Ingredient Splitting

It’s good to get a little educated about “ingredient splitting” tactics on food labels. Ingredients in pet food are listed on the label in descending order by weight – and while this means you should always look for meat as a first ingredient in a diet for a carnivore, you’re not quite done yet. Take a peek at the main ingredient list for a popular dry food for cats:

  • Chicken, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Pork Fat, Brewers Rice , Wheat Gluten, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, yada yada yada . . . 

If you focused solely on the first ingredient, you might assume you’re golden. But if you add all of the grain sources together?  You’ll see that collectively they add up to a greater overall quantity of grain in the food than actual meat-based ingredient. Pet food manufacturers are allowed to do this: it’s called “ingredient splitting.” And it’s potentially quite misleading to consumers who are trying to figure out whether the food they’re buying for their carnivore cats is low in grains and carbohydrates.

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