Disclosure: This is a post sponsored by Petcurean.
I will be the first to say I am a label reader. I read labels of the food I buy – for my family and for my dog. I want to know what ingredients are in the food we consume. I want to know the nutritional information. Percentages of protein, sugar and fat are all important to me. So often I focus on the ingredients, it has never actually occurred to me to be aware of where the ingredients come from. Of course I always like to see the food being made in the USA or Canada, never China, but how is the dog food actually sourced?
Let’s dive in a little deeper to how dog food is sourced, specifically let’s look into Petcurean GATHER.
At Petcurean, you’ll find pet nutrition, formulations and ingredients are very important aspects in their premium-quality pet food. For instance, they just added krill to two of their GATHER recipes; Free Acres ™ and Wild Ocean™ for dogs. Why? Because there are a number of benefits of krill that are excellent for pets.
Aker Biomarine, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, uses extraordinary sustainability practices provides the krill in GATHER. It is fished from the oceans surrounding Antarctica, using proprietary Eco-Harvesting™ technology. This prevents by-catch (fish and animals other than krill) and brings the live krill onto the ship where it is processed immediately to ensure maximum freshness. Very cool stuff!
GATHER Wild Ocean
Catching cod by longline is one of the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable methods of fishing used today. A particular school of cod can be located, identified, and brought on board, without the damage to the ocean floor associated with some net fishing. Individually-hooked fish are handled carefully, and the minimal by-catch of fish other than cod are released, live. These are just a few of the reasons Petcurean chose Alaskan Leader Fisheries LLC to supply the Alaskan Leader® brand cod for the GATHER Wild Ocean Recipe. Alaskan Leader, family founded and family run, operates out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The fish for GATHER Wild Ocean is the same Alaskan cod that’s sold in supermarkets and served in fine restaurants!
Alaskan Leader Fisheries LLC is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. The MSC Fisheries Standard is designed to assess if a fishery is managed for protection against overfishing, habitat damage, and pollution. It was developed in consultation with scientists, the fishing industry, and conservation groups and reflects the most up-to-date understanding of internationally-accepted fisheries science and best practice management.
Alaskan Cod is the single source fish protein in Wild Ocean; it provides dogs with an excellent source of high-quality protein, is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and is a source of essential vitamins and minerals, specifically niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium. The catch is so accurately targeted and recorded, that the cod in a package of Wild Ocean can be tracked right back to the day the cod was caught, which Alaskan Leader vessel caught it, and where it was caught.
Farmer Direct is a farming co-operative based in Saskatchewan, Canada. Their 60+ strong family farms grow certified organic oil seeds, oats, lentils, beans, wheat, ancient grains and peas to the Canadian Organic Regulation, USDA National Organic Program and the European Union Organic Standards. The farmer-owners in the cooperative have been stewards of the land for generations. In fact, a number of the families have been farming the same land for over a century and were practicing organic agricultural techniques before organic certification was even available.
Farmer Direct Co-Op is a supplier of the organic peas for Endless Valley and Free Acres. Their sustainability practices include rebuilding the soil through proper crop rotations, preventing topsoil erosion with cover crops, protecting shared waterways and air by never using toxic herbicides and pesticides, and honoring a farmer’s right to independence by never using genetically engineered seeds
Peas are a nutrient-rich, environmentally-friendly ingredient that contain a variety of compounds to support health and are an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, and many essential vitamins and minerals. They provide most of the essential amino acids required by dogs and cats. Peas contain insoluble fiber, soluble fiber, and resistant starch, which all provide benefits for the digestive system. Peas also contain compounds known for their antioxidant properties that may protect dogs and cats against various diseases such as cancer. Also, a diet with peas as the primary source of carbohydrates has been shown to lower insulin levels in obese dogs.
GATHER Free Acres
When Petcurean was creating GATHER Free Acres recipes for dogs and cats, they wanted to have certified organic chicken as a primary protein source. In their search across North America, they spoke to many producers, inspected their farms and finally decided on a family-owned and operated company in Northern Indiana known as Miller Poultry, who’ve been around since 1942. The folks at Miller provide reliable, consistent source of USDA certified organic, free-run chickens that are raised in smaller flocks on Amish family farms.
These “broiler quality” chickens are fed an all-vegetable, antibiotic-free diet with no animal by-products, animal fats or artificial coloring. They also have access to the outdoors and three living enhancements that include things to perch on, hide behind and run through. Miller Poultry strictly adheres to the humane treatment policies defined by the Whole Foods animal welfare spokesperson, Temple Grandin. They don’t de-beak their chicks and use both male and female chickens. Miller has invested heavily in “Where Food Comes From”, a program that allows them to trace every bird to the specific farm where it was raised. And although chicken production is a water-intense process, they capture and treat all the water they use in the harvesting process, and then spray it on croplands surrounding their plant.
This remarkable-quality organic chicken with USDA/MOSA/BRC/GAP certifications is the single source poultry protein we use in our GATHER Free Acres recipes for dogs and cats. It’s a perfect meat source, in that it’s a high-quality protein which supplies all essential amino acids; it’s a source of omega 6 fatty acids and a source of essential vitamins and minerals, in particular niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.
I am so impressed with the farmer and producers that Petcurean uses in their pet food. They go the extra mile to find not only the best organic, non-GMO ingredients, but also the best suppliers.