Last week, a news article about dog food contents brought some disturbing things to light for my husband and I. Some consumers are suing dog food companies (basically all of them) for falsely marketing the products they sell (this comes on the heels of the well-publicized food-poisoning of many pets due to contaminated products); now, I'm not foolish enough to believe that dog food truly contains what it has long advertised -- like "real chunks of steak" or the like -- however, I was disturbed to find that dog food may contain many of the following: ground beaks, feathers, and bones, euthanized animals (like from shelters), and animals that have been deemed unfit for consumption (like diseased animals).
Ick. I don't want Scooter to be eating fellow dog! Over the weekend, my husband and I dug deeper and found the practices of almost all major dog food brands (including "premium" brands like what we feed Scooter -- Science Diet) fill their food with questionable "animal by-products" and unneccesary filler (like corn meal -- something that is a common allergen for dogs and is almost completely indigestible). So, after some careful consideration, we decided to switch Scooter's food, but it got both my husband and I to thinking...
...about our own food.
At one point, over the weekend, we found ourselves sorting through web page documents on dog food and we were deep in discussion about Scooter's nutrition when it seemed to dawn on us both at the same time: We were spending more time, thought and energy on thinking about our dog's food than either of us ever had thinking about our own food. Granted, our food probably does not contain euthanized dogs, but we certainly eat our share of processed, hormone-injected, artificially-flavored foods.
I'm not saying that we suddenly turned into Birkenstock-shod granola-eating hippies, but we suddenly found ourselves wandering through the aisles at Whole Foods marveling at how good the apples looked. For my husband, price is always a central concern (he has long nagged me about the cost of buying organic eggs -- but ever since I saw a chicken fly off a chicken-truck on the highway, I have been very chicken-sympathetic, and I like to think that the eggs I eat came from a chicken who got to run around in a yard), but as we discussed it, paying a higher price for higher quality food will probably save us money in the long run (maybe it's an intangible price, but you get what I'm sayin'). We haven't completely re-shaped our grocery shopping, or our eating, but it was a step towards re-thinking what we eat and where it comes from.
I don't know if I'm capable of giving up my yellow dye #5 found in my precious cake mixes, and I doubt I will say goodbye to Diet Pepsi and the lovely phosphoric acid it contains, but I certainly could ingest a few more apples that haven't been soaked in pesticide. Who knows? Maybe I could go "hippie" after all.