We don’t watch a lot of tv, so last night I was shocked to see an ad for a well-known brand of dog food. It was a masterful work of marketing and showed lovely happy dogs bouncing around with their owners and tucking heartily into their food…… All the while the voiceover was using words like “with real meat”, “moist chewy chunks”, “protein rich”, “perfect balance of healthy ingredients”, etc
However, a look at the ingredients on the actual packaging for that brand tells a different story…… Not only does it contain harmful ingredients such as sugar, sorbitol (artificial sweetener), mendione (linked to liver problems and allergies), artificial colorings and flavorings…..
….but this food – “made with real beef” – contains only about 3% meat!!!
How can this be?
Well, believe it or not, the FDA in the US has stipulated a labeling law called the “3% With Rule”. It states that if an ingredient is labelled ‘with’ in a dog food the only requirement is that it must contain no less than 3% of that ingredient.
Looking at the other ingredients for this particular brand, it’s clear there isn’t much more than that…… It’s mainly a collection of grains, by-products….what one reviewer described as “an awful collection of agricultural waste and non-nutritious chemicals”.
Recently more than 550 health professionals and organizations in the US signed an open letter to McDonalds, imploring the fast food giant to stop marketing junk food to children. (You can read about it here www.huffingtonpost.com)
They didn’t go so far as to ask McDonalds to stop selling junk food to kids – it only asks them to stop aggressively advertising such foods to children.
Whether its food for humans or pets, we all have a choice. But if junk food is that choice we can’t expect not to develop significant health problems.
And with billions spent each year on ads designed to get us feeding our pets junk food, we can’t rely on fancy ads and marketing to help us make the right choices.
Have a good week.
Liam & Mal