Interview: Why Pet Food Ingredients Matter

November 20, 2017
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Edible Communities interviewed Lindsey Fash, Director of Marketing at Castor & Pollux, about their mission to use the best ingredients possible in their recipes, how organic pet food is certified, and how to transition your pets to a new food.

Edible Communities: Tell us about Castor & Pollux’s mission, and a bit about how it all started.

Lindsey Fash: As the leader and maker of America’s #1 organic pet food, Castor & Pollux, we set the new standard earlier this year with the introduction of the most comprehensive portfolio of purposeful pet food, including ORGANIX, the only complete line of USDA Organic pet food, and PRISTINE, the only complete line of pet food made with responsibly sourced ingredients.

We know pet parents put a lot of care and effort into what they eat: meticulously choosing natural foods that are also carefully cultivated to be safe. And, we know they want that for their pets as well.

That’s why we scour the earth to carefully select the best organic and responsibly sourced ingredients to create the most nutritious recipes for their pet’s health. We call it purposeful pet food because care about your pet’s food.

Our journey all started with Joey…an adorable puppy with sad brown eyes rescued from the humane society. Joey’s human parents, Shelley Gunton and Brian Connolly, started a pet food business just to keep him satisfied and healthy.

Shelley and Brian understood how people truly consider their pets to be members of their family. They saw an opportunity to do better by making high quality, healthy food for dogs and cats using natural & organic ingredients. That was the beginning of Castor & Pollux Natural Petworks…18 years ago.

They assembled a team of experts in animal nutrition, organic and natural ingredients, processing, packaging, distribution, veterinary medicine, and technology to provide pet parents with healthy, safe and innovative choices for their dogs and cats. That goal continues to drive us today.

Edible Communities: Let’s talk ingredients. The #1 ingredient in all of your pet food is either an organic or responsibly sourced protein, such as organic, free-range chicken or grass-fed beef. How are your meats, fruits and vegetables sourced?

Lindsey Fash: As we developed our purposeful pet food recipes, we went ingredient by ingredient to carefully select the best organic and responsibly sourced ingredients to make recipes that deliver the best nutrition for pets. For ORGANIX, that means using the highest quality organic poultry, fruits, and vegetables to now achieve USDA Organic certification. And, our new PRISTINE line is the only complete line of pet food made with responsibly sourced ingredients -- ingredients that are responsibly raised, caught or grown.

We choose to source our ingredients only from farmers and growers who believe in responsible sourcing as much as we do -- ingredients that are responsibly raised, grown or caught -- and only work with those who maintain the same high quality, safety and animal welfare standards as we do.

Edible Communities: How is organic pet food certified? Is it the same as all other organic certifications?

Lindsey Fash: Since its debut in 2003, ORGANIX has been a leader in organic pet food as America’s #1 organic pet food. In 2017, we made ORGANIX even better. We elevated all ORGANIX recipes for dogs and cats to be USDA Organic, making it the only complete line of USDA organically certified pet food.

All ORGANIX recipes meet the extremely detailed and difficult third-party organic certification requirements of the USDA organic certification – this includes requirements for each and every ingredient, our production process, organic ingredient storage and handling, and more. The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) regulates the way organic food and ingredients are raised or grown, handled, processed and stored. The NOP also governs what can be said on packaging, an additional requirement that Castor & Pollux has consistently applied.

Every single ingredient that goes into a certified organic product must be approved by the third party certifying agency regardless of whether or not it’s organic. The standards are very rigorous, and the agency is meticulous in its scrutiny of everything that goes into the product.

Edible Communities: What are the benefits of having our pets eat organic?

Lindsey Fash: Going organic…it’s a phrase you’ve probably heard when it comes to the food you put on your table, organic options can play a large role in your overall health. But a natural and organic diet can benefit your pet too.

The potential benefits of an organic diet for your dog or cat include a reduction of allergies and itchy skin, reduced digestion problems and better health overall. Castor & Pollux is proud to be a leader in natural, organic food for your pets.

Edible Communities: For people who want to start feeding their dog or cat ORGANIX or PRISTINE, why is it important to have a transition period?

Lindsey Fash: Dogs and cats can experience an upset stomach if you don't transition them to a new food gradually. Transitioning too quickly can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, or even loss of appetite. When transitioning your pet to a new food, do so slowly over a period of about 7–10 days, mixing an increasing amount of new food with old food each day to allow time for your pet to adjust. (For more information on how to transition, visit our website

Edible Communities: And finally, do you have pets? How do they inspire your work at Castor & Pollux?

Lindsey Fash: We are fortunate to have an incredible mixed breed dog named Bailyn who brings our family great joy and inspires me to make the highest quality and safest food we can. She loves our PRISTINE Wild-Caught Salmon and Chickpea Recipe. 

Edible Communities Pets is sponsored by Castor & Pollux®.

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