Friday, March 18, 2016

Food Friday: Evo 95 Beef Recipe

This can of Evo 95 Beef Recipe dog food makes me nostalgic for a time when Innova Evo was the best, highest-calorie, most nutritionally dense food out there. Things have changed quite a bit since then, and parent company Natura's products are no longer at the top of my food list for various reasons.
dog food and dinosaurs

The Company

Natura Pet is the parent company of Evo, Innova, and California Natural pet foods, and has been around since at least the mid-90's. Evo was the first grain-free dog food I heard about, and this came at a time when I was trying to get Brisbane to lose weight. As much as I wanted to feed him what I considered to be The Best Kibble, I had to go with something less nutritionally dense because Evo is really high in calories.

The pet community lost most of their faith in Evo when Proctor and Gamble acquired Natura Pet in 2010. They originally claimed that nothing would change, but the assumption is that they cut costs by reducing the quality of the ingredients long before they had to change the bag label. It's also worth noting that pet food companies are allowed to change their ingredients without warning customers for up to six months before they have to either change the labels or go back to the listed ingredients. This is because it would apparently present a hardship to the pet food companies to have to print up new bags without using up all the ones they already have. Us consumers aren't even a consideration in this equation.

At any rate, P&G acquired Natura and the Evo product line promptly exploded. In addition to the original formula, we got red meat, fish, and small bites formulas. The canned food line was expanded to include several single-protein formulas including rabbit, venison, chicken, turkey, duck, fish, and beef. The kibbles all still contained chicken, but the canned foods were kind of awesome for dogs with allergies.

All that is over now though, because Mars PetCare bought Natura Pet last summer. They've since axed the product line, and only have chicken-based canned food now. The older stuff like the can pictured above is still on shelves, but be sure to read labels because the new formula is full of lies and also chicken. That's right, "Evo 95 Percent Beef" has chicken as the second ingredient. Thanks a lot, Mars PetCare.
dog food and dinosaurs

The Food

The buyout was bad for Natura Pet in more ways than one. In 2013 the recalls started. These were for contamination and potential for salmonella, a sign the manufacturing facility may not have been as clean as we'd all like. The length and extent of those recalls gives me zero confidence in this being a good choice for routine or long-term use. It just feels like it's only a matter of time before it happens again.

That said, this food currently merits five out of five stars on the Dog Food Advisor website due to its ingredients profile and nutritional analysis. It's a decent food, and nobody should feel bad about feeding it. My dogs all love it. The loaf form worked particularly well for watering down and freezing in my Nina Ottosson puzzle.

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