The great salt divide is a term coined by the legendary Rodney Habib. He uses the term to explain a sneaky trick that pet food companies like to play on consumers. And we all need to be aware of this trick because it’s basically a big deal breaker.
Follow me here: AAFCO is who sets the regulations for pet food labeling. According to their guidelines, a bag of kibble cat food can only have a maximum of 1% salt. They also require that ingredients are listed in order of quantity, which is another trick they play. Because of this, we should know that every single ingredient that comes after salt is less than 1% of the entire bag.
Do you read the ingredients in your cat’s food? Here’s a screen shot of a popular bag of cat food, stating the food has “Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Vegetables: Carrots, Blueberries and Cranberries”.
Sounds healthy and delicious, right?
Now check out the ingredient list of this exact food:
Notice that ALL the beneficial ingredients they promote on this bag of kibble come after salt. Less than 1% of the good stuff they want to brag about in big letters is actually in this bag. This means that there’s basically a shaving of carrot skin, maybe a blueberry and perhaps half of a cranberry in this entire bag of food.
It may take a minute to let this really sink in. Anytime we spend all that extra money on all those ‘better and fresher’ ingredients, let’s see if those ingredients come before or after salt. We will quickly find out if the bag of kibble is really full of better and fresher ingredients – or if it’s full of… you know.
I’m also jaded that these companies intentionally spend their resources attempting to mislead lead us – instead of actually trying to provide a quality source of nutrition for our cats.
And this marketing scheme isn’t just used by a few rogue, rude companies – it’s the unfortunate norm. A majority of cat foods have pictures of fresh ingredients on the front of the bag, leading us to believe that those ingredients are inside. To be clear – it is required that pictured ingredients be included (in some way) in the formula. It is not required that the amount of that ingredient be regulated at all – thus the ugly 1%
So – let’s not be fooled and manipulated by pet food companies. Let’s make the effort to be proactive about our cat’s life and health – especially with food. Read the ingredients. Make informed choices. And if you’re just completely fed up with how deceptive kibble companies really are, try feeding a species appropriate diet instead. 🙂