Meat Meals

Question:
I was wondering if you might be able to answer a question I have in regards to fresh meat vs. meat meals in pet food.

On your website in the section titled "Critiques of Pet Food Companies Claims" under the section "Real Chicken" it says, "If it is chicken meat, as implied, it is far inferior to the meals."

Answer:
This is stated because muscle meat alone does not have the nutritional merit of meals that combine meat with bones, viscera and organs. If meat and meals are both cooked products, the meat meal would be superior since it would match more closely the genetic expectation of carnivores.

Question:
However, in the section titled Fresh Meat vs. Meat Meals, it says, "Put simply, meat meals are inferior to fresh meats."

Answer:
In this instance a cooked ingredient is compared to raw. Since meat meals are cooked, their nutritional merit is reduced to less than if fresh raw meats were fed. (This assumes a person is feeding other foods to balance the meat as in the Optimal Health Program).

Question:
Thanks for your response. But in the second instance, the discussion is also about commercial pet food, not feeding raw fresh meat. Reading further it states, "Fresh meats are not precooked and stored, but only cooked once into the final pet food product." Farther along when talking about Wysong products it says, "Meals are only used when fresh alternatives are not available . . ." This is a cooked product just like the first example.

You stated, "If meat and meals are both cooked products, the meat meal would be superior since it would match more closely the genetic expectation of carnivores." If this is true, why is there a lengthy article explaining why meat meals are inferior to fresh meats in commercial pet foods? If meals are superior why only use them when fresh alternatives are not available?

I'm not trying to be argumentative--I'm simply trying to understand. It simply seems counter-intuitive to critique other companies for marketing a claim that you clearly believe in yourself.

Answer:
Thank you for your response.

The issues you raise all relate to terminology.

The fresh "meat" we use in our extruded products is not merely muscle meat, but viscera and organs as well, as consumed by wild carnivores.

That is superior to meat meals since it escapes two prior cooks that meat meals have before they reach an extrusion plant.

Perhaps the best way to understand what we try to convey is to study the Optimal Health Program™ (http://wysong.net/wohp/) where various choices are scaled in terms of merit.