure….Boone is having a dental the end of the month. His was great, esp for an 11yr old. He had then complete senior panel done. Ginger had complete bloodwork (not senior) in November. O’Malley hasnt had any, yet. Not for awhile unless something happens.

  • InkedMarie

    It’s air dried garlic granules. That’s it.

    All of my dogs have annual bloodwork done. O’Malley is 20 months & has not. He won’t, for awhile. To be honest, life is going to hell in a hand basket.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    The vet will probably wait until/if the dog has symptoms, then recommend the test you mentioned.
    My vet tells me “You can’t tell by looking” I believe him.
    But a lot of pet owners think routine lab work is unnecessary and vets risk being called greedy if they suggest things…..

  • Pitlove

    I know the average owner doesn’t find it cost effective or necessary. I can’t do it nearly as often as I’d like to either, until Im working in a clinic. I consider Marie a concencious pet owner even if I don’t agree with all her methods so I was just curious as a differential is different than a normal CBC run on an IDEXX machine.

    I completely agree with you on the subject of blood work. It is a great tool.

  • Pitlove

    I don’t know how common differentials or doing blood smears are in clinics. I know one of my teachers said that she was required to do a differential for every CBC that was done in her clinic

    also I think you would probably know if you had one done because I think you would probably have to pay extra for it. I’m not sure it’s just something I was curious about.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Most pet owners opt not to do annual lab work because of the expense, some vets hesitate to recommend tests, concern about over diagnosis etc.
    The vet might just assume it (Bug Off Garlic) is a useless benign supplement and hope for the best.
    I go along with annual lab work now, as I think it is one of the best diagnostic tools vets have and I want to catch problems early when they are more likely to respond to treatment.

  • InkedMarie

    Oops…yes, that’s what I meant to say. I just edited the post.

    Regarding your question, I don’t know the answer.

  • Pitlove


    I think you meant to say “is fine” instead of “is not fine”? 😛

    Out of curiosity has this particular vet ever done a manual differential blood cell count to check for Heinz body inclusions since you are using garlic as a means of flea and tick prevention? Not bashing your use of garlic though I may not agree with it, just genuinely curious.

  • InkedMarie

    My vet is not homeopathic and says the Bug off Garlic I use is not fine. I’ll go with my experiences and this vets.

    You & I are both doing what we believe is right and I’m betting we’ll continue to do so; they’re just going to be different ways!

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Homeopathic views think garlic is fine. Science based veterinary medicine says it is toxic. Probably the minute over processed amounts in dog food won’t matter, unless a dog is sensitive to it.
    Then, you may have to make a trip to the vet, and reactions don’t always show up right away, some pet owners never even make the connection. Just think it’s some type of gastrointestinal upset. However, often when you stop the food containing the garlic, the dog gets better.

  • InkedMarie

    Garlic….in MODERATION….is fine,

    THK is NOT raw food nor do they claim to be.

  • Janine Keluche-Jordan

    You go to the honest kitchen brand and one of the top 10 ingredients is garlic so go ahead and Google onions garlic and chives are poisonous to both dogs and cats so how can they consider themselves part of the raw food diet solution it’s disgusting.

  • zosotc

    Did you read the whole thing or just the first two sentences? “The two types of animal rendering processes are edible and inedible rendering. Edible rendering plants process fatty animal tissue into edible fats and proteins. Inedible rendering plants are operated by independent renderers or are part of integrated rendering operations. These plants produce inedible tallow and grease, which are used in livestock and poultry feed, soap, and production of fatty-acids.” Yes, rendering plants accept carcasses from animal shelters, but not all rendering plants produce ingredients intended as food for pets or humans. Also, this is from 1995.

  • Carol Stuart

    Here is your proof. The EPA does allow for euthanized pets to be used in pet food. https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/chief/ap42/ch09/final/c9s05-3.pdf

  • theBCnut

    I have a lot of liver from my own grass fed steers and I make pounds of treats for my dogs and take them to classes. Recently, a little boy in one of my classes has started sneaking my liver treats and eating them. His mom is horrified, but I just laugh and reassure her that there is nothing about the treats that isn’t perfectly ok for humans, then I pop a few more into my mouth.

  • Amateria

    Likely that is the problem and why they tasted so bad lately…

  • Crazy4cats

    Haha! I like liver too. I think we are in the minority though. Most people cringe when I mention that.

  • bojangles

    Hi Amateria,

    I would never feed liver, kidney or spleen that comes from a feedlot animal. They are filtering organs and they are going to be full of all the toxins, antibiotics, hormones, etc, that have been fed to those poor animals raised in feedlots 🙁

  • theBCnut

    I’m nuts about liver, but no other organs. I make homemade liver treats for the dogs, then they have to share with me.

  • Amateria

    I like specific organ meats from specific animals, but I just haven’t had the mood for them lately, they’ve also started tasting weird not sure if old maybe or something else but I just wasn’t enjoying the flavour at all.

  • theBCnut

    Not to mention really yummy food. Dogs love organ meats.

  • Amateria

    Some people shun offal altogether if they won’t eat it neither will their dogs, which is really too bad for the dog, he’s missing out on a lot of valuable nutrition.

  • theBCnut

    Named organs are not considered bad at all. It’s what they are allowed to use as “by-products” that may be poor quality to down right bad.

  • Max

    I don’t understand why organs are considered so bad in pet food… If you’re feeding a raw diet, then offal(organs) is an important part of the diet. And wild carnivores certainly don’t turn their noses up at the innards of their prey.

  • Liis Polda
  • theBCnut

    There are books, websites, and premixes for making dog food at home. If you are making homemade food, then variety is key. Just like for humans, it’s just fine to balance the diet over time, rather than every single meal, but you need to feed lots of variety to make sure that you are balancing over time.

  • Notfromthisplanet

    Hi Doris, yes, all the ingredients described. I saute the carrots, sweet potatoes and the green beans and then add the rest. Right now I am only cooking for the sick dog who has thyroid and first stages of kidney disorder. The vet has told me to give her low protein diet. I have also started her on pure norweigen kelp. She is so full of energy, lost weight (she was overweight) and her eyes look clear, the cloud in her eyes went away and her nose is healing. I can’t cook for all my three dogs right now, 1) its too expensive and 2) I work a 9 hour job every day. The canned food that I add to their food is an organic food (Party Animal). If you read the ingredients of a high quality dog food, you can see that quinoa, pears, flax seed, coconut oil are all added to the dogs food. I do chop the green beans, the broccoli, in the food processor and dice the sweet potatoes,carrots and beets as they need to be small to digest. I do add rice, since my dogs are not allergic to grains. Flax seed oil is full of omegas and and extremely healthy for dogs. Beans, is important it is also protein based. I use 13 bean soup mix which I buy from a health food store. I cook the beans separate and then add to the mix to cook her meal. This is due to the fact beans take longer to cook. You may email me with questions if you want at [email protected]

  • Doris

    Please tell me how I can do that for my dogs.

  • Doris

    Do you know how to make food dogs? I would love to learn ands feed my best friends the best homemade food.

  • Doris

    I wonder if is best to make your own dog food at home? How can I make my own dog food? Is there a website that shows how to make your own dog food?

  • Michele

    Primal, or Stella and Chewy’s are also good!

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    Hi all,my Abbie has been on Fromm for 4 of her 6 yrs now. We did have to do allergy testing as she was having reactions from different favors, as I was mixing it up from time to time so she wouldn’t get tired of it. Found out she is highly allergic to chicken and potatoes, small allergy to pork. So now I don’t change it up any. We keep her on Fromm Lamb & Lentils Grain Free and she has done great !!!!! She was also diagnosed in April 2014, 2 days after I retired, with auto immune hemolytic anemia, so if you look that up, you will see why I am so picky. A transfusion at our vets office and a week at the ER, saved her life. Anyways, she is in remission now. I will never feed her anything but Fromm Lamb & Lentils, we truly believe in this company and believe in what Mike has to say on this website. If your baby has stomach issues, he/she may be allergic to chicken and potatoes too.

  • Notfromthisplanet

    quinoa is complete protein, plus I add broccoli, green beans, sometimes organic brown rice, sweet potatoes, blueberries, peas, beets, mixed beans (kidney, pinto, navy, garbanzo and etc). I also add one can of organic meat based protein divided between three of my dogs. They love this food. One of my dog was suffering from allergies in her eyes, dried, crusty nose, and it all went away. Their coats are shiny and are full of energy.

  • DogFoodie

    Vegetables and quinoa?

  • Notfromthisplanet

    I cook for my dogs, mainly vegetables and quinoa, all organic.

  • DogFoodie

    Take a look at The Honest Kitchen dehydrated or Weruva canned foods. Both meet your criteria.

  • Pitlove

    You should look into Orijen and Acana.

  • Just me

    Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came out with a dog food balanced for dogs, but make with human grade ingredients?

  • Pitlove

    Ahh a Pit, as you can see I have one too 🙂 Amazing dogs, however mine was from a bad breeder so he has a lot of issues like yours. The foods I use in my rotation that have worked for his yeast and all the skin problems we’ve had are Nature’s Logic, Wysong Epigen 90, Fromm (GF only) and Orijen Adult. Mine does better on GF as well.

    I spent months coming up with this list and I think I have it figured out for the most part. Though it could change. I would highly recommend Nature’s Logic. My guy is doing very well on it and it has millet while is a hypoallergenic seed (not grain), as the carb source.

  • Debbie DiFrancesco


  • Debbie DiFrancesco

    Thank you Pitlove, for replying to my post. I have heard of Fromm and that indeed it was a great food. And at the time I did switch to Earthborn and not Fromm was they were not grain free, as my Pitboy seems to do better on grain free. He has had belly issues since a pup. It is just so frustrating when we want only the best for them, yet all I see is “this is bad” no”this is bad” and yep “that one is also. If U get my drift

  • Pitlove

    Hi Shirlee- I do agree with your statement about raw being ideal for dogs, however they do need some fresh veggies and fruits in their diet and yes they can digest them in small amounts. However they should not be the majority of the diet.

    I believe (and they can correct me if i’m wrong) all the people on this site who are raw feeders, do add fresh fruits and veggies to their raw recipes.

  • Deborah Smith

    Earthborn is good and their company is good. I use fromm they are a good company.

  • Shirlee A McCourty

    The way to avoid all this horrible stuff, is to feed appropriate food for your dog ( a carnivore ) that is RAW meat, bone & offal. Your dog cannot digest Vegetables so waste of time adding them. Aim for 80% meat 5-10 % offal and 5-10% bone…( size appropriate ) no good giving beef bones to a toy poodle as far to dense.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Debbie- I completely understand that frustration of trying to find a dog food and a dog food company/manufacturer that you can trust and can feel safe with. However, there isn’t one food that is perfect and best for all dogs. Certain dogs can not eat certain ingredients and certain dogs just don’t do well on foods that their neighbors dog does amazing on.

    That being said, does Earthborn work for your boy? Do you know who makes the food and how do you feel about the company if you have looked into them? If you haven’t you should. I have no info to give to you about them aside from ingredient wise the food looks good. However, if you answered yes to these questions then I think you should not worry so much.

    A food I’ll suggest to you based on the company, their lack of recalls and the overall digestability of the food is Fromm. They have been a family owned company for over 100 years and the children of the owners are now being preped to take over the company so I don’t see them selling it any time soon. They also have pre/probiotics sprayed on the dry kibble to aid in digestion of the food. My dog did great on this food and I know others who also have had the same results.

  • Debbie DiFrancesco

    why can’t someone just tell us the best top on the line kibble for our dogs… I read and read and then get lost in all the things listed below…. my friend feeds her dog origen, I feed mine earthborn, he has a sensitive belly….both are stated to be a 5 star food…. if I go to other sites to find the best, I have to spend money to find their opinionof whats the best…. why is it so hard to just say “listen we want all this stopped.. we want our family members healthy, close the doors to the lies and deceit …..The AAFCO just deals with label, well screw them… fight to have someone stand up to these big dog food co… but then again they would only discredit one with all their $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ tired of reading lies on labels and here we are fighting to have our own food labeled Non GMO’S hahahah thats a joke to… more lies and deceit

  • Kitty Karel

    I highly recommend that readers should research Acana dog food. My dogs eat the lamb and apple. The ingredients are wonderful. I switched them from Blue Buffalo after BB
    lied about their ingredients.

  • zosotc

    I feed my pets high-quality food, but it’s not absolutely necessary and not everyone can afford it. Everyone I know that feeds their pets cheap food like Purina has always had all their animals live well into old age. When I drop food on the floor, I let my dogs eat it. What is unfit for human consumption is often perfectly fine for dogs. There are a million things that can happen in a place that manufactures people food where they can’t ethically or practically sell the food for human consumption, but wouldn’t necessarily contaminate the food. If organs and others meat byproducts that people don’t want to eat can provide some nutrition to animals, they should be used. What kind of an animal lover would demand usable meat from a dead animal be thrown away so that a living animal can be slaughtered instead? Besides, not everybody wants to pay for premium quality pet food. I seriously doubt your unbacked claims that euthanized pets and diseased animals are used in any dog food manufactured in the U.S. Until you can back up these claims you should stop making them.

  • got2bjennyg

    Merrick now = Purina. They take over was just announced this week

  • Pingback: Canned Dog Food Choices | Healthier Dog()

  • Yes it is because AAFCO doesn’t have anything to do with how the food is made. It just makes the labeling guidelines and definitions. A company can put almost anything into a dog food.


  • Laney

    If a dog food is AAFCO certified, can it still be at risk?

  • Bonnie Gilbert

    Not to mention SALMONELLA in raw chicken(raw food proponents chill out, I know your beliefs)

  • Bonnie Gilbert

    Your crazy. Take physical and mental care of these human patients! Who knows when a person’s immune system will break down! I don’t understand where you’re going with this…?

  • Bonnie Gilbert

    I knew this, but I didn’t know the exact details. I was discussing dog food brands(the 4-5star ones) with a friend because I hadn’t decided between Wellness or Merrick(going with Merrick) and her comment was “jeez he’s a DOG!!” In a very annoyed tone. In England they, humans, eat blood pudding made from blood..I think I’ll make her a batch for Christmas this year! Just a dog..please. it’s disgusting what these companies will do for money. I read every ingredient, dog and human, in case they slip in a dead human head and feet.I’m a nurse, it wouldn’t be hard to do..believe me.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I like the idea, the lion lays down with the lamb and all, but I’ve read the Bible and it does not say we’ll see our animals in Heaven, though I hope we do. Chapter and verse please.

  • Cynthia

    Thank You & God Bless you for bringing this out in public. Animals do go to Heaven, God created them and the Bible says they do. Keep up the Awesome work you are doing for the love of animals.

  • Shawna,

    “… I can’t wipe every … Unless I’m absolutely sure…”

    Absolutely! And that’s part of what I’m hoping to accomplish in this discussion. I’m hoping that we can get to the bottom of it.

    In the meantime, something that I mentioned in my transferred post: are they seeing symptoms? Not every critter has the same sensitivity. There are a whole lot of variables. If a dog that’s glowing in health, there’s a little more wiggle room. His healthy immune system may be able to handle it, to prevent it from doing damage.

    I think you may remember Dr. Blaylock’s list of susceptible individuals? “the old, the young, the infirm…” their blood brain barriers are compromised, therefore more toxins get in there fore,( and this part is from Kidd) more glutathione is used up, therefore there isn’t enough available to detox the excitotory neuro toxins. There fore (and this is from me) if you or your pet show symptoms of health harm, it’s always in your best interest to eliminate as many toxins from your diet and environment as possible, to allow your immune systems to repair themselves. If you catch it sooner, you don’t get chronically ill. This is a situation where an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure!!! IMO.

    The sicker you or your critter are the more imperative it is for you to avoid toxins. So, not everybody needs to, but estimates that I’ve furnished to the CDC, and that I’m starting to see used, are 85% (conservatively) of the human population has some kind of chronic health condition due to consumer product and environmental toxins. Actual figures support 95% from mild to severe, as a more realistic estimate, but that would start a general panic. Not many people read every word carefully for content, you know. They’d blank on “mild.” and many people don’t understand the word “chronic,” as used in medical terms… but 85% is still alarming.

    “… Then so would any other amino acid…”

    Not necessarily so, not all bonds are formed at the same strength. However, I think that’s an excellent research project for future consideration. I think it would be equally as shameful for people feeding this for its alledged nutritive value to discover that they weten’t getting those either. Are we getting back to ground zero? Raw and lightly cooked are best.

  • Oops, I’m a little behind. I went over to the Brother’s thread and posted my reply there. So here’s my reply, then I’ll address anything I didn’t cover. 🙂


    I am extremely sensitive to glutamate and react to even similar substances. I react to ferrous gluconate, the substance they use to make olives black. It’s related, and I get the same symptoms, though some what milder. I’m bringing this up because I don’t get reactions to stew or boiled food at home. I don’t get reactions to pressure cooked food at home.

    So that answers your question but also illustrates that there is something substantially different in “natural flavor” or “broth” on labels. I do get reactions to every item I’ve ever tested that has said, “natural flavor.” or “broth” including when its listed on raw chicken and turkey labels. Both are found on pet food labels, in addition to “meat meal” which has a similar processing practice.

    I’ve noticed in my pets that if it says “meat meal” they’ll eat it until they puke. If its real food, even raw, they’ll walk away when they are full and come back when they are hungry. I recognize this from my own similar behavior.

    Long ago, before I gave up MSG in all it’s forms, I’d think to my self, “I want a cookie.” I’d go to the cupboard and get a cookie. Then another, etc. and in 30 min. I’d eaten the whole stupid box! What happened? Addictive substances. This is the equivalent of what I see in my pets.

    Thanks for the compliment on detective work and for printing the facts on who’s heading up the AAFCO, and the shell games commonly played in marketing. Lots of people are unaware.
    You should know that I too am continuing to research as we’re doing this discussion. (as I’m sure Shawna is! Nice reference, by the way, Shawna!) I really would like to pin down the difference and figure out which is safer and how to differentiate.

    So I read Shawnas link. Even in wiki’s explanation their doesn’t seem to be a readily apparent difference in the wet method. Here’s my suppositions based on what I know about freeing glutamate/ammino acid bonds, which also frees aspartate.

    Research on MSG says that it can be derived by extremely high heat, short term, or low heat long term, by chemical -like hydrochloric acid (at much greater amounts than in our stomach) or by enzymolysis.

    In stew, you boil it until the meat is tender. It’s a moderately high heat, but a relatively short duration, 1-4 hrs. In wet rendering they boil it, but for how long? Some of it was rendered to the point that it was a slurry. The article said it was generally used in canned dog food…

    In the dry rendering process, they’re using extremely high heat, steam, for short temperature.

    If we’re seeing symptoms and reactions of addictive substance in animals that consume products that we know contain ingredients that can be manufactured in such a way as to derive free glutamic and aspartic acids, then we can, with relative certainty, determine that it’s in there. “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”

    So, what are they doing to meat meals that are wet rendered that are not cooked for long times at moderate heat, that still elicit the addictive, excitotory neurotoxic response?

    My therory? They could be adding chemical, enzymes or even holding back a portion as a base. The base, that would be cooked for much longer, would provide the free MSG & “Asp.” (aspartate = Asp. for future reference.)

    I figure it’s part of the shell game, the industry acceptable practice.

    So Richard, can you shed any light on this?

  • Shawna

    Toxed ~~ can boiling alone break the protein chain and free the amino acids or is a solvant or enzymatic process (etc) always involved?

    Does dry rendering look problematic to you?

  • Shawna and Toxed

    If boiling chicken is so detrimental then how come chicken soup has been an age old remedy? It’s often referred to as “Jewish Penicillin” if I remember correctly. I know i was raised on it along with my 10 brothers and sisters. My mother used to keep a huge pot of it boiling on the stove night and day and each day more stuff was thrown into it.

    Be careful about what you say about her chicken soup now…you don’t want my mother involved in this discussion. Her Missouri down home “logic” is usually devastating to anyone audacious enough to question her. LOL – just a little mom humor.

    The point of boiling the chicken, from what I have been told, is to separate the majority of fat and moisture from it so it can be dried and reduced to mostly meat. The fat is added to the kibble later with preservates (hopefully mixed tocopherals).

  • Shawna

    Score 🙂

    “Process variations
    The rendering process varies from plant to plant in many ways.

    1.Whether the end products are to be used as human food is based on the type of raw material and the processing methods.
    2.Whether the end products are to be used as animal or pet food.
    3.The material may be processed wet or dry. In wet processing, either boiling water or steam is added to the material, causing fat to rise to the surface; in dry processing, fat is released by dehydrating the raw material.
    4.The temperature range used, whether high or low.
    5.Processing may be either in discrete batches or in a continuous process.
    6.The processing plant may be operated by an independent company that collects the material on the open market, or by the packing plant that produced the material.

    Rendering processes for edible products
    Edible rendering processes are basically meat processing operations and produce lard or edible tallow for use in food products. Edible rendering is generally carried out in a continuous process at low temperature (less than the boiling point of water). The process usually consists of finely chopping the edible fat materials (generally fat trimmings from meat cuts), heating them with or without added steam, and then carrying out two or more stages of centrifugal separation. The first stage separates the liquid water and fat mixture from the solids. The second stage further separates the fat from the water. The solids may be used in food products, pet foods, etc., depending on the original materials. The separated fat may be used in food products, or if in surplus, it may be diverted to soap making operations. Most edible rendering is done by meat packing or processing companies.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendering_(animals)#Process_variations

  • Shawna

    Toxed ~~ there is another nagging question in the back of my head regarding this… If glutamic and aspartic acids are freed — then so would all other amino acids. If this is the case then ANY food that uses “meals” and not whole meat sources would never cause an allergic reaction — at least to the animal protein source. Yet we see reactions to these foods??

  • Shawna

    Toxed ~~ didn’t see your reply til just now when viewing Richard’s comments (yes Richard, okay with me to copy/pasted to Brother’s).

    I had a conversation with Scott from Nature’s Logic a couple years ago. Asked him where there chickens (for their chicken meal) come from. He told me that when orders are placed by grocery stores for, example, 10 breasts, 4 thighs, 4 wings and 6 legs — there is going to be 6 thighs, 6 wings and 4 legs not used. This is where his chicken is sourced for the chicken meal.. High quality human grade chicken (prior to becoming a meal). I commented about this conversation with Scott in March of 2010 on Mercola Healthy Pets http://healthypets.mercola.com/groups/healthypets/forum/p/105824/255394.aspx

    Now, if the processing of the meat to make it a meal does in fact free glutamic and aspartic acid then I have a BIG problem with that and will change my recommendations to those in my classes, Mercola etc.. BUT, I can’t wipe every 4 and 5 star kibble (except Great Life and maybe a few others) of my radar without making absolute sure.. I know you will understand that :)…

  • Ladies

    Do you mind terribly if I copy the last few comments over on the Brothers site so I can keep track as the discussion goes forward? I have a feeling this will not be over quickly and it will make it easier for me to keep track of.

  • Shawna and Toxed

    It seems you have discovered a “loophole” that the industry appointed watchdog (AAFCO) has conveniently provided so it is hard or practically impossible for the consumer to differentiate between high quality food and poor quality food – or even awful food – by just reading a label.

    They have made it impossible to tell the quality of the meat in your dog food by reading the label – which is supposed to be the point of having a label with ingredient lists. They limit how a manufacturer can describe their meat meal (they make everyone use the same generic term) and they actually make it illegal to put descriptive words on the dog food label that might help differentiate the quality of the ingredients. This alone tells you they are not really interested in “truth” in labeling. Remember that the board of directors of AAFCO are often dog food industry leaders who have everything to gain by being deceptive.

    It’s all very sad and will not soon change – so what can we do about it?

    Remember what I have repeatedly said here – you cannot make a quality food cheaply. If you are getting a dog food that is inexpensive then there is a reason for that.

    It does not follow that an expensive food is guaranteed to be of high quality (I offer Hill’s prescription diets as a prime example) but I can unequivocally guarantee you that NO ONE is making a dog food with high quality ingredients and selling it for less than it costs to make – NO ONE! If the food is inexpensive then there is a very logical reason for that and it’s not because they’re getting healthy, quality chicken meal (or any other meat meal) for 20% of what everyone else is paying. Con artists make a living taking advantage of people who believe to some degree that they are going to get “something for nothing”.

    Well done ladies – very good detective work.

  • Shawna and Toxed

    Thanks for the huge homework assignment. I spent half the day reading and doing some research.

    OK First question-

    If you buy a chicken and boil it as my mother used to do to feed her 11 children – is it acceptable as a food or soup?

    Answer that and we’ll proceed from there.

  • That was “plant” not “pan” darn typos!

  • Really, I was just looking at the glutamate, aspartame potential as part of the problem of a dog not eating a new food without addictive substances or over eating a food with them.

    But, my friend, just how many of those named meals do you expect to be made with “human grade” meats? If they aren’t made with human grade specified meats, that means they are made with unsavory meat, in the case of chicken meal, “chicken and skin from 4D, or the cost of production is too high. And how many of those are treated with antibiotics and pharmaceuticals and are rocessed inside the withdrawal period? So many questions! I’m thinking we need you to do a field trip and inspect a chicken meal processing pan, unannounced. Hee, hee.

  • Great life grain free, potato free, buffalo is the kibble that I use in my rotation etc. 🙂 It’s still got a couple of things I’m not completely happy with, but you gotta let a few things go, or you go crazy…. @@ :-p

  • Shawna

    Okay, I just checked EVERY five star dry food. Great Life was the only one that didn’t have a meal of some sort…

  • Shawna

    “the possible inclusion of these ingredients makes chicken meal always considered unfit for human consumption.”

    The fact that meals would not be made in human facilities is what would “always” consider them unfit for human consumption.

    And yep, I’m hoping Richard has the answer I am hoping for cause that means there are a TON of foods I once recommended that would no longer be an option… That leaves few choices for those wanting high protein kibble diets.

  • Shawna

    Another reason for using named meals in higher quality foods is to get the entire protein content up.. The water content in non-meal proteins, supposedly, “gum up” the extruding equipement if more then a certain amount is used. I’ll bet that you won’t find many higher protein foods that don’t use meals… I just set myself up to be proven wrong didn’t I :).. Lets set a stipulation here — 33% protein or higher.

  • While I admit there are more dog food manufacturers using ‘human grade’ and some that meet the standard of ‘fit for human consumption’ it does not negate the data that says,
    “Because meat can be rid of infectious agents through the rendering process, “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) are allowable chicken meal ingredients. While not always present, the possible inclusion of these ingredients makes chicken meal always considered unfit for human consumption.[4]”

    I too would like to hear Richard’s take on this and find out if there exists any sources of chicken meal, or other ‘specified meat’ as opposed to unspecified meat meal that are not rendered or in any other way hydrolysed, pressure cooked, processed by long/hot heat or enzymolysis in such a way as to produce free glutamic and aspartic acids… It would certainly give one cause to hope that we had more options… As opposed to the ever narrowing safer food selections that we are faced with. :-}

  • Shawna

    I’m not saying I’m right by any means here —- but you know me :), I’m not willing to give it up til I’m thoroughly convinced.. I know it’s a problem I have!!! 😉

    Susan Thixton of The Truth About Pet Food website writes this –
    “However, what many pet owners don’t realize, the pet food ingredient ‘chicken meal’, known to provide a higher percentage of protein than many animal protein ingredients, is also ‘rendered’. While some rendering facilities ‘recycle’ otherwise useless trash into sellable goods, other rendering facilities (typically associated with slaughter facilities) turn human grade/quality meats into pet food ingredient meat meals.

    The definition of render is “to reduce, convert, or melt down by heating.” It comes from ‘Old French rendere, to give back’. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/render The logic behind rendering chicken meat is to remove the moisture.” http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/not-all-rendered-ingredients-in-pet-food-are-risk.html

    HOW it is “reduced” is what I need to get to the bottom of (baking or a rendering vat)?

    Another thing that kinda bothers me — if it was hot enough to free the amino acids — how could it still possibly be the heaviest ingredient in the dogs food (to be listed first ahead of everything else).. That would be a MASSIVE dose of neurotoxins — especially in foods that contain soybean meal.

  • Shawna

    I think the term “fit for human consumption” may be a bit misleading here. The reason MOST manufacturers can not claim their foods are fit for human consumption is because they are made in dog food plants not human food plants. There are a couple exceptions (Honest Kitchen makes their food in a human facility and can legally claim their food is fit for human consumption on their packaging). Since meals are not used in human foods they would not be made in human food facilities and despite the quality of the ingredient can not ever be titled fit for human consumption.

    It has nothing to do with the quality of the meat and everything to do with were it was processed.

  • Shawna

    I think Richard may have to get in on this one :).. The first ingredient in his foods is “chicken meal”. Maybe he can tell us how exactly the product used in his food is prepared.. I’ll post this over on Brother’s…

  • Yes, that would be a logical answer, but look at the discription of producing chicken meal… First the rendering vat to separate fat and reduce water… That’s a lot of boiling. Then the drying.

    “because meat can be rid of infectious agents by the rendering process…”.

    We know what the rendering process is… So why do they use it? The logical answer would be that it’s because the pathogens are more virulent that what is generally encountered in baking chicken for human consumption. If indeed the chicken used in “chicken meal” we’re of the freshness and quality ‘fit for human consumption,’ then baking (or dehydrating) would be sufficient. As baking isn’t apparently sufficient, it leaves us to conclude that chickens that are ‘dead, dying, diseased or disabled’, infact rejected for human consumption, comprise the content of ‘chicken meal.’ But all hypothesis aside, the chickens ARE vat rendered. 🙁

  • Shawna

    Baking would kill bacterial pathogens. That’s why we as humans cook our chicken til there is no pink remaining. Or, cook hamburger thoroughly.

  • First rendered then dried/baked… Has to be, to kill bacterial pathogens.

  • Shawna

    “has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%” is contradictory to “rendered”. Are some meals heat dehydrated/baked and others rendered or are they all rendered?

    I am aware of the process involved in making unnamed meals (meat and bone meal) but I was under the impression that named meals were not produced the same way… Hmmmmm I have some learnin to do :)…

  • I just know you’re going to want an example of a cleaner meat meal…:-) so here’s what wiki/chicken_meal has to say, LOL

    Chicken meal, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean chicken flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from whole carcasses of chicken, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.[1] A meal in general is “an ingredient which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size.”[2]
    Chicken meal is ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65% and the fat level is 12%. Regular chicken contains about 70% water with 18% protein and 5% fat.

    *****To create chicken meal, ingredients are placed into large vats and cooked. [3] This rendering process not only separates fat and removes water to create a concentrated protein product, <<<<<*** (THER IT IS,) it also kills bacteria, viruses, parasites and other organisms. Because meat can be rid of infectious agents through the rendering process, “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) are allowable chicken meal ingredients. While not always present, the possible inclusion of these ingredients makes chicken meal always considered unfit for human consumption.[4]

  • Do you need more sources than that? The relevant point is heat and enzymolisis which ccurs in the stewing/batching.

  • O.k. Shawna, 🙂

    Meat meal
    Meat and bone meal are a product of rendering, which means long, hot heat, and enzymolysis, both methods of obtaining Free glutamic and Aspartic acids…

    Meat and bone meal, meat meal, slaughterhouse by-product meal


    Meat and bone meal is prepared from the wastes materials associated with slaughtering operations (carcass trimmings, condemned carcasses, condemned livers, inedible offal (lungs) and bones) and also from the rendering of dead animals. There can be a wide variation between plants and batches in what goes into the meat and bone meal that is being prepared…

    …Processing temperature will also effect the availability of the protein fraction. Often pepsin digestibility of the protein fraction is used as a means of determining the extent of processing and availability of the protein fraction. Excessive heating during processing can reduce the digestibility of the CP. 


    Proper heat treatment is required to control the spread of disease…

    Slaughterhouse wastes and dead animals are used to prepare meat and bone meal. Slaughterhouse wastes consist of portions of animals that are not suitable for human consumption; normally hair, hooves and blood are not included. After animals have died their carcasses can be rendered to destroy disease organisms and made also into meat and bone meal. “

  • Shawna

    Lee Anderson,

    I think the Halo site is a tad bit deceptive — from my understanding at least. ANY animal protein source, be it chicken or chicken meal (or turkey or turkey meal etc), CAN be from 4D animals.

    The difference between chicken and chicken meal — the meal has been cooked to remove the water. This is good as it makes it a more concentrated source of protein in the food — water is heavy meaning less protein will be in chicken then chicken meal. The disadvantage of chicken meal (and other named meals) — the heat sensitive amino acids within the protein are going to be missing making the overall protein less available for cellular needs of the body.. Meals are cooked twice — once to remove the water and a second time in the formation of the kibble.

    BOTH have advantages and disadvantages.. For this reason, I prefer foods that have both turkey and turkey meal.

    I was unaware that “meals” are a hidden source of freed glutamic and aspartic acids.. If Toxed is correct on this then, for me, meals are out!!! SHOULD NOT BE FED EVER.

    Toxed – can you expound on the MSG / meal connection :)..? Thank you in advance!!!

  • Lee Anderson
    I hopped over and took a look at Earthborn. It is a lovely food. 🙂 I have a theory as to why she’s not eating as much of this as some others. It’s only a theory because you didn’t list the others, so I can’t check.

    Many, even 5 star dog foods contain hidden MSG and Aspartic acid by process. Both are addictive excitotory neurotoxins. Your dog may readily eat certain foods, more enthusiastically due to the chemical addictive response. So did your old foods have natural flavor? Did they have citric acid, maltodextrin, barley malt, hydrolized any kind of protein, whey, concentrated anything or meat meal? It’s in there by process. The more processed the for the more naturally occurring, free glutamic acid (a.k.a. MSG) and Aspartic acid. Sensitivity to these vary due to numerous factors. Some animals react to millamoles of excitotory neurotoxins. Reactions vary from addicted behaviors to seizures and evn death.

  • Michelle

    Lee Anderson, Named Meats like Chicken, Turkey, ect. are great for your dog. It is the generic “Meat, Meat meals” that could contain just about anything. If your using a canned food then a named meat like Chicken ect. is best. If it is a dry food then the named meal is better because meal is a concentrated form of protein. I personally give my dogs kibble for cost effectiveness, and add in fresh human grade meat and organs, and also eggs, sardines, salmon, and mackerel. Give it a try…. your dogs will glow with health like mine do. 🙂

  • Lee Anderson

    I’m still confused about which is best and which is cleanest, meat ‘meal’ or fresh meat. Every time I think I have it right, I read info from another Vet who says the opposite like this one: http://www.halopets.com/faqs/spots-stew.html.
    Of course, it’s her site and her product, so bias is not out of the question. But why am I hearing so many contradictions? She states that meat meal could contain dead, dying, diseased animal flesh and that makes me sick, never mind my dog.

    I’m feeding Josie Earthborn Grain Free Primitive dry, a five star dog food according to your analysis. She likes it but doesn’t eat as much as other foods that weren’t natural, or natural foods ranked 4 and 5 stars like Taste of the Wild, and they’re less expensive. There should be a standard about this meat meal vs fresh meat thing. Why the contradictions? I’m about ready to feed Josie what I eat and get her a vitamin and probiotic supplement.

  • Hi Megan… Yes. And this is the very reason we’re very skeptical of dog foods containing non-specific (anonymous) ingredients like “meat meal”, “animal fat” or “meat by-products”. These are the very materials that could legally contain almost anything… including even (believe it or not) euthanized pets from animal shelters.

  • Megan

    Hi Mike,

    Do you know what those “other” meats (roadkill, euthanised pets, lab animals, etc) are called in an ingredients list? Could it be these “meats” a company is using when they list “meat” without specifying the type, or are they restricted to “meat by-products”, or do they need to be called something else?

  • Donna

    We need to stop this horrible inhumane treatment to other animals!! Immediate Stop!!!! Now!! Why is this still happening????

  • rejected by the health services and of course recommended by the VETS