Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The amount of pet food made in the United States

This week the news broke that a certain brand of pet food seems to be causing kidney failure and killing pets. Here's a typical story:

Pet owners nervous over the fallout from tainted food

It's an interesting story from several different angles. There is the emotional angle, obviously - no pet owner wants their dog or cat dying. There's the mystery angle - the fact that pets are dying and no one quite knows why. There's the branding angle - the "hey, I thought this was special!" angle - when you find out a single company manufactures the food that is labled as Iams, America's Choice, Eukanba, etc. (50 brands total). There's the animal testing angle, as exemplified by this paragraph:I doubt PETA is real happy about that. It is also interesting that, apparently, the company is not testing its food on a regular basis. Doesn't it seem like you would take X samples from the assembly line every day and feed it to animals to make sure its OK? It seems like that would be part of a normal quality assurance program.

But here is the angle that amazes me - the sheer mass of this company. This single company (Ontario, Canada-based Menu Foods) is recalling 60 millions cans/pouches of pet food in this recall. According to this page, Menu Foods is "the leading North American private-label/contract manufacturer of wet pet food products sold by supermarket retailers, mass merchandisers, pet specialty retailers and other retail and wholesale outlets. Menu currently produces more than one billion containers per year." That means that they are producing nearly 3 million cans of food every day.

And then there is this: "Although Menu Foods sells its food under numerous brands, the FDA's Sundlof noted that the company's recall affects only about 1 percent of the total pet food supply." If that is true, it means that there are the equivalent of 300 million cans of dog food getting produced every day. Just think of the logistical system that handles that much pet food every day - never mind the thousands of other products that get consumed. It is amazing when you think about it...

As well, think of all the energey, money, resources and time that are being spent to generate that inventory! How many cows/chickens/lambs/bussels of grain a day go into 300 million cans of wet dog food? Don't even factor in the dry food variety...

Heck, if we just got rid of all the dogs and cats, I bet our carbon footprint would be drastically smaller!

Well, at least the cats.
How can millions of kids around the world starve to death every year when we have so much food to feed our dogs?
How about a little population control on the human side????? That would take care of the hungy masses of unwanted children
I think u got a great blog!! Thank u for that. I'm definitely going to add u to my favorite :)
I hope you can visit mine. It's all about DOG and DOG FOOD at: http://dogfoodsecrets.blogspot.com/

You're about to discover the terrifying-truth about commercial dog food that is linked to the deaths of thousands of dogs across the US every single day. Also in this website, I show you a simple solution proven to increase the lifespan of your dog by up to 134% and save you up to $10,000. To discover these amazing secrets just continue reading and your reward is a super-healthy, incredibly-happy dog that stays by-your-side for up to 8.3-years longer than statistically predicted.
All dog food is not created equal. Contract manufacturing usually involves non-disclosure agreements between say, an IAMs, and the manufacturer. IAMs sends the top secret "recipe" to the manufacturer that produces the food. All the others do the same. They're not all selling the same food under different brands. I figured Marshall's big brain would know this.
Marshall -

This is a comment about your recent article -


Almost all of the links that go back to your sites are broken.
The recall affects 1% of the food supply. That's 60 million cans. So we can infer there are 600 million cans in the food supply... this has no indication on how large the reserves are, or how many cans per day are produced total.
If you are someone that is really interested in this topic, then you should consider buying raw dog food. Most companies that make it are small, family businesses, so your money isn't going to a large chain. Check it out... it also has amazing health benefits.
Great story you got here. I'd like to read a bit more concerning that theme.
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Certainly a fantastic piece of work ... It has relevant information. Thanks for posting this. Your blog is so interesting and very informative

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