Do pet owners know that pet food contains a variety of meat meal, the most common being chicken meal, lamb meal, turkey meal, and fish meal, which businesses claim to have rich, high-quality protein. If that were true then why do we as humans not have this kind of food on our table? A lot of literature indicates that meat meal is not suitable for human diet. The following is a description of the process of making meat meal and its difference from fresh meat.
Meat meal is made through a “rendering” process, whose main function is to convert animal tissues into stable and valuable products (protein & fat). Mainly used as cattle feed in the past; it is now heavily used in pet food manufacture. The animal tissues used by the rendering industry are mainly from slaughterhouses, grease recovered from restaurants, remaining meat cuts at the factory, meat products past their expiration dates and returned to the meat shop, animal shelters, zoos, and animal hospitals. Although 4D – dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals – meat can be used legally. The animal tissue sources noted above is why meat meal is not fit for human consumption.
Spring Naturals insists in using only fresh meat in all our recipes. “Meat” define by AAFCO is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that part which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart or in the esophagus; with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and portions of the skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh. It shall be suitable for animal food. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.
In other words, “meat” is primarily the muscle tissue of the animal, but may include the fat, gristle and other tissues normally accompanying the muscle, similar to what you might see in a portion of raw meat sold for human consumption.