nutrients from whole foods

Because all our vitamins and minerals come from natural food sources, it’s important to us that those sources are of the highest quality. If humans can get the nutrients they need without piles of synthetic vitamins and minerals, then *gosh dang it* so can dogs!

A “whole foods” claim should imply that the ingredients are familiar and easily identifiable. A quick glance at our raw materials, and you can recognize exactly what is what.

Our ingredients

raw duck meat

Duck

Duck is a cooling protein, especially great for dogs who run a little hot. Our ducks are Midwest-local, coming from Indiana.

pile of raw cubed fresh beef

Beef

Grass-fed beef is a great source of Omega 3s like EPA and DHA. Our beef comes from pasture-raised cows in Wisconsin.

pile of beef liver

Beef Liver

Liver is a highly concentrated source of Vitamin A, and also contains folic acid, B vitamins, and iron.

pile of lentils

Lentils

Lentils are high in protein and fiber, and a great source of zinc, potassium, and iron.

pile of flax

Flax

Flax is a crazy good source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is great for skin & coat health. The Dakotas supply us with our flax.

pile of fresh green beans

Green beans

Green beans are high in fiber, and are a great source of K, C, and B Vitamins. Ours are locally grown here in Wisconsin

wild caught trout raw

trout

A fabulous source of Omega 3 fatty acids (and bonus: it's a MEAT-based source which is great for carnivores). Caught from the Great Lakes!

pile of apple slices

Apples

Our Washington apples are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Apples are also good for freshening up stinky dog breath.

pile of whole ground krill

whole ground krill

Meat-based source of EPA and DHA. A great way for the natural carnivore to get those essential Omegas!

pile of pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of dietary fiber and are great for digestive health as a whole. We get them from Oregon.

pile of organic turmeric

organic turmeric

Turmeric has been deemed a natural anti-inflammatory and can also support gastrointestinal function.

a pile of salt

salt

Salt is a natural source of sodium, potassium, iron and zinc.

Pile of fresh spinach

Spinach

A natural protein source full of iron, zinc, calcium and Vitamins A, E, C, K, and B6.

drops of mixed tocopherols (vitamin e)

mixed tocopherols

Part of the Vitamin E family (akin to vegetable oil) & often used as natural preservatives to maintain freshness.

Photos from production

We're different. really, we are.

Ingredients:
Duck, beef, beef liver, lentils, flaxseed, green beans, trout, apples, whole ground krill, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, spinach, iodized salt, mixed tocopherols

That's 100% it!

Ingredients:
Beef, salmon, beef liver, flaxseed, peas, beef heart, carrots, cranberries, whole ground krill, pumpkin seeds, ginger, spinach, iodized salt, mixed tocopherols

That's 100% it!

Ingredients:
Chicken, turkey, chicken hearts, flaxseed, sweet potatoes, chicken liver, carrots, whole ground krill, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, cinnamon, spinach, iodized salt, mixed tocopherols

That's 100% it!

Their ingredients

pile of ground chicken

Chicken

Chicken is the first ingredient, which is great! But continue with caution through the next couple ingredients

pile of chicken meal

Chicken Meal

Still not horrible - a distinguishable protein at least. But now is when we start to see the high amounts of grains & fillers.

pile of brown rice

Brown rice

A nice whole grain, but once the chicken is dehydrated, this ingredient will make up a large chunk of the finished product

pile of barley

Barley

An "ancient grain", but still should not constitute the majority of a carnivore's diet. At this level, it could be considered a filler.

pile of oatmeal

Oatmeal

Great on its own, for sure! A good source of fiber, but still should not make up the majority of our carnivores' diets!

pile of chicken fat

Chicken fat

A great source of essential fatty acids, though useless in the realm of protein.

pile of tomato pomace

tomato pomace

The leftovers after making ketchups & other tomato products. Consists of the skins, seeds, and stems of tomatoes. Considered an "inexpensive byproduct"

pile of peas

Green peas

Yay, an actual veggie! Though it likely lost all its nutritional value once it went through the high-heat extrusion process

pile of flax

flaxseed

A great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, but these could be broken down when subjected to high heat.

drops of natural flavor

natural flavors

Often added to commercially-prepared foods: flavors are lost when ingredients are cooked at really high temperatures.

a pile of yellow potatoes

Potatoes

High in fiber and good for digestive health, but yet again, nutrients are likely destroyed in the extremely high heat.

pile of alfalfa meal

alfalfa meal

Has some good nutrients, but is often used as a cheaper plant-based substitute for meat-based proteins.

pile of calcium carbonate

calcium carbonate

A chemical compound found in rocks or limestone, commonly used in the construction industry. Also used to reduce acidity in soil, streams, or in the stomach.

pile of salt

Salt

While of course good for the body in right amounts, many kibble manufacturers add more salt than they need.

pile of potassium chloride

Potassium Chloride

A chemical compound that closely resembles salt. Can help with metabolism.

pile of potato starch

Potato Starch

The "Leftover dust" after human food ingredients are made. Has lost all its nutritional value in processing. Used to bulk up the product.

pile of dried chicory root

Dried Chicory Root

Chicory is a prebiotic. BUT, prebiotics should be given alongside probiotics, otherwise they will feed bad bacteria. And there aren't probiotics in this formula.

Dl-M

DL-Methionine

Naturally found in proteins; generally added when foods contain minimal amounts of protein and are high in grains

drops of caramel

Caramel

Added for sweetness and color - very high in sugar (what parent would ever serve candy with every single meal?)

drops of mixed tocopherols (vitamin e)

Mixed Tocopherols

Part of the Vitamin E family (akin to vegetable oil) & often used as natural preservatives to maintain freshness.

some cubed sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato

A great food for dogs - but based on its position in this ingredient deck, there's not much of it in here

a few carrot slices

carrot (seriously, like one single carrot)

Also a great food for dogs - but based on its position in this ingredient deck, there's not many of them in here

pile of garlic

Garlic

The helpfulness depends on the form. Whole, organic can be beneficial, but processed isn't much more than a palatant

pile of choline chloride

Choline Chloride

An organic compound used in feed products to accelerate growth (especially in chickens)

drop of synthetic vitamin e

Vitamin E

A synthetic vitamin that was added due to lack of natural sources

pile of ferrous sulfate

Ferrous Sulfate

A salt-like compound, used as a source of iron. Also commonly used as a dye, for woodworking, or for lawn care purposes

pile of synthetic iron

Iron

Iron can be found naturally in peas, but likely had to be added synthetically because the ingredients were cooked at too high a temperature to preserve nutrients

pile of synthetic zinc

Zinc

A synthetic mineral that was added due to lack of natural sources

pile of copper sulfate

Copper Sulfate

A chemical compound most commonly used as a fungicide, & occasionally used for its bright color in pottery and glass art.

pile of manganous oxide

Manganous Oxide

Found in nature as a metal/ore - often used as fertilizer, a food additive (in animal feed), or the manufacturing of ceramics, paints, colored glass, and bleaching tallow.

pile of synthetic riboflavin

riboflavin

A synthetic vitamin that was added due to lack of natural sources

pile of thiamine mononitrate

Thiamine Mononitrate

A synthetic form of Vitamin B - can cause liver and kidney disease in high amounts and can be a common allergen

pile of synthetic beta carotene

Beta Carotene

Beta Carotene is naturally found in carrots and sweet potatoes, but was likely added as a synthetic supplement because the nutrients in the natural sources were lost

pile of manganese sulfate

Manganese Sulfate

An inorganic salt, used for skin care, lawn care, and as a food additive. Can be toxic to animals at moderate levels, and can interfere with antibiotics.

pile of dried yeast

Dried Yeast

A good source of Vitamin B, but can be a common allergen

pile of turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric has been deemed a natural anti-inflammatory and can also support gastrointestinal function.

Comparing their ingredient decks:

Brand #1

Ingredients: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (Preserved With BHA/Citric Acid), Meat And Bone Meal, Soybean Meal, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Natural Flavor, Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Natural Grilled Steak Flavor, Dried Peas, Zinc Sulfate, Dl-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Biotin, L-Tryptophan, BHA & Citric Acid, Dried Carrots, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Red 40, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid

Brand #2

Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Corn, Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Pork Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed, Lactic Acid, L-Lysine, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Carrots, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Citrus Pulp, Spinach, Fish Oil, Iodized Salt, Lipoic Acid, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Natural Flavor, L-Tryptophan, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene

Brand #3

Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Dried Peas, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brown Rice, Natural Flavor, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Corn Gluten Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa, Dried Carrots, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Iron Oxide, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodade, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid

Some other things to note...

chicken breast as the first ingredient

It's always great when meat-based proteins are the first ingredient, especially when its the whole protein (and not just a meal). Two of the ingredient decks above have chicken as the first ingredient - we're all about that!

but don't forget about the second, third, and fourth ingredients!

Once the meat is dehydrated (as it is in all kibble products) it loses about 70% of its weight. So the following ingredients—the second, third, and fourth—really make up just as much of the food as the first. 

comparing the first six ingredients: are they majority meat or majority plant?
the main point

Just because the first ingredient is a protein, doesn't necessarily mean the food is meat-based.

Additionally...

All these added vitamins and minerals are synthetic versions of the real thing – meaning they were developed to supplement the natural diet. That’s not necessarily bad – many humans take beneficial supplements regularly. However, most of the nutrients on the list are things that would naturally be in a normal daily diet.

They had to be added back into the food because either the nutrients in their natural form were destroyed during the high-temperature rendering process, or there weren’t enough whole food sources of these nutrients to begin with.

Another brand's ingredient list with lots of synthetic vitamins and minerals

nutrition from whole foods

Because all our vitamins & minerals come from natural food sources, it’s important those sources are high quality. If humans can get the nutrients they need without piles of synthetic vitamins and minerals, then *gosh dang it* so can dogs!

A “whole foods” claim should imply that the ingredients are familiar and easily identifiable. A quick glance at our raw materials, and you can recognize exactly what is what.

comparing ingredient decks

Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Corn, Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Pork Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed, Lactic Acid, L-Lysine, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Carrots, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Citrus Pulp, Spinach, Fish Oil, Iodized Salt, Lipoic Acid, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Natural Flavor, L-Tryptophan, Mixed Tocopherols, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene

Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken hearts, flaxseed, sweet potatoes, chicken liver, carrots, whole ground krill, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, cinnamon, spinach, iodized salt, mixed tocopherols

Some other things to note...

chicken breast as the first ingredient

It's always great when meat-based proteins are the first ingredient, especially when its the whole protein (and not just a meal). Two of the ingredient decks above have chicken as the first ingredient - we're all about that!

but don't forget about the second, third, and fourth ingredients!

Once the meat is dehydrated (as it is in all kibble products) it loses about 70% of its weight. So the following ingredients—the second, third, and fourth—really make up just as much of the food as the first. 

comparing the first six ingredients: are they majority meat or majority plant?
the main point

Just because the first ingredient is a protein, doesn't necessarily mean the food is meat-based.

Additionally...

Another brand's ingredient list with lots of synthetic vitamins and minerals

All these added vitamins and minerals are synthetic versions of the real thing – meaning they were developed to supplement the natural diet. That’s not necessarily bad – many humans take beneficial supplements regularly. However, most of the nutrients on the list are things that would naturally be in a normal daily diet.

They had to be added back into the food because either the nutrients in their natural form were destroyed during the high-temperature rendering process, or there weren’t enough whole food sources of these nutrients to begin with.

The Simple Food Project
1823 Executive Drive
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

800-451-5267

We will be closed Mon, Dec 24th & Tue, Dec 25th. The dogs have stockings to nose through and we have last-minute presents to wrap. Dismiss