Organic Vegetables/Fruits

This is a way overdue post!

Mummy promised to share the list of shops & her reviews that she has visited to buy our loot of organic vegetables/fruits. Here goes!

1) Supernature

They used to be located at a pretty isolated place called Park House. Some months ago, they relocated to Forum. I haven’t been there myself but I used to frequent them at Park House. The previous batch of staff was really friendly & it’s a pity all of them left. Whether they had been asked to go or left on their accord, I don’t know – because I received a letter from the Management mentioned about the change in staff. I find it odd. Anyway, on their products. They have a good variety of organic fruits & vegetables – many of them are air flown from overseas. I do agree that there might be some loss of nutrients due to the longer time needed to ship these over. But I noticed that their vegetables & fruits still maintained their freshness. Especially the organic apples. I don’t know why but I have purchased organic apples from various stores but the ones bought from Supernature appear to be the freshest. They seemed to remain fresh even after 5 days of leaving them in the fridge. Being in an upscale location & managed by an upscale company, their prices are comparatively, upscale as well. On average, I usually spend more than $30 to $40+ on buying about 4 -5 types of vegetables plus a few apples. It’s pretty expensive, I would say. Besides vegetables & fruits, they also sell meats & other organic products. It’s a nice place to shop but it does burn a pretty big hole in the pockets.

2) Four Seasons

Similar to Supernature, they sell a decent variety of organic products. Their organic vegetables are mostly from local farms.Fruits like apples are always from overseas. There is a fixed delivery schedule for the vegetables/fruits so if you want fresh ones, do check with the store. Prices are slightly lower than Supernature, I would say. They currently have 2 branches – Parkway Parade & Great World City. Service wise – nothing to brag about. They leave you alone to shop. Prices: At least $25 – $30+ for 4 – 5 types of vegetables & a fruit.

3) Eat Organic

They are located just some doors away from my favourite butcher – Meat the Butcher, at Bukit TImah Road. It’s pretty far from where I stay so usually I will only shop there if I visit the butcher. In the beginning, i find their service sucks. Being located at Bukit Timah Road means most of their customers is made up of expats. Naturally, their service will be skewed towards this group better. I found that they served me in a high & mighty attitude & thought of me lowly as a local, who couldn’t afford to buy their products. BUT, after a several visits, I find their attitude towards me changed for the better. They are friendlier now. Prices wise – lower compared to Supernature & Four Seasons. Vegetables are also mostly locally grown & very fresh. Similarly, do check with them on the delivery schedule of the vegetables. They are also selling a good variety of Eberly Organic Chicken. Prices: Excluding the chicken, the spending is never more than $30 for the vegetables & fruits.

4) That Health Shop

Located at perhaps a most unlikely place – Roxy Square. Very small shop with very clustered variety of products. But they have a pretty good range of organic local vegetables. Organic fruits – very limited & no apples at all. Shop is run by aunties but very friendly. Probably one of the better places to buy organic vegetables as I’d hop over to Parkway Parade to shop. Prices: Never more than $25 for the vegetables.

5) Nature’s Harvest Cafe

It’s a cafe that serves vegetarian food. I used to buy from them since they are conveniently located near to my workplace. But since I left, I don’t buy from them anymore. Vegetables are all local. They do sell apples as well but they don’t appear as fresh as they turned brown rather fast. Prices wise, pretty similar to That Health Shop. But the one thing I didn’t like was – the cashier uncle was plucking out his nasal hair just before he served me. Imagine him touching my purchase! Augh.

 6) NTUC/Cold Storage

I never believed in buying from these 2 supermarkets. Large chains tend to compromise on the freshness. But for convenience, yes, one may wish to buy the organic vegetables from them. But not all branches sell them. You will have better luck at the larger stores. Very limited variety &  I spotted live worms on the vegetables before. That kinda freaked me out but then again – it’s probably really Organic then.

 

I encourage people to buy organic meats but it’s not a mandate. It’s good enough to buy grass fed, hormones & antibiotics free meats. BUT, for vegetables & fruits, I stress on the importance of organic for their furry kids. Reason is simple – the presence of pesticides is abundant & even after washing, it’s not possible to get rid of it totally. And by soaking them for a long time, lots of nutrients is lost. So i really wonder what is the purpose then of eating the vegetables/fruits?

And all PMR feeders will always emphasize that feeding fruits/vegetables is NOT species appropriate. Dogs are 99.8% similar to wolves. Take for example humans & chimps – our DNAs are 98.8% similar but are we eating the same thing? It’s the same principle. I don’t wish to engage in any arguments with these people so I shall share my own point of view here.

But Dogs aren’t Wolves after all. Their DNA might be similar but there are still a whole lot of differences between the 2 species – the way they are bred, the living environment, the foods they are fed. The differences call for what is needed for us humans, to supplement them with organic fruits/vegetables & supplements.

I’ve seen for myself how Baubles has deteriorated after removing vegetables from his diet. So I decided to add that back. And adding vegetables to their diet does not do any harm to them at all. They digest it well – their poop remains the same. Fresh & Raw Organic Vegetables must be blended & given to them.

Fur growth

Mummy blogged about Baubles’ thinning fur (actually he was close to balding) the last time.

Just to share a before & after pics.

Here’s the before pic taken about 6 months ago (when vegetables have already been removed from their diet totally):

before

As you can see, it’s clearly thinning really badly, on both sides. Even fur on his hind legs was affected.

Mummy was clueless about the thinning. It happened gradually for more than a year. She posted on raw feeding forums & googled but found no answers.

So she tried to recall what changes were made to the diet. There was almost none – except the removal of vegetables. Although Mummy was skeptical about this, but she thought it could be due to that.

So, she started adding vegetables back to our diet about a month ago.

Now, this is a recent photo:

after

Fur is starting to grow back, very slowly but surely.

Mummy would like to reiterate that she’s not insisting vegetables is a must have item in the raw diet. Her point here is that, an owner must always be flexible & be prepared to modify the diet, depending on your dog’s health. With the removal of vegetables, it affected Baubles’ fur growth but it has nil effect on me (coffee). But she’s adding the vegetables to both our meats anyway.

The Supplement & Shampoo

Mum blogged about a supplement she bought some time back & she didn’t reveal the name of it as she wanted to see if anyone of us has any allergy reaction to it.

Fortunately, no.

Because we are already on fresh organic raw foods & our general health being are considered average, Mum can’t tell whether it works wonders on us.

As the supplement is meant for humans, Mum adds a pinch to our foods on an average of 3 times a week. She tried eating it too but it tasted horrible, according to her.

Here’s what our Mummy bought:

And the list of ingredients here:

supp

Mummy also been sourcing for other shampoos as the previous Keys Shampoo expired already & she has temporarily used the Neem shampoo. But the neem shampoo contained many other weird ingredients & it left a very strong (albeit nice) smell on us.

So she finally made her purchase for this:

PhotoGrid_1370328247826

She likes the ingredients listed BUT this shampoo can only be used on the canines. Mum needs to get another one for Haru, because this shampoo has TEA TREE. She’s thinking of getting the KEYS shampoo again, since that’s the favourite by far.

Keep it simple

We are dogs. Not humans.

Humans are the most complicated living creatures on earth. They come up with all kinds of funny & sophisticated stuff which in the animal world, it is absolutely redundant.

We think simple. We live simple. We eat simple.

So keep it simple.

Mummy has been reading & hearing the same stuff from forums. Much as she’s like to contest it, she knows she’ll be slammed really hard. Because these people prefer to listen to the professionals ie the vets, pet shops/manufacturers.

Professionals are deemed the experts because:

– they have the paper qualification

– they have been in the pet industry for a period long enough to be deemed professional

– they have dealt with countless of animals

Mummy, on the other hand, only has experience with us only. So to many others, she’s not fit to give any advice.

Well, what Mummy can say is, what the professionals cannot advise, Mummy can. WHY?

Mummy has been raw feeding us for several years. Which other professionals in Singapore have the experience to give advice on raw feeding?

All the vets & those in the pet industry are totally against raw feeding, because it will affect their business. Surely, there is of no monetary benefit to them to learn about raw feeding & encourage dog owners to switch to this, because:

Less dogs will fall sick – less business for vets

Less dog owners will buy pet food – less business for pet food manufacturer/shops

Mummy has never said herself to be a professional. But she advocates raw feeding for dogs & feels raw feeding has been wrongly pictured by many owners in Singapore. Alot of times, these dog owners who have never fed home made raw distort facts about whole raw feeding, which deter many owners from doing the switch.

Of course Mummy feels upset. Why deprive dogs of such a good & natural diet?

Time & again, these people say that you cannot guarantee a balanced diet for dogs if they were to switch to raw feeding.

HELLO. Do humans even enforce a balanced diet for themselves?

Keep it simple. Dogs are carnivores. They are never a Omnivore. Someone has said they they have evolved to become an omnivore.

That is such a dumb statement.

Humans are always the one evolving. Animals are merely being “humanified”. In other words, domestic dogs are made by humans to become an omnivore but their anatomy is, otherwise.

Think about why people always say “Dogs cannot digest plant matter”. Doesn’t this tell you anything at all?

There is NO need to create a perfectly balanced diet made up of meats, veg, fruits & supplements, simply because dogs are CARNIVORES. Unfortunately, again, this is something that has been concocted by people from the pet industry ie. vets & pet food manufacturers. Just like how they have successfully embedded that idea of “dogs can only eat dog food and nothing else” imagery, they have also successfully created the perception & deceived the consumers that “dogs need a well balanced diet.”

In the dogs’ world, a balanced diet is very very simple: Meats, Organs & Bones.

It is as simple as that.

Mummy still feeds us fruits & veg but they aren’t staple foods for us anymore. As and when she can grab stuff like apples, cucumber, celery or wheatgrass, she’ll just give it to us randomly. But she doesn’t make it a point to make sure she includes this in our diet. As for supps, she also include this very randomly. Sometimes, she totally forgets. -.-||| BUT, it doesn’t matter simply because we are already getting what we need – a simple raw diet made up of meats, organs & bones.

So, keep it simple.

Prey Model Raw vs BARF

Mummy has been reading up on prey model raw.

Actually, personally, Mummy prefers this method of feeding. Unfortunately, it is not entirely possible due to the following reasons:

– SG has very very limited variety of organs

– Because Mum buys organic meats, again, there is very limited variety of the muscle meats that she can buy

– Limted variety of organic bones

In short, access to the variety of organic bones, organ & muscle meats in Singapore is, unfortunately, extremely limited.

For Prey Model Raw (PMR) feeding, dogs are fed only muscle meats, organ meats & bones. They are not given any fruits, vegetables or supplements in their diet. PMR allows dogs to tear & chomp on the meats because big chunks of meats are given to the dogs. This allows the dogs to work on their meats, exercise their jaws & keep their teeth clean.

It is also often very misunderstood that, no greens nor fruits are given to dogs in PMR because they eat the stomachs of the prey (which are often either herbivores or omnivores), hence, indirectly ingesting the greens / fruits already.

BUT, Mum has also read that, wolves do not often eat the stomachs of their preys, unless it is a small one, like that of a chicken. For larger preys such as deer, cow or lamb, wolves only eat the muscle meats, bones & organs.

So, it’s really strange where people get that idea from.

Mum is toying again with the idea of including a PMR feeding regime. Perhaps 3 times a week sounds good? Let’s see how it goes. We are so looking forward.

Here’s a photo of us on PMR every week…

>Celtic Sea Salt

>Celtic sea salt is one of the must have items in a household. Mummy swears by it.

But do not confuse it with table salt or even sea salt.

Celtic sea salt has a host of health benefits but as with all kinds of consumption, always take it in moderation.

Mum adds a pinch of celtic sea salt to our foods about 3 days a week. One of the key benefits that Mummy loves about this salt is its strong antihistamine properties.

If you do notice, vets love to prescribe antihistamine meds for skin conditions.

Why not switch over to celtic sea salt instead? It’s so much healthier & natural. And you can use celtic sea salt water on skin too.

Mummy went to buy a new pack of celtic sea salt recently. Again clumsy & lazy mummy accidentally poured out 70% of the salt out. -.-

One bottle can actually lasts many many months.

Here’s the recent pack she bought:

and this is how natural celtic sea salt should look like:

>Herbs, Treats and Dulse

>Mummy mixed some organic herbs & made a leave-in conditioner for our bath. There are different mixtures for different purposes.

Here’s one of them:

Takes about 1-1.5hour to make this, including cooling down. Sometimes we end up drinking abit as it’s being poured over our body & head but since it’s herbs, it’s pretty harmless.

It’s the time of the month where Mummy dehydrates treats for us. She’s slowly moving towards turning all our foods organic wherever possible. So now our treats are mostly organic. She dehydrates organic pork for us, since our diet is made up of mostly beef, lamb, chicken, venison & sometimes rabbit.

Here’s a peek at our treats!

Mummy doesn’t dehydrate liver very often as liver cannot be fed in excess to us.

She bought something recently which is to be added to our foods. It’s very similar to kelp.

Organic dulse – it’s red seaweed.

And it looks like this:

As we can’t eat too much of this, Mummy can only sprinkle a wee bit onto our foods. As the seaweed is very soft, Mummy had to dehydrate it to make it crispy & then crush it to become like this:

It tasted salty but actually, dulse has the lowest level of sodium but yet has high level of iodine. And it’s rich in minerals & vitamins as well.

Another healthy food for us both 🙂

>Game Meat & Organ

>Mummy finally summoned up her courage to cut up the rabbit.

On hindsight, it kinda freak her out because she pictured a cute little rabbit in her mind while she was cutting it.

There wasn’t much meat & the entire rabbit can only last us for 2 meals at most.

Expensive meal, mummy was saying. Well, she’ll probably get this once in awhile for us. She’s been too engrossed buying beef, lamb & chicken that she totally forgot to buy other meats for us. More shopping next time.

Here are some photos of the cute little rabbit:

Awhile back, Mummy found this organ meat from the butchery. She saw this last year but couldn’t figure out what it was. And then she realised that this is one of the most important organs that is missing from most of the canine’s diet: pancreas / thymus.
This is veal sweetbread. It looks gross, yes. But we love it.
Veal sweetbreads usually come from the thymus gland & they are responsible for the production of T cells of the immune system. This is one of the must have organs in any dog’s diet.

>Radish from Kyoto

>Mountain tortoise mum wants us to put up this photo on our blog, because she has never seen this in any other supermarkets.

Radishes are very common & are sold in many supermarkets. The ones that you often see are the huge long radishes.

Mum chanced upon this cute looking vegetable at another supermarket that looked like radish.

She asked the staff and they said yes, it is radish from Kyoto Japan. So round and cute! Mum couldn’t resist buying it and while she was slicing it, she realised that this one has a nice fragrance to it. She gave some to me & baub – we both love it! Yummy!

And the leaves were cute & beautiful as well. And no doubt about it – they are organic too.

>Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

>Dogs need EFAs to maintain optimal skin & coat health.

There are various sources of EFAs, mainly grains, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds.

And there are 2 main types of EFAs, namely Omega 3 & 6 and both are necessary in your dog’s diet.

In Omega 3, there are 3 types of acids: ALA, EPA & DHA, and only EPA & DHA are useful as Omega 3 supplements for your animal. The best sources of EPA & DHA are from cold water fishes such as mackerel, salmon, sardines.

On the other hand, Omega 6 is mostly from nuts & seeds.

Some time ago, Mummy bought the Udo’s Oil, and she managed only to use like 10% of it & she broke the entire bottle. Clumsy mum. So she decided to get another bottle today.


It’s a mix of mostly plant, seed & grain oils. What’s missing is the EPA & DHA, which is readily replaced by either feeding us fish or fish oil. Alternatively, that can also be easily replaced by the marine phytoplankon.
And if you noticed, it has Omega 9. Omega 9 is not an EFA. While there are sites which state that Omega 9 is not necessary in a dog’s diet & it potentially reduces the concentration of 3 & 6, however, it does also provides notable health benefits.
Again, it’s up to the owner’s discretion to decide whether or not to give a 3-6-9 oil to the dog, or simply 3 & 6. It is, however, interesting to note that, there are quite a number of omega oils for dogs which have all 3.
This version that Mum bought is for humans.
PS: Some humans were mistaken that we are fed with a whole lot of supplements. Well, if you look through our old posts, the various supplements were bought over a period of time, and many of them are no longer fed to us. Now, it’s just back to basics. Yes, it is true that supps are good but excess will do us more harm, because it can be quite taxing to our liver. Mum believes in giving our system a break by stopping some supps & then restarting them some time later. And there are times where there are totally no supps added to our meals. Please exercise your discretion when giving your dog any supplements. As in the case of the EFAs, there are various supps that Mum has bought which has the same EFAs. So she needs to ensure the supps are not duplicated & fed to us at the same time.