Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Life gets unpredictable. While I would love to know exactly what I was doing on a day to day basis, that's just highly unlikely. Therefore, half the time I don't make 100% DIY meals all the time. This is where pre-made raw and I have a wonderful relationship. But... I am VERY picky about what goes into them, sourcing, and transparency.
So today, I am going over what I personally look for in a pre-made raw, why, and brands I feed.
First things first, what is HPP?
HPP stands for "High Pressure Pasteurization" it's a cold pasteurization technique by which the raw food is introduced to a high level of isostatic pressure provided by water. Since this process pasteurizes the food, all the living bacteria, enzymes, and microorganisms are killed off therefore ruining everything amazing about raw.
Many HPP pre-made raw companies state "the HPP process is 100% natural and recognized by the FDA and USDA as an anti-pathogen treatment". Well you might be thinking "Yay no pathogens" it kills everything not JUST pathogenic bacteria.
Many companies are using this method to comply with the FDA and stay in business. When a raw food undergoes HPP, it destroys the benefits of raw. So personally, I stay far away from this process.
To see if a food undergoes HPP you can usually find the information on their website or shoot them an email asking about it.
#2: Fish oils
I could write a whole blog on why I hate fish oils but I'll keep it simple...ish.
We feed fish oils usually to balance out the omega 3 to 6 ratio because when these fats are balanced it reduces inflammation therefore decreasing chances of chronic diseases. Well, I hate to break it to you but fish oils are not a great way to do this with and I'll tell you why.
Fish oils are usually rancid before the company even receives them or you open a bottle yourself. But why? Fish oils have to be processed and heated to extract. Introducing lots and lots of oxygen to the oils and causing them to rapidly oxidize. Then, every time oils come in contact with more oxygen (i.e transporting, mixing into the batch, testing a raw batch, etc.) the oils oxidize even more!
The fatty acids in fish oils are very sensitive to oxidation. When they are exposed to oxygen they create free radicals. Free radicals are the cause of premature aging and many organ diseases. This process is called oxidative stress. Free radicals take a healthy normal cell, attack it, and damage the cell with oxidative stress therefore killing the cell. Free radicals can also cause gene mutations, cancer, as well as inflammatory health problems. The irony is that we're giving fish oils to REDUCE inflammation not create it.
Even though fish oils may have those omega 3s, fat is where the body stores its toxins. So when we feed nothing but the processed oxidized fat, we're also feeding all the toxins the fish had accumulated in its lifetime (because the oceans are so severely polluted). Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury end up in our environment then finally the fish. These heavy metals can cause a various amounts of health problems such as nervous dysfunction, blindness, cancers, and liver/kidney damage.
So if fish oil is no good, what do I feed for omega 3s? Well, fish (whole & wild caught)! But not fish oil. One of my other favorite things to feed for omega 3s are phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is what fish feed off that gives fish such high levels of omega 3s. The zooplankton will eat the phytoplankton then the fish eat the zooplankton then our dogs eat the fish. So when I feed phytoplankton I'm going straight to the source of omega 3s and cutting out all the middle men. Phytoplankton is half of omega 3s by weight (that's twice as more than we get from fish) and has a very powerful antioxidant called superoxide disbutase (SOD) which protects cells from free radicals. Plus, phytoplankton can be sustainably grown in filtered water on farms so we don't have to worry about heavy metals or radiation.
Attending the Raw and Natural Dog Summit 2019 stressed this aspect of raw feeding even more than I already was. It matters what the animal you are feeding ate. The reason why we have such an inflammatory world today is due to the insanely high omega 6 rich foods we are feeding to our animals then feeding whether it be our dogs or even ourselves. When I look at a company I not only want to see that the meat is being sustainably sourced but grass fed & finished as well. I want to be able to know where the animal was raised and what it ate. I believe the company should be open and willing to show off its sourcing proudly. And in doing that they gain my trust and business.
#4: synthetic vitamins/minerals:
But to sum it up, we don't know crap.
We don't know who's formulating the amounts, we don't know if they're safe to feed, and we don't know if there okay to feed in place of REAL WHOLE foods.
I personally believe that there are so many foods on the planet so we can feed our dogs and ourselves a complete wholesome and nutritious diet with real foods.
There have been so many deaths and recalls due to synthetic vitamins & minerals and that's a risk I am not willing to take.
There are so many companies that support a no synthetic vitamins & minerals recipe and those are the brands I chose to support.
Now that I've rambled on for so long... here are the brands I personally feed to my dogs that fall under the @gsdstormy's pre-made raw checklist:
(1) Answer's Pet Food: Fermented raw? Hell yeah! All their meat is sustainably source and GFF. They use all whole foods except for a natural vitamin E. It is expensive though so I use this brand less but still highly recommend!
(2) The Bones & Co: It's local-ish to me and fits my pre-made checklist! I love their mission and passion and love supporting them.
(3) Raw Feeding Miami: Top quality PMR grinds who? RFM has the best grinds I have found that is PMR. It has nothing but meat, organs, and bone and I always add some to the cart when I order.
Now that I've shared my top 4 biggest factors on choosing a pre-made and brands I use, I have a checklist down below to help aid you if you wish to follow my pre-made raw"guidelines".As always thank you so much for stopping by and Always Keep Exploring.