What’s the “Process” in Processed Foods?

Ask folks railing against “processed” foods what the process is, and they’re likely to just blink and fall silent.

They have no idea.

In fact, they have probably never even thought about it.

Like a parrot they have been loudly repeating something they do not understand in the slightest.

In fact, almost every food we have ever eaten is “processed”.

Tomatoes are ground into sauce, wheat into flour, beef into hamburger.

Water is processed by the addition of chlorine to kill contaminants and fluoride to protect teeth.

Salt is processed by being cut from mined blocks or distilled from ocean water before being ground into sand and having iodine added (to this day *lack* of dietary iodine is the leading preventable cause of intellectual and developmental disabilities, affecting about two billion people worldwide).

Coffee is processed by separating bean from fruit, drying and then roasting the bean, grinding the bean into powder, and then running water over the grounds.

Into your coffee may go milk or cream which has been processed through homogenization and pasteurization and which has likely been further processed to increase or lower the fat content, as well as to add vitamin D (to prevent rickets). Sugar may be added — typically processed from sugarcane, sugar beets, or corn.

Any time a food is ground, dried, canned, coated, cut, pressed, frozen, cooked, smoked, or extruded, it is processed.

Any time a vitamin or preservative (even a natural preservative like Vitamin E or C) is added, it is processed.

Olive oil is a processed food, as is beer, and most fresh fruit (dyed for color, coated to preserve, and gassed to speed ripening).

Meat is deboned, eggs are washed and candled, fish is filleted, and nuts are shelled.

Grains and fruits are fermented, and meats are mixed and ground into sausage.

The entire history of man, from caveman to today, is about processing foods to increase yield, improve storage, decrease costs, improve taste, release nutrients, and eliminate contamination.

The “processes” used include fire, water, knives, grinders, radiation, freezing, steaming, drying, smoking, canning, extruding, bottling, and baking. It has included mixing, colorizing, coating, and filtering.

So what does this have to do with dogs?

Simply this: “processed corn” in dog food is simply corn that has been ground and heated with water to break down complex carbohydrates so they can be more easily digested, same as “processed wheat” is ground and heated with water to make bread.

Just as bread is further processed by adding vitamins and natural preservatives, so too are vitamins and natural preservatives added to dog food.

Just as your meat is cooked for hygienic reasons, so too is the meat used in dog food.

While your own weight may balloon due to unfettered access to an uncalibrated diet of beer, ice cream, pretzels, hamburgers, candy, and pizza, dog food is carefully balanced and calibrated so that fats, carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, minerals, and vitamins are presented in a known, fixed, and provably healthy diet absent the kind of sugar-salt-and-fat binges that typify human consumption patterns — including yours.

So is your kibble-fed dog eating better than you?

Almost certainly.