Tuesday, September 28, 2010

what is meat and bone meal...really.

    By text book definition bone meal is a mixture of crushed and coarsely ground bones. 
World wide bone meal is mostly used as plant fertilizer and here home in the USA companies put it in your pets food.

     At one point bone meal was acceptable as a dietary calcium supplement.  That is until in the 1980's it was found that many bone meal preparations were contaminated with lead and other toxic metals.  Bone meal is no longer recommended as a calcium supplement fit for safe human consumption.

  In the 1990's bone meal was identified as possibly responsible spreading "mad cow disease" in live stock.
 In most parts of the world meat and bone meals are no longer being fed to stock.  However it is widely used in the USA as low cost meat in dog and cat food. 
Rendering is a process of turning waste animal tissue into stable materials

Now after reading that you can understand for yourself what the animal by products and bone and meat meal are. They are by law allowed to be rendered meat.  In simple words it is waste meat materials, and with very little if any nutritional value.

Meat and bone meal in its ingredient definition by the Association of American Feed Control is described as
    "rendered product from mammal tissue exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, hide, trimmings, manure, stomach, rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices"

    Yet at a rendering plant slaughterhouse material, supermarket and restaurant refuse, dead stock and road kill are thrown in all together into giant containers then is ground up and cooked at any where between 220 degrees Fahrenheit to 270 for 20 minutes to an hour. The grease that rises is then used as the fat content in most pet foods.  The remaining raw material is compressed to take out the moisture and what is left is then labeled as Bone and meat meal in your pets food.

    Pet food companies have made their way around the loose and badly defined regulations set by the AAFC.  They will claim it is unavoidable and impossible to remove the hair and other inappropriate contents from 600,000 tons of rendered animals prior to cooking them.  The definitions of "meat and bone meal" and that of "good factory practices" must change for the sake of the health of our pets and not just the sake of good health but of their quality of life. 

    What does it all boil down to ? These companies are painting beautiful pictures of whole chickens and beef and whole grains and vegetables being used to make the finest pet food when in reality what they are doing is churning literal garbage together.  This is not just a matter of wanting to feed an animal a gourmet meal. It is about demanding that at the very least these pet food companies produce real food that is free of plastic, contaminated meats, diseased products intestinal contents.  The pet food industry is a $15 billion a year industry in the US alone. 

   Ann Martin is the author of best seller  "Food pets die for: Shocking facts about pet food" which was published in 1997 after she started her research on pet food industries in 1990 following her two dogs illness caused by the pet food she was giving them.  Ann Martin writes " Garbage, which would other wise be sent to landfills was being used in the foods they were feeding their animals"

   The more research I do the more I can not believe what is going on in the pet food industry.  Many companies claim that they use meat and bone meal to provide protein and calcium at a reasonable price but what is reasonable, perhaps 12 cents the pound? That is what can be seen as a price tag on the rendered meat by products.  These companies are run by ambition and your pets health is not as important as their profit.  Again read read and read.  Read the labels and learn to look for red flags do not be fooled into thinking that meat and bone meal are good sources of calcium and protein nor that these are good for your pets health.

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