Marty’s Recipes were initially formulated with the guidance of animal
nutritionist and herbalist, Zarna Carter.
International animal nutritionist, Dr. Richard Patton joined our advisory team, bringing 30+ years experience consulting to the pet food industry, zoos, ranchers, breeders and dairymen.
Richard’s expertise in species-appropriate diets
informs our product development, feeding programs and nutritional consults for customers, as well prescriptive diets for health issues.
The primary ingredient in our 30+ Recipes is meat or poultry, followed by raw Organic vegetables and sprouted grains, and natural proportions of nutrients like fish oil, dolomite and kelp. 100% of the meat and poultry we use is USDA inspected, human-grade food. The beef, lamb and bison are pasture-raised in New Mexico, grass-fed, pesticide and antibiotic free with no introduced hormones. The venison and rabbit are wild-harvested, antibiotic free with no introduced hormones. We source 100% Non-GMO poultry, raised cage-free with no antibiotics or introduced hormones.
Marty’s Meals are designed to be fed in rotation – along with raw grass-fed tripe and raw meaty bones – ensuring that your pets receive a range of necessary ingredients.
The delicious taste, texture and freshness of the food means they’ll never get bored! The bison and venison menus, both gently cooked and raw, contain 5% organ, which is important for your pet to eat on average once per week. Pets with beef or poultry allergies often enjoy the bison, venison or rabbit as low allergenic alternatives.
Important Nutrition Questions and Answers1. Why Marty’s Meals?
The basis of our menus is NUTRITION THROUGH FOOD. Marty’s Meals is a balanced healthy diet using ingredients of exceptional quality. The menus are meticulously designed to closely mimic the natural diet dogs have eaten for centuries to provide what your pet needs through the food itself, not added vitamin packs. The nutrition comes through the easily synthesized ingredients in our food. Our meats and poultry are either organically raised or all natural. Our vegetables and grains are all certified organic. Our vegetables are raw with the exception of the sweet potatoes, which are baked and the broccoli, which is gently steamed for greater digestibility.
Marty’s Meals is made fresh in Santa Fe, NM weekly and delivered locally. It doesn’t ride in trucks across the country and wait in warehouses to reach your pet. It is available in the Marty’s Meals Market, which is in the same building, just through the doorway of our kitchen.
We use ONLY locally raised beef, lamb and bison. Local NM ranchers raise the beef, lamb and bison used in the food on ranches that use no pesticides. All of these are free range, grass fed, antibiotic and steroid free, with no added (introduced) hormones (which are organic by definition). The all natural chicken and turkey are cage free, vegetable fed and contain no antibiotics or added hormones.
The venison is from New Zealand. The rabbit is from Durham Ranch.
All of our menus use only muscle meat with the exception of the bison, which uses 5% – 10% organs in the menu including heart and liver. Organ meats are used to supplement vitamins and minerals and not used as a basis of our diets. Organ meats can cause significant health problems for your pet when fed in excess. Marty’s Meals is designed to rotate thru the menus to provide your pet with the proper amount of nutrients they need.
All meats and poultry are processed in USDA inspected facilities. All of the vegetables and grain we use are certified organic.
The anchovy and sardine fish oil we use are wild caught and purified which means the toxic materials have been filtered out or reduced to minimal acceptable levels.
The dolomite and organic kelp are superior quality, all natural and provide an excellent balance of essential vitamins and minerals.
These practices set the standards for natural diets for pets today. We have gone to great measures to ensure that Marty’s Meals is a business that contributes to the health of your pet, the sustainability of the environment and supports the local economy.
2. What’s in Marty’s Meals?
•ONLY natural ingredients. We do not use preservatives or added synthetic vitamin packs. Marty’s Meals adds only all natural Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to our food. The reason for this is that most dogs starting on Marty’s Meals will be low on vitamin C based on most commercial food available today. To the degree possible, diets should start with the highest quality, most digestible and wholesome food possible, instead of starting with high processed foods and trying to improve them with synthetic vitamins and claims of being “nutritionally complete”. This is called the food’s “Biological Value”.
•Food Coloring ONLY by Mother Nature. The red color you see in some of the food is beet juice from fresh raw organic beets. The orange color comes from fresh raw organic carrots and baked organic sweet potatoes. The green color comes from fresh raw organic bok choy, kale, parsley, fennel, dill, celery or gently steamed broccoli.
•Moderate organ meat. Organ meats can be fed an average of 1 – 2 times per week and comprise a maximum of 5% – 10% of the total diet. This mimics the amount of organs they eat in a natural diet in the wild. Organs are a fraction of the cost of muscle meat, which is one reason they are used as a regular ingredient in many raw and fresh pet foods. A common explanation you’ll hear for the overuse of organs is that they include taurine. All meat includes taurine and therefore a diet with raw or gently cooked meats contain more than sufficient levels of taurine. All animal organs contain the toxins from the water they drink, the grass they are fed, the water that grows the grains and the air they breathe are filtered through the kidneys, lungs and liver including chemical additives, pesticides and introduced hormones and arsenic.
•Preservatives…NONE. Preservatives at certain levels often found in pet food such as BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin have been linked with an increased incidence of liver cancer. Additionally, according to Dr. Wendell Belfield, DVM, both BHA and BHT are known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction and are banned in some European countries. He adds that ethoxyquin is suspected of causing cancer and that propylene glycol (a pet food ingredient closely related to anti-freeze) causes destruction of red blood cells. Ethoxyquin is listed and identified as a hazardous chemical by OSHA. It has a rating of 3 on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being super toxic requiring less than 7 drops to cause death. The Department of Agriculture lists and controls Ethoxyquin as a pesticide. Nor does Marty’s Meals use tocopherols, which is an alcohol isolated from wheat germ oil or produced synthetically that has the properties of vitamin E.
•Ground Bone…NONE. Recent studies by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has just released a study of 10 brands of manufactured dog foods analyzed for fluoride content. Eight had levels that could put dogs at risk from developing bone cancer, thyroid disease and other health problems. For details visit ewg.org/pets/fluorideindogfood. The EWG advises dog owners to avoid dog foods containing chicken by-product meal, poultry by-product meal, chicken meal, beef and bone meal (ground bone), turkey meal and lamb meal. These ‘meals’ contain ground bone that is the source of fluoride that farmed animals accumulate. Alternatives to commercially available bone meal (calcium phosphate) include fossilized oyster shell (calcium carbonate), dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate), and various chelated and non-chelated synthesized or refined calcium supplements (that contain less lead and probably less fluoride) like calcium citrate, ascorbate, stearate and gluconate, all marketed for human consumption.
We recommend that you feed raw meaty bones with all Marty’s Meals – gently cooked and raw. It contributes to nutrition and dental health!
3. Why we use fish oil
High quality fish oils are an excellent source of highly available essential fatty acids. Marty’s Meals uses high quality human grade purified fish oil that is tested to insure that it does not contain toxic levels of potentially harmful substances. Omega – 3 fatty acids derived from fish oil are also known as DHA and EPA and are useful to cell health, heart and nervous system health and supports healthy joints.
Marty’s Meals uses high quality fish oil rather than flax seed oil due to the easy absorption of Omega -3’s from fish oil. In flax seed oil, the omega – 3’s come in the form of ALA. ALA needs to be converted by the body into DHA and EPA. This conversion does not always happen easily or smoothly for dogs and cats and is less useable to your pet after the conversion is complete.
4. Why the concern with overweight dogs and health?
A study conducted in 2010 by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention revealed that 45 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats were classified as overweight or obese by their vets. This equals almost 90 million pets at risk for developing diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney and respiratory disease and many forms of cancer. Marty’s Meals is a healthy balanced diet without fillers that when fed properly can help you animal reach and maintain their healthy weight. See Dr. Richard Patton’s book, Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack: The Paradox of Pet Nutrition – pattonanimalnutrition.com
5. What about raw vs. gently cooked meat?
6. Why we use sweet potatoes
7. Dental health and tarter removal
8. Should I supplement this food?
If you want to feed treats, consider using almonds or fresh fruit.
Some pets may need special diets. We make special diets tailored to meet your pet’s special dietary needs. Please contact us or consult your Veterinarian.
9. Sometimes the food looks or smells slightly different
10. What about transitioning on to Marty’s Meals?
11. How long will Marty’s Meals last in the fridge and freezer?
12. Is Marty’s Meals 'fresh' if it’s frozen?
13. Why do we use grains?
Marty’s Meals offers gently cooked menus can contribute help support your pet’s health which may have been experiencing longstanding chronic illness where the animal’s vitality is low. We recommend transitioning onto our raw menus once health and strength are regained by getting the nutrition they need through the food.
Unfortunately in the pet food industry there has been an overuse of highly refined poor quality sources of grain that don’t allow for balanced nutrition. This overuse of highly refined poor quality grain is usually the issue, not the dog’s ability to digest the grains. Also, grains do not promote health in the quantities that our pets have been used to in many processed foods (80-90 percent) and certain types of grain simply don’t allow for balanced nutrition.
14. Can I mix dry kibble and Marty’s Meals?
15. What does Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) do?
Vitamin C supports energy production and is a water-soluble antioxidant. Dogs produce vitamin C in their bodies (unlike human beings and guinea pigs who must have it in their diet). Vitamin C supports overall health. Supplementation does no harm, since any excess is excreted through the kidney. Adding Vitamin C to that which is already available through the food will help them get back to healthy levels of this important vitamin, as most commercial dog foods don’t supply adequate amounts of Vitamin C.
16. My dog/cat still seems hungry, why?
17. Sustainable business?
18. What about kibble?
Over-processing (i.e., high temperature cooking under pressure) is used to make indigestible foods digestible. Food processing plants have known for a very long time that in order to feed a food item that is essentially indigestible the product must be cooked so excessively that it turns into a soup. Then, by adding grains or other binding agents (again, after extreme cooking methods), one can cook or bake the product once more and turn it into a hard biscuit or kibble.
As a result of processing, most of the vitamins are gone, so the food is often sprayed with vitamins mixed with oils (which have likewise been destroyed) onto the resulting hard kibble at the end of the processing. The vitamins are often synthetic, and the minerals are often poorly digestible at best. A common example is zinc oxide and ferrous oxide, forms of zinc and iron supplementation, which are very poorly absorbed, making them far less useful to your pet.
For a detailed history of how processed dog food became popular please click on the following link:
19. Does Marty’s Meals have cat food?
20. Animals in Need
Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack: The Paradox of Pet Nutrition, Dr. Richard Patton, 2011, Nottingham Press
The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, 1991, Faber and Faber Press
Cats Naturally: Natural Rearing For Healthier Domestic Cats, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, 1991, Faber and Faber Press
Many, Many Hours of Conversations with Zarna Carter, 2010 – 2011
B-Naturals.Com Newsletter, History of Dog Food 01, Lew Olson, August 2005