Petco Offering Freshpet Refrigerated Food, but Is It Really Better for Fido? | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Ethical Eating

Petco Offering Freshpet Refrigerated Food, but Is It Really Better for Fido?

The new emphasis on healthy, sustainable eating has become a revolution of sorts, a means to protest the corporate agricultural system. This trend has even made it into the world of pet foods. However, as with human food, major corporations are looking to get in on the action. Petco has recently announced that it intends to become the first national retailer to sell Freshpet.

I spoke with Audree Berg of Auggie's Doggies Healthy Pet Supplies about her take on the Freshpet line. "I don't sell it. It's a very large 

corporation. I don't even know if they're using domestic and raw proteins." Berg, who has two locations, both in farmers' markets, opts for products from smaller producers with domestic and Canadian free-range proteins, kind of the pet equivalent of getting to know your farmer.

Although Berg supports the underlying ideals of the Freshpet line, minimally processed, fresh foods, she is very skeptical of the large corporations that process these products. "Origin, for example, is owned by an individual person with a staff," she says. "There are no board members. They acquire their proteins regionally and process them fresh. They own their own processing facility and test each batch or product before sending it out."

Berg is very skeptical about any products that come from overseas. "The more you hear about food from China, the more you hear about recalls," she says. A Food and Drug Agency report, for instance, linked chicken jerky treats imported from China to more than 900 cases of illness and death among dogs since November.

According to Berg, business is steadily picking up. "I'm getting busier. People are really beginning to understand that if you eat better, you have less health problems. It's the same with pets." Understanding food origin is an important part of the process in terms of overall health. 

So is Freshpet a good option? Well, it's not the worst, Berg says. However, if you're concerned with your pet's health, your best bet is to seek out someone like Berg, someone who carefully researches each individual product. That's one step closer to getting to know your (and your pet's) food source. A revolutionary act in itself.

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Sara Ventiera

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