When I started working in pet food factories as a supply-chain consultant, I didn’t think much about it. It was just another factory to work in, another supply-chain to organize. When I heard pet food, I always thought about leftovers and other gross stuff. I actually thought I’d be shocked by the quality of ingredients, because these new “premium” brands portrayed themselves as using the highest quality. Sadly, I wasn’t. I wasn’t shocked at all. Instead, I was faced with an industry of exactly the gross stuff I’d expected.
No one really sets standards for pet food ingredients. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) really only cares that the factories are clean and that the ingredients aren’t contaminated with salmonella or something else. Even The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) allows the use of chicken meal, where other ingredients are better on the digestive tract.
The lack of regulation and the fact that kibble is cooked at super high temperatures means that factories don’t take much care of the ingredients they’re using. The vegetables and grains used in kibble usually sit in giant bins just waiting to be used. They’re separated from the rest of the plant because they can grow mold and develop other pathogens. They keep the chicken meal - a raw meat powder - in there too. These ingredients are okay to sell because they’re cooked at a high temperature that kills everything later.
I first had the idea for PetPlate while on the factory floor. I’d just left the meat room and was walking by one of the packaging lines. I was thinking that nothing I’d seen in the meat room looked anything like what was on the packaging, which advertised fruits and vegetables as well. I wondered why we didn’t feed our dogs the ingredients being advertised. Why did we grind it up into a mash, cook it under crazy-high temperatures and pressure, and add preservatives and flavor to give it a shelf-life of over a year? I realized that there had to be a better way to feed our pets, these creatures we adored as much as our own family, so I started researching alternatives. In the process, I learned that dogs are supposed to eat a balanced diet of protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables. They weren’t supposed to eat the leftovers or gross food I always thought they loved.
What I learned changed how I looked at food itself, not only for my roommate’s dog and my own but also for me. I could see that often times I was eating the human equivalents of kibble food - highly processed, preservative laden foods, such as breakfast cereals, that weren’t as good for my health as I thought.
PetPlate is not only New York City’s healthiest and freshest pet food - delivered - it’s changing the way we look at feeding our pets and ourselves. At PetPlate, we’re committed to creating a community of engaged pet owners exploring the health of their animals and themselves. Our world doesn’t have to be defined by factories, like the ones that produce kibble or the countless packaged goods we humans consume. Our world can, instead, be defined by healthy foods made with the fresh ingredients we and our pets were always meant to eat.
We hope you give PetPlate a try. We know you and your pet will never have been happier.