Rice, Protein & Veggies - where the concept came from
Updated: Mar 26
Lot's of caring pet parents trying to avoid highly processed diets aka kibble believe that a healthy diet for their dog is Rice, Protein & Veggies...it's not but where did this concept come from? Well to find this out, we have to head to the UK and find a Vet by the name of Dr John Burns.
Dr Burns here was a young Vet back in the 70's and was called alternative back then, apparently he fancied rice quite a bit and ate it for breakfast. Dr Burns talks about where his concept of feeding dogs this diet came from... "Basically the traditional way of eating for humans had been abandoned by the modern world and had become high in meat and animal products with hardly any cereal grains or vegetables," he explains. He went on to say "Part of the thinking was that many health problems had been caused by abandoning our traditional way of eating – things like cancer, diabetes and obesity.
"Rather like humans, obesity in pets is the most common issue affecting health."
Wales Online states that Dr Burns "moved back to Llanelli and started telling clients in his practice that while he would treat their animal with drugs they needed to stop feeding their pet conventional pet food and start it on a wholemeal diet of brown rice, vegetables, and meat in equal portions".(1) Clients weren't taking the bait though and after a few years he started making his own kibble based on his rice, protein and veggies concept and is now worth $24 million pounds. We have to keep in mind that nutritional education for Vets back then was rather lacking and even today, Vets receive sponsored education from kibble manufacturers which leads to the conditioned response they have as a community to feeding kibble. Education Vets receive at University in relation to fresh healthy foods is lacking, non-existent or negative. So how bad is the Rice, Protein & Veggie diet?
For this example, I formulated a 1 kilo batch of ingredients that would have been common at the time. I have used raw chicken as there was no reference to whether the protein should be cooked or not.
Now lets look at where it lacking or has excess which is shown in red highlight and red text:
With an omega-6/omega-3 ratio of 14.04:1, this is a very inflammatory diet. Inflammation is the precursor to disease. The carbs in this recipe sit at 41% (DM), so 41% of this recipe is being converted into glucose aka sugar. Again, inflammatory. Whilst carbs can be used for energy, fat is a much healthier source of energy but of course more expensive that grains and the likes.
Please do not follow the Rice, protein and veggie diet, it is not balanced and it is not healthy. Just because a Vet created the diet, doesn't mean it's healthy or appropriate.
What to feed instead? We recommend a fresh food diet whether that be raw or cooked, we'd love for you to join us at our fresh food feeding group to learn more.