Choosing parrot food may seem as an easy task, but when looking closely into it, this turns out to be quite difficult. The market offers a great variety of products, some of them harmful for your parrot and some not. What confuses most people is the fact that bad things are not being talked about and only the benefits are advertised.
The best way to make a good choice is putting yourself in your parrot’s shoes, as they say! Think of what would your pet like if he were to buy parrot food!
Would it choose Ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT? Not if it knew that these are in fact rubber stabilizer, anti-degradation agent for rubber or pesticide! When introduced by Monsanto Industrial Chemical Company in the 1950s, Ethoxyquin was used to feed livestock and parrot food was not an issue at the time. The FDA allowed its use only in the production of paprika, chili powder and ground chili. Human or pet food is of course out of the question, as it causes liver damage and breeding problems in dogs.
Pellets, seed and other parrot foods contain artificial vitamins, and as their names say, these are only the artificial parts of the actual vitamins. Take vitamin C as an example: it contains ascorbic acid, but this in not the whole vitamin C. Scientists state that artificial vitamins don’t have the same effect as the natural vitamin.
Menadione is also a harmful substance when introduced in parrot food, even if it’s said to be a source of vitamin K. The Merk Manual states its toxicity, when given to babies and forbids its use as a treatment for vitamin K deficiency.
The producer himself put a “safety sheet” on his website, saying that menadione needs to be handled with protection measures as gloves, mask and glasses. Skin or eye contact, as well as inhalation is very dangerous, not to mention ingestion, which causes skin irritation! I wonder what would happen to a parrot?! Feather plucking perhaps? Poor thing! Unfortunately menadione is found in almost every product on the parrot food market, even if only used to “fortify” the seeds with vitamins.
Causing diabetes, infections and damage to the imune system, sucrose should not be found in parrot food, because it is in fact refined sugar. Not to speak about artificial colors and flavors! This sort of products aren’t worth a second of your time.
All of these substances are widely described on the internet, so you must not take my word, but do your own research. Reading everything about them will help everyone of you make a clear opinion about what is dangerous for your parrot and what’s not.
Basically, choosing appropriate parrot food is reduced at just skimming the labels for the above mentioned ingredients. Once you’ve found any of them, that product MUST remain on the shelf! There are so many parrot foods available, that you don’t have to worry about finding something that won’t make your bird sick.
Never go with the tendencies and buy whatever is advertised in the media: new products aren’t always better ones. And exactly what are markets counting on? Of course, on the fact that people don’t always have the time to pay attention to what’s real important when buying parrot food. One must never think that all products are the same, or that a cheaper product is no better that a more expensive ones. You have to keep yourself up to date with the tendencies, but also do your own research.
And because parrots cannot go shopping by themselves, it’s our duty to get inside a parrot’s mind and see what they would choose to have for a meal.