Using whole foods means using authentic foods; they have not been processed and no additives have been mixed in with them. In a much more globalized environment where ingredients are being supplied from all over the world, it is increasingly important to know the origin of these ingredients. The country of origin often determines the quality of the ingredients and in animal feed only when feed consists of a single ingredient, this information is required to be revealed by the manufacturer.
Using single ingredients gives you this crucial information and allows you to control what you put in your horse’s feed. It enables you to avoid certain pesticides and herbicides as well as possible toxins and heavy metals that may be present in the soils of certain regions (China, California…). For some countries this means that the added label of “Organic” is necessary to guarantee its purity and authenticity in order to also avoid genetically modified elements with their associated negative impact on the horses body.
The WHO has recently issued a statement that GMO food may have a significant effect on the chances of developing cancer.
Organic food is grown without genetically modified organisms (GMO) and without the use of herbicides, in particular Glyphosate. Glyphosate residues can be found in non-organic food, reducing the bio-availability of the nutrients while leaving toxic residues in the food. These may cause a multitude of side-effects and negatively affect the health of your horse.
The body of the horse will recognize the altered food elements as ‘foreign’ and is therefore in a continuous state of ‘defense’ or inflammation. On top of that, many ingredients consisting of genetically modified organisms carry toxins which have to be flushed out of the horse’s system and is causing an overload on the horse’s liver and kidneys.
Organic food can be grown as cost efficient as conventionally grown food, but due to the lack of subsidies from the government the food becomes more expensive.
Speedi-Beet is a GMO-free quick soaking beet pulp, sourced in the UK. It is an excellent source of highly digestible fiber and an ideal way to hydrate your horse through soaking. It will absorb up to 5 times its own weight in water, is 95% sugar free and contains no starch.
Coolstance is made of the meat of coconut, wich is dried and baked. It is an excellent source of high quality protein, fat and digestible fiber. The fats are saturated and medium chain and are stored in the muscles of the horse. They supply the horse with ‘cool energy’. Coolstance only contains 2% in starch, has antibacterial qualities and is free of chemicals and GMOs.
Copra for Coolstance is sourced in Papua new Guinea and is GMO free.
Flax is a great plant based source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to the diet and help reduce inflammation in the body. Flax sourced in Canada and North Dakota is both GMO free and organically grown flax is also available.
Alfalfa has many benefits for the higher energy demands of performance horses and is often misunderstood. It is easier to digest and aids in re-hydration because of the higher soluble fiber content; it is richer in calcium, which aids in buffering the stomach acid and contains more pretein than other forage sources, which helps with muscle building. It contains less sugar than any other source of forage.
Unfortunately in the USA, alfalfa is GMO and therefore only Organic Alfalfa will ensure the purity of the product.
Oats are suited for horses with higher caloric needs, especially when ‘faster’ energy is required. The fast twitching muscle group will utilize the starches in oats as their energy source. Oats are not advised for metabolic horses.
Please note that I am NOT representing any feed company and work independently to remain objective in the food choices for your horse.
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