One of my big plans when I took over the LBC blog was to start posting individual reviews and informative posts on each of the brands of pet food, treats, and toys that we carry. I feel it is very important that our customers not only know WHAT we carry, but also WHY we carry that specific product; why it meets the standards we have in place at the LBC. I started working on my first review a week or so ago and I started to realize there are a lot of terms that come up, especially with food and treats, that need a little more than a sentence or two of explanation. The one I’m going to tackle today is “human grade” (also sometimes referred to as “food grade”).
Basically, “human grade,” as defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (aka AAFCO, the organization that establishes the nutritional standards for complete and balanced dog food), means that the finished food item is fit for human consumption. In other words, the food is legally suitable and an approved source of nourishment for humans. More often that not, “human grade” foods are free of dangerous chemical fillers or preservatives. “Human grade” can also be used to describe manufacturing and packaging plants. In this instance, it means that the facility meets the federal rules and regulations put in place for human foods. The important thing to remember though is that “human grade” doesn’t necessarily dictate that the ingredients used are the choicest. So your dog’s “human grade” food may not contain filet mignon, but you should be reassured in knowing the food is sourced and handled in the same manner as that of our food.
But why is this so important when it comes to pet food? Well, human food manufacturing has far more rigorous rules and regulations than that of “regular” pet food, also known as “feed grade.” “Feed grade” ingredients are basically the waste products left behind from the human food industry. That’s where you’ll find ingredients that can come from a multitude of sources like deceased animals from farms, feedlots, animal shelters, and other facilities, as well as fat, grease, or other food waste from the restaurant industry. “Feed grade” items can only be legally fed to animals other than human.
In our upcoming food and treat reviews, the term “human grade” will often pop up in reference to where the ingredients were sourced and the facilities used in manufacturing. This post will hopefully give you a better understanding of what that means when the terms does come up.
Until next time, Loyal fans!
Sources: The Honest Kitchen: “Why Choose Pet Food That’s Human Grade?”, Healthy Pets: “When Some Pet Foods Say They Use ‘Human Grade’ Ingredients, They Mean It!”
The Loyal Biscuit Co. was named The Best Maine Pet Store by the readers of Downeast Dog News for 2010, 2011 and 2012; Best of the Best for Knox County for 2010, 2011, 2013; Best of the Best for Waldo County 2013, 2012 Pet Store Retailer of the Year - Honorable Mention and 2013 Retailer of the Year - Outstanding Growth from Pet Product News International.
The Loyal Biscuit Co. is located at 442 Main St., Rockland; Reny's Plaza, 1 Belmont Ave, Belfast; and 39 Mechanic St., Knox Mill, Camden. You can find the LBC online at www.loyalbiscuit.com or www.fb.com/loyalbiscuit.