My visit to the Natural & Organic Products Show 2009 (1)6 April, 2009
I made my annual pilgrimage to the Natural & Organic Products Show 2009 today. (You can read last year’s visit in the post here).
It’s a trade-only show, which means that its a showcase for what’s new and cutting-edge in the health and food industry.
I find it very useful because it’s a one-stop shop to chat to the market-leaders and experts in their fields. Yes, ultimately it’s a commercial show, but I’ve always met a lot of people who are passionate about making a difference in providing healthier alternatives to the way we eat and live. And the exhibitors are generous in sharing their knowledge and samples which means I can write based on personal experience!
In most years, a three-hour visit has been plenty. This year I found myself running out of time and frantically running round even after the show had been declared over, because there was so many new products to investigate.
I’ll cover my findings in the following categories as separate posts: pet foods, pet-related products, (human) food products and personal care products.
1. My find this year was Lily’s Kitchen Proper Pet Food. Henrietta, the founder, named the company after her Border Terrier, Lily. She wanted to give Lily a diet that wouldn’t contain any of the preservatives and chemicals that commercial pet food contains.
Every ingredient in the range is human-grade and organic. Just as importantly, there is no soya or grains, artificial colourings, preservatives or flavourings or animal derivatives (e.g. cow hooves). Even the chicken used is NOT chicken meal (i.e. powdered chicken) but from whole chicken.
It’s the only pet food in the UK to be certified both Holistic and Organic. Lily’s Kitchen was awarded “UK’s Best Pet Food Company 2008-2009”. And apparently holistic vets like Richard Allport are recommending the food in their practice.
The cat food range has a higher meat content of 60%. It’s still not as high as I’d like it to be, but for people who can’t feed raw, or are transitioning to raw, this is definitely a big step in the right direction. The US has traditionally always led where holistic pet food is concerned, but it’s been impossible for US companies to import wet pet food into the UK because of EU regulations. So it’s exciting that finally, such choice is available to pet lovers in this country.
Lily’s Kitchen for cats is available in Organic Dinner with Chicken and Organic Dinner with Lamb.
2. Another pet food company new to the exhibition was Forza10. I couldn’t work out why the name was so familiar, until I remembered seeing it on the zooplus web-site.
The company is Italian, and what is of note is that the President of the company, Dr. Sergio Canello is a Homeopath and Vet. Again, the impetus for the company was to create pet foods that would not result in food intolerances or cause allergies in pets.
The ingredients are apparently the result of years of clinical and scientifc research (see website) and are unique to Forza10. They claim to be effective in helping to resolve food-related allergies such as dry and dull coat, fur loss, paw licking, dermatitis, localised itching, eczema, pyoderma, vomiting and diarrhoea.
There are two Forza10 ranges – Forza10 and Forza10 Bio. The latter is based on organic-certified meat and fish for cats and dogs. Furthermore, no meat comes from intensely-farmed animals.
Looking at the list of ingredients for Forza10 Bio wet food (which is available in rich in Beef or rich in Chicken variants), the meat content is an impressive 97.4%, but this is made up of both the meat (min 30-40%) and meat by-products.
(At the risk of sounding facetious, the term “meat by-products” always reminds me of that menu in Terry Pratchet’s Mort, where Mort is faced with a choice of a “curry with named meat” and a “curry with an unnamed meat”!)
Again, it’s nice to know that there is a better choice out there for our pets. Anything that moves away from pet food that contains artificial preservatives, flavourings, colours and poor-quality meats is a good one.
3. Rattle and Reward cat treats. Yes, this is kibble. But the ingredients are natural (meat and fish), hypoallergenic with no carbs, and rich in salmon. No artificial preservatives are used. They come in a little embossed tin, and it’s amazing just how quickly cats will work out what that rattling sound means! The cat treats are appropriately-named “Cat Cravings”.
Thank you to Lily’s Kitchen, Forza 10 and Rattle and Reward who kindly gave me samples of cat food to try.
10 April 2009 – Additional findings
I opened the Lily’s Kitchen. It is a pate-type cat food, set in jelly. It is not as pureered as most pate-type foods (e.g. Friskies Gourmet Gold), there are small bits of meat and veg in it, but it’s not as evident as say, in a product like Almo Nature where the meat is instantly recognisable.
The Rattle and Reward has been a resounding success. Ananda, who is usually the gentle soul, actually cries out for it when she hears the rattle of the tin.