Archive for January, 2011

31st Jan 2011

Green Pet Foods

Leaf - copyright Onesta Organics

Green pet food claims have sprouted just as natural claims have. But just how true are these green claims? If one looks at the facts it turns out that green washing isn’t reserved for products for humans.

A Green Seal certifying agent confirmed that USDA organic certification is the best and most credible label for pet and human food products, also in respect to any green claims. Green Seal is a third party certifier that uses stringent processes to verify green claims.

Here I should remind everybody that only certified organic pet food claims are regulated and enforced by the US government while any other (non-certified) ‘organic’ claim isn’t and is therefore not verified by an unbiased third party.

If you just glanced at one page of our site it probably has become clear that most Onesta Organics products are certified organic.* But how else are we behaving environmentally friendly?

Since our facility is certified to National Organic Program standards, our facility is essentially free of environmental toxins.

We use organic sanitizers and biodegradable detergents.

We use non-toxic pest control measures. I am also happy to say that we don’t really have pest infestations; probably because we store our products and almost all of our ingredients in the fridge or freezer, and not in open containers at room temperature as is the industry standard.

We use minimum packaging for both our products and shipments. That’s why our product boxes are a snug fit for the products we pack in them and don’t suggest a greater amount of product than you actually pay for.

Our shipping boxes are usually full to the rim with products; this doesn’t only save our customers money but it also allows for more environmentally friendly shipping. We reuse shipping materials as long as our products’ integrity isn’t compromised. We of course also recycle any shipping materials.

We use motion-sensor lightening which is an easy step to reduce energy use.

We try to source our (organic!) ingredients that are grown locally, or at least within the US. However, special ingredients such as cinnamon or kelp are simply not available in the US and have to be imported. If we use ingredients from foreign countries we choose fair trade when possible (e.g., banana).

Finally, we compost everything that can be recycled so our trash cans remain quite tidy and empty while our landscaping flourishes. Production ‘waste’ that shouldn’t be composted ends up in the paws of adopted or fostered pets or even in those of some of our human friends.

It is easy to be a green pet food company, it certainly starts with an organic certification, but there are quite some add-ons that can easily be implemented to decrease the negative impact any industry activity can have on the environment.

* Our fish pet food products aren’t certified organic because fish isn’t certified organic in the US. However, we are using fish that’s either US farmed organically or fished in US waters in a sustainable way.

Posted by Posted by Heidi Junger, PhD under Filed under Organic Pet Food Standards Comments Comments Off