GMO’s are lurking everywhere.
Who would have ever thought that GMO’s would be in pet food? It’s simply insane that not only do I have to monitor what is in the food I buy for my human family, I also have to monitor what I buy for my little and crazy ball of furry fluff. Insane, I tell you!
I’ve had animals all my life but the past 3 or so years, I’ve been pet-free. About 3 months ago, we came across this cute, little stray kitten (was still with her mama and siblings) and I immediately fell in love. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a ridiculously sweet face like hers?
We decided to catch her and keep her as ours. Me being somewhat of an — ahem — unconventional, type of person I knew I couldn’t just blindly go to the store and buy any kind of cat food on the shelves.
Ideally, I know I should feed her a raw diet and those were my first intentions but things have been a little crazy over here and I just never got around to it. I read cats are a little more specific in what types of food they need and I, ashamedly, have not taken the time to research it.
BUT, before we talk about the better alternatives out there, let’s take a look at the ingredient list of something more mainstream but claims they are “natural” — don’t you love that word, natural?
Let’s start with a positive about the brand, so I don’t seem to be bashing it completely (even though somewhat secretly I am). The good thing about this brand of cat food is that there are no byproducts. I don’t really want to go into the nitty gritty of byproducts but let’s just say they are the things you don’t really want your furry loved one to eat and could possibly contain things like dead animals. YUCK! (Here is an interesting article about byproducts in pet food).
The bad thing about this brand of cat food is that it is very similar to the mainstream, conventional food products we encounter at the grocery store that come out with “all-natural” products. The only difference is that Purina Cat Chow is made for cats and Cheerios are made for humans. That’s it. And actually, here’s a little fun fact for you: the company who owns Purina is Nestle.
Ding, ding ding! Nestle donated hundreds of thousands of dollars against consumers (like you) right to know what is being put in their foods. Yes, my friends. AND Nestle is the company who blatantly stated they believe water is not a human right. You don’t believe me? Check out the video here.
Okay, back to the ingredient list. As with all ingredient lists, the ingredients closest to the beginning of the list are more abundant in the recipe. In the Purina Cat Chow Naturals, the second ingredient is “corn gluten meal” followed by soybean meal.
First off, since cats are considered more of a “true” carnivore, there is no reason corn or soy should be in the recipe. And, as you probably guessed, the corn and soy are a ridiculously high percentage of being genetically modified. According to the Non-GMO Verified Project, items like malt extract, mixed-tocopherols and natural flavor all have a huge chance of being genetically modified as well. I did some snooping around their website and I found nowhere stating they stay away from GMO’s.
My guess is, if Nestle owns the company, you can be damn sure they take no precaution to sourcing non-GM products. The rest of the ingredients are added vitamins and minerals and who knows if those have any GM traces in them?
What is The Better Option?
Note: I know a raw food diet is the best for animals and I did have good intentions to put her on a raw food diet, but I am so busy every day that this was the easier option for us. Please don’t judge me!
So what are the better choices if you decide to go with dry cat food? First, make sure you do not buy Purina Cat Chow Naturals. You don’t want to support a company who does not care about your food (or water) choices and obviously uses GMO’s in their products.
Second, I did a little more snooping around and have found two main brands you can purchase online or at your local pet store that are definitely more “real food” friendly.
We started off with BLUE Buffalo Kitten Formula and were happy with it. Then one day as I was sitting in the living room, I overheard a commercial from Wellness CORE that based their whole commercial around the fact that their products were GMO-free.
GMO-free?? That’s my kind of cat food! When the BLUE Buffalo was almost empty, I headed to the store and switched over to Wellness because, well, I love supporting companies that clearly state they are non-GMO.
I also contacted BLUE Buffalo and asked if they were non-GMO and this is the response I received:
Thank you for contacting BLUE. We do not use any ingredients that are known to be genetically modified organisms (GMOs). While we only use all-natural ingredients in our foods, our products are not certified organic.
Thank you again for contacting BLUE.
I don’t know about you but their response still makes me feel iffy. I’d personally rather go with the Wellness brand because they are proud to state their pet food is non-GMO. However, I think BLUE would be the next runner in line.