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  • Writer's pictureDotty Ann Harding

Is What You Are Eating Killing You and Your Pet?

As we dash from one place to another, fast food has become the norm, and shopping, preparing, and cooking our food has become a lost art. We just don't have the time. But, I know for myself the fast pot (pressure cooker) and the crock pot can lend a hand along with skillet and sheet pan meals.

Yes, you could survive eating nothing but fast food, but you will not thrive, so think of what you are feeding your dog the same way. The effects of this type of food on your body make the difference between chronic disease and a healthy extended life. Research shows that 30 to 50 percent of all cancers are directly related to nutrition.

Our western diet is literally killing us, as most of what we are eating has been developed during the past fifty to eighty years. Genetically modified food, fake meat, and processed foods that fill our markets are not serving us well.

Solving the Problem

So how can this be intertwined with the Mediterranean diet or Eating clean? Any visiting home nurse or nutritionist will tell you when you shop for groceries, only go on the outside perimeter. What does that mean? The vegetables, fruits, and fresh meat and fish sections. Stay away from the inside aisles as this is processed food filled with calorie-laden fats, sugars, salts, and preservatives. Yes, they are easy meals but is your health worth not only the cost, but the price is more than it would be to prepare it yourself, let alone order food out.

The freezer can be your friend. Buy in bulk seasonally and vacuum seal when those varieties are abundant. Also, buy from local farms with meat that is pasture-raised and not factory farmed, where the animals are not stressed, diseased, and filled with antibiotics. There have been many books regarding factory farming and how those animals suffer. Yes, they are being raised for their meat, but the iconic farming scenes we see on the packaging are far from reality.

It's a worse scenario for our pets where the ingredients of their foods are not monitored or enforced as those foods are for human consumption. Most importantly, there should be no anonymous animal meat listed in the ingredients. And remember, foods processed in other countries usually do not qualify under our standards. Don't take my word for this, but google shrimp and tilapia farming in countries like China because when you do, I don't think you will eat any of those products again. Cheap food comes with a price, and it's usually your health.


It is filled with preservatives and coloring agents that resemble meat and vegetables that can have toxic effects on your pet. Then it is processed at very high heat that destroys any nutrition, then filled with synthetic vitamins, minerals, and preservatives.

These additives kill off healthy gut bacteria, leading to weight gain and skin & coat issues. Why is this done? Because its cheaper than using good healthy meat products. Cardiomyopathy and cancers are increasing in dogs, partly due to the mold in the kibble.

Super Nutrients

Here is a secret to keeping your pet healthy, and it's cheaper than buying mass-produced dog foods. Organ meats like liver, gizzards, and hearts are fresh in your meat counters and have a higher density of nutrients than muscle meats. They will increase brain volume, decrease joint discomfort, and are great for allergies. Add them to prebiotics, and you have a super food for the immune system. Flax, pea flour, carrots, and ginger increase serotonin and decrease aggression and stress.

Here is what I found works well for my dogs and me. First, I buy a small organic chicken and roast it. I save the breast meat for myself and cut the rest in pieces, then make a bone broth and add the hearts and gizzards previously diced in the food processor with chopped turmeric. When finished, I remove the rest of the meat from the bones and strain the broth. Next, I combine sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, string beans, broccoli, beans, sardines, and collards and roughly chop them in the food processor. Add these ingredients to the broth with brown rice and gently simmer until they begin to soften, then add some barley, quinoa, and liver. Does this take some time? Yes, it does, but I end up with a month's worth of food which I freeze in small freezer bags and add remnants of my daily intake to their nutrition, including scrambled eggs for breakfast and shrimp for dinner. Of course, everyone has to do their research, but I'm just sharing what has been working for me.

Of course, I do make exceptions for birthdays!! Happy 20th Birthday Annie! She loved her cake and frozen yogurt.


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