Just Add Water: The Future of Palm-Oil Free Pet Food
It's easy to argue for the inclusion of palm-oil in a formula, if we're talking about function. Soap, mascara, chocolate - all items seemingly enhanced by the inclusion of prolific African palm. But there are a few things that I think, no matter what you argue, don't need to have palm-oil - conflict free or not. At the top of that list, for me, is pet food.
For most commercial pet food companies, palm-oil takes the form of glycerin in wet foods, treats, and sometimes kibble. As soy has been linked to allergies in pets, it is commonly excluded from formulas, leaving palm-oil derived glycerin as the primary option. I get its functionality; it acts as a preservative. However, I don't see the point in adding to global demand, if there's another way to distribute pet food around the country, without spoilage.
I was first introduced to dehydrated dog treats, like sweet potato and pineapple chicken, at a farmer's market in Austin, Texas. My girlfriend's dog, Wolke, loved them and we loved that they were so simplistic. The only downside was that they were costly and only available once a week. Right now, Wolke eats whole food snacks like steamed green beans and lentils, which is great but not easily sustained on the road. So, it would be nice to have dry food to take on road trips and vacations for him.
A few weeks ago, we discussed that a majority of popular pet food brands were owned by Nestle or Mars, Inc, making it hard for us to find truly palm-oil free companies during our challenge. Thankfully, on a routine trip to Whole Foods, I ran across The Honest Kitchen, a 'human-grade', all-natural pet food brand who specializes in dehydrated food. Somewhat surprisingly, they stayed true to their name and confirmed with us that they are an independent, family-owned, palm-oil free company.
Their pet food combines the security of home made food with the convenience of a national kibble. You can add water, to quickly rehydrate it. You can also add cooked or raw meat, if it suits your pet's diet. A 7 lb box of dehydrated base mix can yield nearly 30 lbs of dog food, lasting over a hundred days for small dogs and a month and a half for some larger breeds. Best of all, gone are the days of expensive dehydrated dog food. If you look at all-natural dog food brands that have similar branding, like Blue Buffalo, then the price points are nearly the same. You can even sample bundles of their pet food for a $2 on their website.
Just compare the ingredients lists below for The Honest Kitchen's frozen treats called Ice Pups:
Dehydrated chicken, turkey, whey, dandelion, asparagus, watercress, honey and parsley
Against Nestle's Frosty Paws, an 'ice cream' for dogs:
Water, Whey, Soy Flour, Coconut Oil, Dried Whey Product, Whey Protein, Soy Lecithin, Polysorbate 60, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Oxide, Silicon Dioxide, Mono and Diglycerides, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Cellulose Gum, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Polysorbate 80, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Ice Pups can also be melted into a warm broth that your pup, or cat, can sip if its feeling under the weather.
Dehydrated pet food may not just be the answer to lowering palm-oil consumption but energy usage, too. Dehydrating food at low temperatures, veruses canning, takes a lot less energy and the compact nature of packaging helps with shipping expenditure.
Whether you want to switch out your pet's conflict palm-oil filled treats or their entire food regimen, we totally recommend looking into dehydrated food, whether you make it yourself, buy it at your local farmer's market, or purchase it from The Honest Kitchen.
This article is not sponsored in any way by The Honest Kitchen. We just like telling you about new palm-oil fee resources - thank you!