Nature's Variety

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby Sue » March 6th, 2006, 8:22 pm

Anyone else notice they changed their food? I stopped to pick up a bag tonight, went and grabbed the green bag like I usually do, the lamb. Got home and I noticed it said oatmeal on the bag... Looked closer and it said lamb meal and oatmeal - it used to be lamb and rice.

I just checked the website and all the food changed... lamb meal, chicken meal, beef meal, venison meal. When did this happen????

http://www.naturesvariety.com/content.l ... hPVuE059E8
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Postby Purple » March 6th, 2006, 11:25 pm

Has to be very, very recent. The bag I just picked up on Sunday is the old ingredients......Does this mean the ingredients are not of the same quality now?
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Postby Sue » March 7th, 2006, 7:21 am

Well, I did notice this morning, their poops were not as hard and small. I wonder if the store has any of the old left, somewhere in the back. I'll have to check on my way home.

I'm not very happy.
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Postby Maryellen » March 7th, 2006, 9:30 am

dont you love when they switch ingredients and dont say? i would email the company sue, see what they say... purple, keep your old bag and cut out the part w/ the ingredients and save it.. this way if sue gets an email saying the ingredients didnt change you have proof of the old bag vs new.

canidae did that 3 years ago, i had my dogs on it and they were doing GREAT.. then i get a new bag, and jesse's allergies exploded.. so i wrote to them and they said they didnt change anything. so i got the old bag ingredients vs new bag and confronted them with it... they back peddled and then finally admitted they moved some ingredients around on the list and changed one thing....
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Postby Sue » March 7th, 2006, 10:20 am

I have old bags and the food has definitely changed. The name of the food used to be lamb & rice, now it's lamb meal & oatmeal. I haven't compared the rest of the ingredients on the bags. The first ingredient used to be lamb, now it's lamb meal. For $48, I want lamb dammit!

I'll email and see if they give a reason for changing... I'll see how they do on this, but I may be on the search for a new food. And they all did so well on it too.
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Postby mnp13 » March 7th, 2006, 10:22 am

Actually, lamb meal is better. Lamb, as in fresh lamb, is about 75% water, so when it is cooked it moves 4 or 5 steps down the ingredient list. Lamb meal is already cooked so it doesn't 'move'.
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Postby Sue » March 7th, 2006, 10:33 am

Lamb was the first ingredient listed, along with chicken and beef - depending on what flavor you bought. Now the first ingredient listed is meal, no matter which flavor.
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Postby mnp13 » March 7th, 2006, 10:39 am

Like I said, you actually WANT meal to be the first ingredient, not just the 'meat'.

http://www.fda.gov/cvm/petlabel.htm

For example, one pet food may list "meat" as its first ingredient, and "corn" as its second. The manufacturer doesn't hesitate to point out that its competitor lists "corn" first ("meat meal" is second), suggesting the competitor's product has less animal-source protein than its own. However, meat is very high in moisture (approximately 75% water). On the other hand, water and fat are removed from meat meal, so it is only 10% moisture (what's left is mostly protein and minerals). If we could compare both products on a dry matter basis (mathematically "remove" the water from both ingredients), one could see that the second product had more animal-source protein from meat meal than the first product had from meat, even though the ingredient list suggests otherwise.


And an explaination of meal from the same source
That is not to say that the second product has more "meat" than the first, or in fact, any meat at all. Meat meal is not meat per se, since most of the fat and water have been removed by rendering. Ingredients must be listed by their "common or usual" name. Most ingredients on pet food labels have a corresponding definition in the AAFCO Official Publication. For example, "meat" is defined as the "clean flesh of slaughtered mammals and is limited to...the striate muscle...with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh." On the other hand, "meat meal" is "the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents." Thus, in addition to the processing, it could also contain parts of animals one would not think of as "meat." Meat meal may not be very pleasing to think about eating yourself, even though it's probably more nutritious. Animals do not share in people's aesthetic concerns about the source and composition of their food. Regardless, the distinction must be made in the ingredient list (and in the product name). For this reason, a product containing "lamb meal" cannot be named a "Lamb Dinner."
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Postby Sue » March 7th, 2006, 10:41 am

Gotcha, sorry I'm a little slow this morning :)
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Postby Purple » March 7th, 2006, 7:22 pm

So, we can assume the food is better, now!?
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Postby mnp13 » March 7th, 2006, 7:37 pm

Purple wrote:So, we can assume the food is better, now!?


maybe. what else changed about it?
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Postby Purple » March 7th, 2006, 7:55 pm

I'll get my old bag later and do a comparison....
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Postby Purple » March 11th, 2006, 4:20 pm

Here's the difference between meat and meat meal.

Meat or Meat Based - Meat is the clean flesh of slaughtered cattle, swine, sheep or goats. The flesh can include striated skeletal muscle, tongue, diaphragm, heskeletal muscle, tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus, overlying fat, and the portions of skin, sinew, nerves, and blood vessels normally found with that flesh. This is what some people would call on the hoof or "wet - state". This applies equal to all livestock whether it be Beef, Chicken, Lamb, etc.,,,. After processing these meats can loose up to 80% of their weight. Thus when looking at the ingredients list you might find it as number one but in truly reality after processing it will fall between 4, 5 or even 6 on a ture ingredients list.


Meat Meal - Rendered meal made from animal tissue. It cannot contain hair, hoof, blood, horn, hide trimmings, stomach or rumen (the first stomach) contents, or manure except for amounts that may not be avoided during processing. It cannot contain any added foreimay not be avoided during processing. It cannot contain any added foreign matter and may not contain more than 14% indigestible materials. Indigestible crude protein in the meal cannot be more than 11%. Meals are also use after processing and give a more ture actual weight on the list of ingredients for placement over whole meats or "wet - state" meats.

http://www.doberdogs.com/foodcht2.html
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Postby Purple » March 11th, 2006, 4:21 pm

Here's the old information for the chicken and rice formula:


INGREDIENTS:
Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Flaxseed, Chicken Liver, Menhaden Fish, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Montmorillonite, Flaxseed Oil, Freeze Dried Chicken, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Freeze Dried Salmon Oil, Sweet Potatoes, Cottage Cheese, Apples, Carrots, Peas, Whole Eggs, Kelp, Parsley, Artichoke, Inulin, Rosemary, Sage, Clove, Fermentation Products (Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Bifidobacterium Thermophilum Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product Dehydrated), Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (a source of Vitamin C), Carotene, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Folic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Ferrous Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, and Vitamin B12 Supplement.


GUARANTEED ANALYSIS:
CRUDE PROTEIN (min.) 24.0%
CRUDE FAT (min.) 14.0%
CRUDE FIBER (max.) 3.0%
MOISTURE (max.) 10.0%
CALCIUM (min.) 1.34%
PHOSPHORUS (min.) 0.87%
VITAMIN E (min.) 129.3 IU/kg
VITAMIN C* (min.) 50 mg/kg
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS* (min.) 1.94%
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS* (min.) 0.55%
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

CALORIES: 434 / cup

FATTY ACIDS:
LINOLEIC ACID (Omega 6) 1.94%
LINOLENIC ACID (Omega 3) 0.55%
ARACHIDONIC ACID 0.06%

VITAMINS:
CAROTENE mg/kg 0.6307
VITAMIN A IU/kg 19220
VITAMIN D IU/kg 2432.7
VITAMIN E IU/kg 129.3
VITAMIN K mg/kg 0.75
ASCORBIC ACID mg/kg 50
THIAMINE mg/kg 11.769
RIBOFLAVIN mg/kg 8.6948
PANTOTHENIC ACID mg/kg 19.622
BIOTIN mg/kg 0.4331
FOLIC ACID mg/kg 0.4
CHOLINE mg/kg 3325.9
VITAMIN B12 mg/kg 0.1185
VITAMIN B6 mg/kg 4.4
NIACIN mg/kg 55.783
IODINE mg/kg 3

MINERALS:
SODIUM 0.39%
POTASSIUM 0.63%
CHLORINE 0.78%
MAGNESIUM 0.11%
SULFUR 0.22%
MANGANESE mg/kg 29.59
IRON mg/kg 165.88
COPPER mg/kg 19.764
ZINC mg/kg 234.15
SELENIUM mg/kg 0.39

AMINO ACIDS:
METHIONINE-CYSTINE 0.83%
METHIONINE 0.47%
CYSTINE 0.36%
LYSINE 1.73%
TRYPTOPHAN 0.22%
THREONINE 0.78%
ISOLEUCINE 0.94%
HISTIDINE 0.60%
VALINE 1.10%
LEUCINE 1.68%
ARGININE 1.48%
PHENYLALANINE-TYROSINE 0.78%
TAURINE 0.06%





And here's the new information for their chicken meal and rice formula:

INGREDIENTS
Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Montmorillonite Clay, Flaxseed Meal, Natural Chicken Flavor, Alfalfa Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Niacin Supplement, Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Beta Carotene, Folic Acid), Sea Salt, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite), Chicken Liver, Inulin, Flaxseed Oil, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Apples, Carrots, Peas, Cottage Cheese, Chicken Eggs, Freeze Dried Chicken, Freeze Dried Turkey, Freeze Dried Turkey Liver, Freeze Dried Turkey Hearts, Pumpkinseeds, Ground Chicken Bone, Butternut Squash, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Kelp, Salmon Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Persimmons, Olive Oil, Duck Eggs, Pheasant Eggs, Quail Eggs, Rosemary Extract, Sage, Clove

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
CRUDE PROTEIN (min.) 26.0%
CRUDE FAT (min.) 14.0%
CRUDE FIBER (max.) 3.4%
MOISTURE (max.) 10.0%

OTHER NUTRITIONAL DATA
CALCIUM (min.) 1.41%
PHOSPHORUS (min.) 0.90%
VITAMIN E (min.) 128.4 IU/kg
VITAMIN C* (min.) 50 mg/kg
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS* (min.) 2.12%
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS* (min.) 0.56%
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

CALORIES
391 / cup

VITAMINS
CAROTENE mg/kg 5.63
VITAMIN A IU/kg 19220
VITAMIN D IU/kg 2433
VITAMIN E IU/kg 128.4
VITAMIN K mg/kg 0.75
ASCORBIC ACID mg/kg 50
THIAMINE mg/kg 12.28
RIBOFLAVIN mg/kg 8.88
PANTOTHENIC ACID mg/kg 19.63
BIOTIN mg/kg 0.45
FOLIC ACID mg/kg 0.36
CHOLINE mg/kg 3379
VITAMIN B12 mg/kg 0.12
VITAMIN B6 mg/kg 4.4
NIACIN mg/kg 58.79
IODINE mg/kg 3

MINERALS
SODIUM 0.41%
POTASSIUM 0.65%
CHLORIDE 0.79%
MAGNESIUM 0.12%
SULFUR 0.23%
MANGANESE mg/kg 29.78
IRON mg/kg 272.90
COPPER mg/kg 24.80
ZINC mg/kg 244.10
SELENIUM mg/kg 0.41

AMINO ACIDS
METHIONINE-CYSTINE 0.96%
METHIONINE 0.55%
CYSTINE 0.41%
LYSINE 1.77%
TRYPTOPHAN 0.30%
THREONINE 1.251%
ISOLEUCINE 1.17%
HISTIDINE 0.67%
VALINE 1.38%
LEUCINE 2.37%
ARGININE 1.59%
PHENYLALANINE-TYROSINE 1.20%
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Postby Maryellen » March 11th, 2006, 5:33 pm

the protein went up from 24 to 26 from a quick look.
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Postby Sue » March 11th, 2006, 6:53 pm

Mine seem to be doing OK, poop firmed up after a day...
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Postby Purple » March 13th, 2006, 10:52 pm

From Nature's Variety to PBF member, Hoss
(crossposted with permission from Hoss!)

Here is the E-mail I received from Natures Variety

Justin,

Thanks for writing! The changes made have just been to the kibble diets. Chicken meal is considered to be the single best source of protein in commercial pet foods. This ingredient is very digestible, very palatable, and very expensive. Nature’s Variety has recently introduced Raw Instinct™, a grain-free kibble. Ours is based on chicken meal and has tapioca as a starch, not potato.

Also, I want to note that Nature’s Variety New Zealand Venison Medley has been based on Venison Meal from its inception, as its ingredient statement has always stated. In fact, it was our good results with this high quality, single-source protein meat meal kibble, which provided a higher protein level than our other kibbles, that led us to consider and then adopt the formulation changes that we have made recently. As a result of these changes, we have been able to boost the protein levels of all of our other kibbles by 6 to 8 per cent, or 2 percentage points overall.

And we are still the “It’s where you find the meat company.” There is a misconception about meat meals. The term “meal” in this context refers to the process of grinding and removing the water from the specific meat under consideration. Again, I will cite the definition posted on our competitor’s web site (although it is basically the standard definition published by the American Association of Feed Control Officials “AAFCO”, the industry regulatory body): “Chicken meal is the dry rendered (cooked down) product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts of whole carcasses of chicken -- exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, or entrails.” There are similar definitions for beef, lamb, venison and salmon meals.

So first, the term “meal” refers to a product that is pre-ground. Whole ground flaxseed meal is pre-ground, for instance. Second, meat meals are a more concentrated source of animal protein than whole meat. That is because whole meat will have a typical moisture content of 55-65%. Dry kibble is less than 10% moisture. The moisture in that whole meat is being removed in the kibble manufacturing process. Whole chicken meat is 14% protein, and 58% water, whereas the high quality chicken meal we use is 65% protein and no more than 8% moisture. The other meat meals have similar profiles, although are generally in the mid-50% protein range. Frankly, we came to appreciate the fact that we could provide a more nutritional diet by utilizing high quality, single protein source meat meals, such as chicken, lamb, beef, venison and salmon meals.

I have attached an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Whole Dog Journal in February 2005 that delineates their view of meat meal. Also, please do not confuse our quality, single protein source meat meals, with either meat by-product meals or generic meat meals.

You also raised some concerns about some other changes in the ingredient listing. One is with the order of listing of ingredients. Frankly, we spent a lot of time increasing the accuracy and readability of the listing for our consumers. One of the things we did in that regard was to group the vitamins and minerals. The position of “Vitamins” and “Minerals” in the ingredient listing is based on the aggregate weight of each category, whereas they previously were listed in the order of their individual weights of inclusion. Both methods are allowed by regulation, but we thought it would help consumers to understand which of the ingredients were vitamins and which were minerals by listing them together.

That put those long listings ahead of the freeze-dried and related ingredients that constitute our unique Bio-Coating®. Unfortunately, regulations do not allow us to aggregate those ingredients similar to what we can do with vitamins and minerals. In fact, however, we have improved our Bio-Coating by utilizing ground Nature’s Variety Freeze-Dried Raw Diets instead of a combination of individual freeze-dried meats as before.

As to “Natural Chicken Flavor” this describes a natural product derived from chicken liver that has always been on our chicken kibble (or similar protein specific products used on other kibbles). ALL kibble manufacturers include similar ingredients applied to the outside of the kibble at the end of the process to enhance the flavor. The fact is that kibble needs some flavor enhancement regardless of the nature of the ingredients used due to the nature of the kibble extrusion and drying process. Previously, we had included this under the designation “Chicken Liver” but we felt that it would be more accurate to separate it from the chicken liver that is included in the Bio-Coating.

The bottom line is that Nature’s Variety Prairie and Raw Instinct kibbles still represent the same premium, quality nutrition that they always have. I would ask that you continue to feed the products and prove to yourself that they still perform as well as or better than our previous formulations (including in the back yard).

I hope I have been able to provide you some helpful information and have allayed your concerns about our products.
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