- Buyer's Guide
The Honest Kitchen is a premium pet food company that gives a different meaning to natural, holistic pet food products. Even though every wholesome pet food product that comes off the production line is intended to be consumed by a cat or dog, human beings actually taste each batch of pet food and cookies during the company's pet food quality control process.
Company executives also taste individual ingredients of the dehydrated raw pet food mixture during the quality control and R & D Sessions. The canine companions who join staff at their downtown San Diego office also love to participate in the frequent dog food QC meetings – this, their most favorite of weekly tasks.
"Tasting our pet food is vitally important to us," commented Cami Hawkinson, a member of the R & D Team. "We simply wouldn't feed our own animals a product that we couldn't eat ourselves."
Laurette Lamontagne, The Honest Kitchen's operations manager added, "Tasting our diets allows us to apply a fourth, fundamental sense to the pet food QC process."
The revelations about what goes on behind closed doors at The Honest Kitchen's corporate center are not quite as shocking as they initially appear; the company's products actually are guaranteed human edible pet food, and are made in a plant right alongside foods and beverage mixes for consumption by people. Manufacturing of the human grade pet food takes place under FDA inspection and every ingredient must be stamped and approved for human consumption in order to even enter the plant.
In 2004 The Honest Kitchen obtained a Statement of No Objection from the federal FDA to use the term Human Grade pet food on its product labels – a first in the industry and a feat that is yet to be replicated by the company's industry peers.
The Honest Kitchen became embroiled in a legal battle over the Human Grade pet food issue in 2007 when state regulators with the department of agriculture in Ohio refused to register the products with the 'human grade' statement on the labels. The Honest Kitchen took them to court over the issue, and won.
So how do human grade pet food products actually taste? "They're probably a little bland by most humans' standards," states Lucy Postins the company's founder and lead nutritionist. "But our canine and feline consumers absolutely love the recipes – and in comparison with what I'd imagine most regular and natural pet food probably tastes like, they're really quite delicious."