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Is There a Difference Between Our Meats, and Theirs?

Early this week, a local dog owner called the farm and asked me if there was any difference between the meats we use in Napa Fresh, and the meats used by the company making the food he was currently feeding his dog. It was one of the well-known brands from one of the national conglomerates whose tear-jerking commercials you see on TV, and pretty bags you reach for at the supermarket or pet food store. I won't mention the particular brand because this post addresses all of them, even the ones we now find in refrigerators.

To me, the answer to this question is so obvious I don't even think about it any more, I'm just so close to it, and I assume that everyone just knows. This was a wake-up call for me because it's such very real concern; a good and valid question. So, I was happy to answer it, if for no other reason than to let him know the truth, because he adores his dog.

We've all been led to believe that the dry food in the pretty bag or the wet food in the colorful can, or the nice tube in the store's refrigerator, contains fresh, healthy meat, the same meat you buy for yourself at that same grocery store. After all, if you look at the photos on the bag, or on that package or can, that's what you see. We've been brainwashed by great marketing and packaging that is anything but truthful, and although there are laws in effect, they are not enforced to insure that the photos on the packaging are representative of what's actually in the food we feed our precious dogs.

The truth about the so-called "meats" in manufactured pet food, is a rather disgusting story, as you will see, if you don't mind being totally grossed out, in this article from The Dog Food Advisor. It's an old article, but apparently it's true, and nothing much has changed, although some dog food manufacturers might have cleaned up their acts to some degree, but, the "meats" they use did not come off the local grocery shelf, all clean, fresh, and packaged up nicely as they want us to think. It's more like the article describes, or a slight variation thereof, there's no way to know for sure. It's waste. It's garbage. It's questionable and feed-grade at best. And it's allowed by law. That is the problem. Simply put, it's just too expensive for them to use grade A inspected-and-approved-for-human-consumption fresh meats that you would buy for yourself, or what you see illustrated on the packaging, so you get what you get. Mysterious and repulsive for most humans. Their priorities are stock values and profits, not health. And for that reason alone you will never see a large dog food manufacturer use top quality, human-grade, inspected, clean fresh meats and bones like you buy in the meat section of the grocery store, no matter what the packaging might imply.

The highest quality, safest meats are produced for the human food industry, not the pet food industry. Doesn't that make sense, since everyone is in it for the money? The pet food industry gets the dregs, literally. If it's made in a huge manufacturing plant, that's what the "meat" is. To make matters worse, it's always processed, heated, dried beyond recognition, emulsified (the ones that look like liverwurst), dyed, artificially flavored, sterilized, laden with artificial ingredients and synthetic vitamins and supplements from who-knows-where, and otherwise made even more disgusting, in order to make dog food.

So, to finish the answer to the question, what meats do we use at Highmeadow Farm to create Napa Fresh? Is there a difference? Yes, and it's really simple. Because we are small, and because health and freshness are our priorities, and especially since we are feeding our own dogs Napa Fresh too, the meats that you think your dogs should be eating, the same meats you buy for yourself at Hannaford in Lunenburg, Shop & Save in Ayer, or at Romano's Market in Fitchburg are the same exact meats we use to make Napa Fresh. All as safe as they can be, inspected and approved for human consumption, clean, packaged beautifully, and fresh, very very fresh, and lots of it. It's uncomplicated. That's the number one reason Napa Fresh looks and smells like a yummy home-made meatloaf (because it is) and not like dog food.

So, there you have it. The difference between our meats, and theirs. And yes, this local dog owner tried Napa Fresh in case you were wondering, and his dog devoured Yummy Chicken, with gusto! Of course when he warmed it in the microwave, it got all juicy and fragrant, an his wife thought he was making dinner for them! Ha! Happens all the time....

More questions? Call me at 508-451-4519, or email me at

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