Don’t get greenwashed on St. Patrick’s Day

Don’t get greenwashed on St. Patrick’s Day

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OK I admit it, the headline is a bit of a stretch. But since it is St. Patrick’s Day, just wanted to get into the spirit with something green:)

“Greenwashing” is when a company implies or outright claims that their products are green when they’re not. Selling your goods as environmentally friendly when they’re not, is pretty low. Yet that’s what about 98% of all products on the market today, do.

That’s according to Dr. David Suzuki, well known environmentalist and scientist.  He writes that a study by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing tested more than 2,000 self-described environmentally friendly products in North America. Only 25 were indisputably “sin free”!

One of the worst: Pet Foods

Manufacturers say their product is “all natural,” “organic” and “eco-friendly.” But these terms are meaningless because there’s no standard to measure claims, and because no one is monitoring the industry on green issues.

Purina’s Paws for the Planet is just one example. Purina says their program is highly Eco-friendly.  Huh? What is that? There is no description, evidence or documentation on just how that happens.

But the site does imply that their foods are green.

Meanwhile, the company is owned by the global food giant Nestle, which was named One of the Seven Most Irresponsible Companies in the WorldThe reasons why include:

  • child labour
  • manipulating third world mothers into buying their baby formula
  • bottled water production
  • over processing of food
  • manufacturing pet foods

Does your Morkie eat Beneful?

One of their leading pet brands, Beneful, is under attack right now. People are suing Nestle, claiming that Beneful, with its dubious additives, has killed their dogs. Purina says Beneful is healthy, made of healthful ingredients and is wholesome and vitamin rich.  Here’s the truth, quoted from Doginton Post:

In truth, the number one ingredient in all of Beneful’s recipes is corn, a commonly-used filler that provides very little nutrition to dogs. In addition to providing little nutritional value, corn has a high glycemic index, raising your dog’s blood sugar, and is not easily digested by dogs.

The next ingredient after corn is chicken by-products: feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs, and organs (the only nutritious part of by-product) that are “unfit for human consumption.” Something to consider if you are feeding your Morkie Beneful.

Read the labels – know what you’re buying

On any product you buy, it’s smart to check labels for those long,  hard-to-pronounce chemical names like cocamide DEA or stearamide MEA.  Avoid anything with ‘artificial flavours.’ Isopropyl or alcohol of any kind, or Glycol – Propylene Glycol or Polyethylene Glycol.

More resources


 

Ugh! It IS a dog-eat-dog world.

Ugh! It IS a dog-eat-dog world.

No, it’s not an urban myth. Some commercial dog food DOES contain dead dogs…. and worse!

best-dog-foodFrom the pictures on the front of dog and cat food packages, you’d think this was wonderful food; fresh veggies, wholesome-looking cuts of lean meat, a tidy arrangement of grains in the background.

But take a look at the labels.  Most popular commercial foods contain harmful and even poisonous ingredients for our pets. Artificial colors and flavors, preservatives and 12-syllable chemicals don’t surprise us.  But what about dead dogs and cats in the food? Anything that’s deemed too horrible for human consumption goes into the big grinders in rendering plants, and dog food and cat food comes out the other end.

This includes:

  • putrid flesh – dead, diseased and dying animal flesh – not allowed in our food (the pet food industry calls this the 3Ds of supply)
  • parts of animals not allowed in our food including hide, bones, digestive system and it contents, brain, feces and udders, hooves, chicken beaks… the list goes on
  • roadkill (which may have been drying in the sun for some time)
  • pets that have been euthanized at the local shelter, including the sodium pentobarbital used to kill pets at shelters.
  • and rotten meat form local grocery stores (Styrofoam packaging and all)

The website Slate reports that in Los Angeles alone, more 200 tons of dead pets are sent to a rendering plant each month by shelters there. A MONTH!

Most of this material is called “meat and bone meal.”

Useless things food company marketing departments say:

HUMAN GRADE – there is no legal definition whatsoever for the term “human grade” when it comes to pet food, and it holds no weight.

Meat vs. Meat Meal

The meat ingredients in dog food are among the topics that cause the most confusion among pet owners. Is “fresh” meat better than meat meal? Is all meat meal bad? What about “human grade”?

Frankly, there is no legal definition whatsoever for the term “human grade” when it comes to pet food, and it holds no weight. If you don’t believe me, contact the FDA and AAFCO and ask. I know it has become a major buzz word since the pet food recall disaster in 2007, and it’s widely abused to mislead consumers.

On the other hand, the designations “from USDA inspected facilities” and “passed USDA inspection for human consumption” do have some merit. If a pet food manufacturer makes claims in regards to human grade ingredients, ask for proof that they meet these criteria before taking their word that it’s “human grade”.

More Resources

Dog Food Project 

Slate: What’s in Pet Food?