Smart Shopping for Raw food

I had no idea beef kidneys looked like this until I bought some. Eh, what can you do?
I recently finished reading a book entitled “Pet Food Nation.” I strongly do NOT recommend anybody to read this. It looked exciting, but the blurb about feeding raw and why it’s bad was so off the mark and largely untrue of anybody feeding a carefully prepared, researched raw diet, it completely lacked credibility. Key points that were discussed which may deter many from feeding raw is the expense, risk of contamination, and nutritional imbalance. Oh, also the ick factor.

The expense-If I were to shop for only the raw items I specifically wanted on a certain day, like human grade grass fed beef tongue ($25 over here at my butcher-4 meals about) or a pre cut rabbit ($21, about 2 individual meals), I guarantee the cost will be astronomical. If instead, I mostly buy human grade items in quantity as they become available or go on sale, which are not precut, preground, or gutted, are not from a chain boutique advertising as pet quality (the patties), or listed as a specialty unique item (sweat breads), I can cut the cost to under a dollar per meal.

Contamination-avoid buying pre ground food, buy human grade, and buy from local sources where you know or can see how the animal was reared and prepared. Handle with care. Better yet, grow your own-it’s like the circle of life in my backyard and I love it.

Nutritional imbalance-do the research before diving in and be a conscientious feeder (I have had to heed my own advice recently, so it is very important). Plan meals ahead of time. Dogs can and often do experience nutritional deficiencies on kibble, as well as a host of other ailments that have become killers to the modern kibble fed canine. Dogs have eaten raw and scraps almost exclusively up until kibble became a trend in the 20th century. Yet, this is when many of the major canine diseases have cropped up. That’s right, kibble is a trend, raw was here first.

The ick factor-in order to save money and reduce contamination, I will have to do some of the dirty work myself when preparing their food, because I love them and I value a total body approach to their health. If that means touching raw meat, so be it. It builds character when one comes to literal grips with the food we eat in it’s most basic form and not ground or formed to beyond recognition. If people can’t get over this little part, pretty soon we will be eating kibbles too. Soylent green anyone?

So, today our purchases at the butcher shop were 3 packs of grass fed locally reared and slaughtered beef kidney for all of $2 apiece. 4 beef hearts, same source, $2.50 apiece. A 5lb bag of raw meaty bones for $4. I also ordered a box of chicken feet for $2/lb, and some spleen/green tripe for a similar price. Meat, bone, and organ, all human grade and neatly wrapped in butcher paper, which will stretch for months when combined with my existing supplies of whole birds, eggs, and meat pieces. A bag of high quality kibble to last as long can’t beat it. We are happy campers over here 🙂

2 thoughts on “Smart Shopping for Raw food

  1. My dog is way healthier since I've been cooking for her instead of relying on kibbles, so it's not that hard to make a balanced diet for a dog. And I do feed her raw ground beef from the store. Some times I think I should switch to stew cubes or something like that, but she's never had a problem with the ground beef.

  2. glad to hear you are finding 'scores' 🙂 We have family who hunt deer, and we got some venison tripe this year! fresh, whole. Disgusting really. I also befriended a butcher and told him that I'm exploring old recipes that require organs, brains, tongues and such. I've even gotten thymus from him! And I find chicken feet and various animal heads (joy, really) at a local ethnic market. And I order some things online, like organ mixes, rabbit parts, etc. Stuff thats harder for me to find that I still want to feed. You sometimes really have to go out of your way to make raw work correctly. But the benefits are overwhelming! I think I spend about the same as I would feeding them something like EVO. (mongoose, just an FYI – the ground beef is what is mostly recalled in the US, which is why I don't feed it, always watch for that!)

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