Meat-based meal instead of fresh meat, not a bad idea!
Yarrah puts production of the best food for dogs and cats first. But we also consider sustainability – apart from making good and pure food, we also value contributing to a better planet.
The number of kibble varieties containing fresh meat is on the rise. The use of fresh meat in kibble is often portrayed as better than meat-based meal because it isn’t processed, animals are said to enjoy it more and it is supposedly easier to digest.
When adapting and improving our recipes in 2017, we performed tests of various types of food to answer questions such as: what is the quality/added value of certain ingredients? But also: what foods make for better absorption of nutrients? Our research showed that fresh meat often makes for poorer absorption than meal.
Better for the environment
We do not use fresh meat in our kibble. Apart from the fact that the quality and nutritional value of our chicken meal is not worse, and often even better than that of fresh meat, using meal is also better for the environment. Our meat is transported to a location where it is processed into meal fresh from the slaughterhouse. This process involves drying the meat and grinding it into a fine powder. Because meat contains a lot of moisture (around 65%), 2.5 kg of chicken meat is converted to only 500g chicken meal. As a result, we require 5x fewer lorries in order to deliver the resources to the factory.
Useful residual products
Don’t be fooled by the idea of fresh meat in dog and cat food – some brands put misleading images on their packaging such as a chicken fillet or a delicious steak. Dog and cat food is usually made of residual products – which is perfectly fine. We do not believe in the killing of animals just to feed other animals. Our kibble only contains meat and other parts of the animal that remain after the best pieces have been removed for human consumption. It is a waste to discard these useful residual products. Heart, kidneys and liver contain a lot of essential minerals and vitamins. Stomachs contain a lot of proteins and little fat. Adding these products to our food prevents food waste and adds an extra source of vitamins, minerals and proteins.
Brands like to use fresh meat so they can claim a high percentage of meat on the front of the packaging. If you look at the packaging of a famous premium brand, you’ll find that it contains 68% chicken. 68% fresh chicken that is, which is ± 65% water! This kibble therefore only contains 30% proteins, whereas Yarrah’s grain-free kibble with just 26% chicken meal and 4% fish meal consists of 32% proteins.
It is claimed that meal contains fewer nutrients than unprocessed fresh meat. All kibble is heated during production, which includes kibble that contains fresh meat. Heating slightly reduces the amount of nutrients. This is why extra proteins are added during kibble production, to compensate for this loss. In the end, the protein percentage in kibble is not affected by the use of fresh meat versus meal.
Of course, meal does come in varying levels of quality – for example, some animal food manufacturers use feather-based meal. Feather-based meal has no nutritional value and is simply a cheap filler. Yarrah does not use any feather-based meal. We carefully select our organic farmers and ingredients and test the quality of the meal based on factors such as protein %, to ensure that your dog or cat is being fed high-quality ingredients. Yarrah doesn’t keep tabs on the protein percentage of its food only, but on its digestibility as well. Kibble may contain a high protein percentage (a building block for energy), but if the animal isn’t able to absorb or digest it, it is excreted without any benefits at all. You can count on the quality of Yarrah’s kibble. Our research has shown that Yarrah’s kibble contains both a high protein percentage and the highest percentage of digestible protein compared to other kibble brands that use fresh meat.