Saturday, February 11, 2017

Caturday: Rachael Ray Nutrish

It's Caturday, and my cats are sampling some Rachael Ray Nutrish wet food. This is the best the grocery store has to offer, and as pet foods go, it's not bad. There's no by-products, no mystery meats, and no cheating with gluten meals to boost protein content.

Powdered Cellulose?
Wet cat food

So what is in there, besides meat, broth, vegetable oil, and stabilizing gums? Powdered cellulose was the only thing that caught my attention on the ingredients list. A quick google search brings up a whole lot of horrified pet owners calling it "sawdust" and stating it has no nutritional value. It's a "filler", right? Completely useless? Actually, as I learned from Dog Food Logic, there's really no such thing as a "filler". Powdered cellulose is a form of insoluble fiber, which acts as, you know, fiber. It helps your cat poo.

You can find powdered cellulose in people food too, it's frequently in canned Parmesan cheese to keep it from sticking together. It can also be found in various high-fiber and low-fat foods. Powdered cellulose can be made from a number of different things, and it's worth noting that calling it "wood pulp" is entirely inaccurate. It could be made from apples, or corn husks, or, yes, actual wood. It's just refined down to the point that there's none of that left. I'm not sure what that means for allergies, so it's something I might avoid if that was an issue.

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

Nutrish is actually made by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, a company dedicated to putting high-quality pet foods in grocery stores. I really appreciate this effort, as I know plenty of people who would never even dream of walking into a pet-specific store to get cat food. This isn't the best food out there, it's possible they are getting some ingredients from China given their lack of advertising to the contrary. Still, it's worlds better nearly anything else in the grocery store. This is a product that fills a need, and it means plenty of pets are eating better. I have no problem feeding it to my cats occasionally.

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