Ignore This Pet ‘Gold Standard’ – It Can Leave Your Pet Sickly

Recently I ran across a post at PetMD titled “5 Ways to Know Your Cat Food is Worth the Money”.1

The article offers tips to consumers on what to look for in a commercial cat food to insure the health of their pet. The article briefly touches on five general areas of concern with regard to cat food:

  • Where the food is manufactured
  • Who manufactures it
  • Whether it contains additives, preservatives, or artificial flavors
  • Whether it has undergone feeding trials
  • Whether it contains an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) nutritional statement

This is an acceptable place to start, but it’s only a start. Whether your cat’s diet is healthy for her (or worth your money) depends on a multitude of factors not mentioned in the article.

Where Your Cat’s Food is Manufactured is Important, But …

The general consensus of mainstream pet food experts is that formulas produced at a pet food company’s own manufacturing facility are of better quality and safer than formulas produced at an offsite location, or by a third party.

An onsite production plant allows pet food companies to provide better quality control of ingredient sources and processes. PetMD advises consumers to look for the words “manufactured by” the pet food company on the label, rather than “manufactured for” or “distributed by.”

I am aware of several small, ethical pet food companies that produce outstanding products because they put their capital investments into excellent raw materials and not manufacturing equipment.

If you’re feeding a food you simply love that has been co-packed or manufactured by someone else, it’s important to get the back story of why the food is being made elsewhere. Usually the website or a phone call to the company can explain who is making their products and why.

It’s important to note that the biologically inappropriate ingredients that go into most commercial cat foods are not affected by where the food is manufactured.

“Quality control” in this instance refers to measures taken to prevent contamination, mislabeling, and other production issues. It has nothing to do with the quality of the food in terms of its species-appropriateness.

So while it may be desirable to see “manufactured by” on a pet food label, the statement doesn’t address whether or not the formula is highly nutritious for cats. The top 5 most profitable pet foods own all their own manufacturing equipment and use absolutely terrible quality raw materials that are not species appropriate.

Who Formulates Your Cat’s Food is Important, But …

Most major pet food producers employ animal nutritionists whose job it is to oversee and balance the ingredients that go into their formulas – a fact that is frequently touted by those who have an interest in promoting the biggest players in the industry.

However, what most pet guardians don’t know is that the many veterinary nutritionistshave financial ties to major pet food manufacturers.

Veterinary nutritionists receive a diploma from the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN). They are licensed vets who go on to become board certified in veterinary nutrition.

Once certified, they very often go to work for pet food companies. Major pet food manufacturers also frequently pay the tuition for DVMs studying to become veterinary nutritionists.

So when you hear or read that the XYZ pet food company has veterinary nutritionists on staff, keep in mind that many practicing veterinary nutritionists are obligated in some way to a pet food manufacturer.

Unfortunately, many small, family-owned, good quality pet food manufacturers can’t afford to have a full-time veterinary nutritionist on staff, so they employ them on a consulting basis.

If you’re buying your pet’s food from a small, high-quality supplier, it should be easy enough to find out who their consultant is and his or her veterinary nutrition credentials.

Your Cat’s Food Should Be Free of Additives, Preservatives, and Artificial Flavors, But …

According to PetMD:
Premium pet foods use natural ingredients instead of artificial flavors, additives or preservatives that are often the source of “empty” or non-nutritious calories.
Some preservatives are even known to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in humans such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
Not only are additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors non-nutritious (and potentially toxic), but so are most of the ingredients in processed cat food formulas.

Cats are obligate carnivores – meat eaters. Your kitty’s body doesn’t produce the enzymes necessary to digest grains, carbs or starches, yet those are the main ingredients in most big name commercial cat foods.

A biologically correct diet for a carnivore is high in moisture, high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbohydrates. The vast majority of pet foods on the market today are the opposite – low in moisture content, with low to moderate amounts of poor quality protein and fat, and high in starches or carbs.

So while it’s certainly important to avoid cat food containing artificial flavors and colors, synthetic vitamins, and other additives and preservatives, it’s equally important to feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet.

Cat Food Feeding Trials Are Important, But …

Many mainstream pet food experts consider AAFCO feeding trials to be the gold standard in insuring that a new pet food formula provides proper nutrition. PetMD advises readers to look for a statement on their cat food label that reads, “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that [Name of Pet Food Company] provides complete and balanced nutrition”.

While I’m grateful that I live in a country that has an organization that offers some rough nutritional parameters to sustain life (the AAFCO standards – remember many countries don’t have any guidelines on the basic nutrients pets need to survive), using the agency’s feeding trials as a stamp of approval for the quality of a particular type of pet food is unbelievably shortsighted.

The protocol for these tests is a 6-month feeding trial involving as few as 8 test subjects, and the goal is only to determine whether a formula can sustain life in test participants. Only 6 of the 8 animals need to finish the trial, and if weight and certain incredibly basic blood tests are normal, the food is deemed complete and balanced.

This is a frighteningly concerning “gold standard,” in my opinion. Six pets still alive at the end of 6 months is insufficient proof that a pet food formula is biologically appropriate for a lifetime. These trials are not a good measure of a food’s ability to cause nutritional deficiencies or overdoses over a longer period, nor can they demonstrate the food’s impact on longevity, reproduction or multi-generational health.

Fortunately, cats (and dogs) are among the most resilient animals on the planet. They’re able to survive when fed foods they were never designed to eat.

However, degeneration does occur as a result of inappropriate nutrition, but because the changes are gradual and often hidden until a disease is full-blown, we’ve been able to deceive ourselves into believing that processed pet foods are actually good for our animal companions.

But in my opinion, we’ve created dozens of generations of nutritionally compromised animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies.

An AAFCO Statement of Nutritional Adequacy is Important, But …

AAFCO requires pet food manufacturers to include validation of the nutritional adequacy of their formulas before they can print a nutritional adequacy statement on the label. This means the food meets AAFCO’s definition of complete and balanced nutrition in one or more life stages.

To provide validation of nutritional adequacy, pet food manufacturers can either prove by formulation that a product contains required levels of all essential nutrients deemed necessary by AAFCO, or they can use AAFCO-approved feeding trials. Both of these options have tremendous drawbacks. As most readers here know, I believe the Ancestral Diet should be the gold standard we strive to meet for nutritional requirements.

Problems can arise when pet food manufacturers choose not to formulate products using AAFCO’s minimum nutrient standards, or when humans try to guess at what constitutes an Ancestral Diet, or even take a stab at trying to meet the meek minimums set forth by AAFCO (whose nutrient requirements are far less than the Ancestral Diet) when preparing a homemade diet.

Veterinarians are the folks that see nutritional imbalances expressed as chronic disease manifestations, something I see consistently with the majority of processed diets formulated by AAFCO standards and poorly designed homemade diets.

AAFCO provides the most rudimentary nutritional guidelines that I view as a basic foundation upon which to build. These guidelines are deficient, but if they are totally disregarded, it’s very easy to cause entirely avoidable, grossly obvious nutritional health issues in pets, such as secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism (metabolic bone disease), among others.

Because following the Ancestral Diet nutritional parameters provides almost double the nutrients of current AAFCO recommendations (in many instances), and as much nutrition from whole foods (versus supplements) as economically possible, aiming to feed your pets an ancestrally balanced diet is the goal.

That said, in a perfect world I would love to see AAFCO switch to optimal nutrient requirements as outlined by the Ancestral Diet database rather than archaic “minimums” and occasional “maximums,” determined by researchers and manufacturers in the last 50 years.

Additionally, factoring in nutrient loss from soil depletion, CAFOs (animals raised in stressful, artificial and often inhumane environments) and the glyphosate load in food and its impact on digestibility and absorbability into their recommendations as well. Yes, I’m laughing too…but a girl can dream.

The Cat Food I Recommend: A Nutritionally Balanced Raw Homemade Diet

This is the best diet you can feed your cat. However, it’s very important not to wing it when preparing your pet’s meals at home. I say this because when pet food nutrition expert Steve Brown and I analyzed many of the homemade and prey model diets available, we learned they fall far short in trace minerals, antioxidants including nutrients like manganese, magnesium, vitamin E and D, copper, zinc, iron, choline, and essential fatty acids.

Additionally, if the diet doesn’t have a proper fat or calcium to phosphorus balance, it can actually cause a myriad of health problems, especially in growing animals. So, it’s critically important that you know your homemade diet is balanced, preferably to the Ancestral guidelines. Sadly, we find most homemade diets don’t meet the dismal AAFCO guidelines, much less the Ancestral Diet parameters.

The great thing about a well designed, homemade raw diet is you get to handpick the ingredients. Making your own cat food can provide peace of mind because it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find ethical pet food companies that use locally sourced or even U.S.-grown ingredients.

With homemade food (fed gently cooked, warmed or raw), you’re in complete control of every ingredient that enters your pet’s body. Fresh, unadulterated food contains all the enzymes and phytonutrients that are typically destroyed during intense food processing that is designed to create food products that are shelf-stable for months to years.

Making small, fresh batches of real food for your pets is the best way to ensure you are delivering the maximum level of species appropriate nutrition to the animals in your care.

By Dr. Karen Becker

Are foods that follow our diet trends good for cats and dogs … – Newsworks.org

Americans spent $24 billion on pet food last year, and the pet food market continues to grow. The available choices go way beyond aisles of bags of dry food and kibble these days. Pet owners can also find refrigerated food options that typically say things like “frozen fresh” or “grain free” or “no byproducts” on the packaging.

“A lot of pet owners have jumped on the gluten-free, grain-free band wagon,” said veterinarian Mindy Cohan. “This is popular in human diets, there’s more awareness of celiac disease, and pet owners think grains could cause allergies.”

But Cohan says going gluten-free is not a smart choice for most pets.

“Grains really get a bum rep, as do byproducts,” she said.

Cohan says grains provide energy and are easily digested. “The other thing is, grains are not a culprit when it comes to causing allergies in dogs and cats, less than one percent really are intolerant.”

Cohan also said pet owners shouldn’t look down on byproducts – which are leftover ingredients from other food production, for example organ meat.

“They often contain more minerals and protein than the muscle protein that pets eat, so byproducts are nutritionally valid.”

Cohan also has no love for raw diets that have become very popular with pet owners wanting to serve the best possible diet to their cat or dog.

“Raw diets are very controversial,” said Cohan. “Breeders often recommend feeding that, but most vets do not not believe in that.”

Cohan said raw foods can contain microorganisms such as listeria, which can cause problems for the pets. Pet owners are handling the foods, maybe using the same cutting boards or utensils, and could thus put their family at risk for pathogens and parasites.

And, there’s one more reason Cohan will never feed her own dog, Jem, raw food. “The FDA has said ‘if you feed raw food, don’t kiss your dog around its mouth or let it lick your face’ – so, that’s never going to happen.”

15 Recipes For Homemade Bread That Will Inspire You to Get Baking – One Green Planet

Ahh, bread. We could write an epic poem that chronicles our love for bread. We personally believe that there is never a wrong time to eat bread, but on November 17th we have even more of a reason to celebrate because it’s National Homemade Bread day. Woohoo! We love bread because it can be savory, like this Focaccia With Roma Tomatoes and Onions or sweet, like this Sweet Potato Bread that’s served with agave nectar or maple syrup.

You don’t need a breadmaker to make great bread — all you need is a loaf pan. But, did you know that you don’t even need an oven? That’s right, you don’t have to feel like you’ve missed the bread train even if you are following a raw diet. Read Learn How to Make Raw Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread and try this Raw Carrot and Sun-Dried Tomato Bread. This Raw Cornbread is perfect for the holidays.

Then, get ready, because we have 15 easy homemade bread recipes for you to try.

1. Crusty Whole Grain Bread

Crusty Whole Grain Bread

Is there anything better than fresh bread? Especially this Crusty Whole Grain Bread, made from brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, millet, and oats. The smell, the texture, the flavor — it’s irresistible. Not only is this bread gluten-free, it’s also yeast-free!

2. Five Seed Sourdough

Five Seed Sourdough

Once you’ve tried making your own bread, there truly is nothing better than the delicious warming aroma of a home-baked loaf wafting out of your oven. You’ll find this Five Seed Sourdough can easily fit into your busy week too, with only an evening needed to prep (15 minutes), then a few days later, a short burst in the oven and you’re done! It lasts beautifully in the cupboard for up to five days, and equally slices perfectly (no crumbly bits) to be stored in the freezer. Although truth be told, it probably won’t last that long!

3. Caramelized Onion Spinach Bread

Caramelized Onion Spinach Bread

This savory Caramelized Onion Spinach Bread combines fresh spinach, caramelized onions, and crunchy walnuts. As the bread bakes, the fragrance and flavor of the caramelized onion grows stronger, and the chopped walnuts add texture. There’s no waiting period as the dough rises, either — beer, along with baking soda and baking powder help the bread achieve its light, airy texture. Enjoy toasted with a spread of vegan butter or garlicky cashew cream cheese.

4. Anadama Rolls

Andama Rolls

Anadama Rolls are a New England tradition, thought to have originated from 19th-century Massachusetts. This soft bread is made from creamy cashew milk and rich dark molasses. These fluffy rolls would be best paired with all things New England, such as creamy chowders, or they can be used as the bread for a hearts of palm “lobster” rolls.

5. Quick Apple Cinnamon Beer Bread

Recipe: Quick Apple Cinnamon Beer Bread

Beer, apples, and cinnamon may sound like an unlikely combination, but we’re willing to bet that your guests probably wouldn’t even guess this Quick Apple Cinnamon Beer Bread contains beer. So why include it? It adds a subtle, yeasty flavor that makes the bread a stand-out for a quick batter bread. For even more flavor, try a pumpkin ale. If you’ve got about 15 minutes, you can make this gorgeous bread and have it ready to serve with a soup for dinner. Fall doesn’t get any better than this.

6. Pesto Twist

Pesto Twist

This beautiful braided Pesto Twist, with fresh cashew-basil pesto, will be a new family staple! Its soft and doughy texture makes it ideal for soaking up lots of tomato sauce, making it the perfect bread for pasta night. Mangia!

7. Bolillos: Mexican Rolls


These Bolillos are not only delicious, being crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, but they are really cute to look at, too. Bolillos are famously used to make tortas, or sandwiches, sold all over Mexico. You halve them, dig out some of the soft, fluffy bread to make a shallow hole, stuff it with something equally delicious like refried beans, guacamole, and salsa, and then stuff your face.

8. Walnut, Squash, and Apple Bread


This Walnut, Squash, and Apple Bread is anything but boring. It is soft and doughy thanks to squash (or pumpkin!) purée, nutty from walnuts, and subtly sweet thanks to apples. Enjoy it after dinner with a cup of hot tea and a smear of vegan butter.

9. Italian Ciabatta

Italian Ciabatta

Ciabatta bread, as many probably know, is a soft and humid type of bread. It tastes delicious on sandwiches and originated in Italy, where it is often topped with tomatoes and mozzarella. Nowadays, the toppings have expanded immensely, but the traditional bread recipe remains the same. Try out this tasty bread in your next sandwich recipe or rip the loaves apart to form soup croutons.

10. Rosemary Skillet Rolls

Rosemary Skillet Rolls

What is a dinner without rolls like these Rosemary Skillet Rolls? They stave off hunger when the main meal isn’t ready, they’re perfect for dipping in soups, and most importantly, they’re the ultimate tool for making the most of those extra sauces that tend to linger on plates when meals are over. These rolls are soft, buttery, and lightly seasoned with fresh rosemary and a sprinkle of salt.

11. Easy Yeast-Free Bread

Easy Yeast-Free Bread
Presenting: Easy Yeast-Free Bread that’s also gluten-free! There’s no compromise in flavor and texture in this fabulous bread loaf. Serve a slice of this bread toasted and topped with mashed avocado or try it as sandwich bread! You can’t go wrong!

12. Fermented Buckwheat Bread

Fermented Buckwheat Bread 5

Did you know that buckwheat is actually not a grain, but a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel? It’s true. And surprisingly enough, despite not being a grain, raw buckwheat groats can be transformed into a delicious bread! In this Fermented Buckwheat Bread, groats are combined with agave, sunflower seeds, and a bit of oregano for an herby bread that pairs well with pretty much anything.

13. Naan Bread

Naan Bread

This recipe for Naan Bread is so pillowy, you’d never guess that it’s gluten-free. These breads are best served while still fresh and warm, ready to eat with your favorite curry or biryani recipe. Of course, they’re so good, that you might just want to make a batch to snack on.

14. Quinoa Bread

quinoa bread

This Quinoa Bread is gluten-free, nutrient-dense, and delicious. It’s a fabulous alternative to your typical supermarket bread and even better still. This bread is ideal to toast, so enjoy it with lemony smashed avocado.

15. Khachapuri Bread


These little Khachapuri Breads are a traditional staple of Georgian cuisine consisting of bread stuffed with cheese. Not to be mistaken with the state of Georgia, the country of Georgia is a small Eurasian country. These vegan versions of khachapuri are made with a tofu and nut cheese substitute, but taste as fine as the traditional cheese-filled bread.

If you can never get enough bread, then head on over to our vegan bread recipes page for more ideas and inspiration.

Lead image source: Easy Yeast-Free Bread

Tempting the Feline Palate – PetProductNews.com

Moist, natural diets filled with wholesome ingredients gain popularity among cat-owning customers.

By Wendy Bedwell-Wilson


No longer dwarfed by aisles and aisles of dog diets, the latest natural feline formulas cater to pet owners who want wholesome, quality choices for their cats—and they’re earning their spot on store shelves.

“Pet specialty is severely underpenetrated when it comes to natural cat food,” said Ann Hudson, vice president of marketing for Whitebridge Pet Brands in St. Louis. “Most companies focus first on dogs; there hasn’t been much attention paid to cat owners who want a natural product.

“But cat owners, just like dog owners, want to feed a diet that looks like something they would put on their own plate—minimally processed, natural products with ingredients they can pronounce and understand,” Hudson said.

Barbara Ratner, owner of Holistic Pet Cuisine in Boca Raton, Fla., understands that—and it’s precisely why a third of her store is dedicated to all-natural cat nutrition, including brands Primal Pet Foods, Rad Cat Raw Diet and Stella & Chewy’s.

“We focus on raw and freeze-dried food, coupled with canned food,” she said. “And we really share the health benefits of moist food for cats’ kidneys and urinary tract.”

Trends in natural cat food also point to sustainability, transparency, and organic and non-GMO ingredients, said Jaimie Turkington, director of marketing for Petcurean Pet Nutrition in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.   

“With increased awareness about climate change and almost daily news stories about extreme weather conditions, consumers want to feed their cats in a way that minimizes their ecological footprint,” she said. “Cat owners want to provide quality ingredients that they can feel good about feeding their cat and which match the quality of the ingredients they seek for their own nutritional needs.”

They also want details. Quality and sourcing of ingredients, GMO and organic certifications, company values—all those things matter, Turkington said.

“Consumers are looking for transparency, and they want to purchase products from companies that are aligned with their values,” she said.

“Manufacturers are focusing on creating products with the quality of the ingredients at the forefront of their development, with a strong shift toward sourcing organic and non-GMO ingredients,” she added.


New to the Category

Riding the wholesome-ingredient trend, the newest natural cat foods center on high-quality, grain-free ingredients, and more and more are coming in frozen and freeze-dried varieties, reported industry participants.

“The latest surge in sales is in the raw frozen and freeze-dried cat food,” said Patti Salladay, marketing and sales representative for Northwest Naturals in Portland, Ore., whose company recently launched a raw frozen and freeze-dried chicken and turkey diet. “It is driven by the continuing education of consumers on what is the biologically appropriate diet for cats to keep them healthy. They are looking for palatability and species-appropriate diets for felines. Consumers are educating themselves and question the ‘normal’ way cats have been fed for years.”  

Raw frozen and freeze-dried cat foods are flying off the shelves at Healthy Pets Mountain West in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

“The raw diets—frozen and freeze dried—are becoming much more popular,” said co-owner Kris Lamoreaux. “They’ve been well received, and we have quite a few customers on a raw diet. Most, though, prefer canned food. They’ll go through and choose two from every brand and every protein. They love to mix it up.”

Catering to cat carnivores, the newest canned foods feature high-protein and high-fat ingredients with lots of moisture, said Ann Hudson, vice president of marketing for Whitebridge Pet Brands in St. Louis.

“Cats are true carnivores, and we formulated Tiki wet cat food to replicate the natural prey diet: a high-protein, high-fat, grain- and carb-free food with lots of broth,” she said. 

All that liquid is important for cats’ health, noted Jennifer Adolphe, Ph.D., RD, senior nutritionist at Petcurean Pet Nutrition in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.

“The extra moisture in canned cat food has been shown to offer benefits by helping cats stay hydrated, supporting urinary tract health by diluting the urine and may help with weight control,” she said.

Of course, dry kibble remains a shelf staple—Hudson, in fact, said that as much as 60 percent of cat owners mix their wet and dry foods—and manufacturers continue to develop formulas that are nutrient rich and delicious to finicky feline palates.

In October, Petcurean Pet Nutrition launched a new brand called Gather that uses certified and organic ingredients.

“We searched for and found a handful of farmers, growers and fishers of the highest integrity who were practicing the responsible, sustainable production of extraordinary quality ingredients,” said Jaimie Turkington, director of marketing.

Consumer Education

When talking to customers about cat food, an abridged lesson in feline nutrition will go a long way, along with an understanding of what “natural” really means, said Jennifer Adolphe, Ph.D., RD, senior nutritionist at Petcurean Pet Nutrition in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.

“Reviewing the list of ingredients on the bag is a good place to start when choosing a cat food,” she said. “Each ingredient should be carefully selected to play a specific nutritional or functional role in the food. Look for species-specific fresh meat or meat meal as the first ingredient to ensure the food contains a high-quality protein source to provide all of the essential amino acids that cats require.”

It is important to note that the term “natural” is still a bit of a gray area from a regulatory standpoint, for both pet and human foods, Adolphe said.

“The Association of American Feed Control Officials provides guidance about the use of the term ‘natural,’” she said. “Pet foods that are labeled ‘natural’ cannot contain any chemically synthesized ingredients, except for vitamins, minerals or other trace nutrients, which requires the disclaimer ‘natural with added vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients.’ From a nutrition perspective, the term ‘natural’ does not ensure nutritional adequacy or safety.”

Adolphe encourages retailers and cat owners to look beyond the label when choosing a diet.  

“Look beyond the claims and evaluate the company behind the brand,” she said. “Ensure that the food is formulated by qualified nutritionists, meets extremely high quality and safety standards, and has a team of health and nutrition specialists available if you have any questions or need help.”

Patti Salladay, marketing and sales representative for Northwest Naturals in Portland, Ore., said that they should also ask about a food maker’s manufacturing facility and process.

“Where is it made?” she asked. “Is the manufacturing facility a pet food facility or a human food facility? How often is it inspected, and by whom? Are there manufacturing food safety programs in place, and how is that audited? And the quality of ingredients: Are they pet food ingredients or human food ingredients, and where are they sourced?”

Retailers also need to understand the nutritional needs of a cat and be able to communicate them with customers, said Ann Hudson, vice president of marketing for Whitebridge Pet Brands in St. Louis.

“Cats are born obligate carnivores and need a high-protein, high-fat, meat-based diet to thrive,” she said. “In the wild, cats hunted their prey, which were typically 50 percent to 60 percent protein, and consumed plants in minimal amounts. Though domesticated much earlier, cats only began to eat commercial pet foods in the last 60 years. Their dietary needs have not changed and, like their ancestors, they still need a primarily meat diet for optimal digestibility and key nutrients.”


Get Creative with Displays

Natural cat food displays don’t have to be boring. With a little creativity, retailers can come up with interesting, interactive merchandisers that draw curious customers.

“When building a product display, look for products that are natural add-ons to the main product featured,” said Jaimie Turkington, director of marketing for Petcurean Pet Nutrition in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. “For example, build an endcap special on canned food—but don’t just stop with the food. Get creative. Merchandise the entire endcap with canned food then place a shelf at eye level displaying brightly colored cat food bowls as add-on sale items.”

Retailers who sell Whitebridge Pet Brands’ Tiki cat food have fun with the product label’s island theme, said Ann Hudson, vice president of marketing for the St. Louis company.

“Our retail partners are very creative,” she said. “A themed endcap with a tiki totem, colorful leis and a grass hut is one of the more eye-catching displays I have seen recently. That doesn’t work for everyone, but I think the message is ‘get creative.’ Cat people truly appreciate a creative display that focuses exclusively on cats. No dogs invited!”  

Another approach to selling natural cat food: having in-store tastings and educational seminars. That’s what co-owner Janene Zakrajsek does at Pussy & Pooch Pethouse and Pawbar, a chain of Southern California pet boutiques that specialize in nutrition and green living for pets.

“We host a series of pet nutrition in-store events, demos and classes with pet nutrition experts and specials guests, as well as giveaways and contests,” she said. “These initiatives help to educate pet parents and show why ‘all pet food is not created equal’ and what it takes to make your pets thrive, not just survive.”


This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Pet Product News.

Food truck task force wants to amend ordinance — to help existing business – Longview News-Journal

The committee that shaped Longview’s mobile food unit ordinance wants to amend the law.

The Mobile Food Vending Task Force’s proposed amendment seeks to prevent an unintended consequence of the ordinance passed in February, but stops short of loosening requirements to attract more food entrepreneurs to the city.

In a 5-2 vote Monday, the task force recommended Longview amend its food truck ordinance to avoid unintended consequences for some businesses.

The amendment would allow limited mobile food units — specifically Schwan’s Food Co. and other businesses that deliver prepackaged frozen foods — to operate commissaries outside the city limits. District 1 Councilman Ed Moore said Schwan’s and other prepackaged food companies fell under the ordinance, and starting Jan. 1 no longer would be allowed to operate in Longview without a local kitchen unless the ordinance were amended.

“They had already gotten their permit for 2016, so they were grandfathered for this year, so to speak,” Moore said, “but as of Dec. 31, those permits run out.”

The amendment, if approved, also would allow certain restricted food trucks — including those that serve products cooked outside the city to on-site industrial and manufacturing workers — to operate only in industrial zoning districts.

The Longview City Council on Dec. 8 will consider the recommendation for final approval, Moore said.

Among the task force members, traditional brick-and-mortar restaurateurs David Choy, Cathy Cace, Chuck King, Kevin Hawkins and Mike Kittner voted in favor of the amendment.

King said his foremost concern was public safety.

“It’s more than just storage, but there has to be some raw food and that type of thing (in commissaries),” King said.

Food truck owners Hank Guichelaar and Eric Dean voted against the recommendation. Guichelaar called the city’s commissary rules “un-American” because they limit free enterprise opportunities, and he wanted the amendment to go further.

“I don’t think safety is a real issue because you have restaurants outside the city that are inspected not by the city of Longview,” Guichelaar said.

Kittner said his restaurants in Kilgore and Hallsville receive health inspections and must meet state standards. He and other task force members said they worried about commissaries in unincorporated or other areas that don’t have the same frequency and health standards as restaurants and kitchens operating inside Longview city limits.

Monday was the first time the Mobile Food Vending Task Force met since last winter. Before the meeting, city staff had compiled data from the first seven months of the new ordinance for the task force to review. Community Services Director Laura Hill said that between March and September the city counted:

  • 187 phone calls, emails and walk-in inquiries about requirements for operation.

  • 64 inquiries that resulted in follow-up meetings.

  • Two unrestricted mobile food unit permits issued with a third permit close to issuance.

  • Five applicants who decided to operate outside the city limits under a state permit because of commissary requirement restrictions.

  • Six Longview restaurants with mobile food units that decided to provide only catering and work with temporary events.

  • 29 prospective vendors who stated they would pursue state permits to operate within the county because of Longview’s fees and commissary requirements.

One applicant has said it would have cost her about $900 to complete the city’s permitting requirements, not including her overhead costs for building a commissary and buying or leasing property in Longview to place it.

Food, Porn, and Iggy Pop at Marilyn Minter’s Brooklyn Museum Retrospective – VICE (blog)

Marilyn Minter (American, b. 1948). Pop Rocks, 2009. Enamel on metal. Collection of Danielle and David Ganek

Earlier this year, legendary feminist artist Marilyn Minter teamed up with Miley Cyrus to raise money for women’s rights through softly sexy portraiture. And Jeremy Deller led a nude painting class last February at the New York Academy of Arts, featuring a naked Iggy Pop as the artists’ model. Though they make an anachronistic pair, the two artists now share a floor at the Brooklyn Museum: Minter on the last stop of her traveling first retrospective and Deller showing the finished products of Pop’s nude portraiture. The exhibitions kick off the museum’s A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum, a yearlong series of 10 exhibitions celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Marilyn Minter (American, b. 1948). Coral Ridge Towers (Mom Smoking), 1969. Gelatin silver print, sheet. Collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody

For more than 40 years, Minter has tackled cultural appetites in the open, holding up a mirror to modern obsessions and re-rendering them with biting, colorful glitz. On November 2, Minter guided viewers through Pretty/Dirty which includes her 1969 photos centered on femininity, her paintings linking cuisine to coitus from 1989–1990, and her multimedia studies of sex in the late-2000s. One of the highlights is 100 Food Porn, depictions of preparing raw food, like corn on the cob or lobster claws, imbued with sexual overtones. A 1990 commercial for the exhibition originally aired during The David Letterman Show.

Marilyn Minter (American, born 1948). 100 Food Porn #9, 1989–90. Enamel on metal. Hort Family Collection

While her food-focused work was mostly well received, a subsequent exploration of pornography was met with a barrage of critique. “This piece was inspired by seeing a Mike Kelley show at Metro Pictures in 1990,” she explains while paused in front of her work Porn Grid. “I realized, then, that only someone like Mike Kelley can explore an adolescent, 13-year-old girl’s bedroom filled with rainbows and stuffed animals and make that profound; if a woman did it, no one would have given it the time of day. It gave me my next idea: What is it that women never paint?”

The answer, it seems, was porn. “I asked myself, can I reclaim an abusive history and own the agency of it? It should be done. I couldn’t understand why artists had no idea what the porn industry was like, even when it’s this giant engine of culture. Plus, it looks like everyone is having a good time in these images, right?”

Marilyn Minter stands in front of her painting ‘Porn Grid’ (1989) at the Brooklyn Museum. Photo by the author

When her efforts were met with negative reviews, exclusion from shows, and criticism from The New Yorker, Minter was flagged as a traitor to feminism. “I was feeling beat-up—so I beat up my work,” she says of her next series of images. From broken lipstick tubes to jarring close-ups of physical imperfections, Minter transitioned to focus on that which “people never look at.” Her technique evolved into Photoshop-intensified works, with standouts like Plush, a series featuring women who don’t shave their pubic hair, commissioned by Playboy.

Marilyn Minter (American, b. 1948). Soiled, 2000. C-print, 60 x 40 in. (152.4 x 101.6 cm). Courtesy of the artist, Salon 94, New York, and Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Marilyn Minter (American, b. 1948). Blue Poles, 2007. Enamel on metal, 60 x 72 in. (152.4 x 182.9 cm). Private collection, Switzerland

With reference to “orange junk food:”  Marilyn Minter (American, b. 1948). ‘Orange Crush,’ 2009. Enamel on metal. Private collection

While Minter explores gender and sexuality through many parts of many bodies, Jeremy Deller focuses on a single nude subject: Iggy Pop. Under the direction of the Turner Prize-winning conceptual artist, a class of 22 students spent several hours in a life class studying and drawing the musician-model. Though the class took place in February, the resulting works are being revealed now, for the first time.

Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller. Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, February 21, 2016. (Photo: Elena Olivo, © Brooklyn Museum)

Mike Kelley was a muse for both Deller and Minter. The artist was viewing Kelley’s work in the Louvre, when he had the idea to do a life class centered on Iggy Pop. Kelley was a huge fan of rock culture. “When I approached Iggy about this 10 years ago, at first he said, no,” Deller tells The Creators Project. “When I asked him a second time last year, he said yes, explaining he’d been too young to do it a decade ago. He’d been 60 at that time. But when you’re a life model, you’re very vulnerable. It takes a lot to put yourself in that position, even when you’re famous.”

Iggy Pop (left), Jeremy Deller (right), New York, February 2016. (Photo: Elena Olivo, © Brooklyn Museum)

The renderings of Pop’s form range from the erotic to regal, highlighting the perception of not just one icon, but of the naked male body over time. “When we first revealed the images from the class, the comments were the kind you might typically hear about a woman’s body: ‘That’s really disgusting,’ or ‘This person’s getting old.’ It’s strange isn’t it? His body is a culturally important one, and I felt that us documenting it in a different way actually aids in a better understanding of rock music and society,” Deller says.

Charlotte Segall (American, born 1983). Untitled (Lying pose), from Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller, 2016. Natural charcoal with white chalk on pink paper. Brooklyn Museum Collection, TL2016.8.19b. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum)

Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller. Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, February 21, 2016. (Photo: Elena Olivo, © Brooklyn Museum)

Levan Songulashvili (Georgian, born 1991). Untitled (Standing pose), from Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller, 2016. Black ink, brushed and blotted with scratching out, with black pencil on board. Brooklyn Museum Collection, TL2016.8.21c. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum)

Robert Reid (Trinidadian, born 1960). Untitled (Sitting pose), from Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller, 2016. Graphite pencil on paper.  Brooklyn Museum Collection, TL2016.8.15d. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum)

Kallyiah Merilus (American, born 1996). Untitled (Standing pose), from Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller, 2016. Natural charcoal and compressed charcoal with erasing on paper. Brooklyn Museum Collection, TL2016.8.11c. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum)

Pretty/Dirty is on view through April 2, 2017, and Iggy Pop Life Class is on display through March 26, 2017 at the Brooklyn Museum. To learn more, click here.


NSFW: Marilyn Minter and Betty Tompkins on Censorship, Art, and Being Embraced By Millennials

What Do You Get When You Cross Acid House With A Brass Band?

Dalí, Warhol, and the Lip-Smacking Legacy of Artists and Food

Raw protein sources for dogs: Which is best? – Hamilton Spectator

At Dog-Gone Raw in Hamilton, the experts can help you ditch the kibble and design the perfect natural and balanced raw diet for your pet.

For optimum health, feed your dog as much variety as possible, which includes offering several different protein sources. Protein is essential for growth, cell repair, building muscle and healthy skin and blood.

Protein sources include muscle meat, bone and organ meat. Chicken is one of the best proteins to start with if you’re introducing a raw diet to your pet.

Each protein, in its natural form, offers a different set of benefits. Beef is loaded with essential amino acids and is a good source of iron. Lamb is a source of zinc, which is great for the immune system.

Organ meat is a nutrient-dense protein for dogs. Adding organ meats to your dog’s diet once or twice a week provides them with an excellent source of vitamin D and B.

Bones, whether ground or whole, are another important source of protein for your pet. When bones are raw, they don’t splinter like cooked ones. Their benefits include adding calcium to the diet and improving dental health.

Dog-Gone Raw makes it easy to feed your dog a healthy, natural diet by offering prepared raw frozen meals. Their top seller is Iron Will Raw, which offers a large selection of meat with tripe, organ meats and supplements. It’s also a good base for feline raw food.

Bulk food is available at a great price. The general rule for feeding is to give your dog two per cent of their adult body weight in raw food. Growing puppies will need more.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to switch your cat or dog to a raw diet, visit Dog-Gone Raw, located at 3149 Homestead Drive in the Mount Hope area of Hamilton. Opening hours are Tuesday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on raw dog food or cat food, please call 905-570-9414 or send an email to [email protected].

Find Dog-Gone Raw on Facebook.

Living a vegan lifestyle – Marietta Times

Smashed White Bean and Avocado Club.

Smashed White Bean and Avocado Club.

For many, meat is the main staple in their every day diet, but for those like Kaleigh Foreman, life is centered around a more animal-friendly diet.

The 18-year-old from Parkersburg has been a vegan for two years.

Foreman’s love for animals overpowered any craving for a deep-fried chicken sandwich or cheeseburger.

“I realized loving animals that I shared my home with and eating others because of a cultural norm was hypocritical of me,” said Foreman.

November is World Vegan Month, where vegans all over the world celebrate their vegan lifestyles.

Cinnamon-brown sugar sweet potato with Earth Balance Buttery Spread Butter.

Cinnamon-brown sugar sweet potato with Earth Balance Buttery Spread Butter.

A vegan diet is one that consists of only plant derived foods.

Vegans typically don’t use or consume any animals or animal products including flesh, milk, eggs or honey.

Whether it be seen as a fabulous food fad for the younger generation or a way to live a healthier lifestyle, veganism is on the rise.

According to The Raw Food World, 5 percent of  the United States eat absolutely no animal-based products, compared to the 1 percent of vegans in 2009.

Nicole Wires, manager at All-Pro Nutrition in Marietta, said she has noticed more teenagers and college students coming into the store, wanting to try out the vegan lifestyle.

Cilantro-Lime Vegan Taco.

Cilantro-Lime Vegan Taco.

“There will always be different trends when it comes to diet options,” said Wires. “Veganism is one of the ones that have been around longer.”

Becoming a vegan has several health benefits. In a vegan diet, saturated fats are highly reduced, improving cardiovascular health, according to the web site nursingdegree.net. Also, a high fiber diet helps fight against colon cancer, lower blood pressure and helps reduce Type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and arthritis, the web site said.

Wires said the nutrition store carries several vegan food items and products.

“We carry a plant-based protein powder that comes in four different flavors, as well as shelf-stable cookies and protein bars,” Wires said. “All of our smoothies are vegan friendly and we have a lot of bath and beauty products including local hand-made soaps, shampoos, face creams, body wash and toothpaste.”

With a wide variety of clientel, Wires said All-Pro Nutrition felt a need to accommodate to the vegan lifestyle.

There are different reasons why people decide to choose the specific lifestyle.

After researching the meat and dairy industry, Foreman knew she had to make a change in her diet.

“I researched all the horrible procedures animals endure in the slaughterhouses and went vegetarian,” she said. ” I was a vegetarian for a year and then went vegan. I realized how the dairy industry harms the cows and calfs.”

According to local vegans, there aren’t too many food options in the Mid-Ohio Valley specifically catered to the vegan diet.

Mother Earth Foods in Parkersburg is one of the only health food stores with a wide variety of vegan food items.

“We carry everything in any category,” said Rachel Collins, specialty food buyer for Mother Earth Foods. “We have pizza, butter, chips and cookies. We have anything in some form of vegan.”

For people who love their cheeses, meats, or butter, the vegan world makes the transition very easy. Popular vegan substitutes include Dr. Cow’s Nut Cheese, Vegan Rice Cheese Singles by Galaxy Nutritional Foods, and Daiya Cheese.

Some of the vegan substitutes for ground beef include a tasty black bean burger, a portobello burger, or a sweet potato burger.

For the bakers out there who feel it’s necessary to use “real” butter, the vegan world provides plenty of butter substitutes that will make any cake or cookie taste exactly the same. Some of those include, Earth Balance Buttery Spread, Nutiva Organic Superfood Shortening, or Purity Farms Organic Ghee Clarified Butter.

Collins has also been a vegan for six-and-a-half years and said she has noticed a tremendous improvement in her health after switching to a more plant-based diet.

“I feel a lot better about myself,” said Collins. “I am sensitive to a lot of food. Meat and dairy always made me feel bad. I would never feel energized after I ate, but now I do.”

Emanuel’s Bakery & Diner located on 286 Front St. in Marietta also has a wide variety of vegan food options.

David Labes, owner of the bakery, said he has always felt a need to carry these food options.

“We only opened a year ago, and I would say we have a steady amount of people coming in asking for these options,” said Labes.

The bakery’s menu even labels the vegan food items, along with vegetarian and gluten-free food items.

Some of Labes’ vegan options include hummus, seasoned rice with tofu, wok vegetable salad, yum woon sen, baba ganush and an Israeli salad.

Labes said the vegan dishes add variety to his menu.

“I will respect every person no matter the preference,” he said. “The vegan dishes are healthier and fresh. It’s nice to have a variety.”

Collins said becoming a vegan takes time, but is easier than most people think.

“Not everybody realizes that you can find something on Pinterest and make anything vegan,” said Collins. “It does take time, but you don’t have to beat yourself up if you accidentally mess up.”

Skeptics may believe a vegan diet is more expensive than a regular animal-based diet. But according to vegankit.com, becoming a vegan will not break your bank. Most vegans survive  on beans, rice, pasta, fruits, and vegetables, which can be some of the cheapest ingredients around.

For fruit and veggies shop at a local farmer’s market, and for beans and pasta, those ingredients can be found at a local grocery store for less than $4.

With help from social media sites such as Pinterest and the internet, there are thousands of recipes online, so vegans don’t have to get bored with their diet. There are also various sources of protein such as lentils, tofu, black beans and green peas.

Foreman said there are plenty of other ways to take in her daily nutrients.

“Iron. Calcium. The list goes on,” said Foreman. “I could honestly ask meat eaters the same thing because they are probably less aware of nutrients considering most vegans had researched how and where they can get what they need.”

For anyone looking to go vegan, Foreman and Collins say go for it.

“Many studies have proven vegan lifestyles decrease the likeliness of many health issues and increase life expectancy,” said Foreman. “It is also an act of kindness to living beings we share the earth with.”

Raw Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Sweet Potato

– Ingredients:

– Sweet Potato

– To make raw brown sugar mix one cup of white sugar and one tablespoon of molasses.

– Couple slices of Earth Balance Buttery Spread

– Cinnamon

Three-Minute Vegan Peanut Butter Mug Cake.

– Ingredients:

– Two tablespoons white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour

– Two tablespoons peanut butter (I used all-natural creamy peanut butter)

– Two tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

– One tablespoon pure maple syrup

– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

– Half a teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

– Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate mini chips

– Directions:

– Add all ingredients except the chocolate chips in eight-ounce mug.

– Use a fork to stir together until combined.

– Microwave on high until the cake has risen and springs back slightly when you poke it, about 60 seconds.

– Top with chocolate chips or chunks if desired.

Smashed White Bean and

Avocado Club

– Ingredients:

– One 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained

– Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

– Half a teaspoon kosher salt

– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper Coupons

– Two slices multigrain bread

– One small red onion, thinly sliced

– One cucumber

– Two avocados, pitted and thinly sliced

– Directions:

– In a medium bowl, combine the beans, oil, salt, and pepper.

–  Roughly mash the mixture with the back of a fork.

– Place the bread slices on a work surface. Divide the mashed beans among them. Top with the onion, cucumber, sprouts, and avocado.

Cilantro-Lime Vegan Tacos

– Ingredients:

– Two cloves of garlic, mined

– 1/2 cup of chopped scallions

– One can of black beans, drained and rinsed

– One four ounce can of diced green chiles

– One and half cups of corn

– Three tablespoons of lime juice

– Half a cup of chopped cilantro

– Sea salt & pepper

– Olive oil

– One avocado, sliced

– One cup of classic hummus

– One soft tortilla

– Directions:

– In a large pan, add a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.

– Add the scallions and garlic and saute for three to four minutes.

– Add the black beans, green chiles, corn, lime juice, and a dash of sea salt and pepper, and mix through.

– Saute for about five minutes, and then mix in the cilantro and saute for a few more minutes until everything is fully heated.

– Warm your tortillas in a separate pan, or in the oven.

– Spread each tortilla with hummus.

– Place the cilantro black bean mixture onto the center of each tortilla.

– Garnish with sliced avocado


Anna Harouvis makes healthy foods and juices for athletes, rock stars, Fabulous Food Show – cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio – In a dining scene dominated by carnivorous chefs, Anna Harouvis stands out.

Harouvis has made a name for herself by making healthy, organic, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and often raw juices and foods.

For 18 years she has operated the popular Good to Go Café in the IMG building downtown on East Ninth Street. The space is also home base to her Anna in the Raw raw food and juice line.

Many big names are taking notice. Harouvis supplies daily juices to both the Cleveland Indians and Cavaliers in season, working with their trainers and chefs to come up with the most healthy, fresh combinations. During the playoffs she provided juices to visiting teams, too – except the Cubs.

“The baseball players like the ‘Hercules’,” she says, referring to blends made with organic apple, organic celery, organic cucumber, organic spinach, organic kale, organic parsley and organic lemon. “Packed with anti-oxidants, fiber, beta carotene, calcium, and Vitamin C.”

Visiting musicians often ask for Anna’s juices and cooking, too, including Travis Barker and some other names she’s too modest to share.

“I lost my dad to bad health,” says Harouvis of her cooking and juicing inspiration. “So I started doing healthy food and juicing. My legacy is to extend the lives of Clevelanders.”

She tries to so in an economical way, too. “I try to always make stuff you could go to Dave’s Supermarket for the ingredients for, you don’t to drive all over town and spend a fortune.”

This weekend Harouvis will take her mission to the Fabulous Food Show at the IX Center, where she will host several demos. They include:

Culinary Stage

Friday,7 p.m. Vegan Gluten Free Moussaka Burger with vegan Bechamel cheese sauce. 

Sunday, 11 a.m. Healthy Breakfast!  Chia seed pudding, Hercules Juice , chickpea pancakes with veggies.

Taste of the Neighborhood Stage

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. Grilled avocado with roasted corn and tomatoes and quinoa salad.

Sunday, 3:30 p.m. Vegan and gluten free zucchini corn burgers with spicy vegan aioli

Baking Pavilion

Saturday, 2 p.m. Healthy snacks!  Kale chips vegan/raw/gf raw/vg/gf macaroons.

Vg/Raw/GF avocado pudding

The Fabulous Food Show is at the International Exposition Center, 1 I-X Center Drive (off Ohio 237), Cleveland. Hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

General admission tickets: $20 at Giant Eagle, $23 at Discount Drug Marts, $25 in advance on the food show’s website (fabulousfoodshow.com) and $30 at the door. Once again, those with general admission tickets will be given seats in unreserved seating areas of the theaters on a first-come, first-served basis. Live, on-site simulcast of those shows will not be offered this year. Most chef appearances are free of additional charge. Expect separate fees for some food, all drinks, parking ($10), reserved seating and some special events. Buy reserved seating and special events in advance at Discount Drug Mart, online and at the door.