Updated: Jun 16
Happy New Year 2020!
The new year is a time we typically check in with ourselves, reflect on the past year, consider what we would like to improve, and set our intentions toward higher goals. This is the same for us as a company. At RDBK, we continue to uphold our vision of helping pets live longer and healthier lives as our primary filter, not only with ethically sourced, nutritionally balanced meals but also by vigilantly seeking ways to minimize our impact on the environment.
Transformation is made one step at a time. As this new decade begins, we want to share with you some steps we are taking in 2020 to minimize our packaging and improve our products.
1. Sustainability Update
Reducing Plastic in 2020 by 2020 kg
RDBK is excited to announce that we have reduced the thickness of plastic used to package our meals from 4 MIL to 3 MIL. As promised in our November blog on Plastic: Friend or Foe in food safety,“…to assess thinner bags to see if we can reduce that amount further,” we conducted research on 3 MIL bags in our various meal sizes. We determined they were suitable for our processes and labeling machine and transitioned over to using the thinner bags in December of 2019. This switch will result in over 25% less plastic used to package every meal, which translates to 2,020 kg less plastic being used overall for RDBK meals in 2020.
We remain committed to researching advances in packaging and municipal recycling to see where we can do better. For now, the verdict is still out on many “compostable containers,” as shown in a recent CTV article. Until our municipalities provide an option for managing compostable or biodegradable plastic, we believe our current plastic is the best option available. We invite you to rinse and bring all used soft plastics to your nearest recycling depot.
2. Replacing Beet Root, Chamomile, and Fennel with Inulin in Probiotic/Prebiotic Blend – Scheduled for Early February 2020
RDBK’s history with probiotics – please read our Blog “Probiotics in Meals Update” for our full history
We began adding probiotics to our meal and base products in July of 2018. Our philosophy of food safety and health for pets is based on doing our best to achieve a natural balance through real, species-appropriate food along with the addition of species-specific bacteria to support digestion. Good bacteria complement our nutrient-dense meals beautifully to optimize digestion, immunity, and the overall health and mood of our pets.
Not all pet probiotics are created equal
A pet’s gastrointestinal tract is different from humans’, which allows a unique genetic microbiome to thrive. Many pet food companies add probiotics of human origin to their pet food, with little or no evidence of their success in animals. These probiotics are more commercially available and typically cost significantly less than species-specific probiotics for animals.
Because we wanted to feel confident that our choice of probiotics would reap a significant health benefit to pets, we collaborated with a Canadian company on the leading edge of researching species-specific probiotics. Here is why we selected their two strains of lactobacillus for our products:
Their probiotics are fully patented and 100% natural,
These probiotics are species-specific, meaning they are derived from pets and tested to optimize your pet’s immune system and overall health,
Both strains are proven to produce metabolites that inhibit the growth of common pathogens (C. perfringens, S. Typhimurium, and enteropathogenic E. Coli),
The stability and viability of the probiotics in our actual products (subjected to our current processes), were tested and verified in their research lab prior to adding them to our products.
So why are we changing the probiotic/prebiotic blend?
Our change from the current vegetable sources of prebiotics to inulin, a plant-based fiber-boosting ingredient, has been prompted by a few customers’ feedback on our initial prebiotics. Studies in cats and dogs show that the addition of inulin to a diet has generally positive effects on gut microflora and host health with no adverse reactions. Our conclusion, based on these studies and our feeding trials, is that inulin will make a healthy and bioavailable alternative to what we have been using.
3. Eliminating Date Stamp on RDBK Meal boxes and Inserting a Window on Back of the Boxes to Make Production Date Visible.
In 2020 you will see a gradual transition toward boxes with windows in the back that show the production date of each product. Our motive for this change is to streamline our processes and eliminate repetitive actions for our staff of stamping the production date on each box The format of the production date will also change to reflect the CFIA date standards for food products.
4. The Truth About Pet Food
We’re on THE LIST Again—2nd Year in a Row!
We are happy to have been selected, for a second year, as the ONLY Canadian company to make the list of pet foods“I would (and do) trust to provide my own pets,” published by Susan Thixton of TRUTH ABOUT PET FOOD. To be considered for this list, a company needs to show verification of their claims for elements including using 100% human grade ingredients, using hormone-free animals, and being HACCP-verified by a third-party auditor. We are required to have documentation in place to support our declarations, including HACCP audits, certificates of audits from our vegetable suppliers that they are certified organic, and certificates from our meat suppliers that the animals are humanely raised without steroids or antibiotics, etc. This means our customers can rest assured that they are feeding their pets the highest quality of food available in Canada.
Feel free to visit the following link to learn more about the criteria for TRUTH ABOUT PET FOOD, the consumer advocacy for pets.
Thank you for partnering with RDBK in 2020 as we set our intentions to continue living our core values of Care, Integrity, and Balance. We wish you and your pets a great year—and decade—as we journey together to nourish and nurture our pets so they thrive!
-The RDBK Team