- Jun 05, 2019
- By Calvin Boender
- Calvin Boender
Since starting my Miscanthus Fiber business, Renew Biomass, I was probably like most Americans in that I knew that fiber was good for me, but did not know exactly why. The last 10 years or so have seen an uptick in high-fiber bread and cereals, numerous new brands of fiber supplements and other groceries promoting their fiber content. If you’ve ever spent time in a grocery store or watched tv commercials, you’ve probably noticed the same thing as well. But unlike other dietary fads that come and go, the fiber promoters have seemed to stick around for the long haul. Since my mid-forties, even I have been taking a fiber supplement to help with various digestive issues. The high fiber shift has also gained traction in the pet food industry, an industry that mirrors human food trends. So, when I started building up my Miscanthus Fiber company, I knew there would be markets for high quality, non-GMO, all-natural dietary fiber. The pet food industry happened to be ready to start using a superior product.
I always assumed fiber was only good for keeping the digestive tract regular, which was the main reason I was taking a daily supplement. I soon realized that, until recently, science didn’t actually know the role fiber played in regard to interacting with the gut. As it turns out, fiber’s role is extremely complex and researchers are still continuing to study the interactions and functions within the GI Tract. Along with helping with regularity, it has been shown that fiber, when taken in proper amounts within the GI tract, is essential to enhancing a healthy immune system, fighting against allergies, regulating blood sugar levels, absorption of vitamins and other nutrients and weight loss. Basically, fiber is key to the performance of the gut and in turn, a healthy gut is essential for just about every system within the body. It’s been described as the power plant of the body and more and more research is showing how that’s the case in humans as well as in our pets.
Just as in humans, our dogs and cats need a certain amount of dietary fiber to maintain a healthy digestive system. When our pet’s digestive tract becomes out of balance, we can see some of the immediate results like diarrhea or constipation, but what isn’t always apparent are the broader issues that can affect the immune system. When the immune system isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to any number of other serious health issues. The digestive tract is basically an open pathway within the body and, as such, is repeatedly bombarded with pathogenic bacteria and viruses (along with countless good bacteria, probiotics). Fiber plays a significant role in promoting the good bacteria needed to break down food into energy, minerals, and nutrients and also limits the adverse effects of pathogens. When the bacterial balance is out of alignment, those bad bacteria can gain a foothold in the gut and lead to maladies such as bone and joint pain, skin and coat issues, poor sugar level regulation and on and on. Fiber is critical to maintaining overall health by assisting in maintaining a good digestive tract.
Working within the pet food industry has also opened my eyes to the other types of byproduct fiber fillers that a lot of manufacturers use such as tomato pomace, sugar beet pulp, and pea fiber. Each of these contains fiber but also contain sugars, amino acids, and polypeptides that aren’t necessarily good for a dog’s digestive health. Other companies use tree-based cellulose, which uses harsh chemicals in their processing. Miscanthus is a purposefully grown crop for use as a dietary fiber, it’s non-GMO, grain and gluten-free, all-natural and can be grown organically. We employ strict production controls so we can assure high purity standards to our customers and they can be assured that our Miscanthus fiber, from field to kibble, is the highest quality fiber they can source.
If your dog or cat is having health issues of any sort, I strongly encourage you to ask your veterinarian about its digestive health, which could be the root cause of so many health concerns. Also, take an active role in determining the fiber source of your pet’s regular food or supplements, look for Miscanthus in the ingredient label, you’ll be doing your pet a great favor. Below are a few links to some forward-thinking companies already using this breakthrough fiber.
A few current manufacturers using Miscanthus in their blends are: Bernie’s Perfect Poop
(supplement), Rawz Natural Pet Food and ZooMed Grassland (tortoise). If your pet food isn’t using Miscanthus fiber, please let them know, they will take your call or email seriously, pet food suppliers are very much in-tune with the wishes of the discerning pet owner.