Why we don't use Chinese Spirulina in our products
Most people familiar with spirulina put this superfood in the category of nutritional miracles. It's rich in amino acids, omega oils, vitamins, chlorophyll and antioxidants.
NASA recognizes it as a nutritionally complete whole food that is suitable for extended space missions.
Many dog lovers now give their dogs supplements containing spirulina. Its superfood properties are the reason I added it to GreenMin, a mineral-rich superfood formula for dogs. The transformations I have seen and people are reporting are better than I ever imagined. The results are obvious proof that the diet we feed our dogs is depleted and supplementing essential minerals and amino acids is an important part of good health and a long life for them. When spirulina is combined with mineral-rich algae, it seems that 15 is the new 10 in dog years!
The adventure of ingredient sourcing
Sourcing ingredients for all-natural dog supplements can be a very challenging task and spirulina is no exception. Diving into the murky ethical waters of spirulina growers and manufacturers can be tricky and recognizing a high-quality product from a low-grade one is often hard.
People often ask me why some of our supplements are USDA certified organic and some are not.
The reason is GreenMin® is composed of two ingredients, certified organic Alga Calcarea - a species of mineral-rich algae - and top-quality, all-natural, but non-organic spirulina.
Why not organic spirulina?
The process of organic certification includes a thorough evaluation of the growing and manufacturing processes. The production of spirulina requires a high amount of nitrogen because the growing phase is only four days long. This fast growth is supported well by naturally occurring Chilean nitrate. Originally, Chilean nitrate was approved as an organic fertilizer, but in 2005 the USDA made a decision to reclassify it as natural, but NOT ORGANIC.
Based on the reports of Earthrise, the manufacturer we source this superfood from, using organic fertilizers increases the risk of contamination and buildup of toxic byproducts, which results in a lower grade product.
Generally, I prefer certified organic products, but we have opted to use Earthrise spirulina because each batch of goes through rigorous food quality and safety testing.
Where does organic spirulina come from?
It's true organic spirulina is on the market, but so far, all the suppliers we've found are located in China, India or other areas in southeast Asia.
Considering the history of Chinese tainted food product, including fake artificial eggs, peas manufactured from green colored chemicals and melamine-laced baby formula, we prefer Earthrise Spirulina for use in the GreenMin® formula.
Is it ok to give Spirulina to dogs?
Based on my experience and the reports of many dog lovers, the addition of spirulina in your dog's diet can make a huge difference in their overall health. You can read some reviews here.
All you need to remember is that when it comes to products containing spirulina, organic is not always better and safer.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM