"RAWSOME": Awesome Raw Pet Food CSA, by Natsuki Hayashi


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RAWSOME is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for New York City pet owners and their furry friends. RAWSOME is committed to supporting local farmers in the New York Metropolitan area and providing all natural, grain-free, preservative-free, hormone-free and antibiotics-free wholesome goodness to urban dogs.

 

Many veterinary schools do not teach proper pet nutrition. Instead, they are trained to believe commercial pet foods are the most balanced diet available.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed pet waste a “non-point source of pollution” in 1991, which puts pet waste in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals.¹ Let’s assume that 99 percent of pet owners in the city obey the "Pooper Scooper" law; that still leaves 10,000 dog droppings in public spaces each day.² Dog waste damages the urban ecosystems and also becomes the greatest source of potential health risk for humans and other animals.

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According to Rawfed.com and many other raw feeding resources, dogs fed a raw meaty bone diet produce stools that are one-third the size of the voluminous stools of kibble-fed dogs. That equates to a two-thirds size reduction in fecal output. Raw-fed dog stools are small, hard balls that turn white within 24 hours, crumble and blow away like powder if left outside. Raw feeding will not only reduce the size of the stool, but also provide a wide range of health benefits to dogs such as improved dental and oral health, skin and coat condition, immune system, digestive system, weight issues, and allergies.

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Commercial pet foods have only been available for the past century and scientific research has proven that dogs are natural carnivores. However, many commercial pet food companies sell products that are filled with corn and other grains because it is more profitable for them. Furthermore, the modern veterinary industry is tied closely with commercial pet food companies. Many veterinary schools do not teach proper pet nutrition. Instead, they are trained to believe commercial pet foods are the most balanced diet available. In the case of Colgate-Palmolive, the company that manufactures Hill's Science Diet, it spends "hundreds of thousands of dollars a year funding university research and nutrition courses at every one of the 27 US veterinary colleges. Once in practice, vets who sell Science Diet and other premium foods directly pocket profits of as much as 40%." So commercial pet food companies and veterinary professionals are in the business together.

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To provoke a shift in the system, Rawsome looks to provide wholesome raw food from local producers directly to its customers. Not only does this support local farmers, it improves the city environment by creating less volume of dog waste and accelerating decomposition. Also, Rawsome is convenient for pet owners and provides planned and pre-measured, customized portions for urban dogs.

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The next step for RAWSOME is to do more research into the meat packing industry to determine if there are meat by-products, such as organs and bones that could be utilized for raw pet food. Rawsome hopes that the model will be adapted by other cities such as Chicago and San Francisco to ignite the Rawsome mmovement across the world!

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[1] "A. Pollution Prevention Management Measure," Water: Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments, EPA Home. Accessed October 31, 2014.

[2] Dubner, J. Stephen, and D. STEVEN Levitt. "Dog-Waste Management." The New York Times. October 2, 2005. Accessed October 30, 2014.