THE "FEED A '100% COMPLETE AND BALANCED' PROCESSED PET FOOD" MYTH
Well, that's what we're told, isn't it? Think about it, though. Our world is complex beyond comprehension. It is not only largely unknown, it is unknowable in the "complete" sense. In order for nutritionists and manufacturers to produce a "100% complete and balanced" pet food, they must first know 100% about nutrition. However, nutrition is not a completed science. It is, in fact, an aggregate science, which is based upon other basic sciences, such as chemistry, physics, and biology. But since no scientist would argue that everything is known in chemistry, or physics, or biology, how can nutritionists claim to know everything there is to know about nutrition, which is based upon these sciences? This is the logical absurdity of the "100% complete and balanced" diet claim.
Claiming that anything is 100% is like claiming perfection, total knowledge, and absolute truth. Has pet nutrition really advanced that far? Does a chemist make such a claim? A physicist? Doctor? Professor? Did Einstein, Bohr, Pasteur, Aristotle, Plato, or any of the greatest minds in human history make such claims? No. Has the science of pet nutrition advanced to the point where everything is known about the physiology, digestion and biochemistry of animals, or that everything is known about their food? Certainly not.
In fact, although nutrition is rapidly being developed as a science, it has always lagged behind the other sciences. This is in part because it is a field of study that has not stood side by side with others in universities. Rather, nutrition has more or less been considered an incidental branch of homemaking or some other applied field such as animal husbandry. Additionally, because of its almost infinite complexity, the science of nutrition is not easily developed.
The fact of the matter is that the "100% complete" claim is actually "100% complete" guesswork. At best, one could say that such a claim is the firm possibility of a definite maybe. Each time regulatory agencies convene to decide how much of which nutrients comprise 100% completeness, debate always ensues and standards usually change. This not only proves that what they claimed before was not "100% complete," but this should also make us highly suspicious about what they now claim to be "100% complete."
Additionally, consider this: in order to determine the minimum requirement for a certain nutrient – say protein – all other nutrients used in the feeding trials must be adequate. Otherwise, if vitamin E, for example, is in excess or is deficient, how would you know if the results of the study were because of the effects of protein or due to something amiss with the level of vitamin E?
If the minimum requirements for all 26+ essential nutrients were all set and absolutely etched in stone, then there would be no problem. But they aren't. They are constantly changing. This means each time any nutrient requirement is changed, all test results for all other nutrients using the wrong minimum for this nutrient would then be invalid. Most nutritionists simply ignore this conundrum, feeling like cowboys trying to lasso an octopus – there are just too many loose ends. But they continue to perpetuate the 100% complete myth, and excuse themselves by saying they make adjustments when necessary.
The point is, don't believe the claim on any commercially prepared pet (or human) food that it is "100% complete and balanced." It is a spurious unsupported boast, intended to build consumer trust and dependence on regulators and commercial products - not create optimal health in your pet.
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