The Simple Food Project was formulated according to traditional Chinese principles of warming, neutral and cooling foods by holistic veterinarian and founder Chris Bessent DVM. The food is manufactured in the company’s own facility in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. These are freeze-dried recipes made in small batches using USA-sourced ingredients.
For The Simple Food Project dog food review, we’ll look at the ingredient quality and safety of the company’s single line of food. Our dog food reviews are based on these criteria.
The Simple Food Project Freeze-Dried Review
Package Ingredients For Chicken And Turkey Freeze-Dried Recipe: Chicken, turkey, chicken hearts, flaxseed, sweet potato, chicken liver, organic carrots, wild-caught whole ground krill, ground pumpkin seeds, organic blueberries, organic spinach, organic cinnamon, sea salt, dried kelp, dried yeast, mixed tocopherols (natural preservative)
Using our evaluation criteria, The Simple Food Project Freeze-Dried is considered a low-risk dog food. Here are our concerns:
Overall, there is just one concern when it comes to ingredient quality:
High Carbohydrates In One Recipe
Carbohydrates in this line average 18% as calculated which is high for a freeze-dried dog food. This is due to very high carbohydrates of 27% as calculated in the Duck and Trout recipe, which raises the average for the line. In this case the starchy ingredients are likely selected for their cooling, warming or neutral properties, depending on the recipe, and doesn’t suggest they use lower quality ingredients. Nonetheless, large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance.
Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here is the one concern with The Simple Dog Food Project Freeze-Dried line:
High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients
One recipe contains lentils in the top 5 ingredients, a crop that is known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.
Is The Simple Dog Food Project A Good Dog Food?
When evaluating ingredient quality and safety, we consider The Simple Dog Food Project freeze-dried dog foods to be low-risk dog food. With average protein of 38%, this food ranks very well among freeze-dried dog foods.
Average carbohydrates are higher than we’d expect in a freeze dried dog food. One recipe has sweet potatoes, but overall, carbohydrates are from fruits and vegetables, not grains and starches. When whole foods like fruits and vegetables are used, they also provide antioxidants and phytonutrients.
The produce in all recipes is organic so there is low risk of pesticide use or GMO crops. As these are freeze-dried recipes, processing is minimal so nutrients are preserved, and there are no added vitamins or minerals. This indicates higher quality ingredients because the nutrients come from whole foods.
As part of their freeze-drying process, all product goes through an IQF quick-freeze chamber which brings the temperature down to -60 degrees F. Then it goes into the freeze-dryers which create a vacuum and bring the product to -65 degrees F.
The company specifies that it uses wild-caught trout, salmon and krill, which are more nutritious than farmed fish and have a better fatty acid balance.
The Simple Food Project is one of the few companies to note the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in its recipes. The Duck and Trout Recipe and Chicken and Turkey Recipe have a ratio of 1:1, and the Beef and Salmon Recipe has a ratio of 2:1. These are very good levels which is good to know because AAFCO allows a very inflammatory ratio of 30:1.
This is a well-sourced, nutrient-rich dog food and a good option for dog owners looking for a simpler option to raw food at home or for travel. The choice of warming, cooling or neutral foods also offers an option to help with various health conditions, including allergies.
THE SIMPLE FOOD PROJECT DOG FOOD RECALLS
The Simple Food Project has had no dog food recalls.
We evaluate and score dog foods based on two criteria:
Are the Ingredients High Quality?
Here are some common low quality ingredients or markers we look for:
- Is there excessive carbohydrate content, which can cause gut imbalances?
- Does the food contain unnamed proteins, which are low quality?
- Does the food use cellulose (wood pulp) as a source of fiber instead of real food?
- Are there excessive vitamins and minerals added in place of real food nutrition?
- Are there excessive added amino acids or plant proteins instead of expensive meat protein?
- Does the food contain inflammatory processed seed oils?
How Safe Are the Ingredients?
Many ingredients come from unhealthy, inflammatory sources or are full of pesticides so we look for:
- How processed is the food?
- Does the food contain known genetically modified foods?
- Does the food contain ingredients known to be high in pesticides?
- Does the food contain natural flavor, which are often MSG or animal digest?
- Does the food contain rice, which is high in arsenic?
Each food is objectively evaluated by these criteria and a score is assigned using the average of ingredient quality and safety. This is NOT a paid list and there are no affiliate links. Dogs Naturally has partnered with DogFoodReviews.com to make sure dog owners have unbiased, objective criteria to help them choose the best dog food on the market. You can view the full Evaluation Criteria at DogFoodReviews.com.