Food scores are based on ingredient quality and safety. For more information, view our evaluation criteria.
With a score of 6, Freshpet’s Homestyle Creations line is considered a moderate to high risk food. The food is calculated to contain 11% carbohydrate and 59% protein on a dry matter basis.
On the ingredient quality side, the carbohydrate content seems reasonably low for a food in this category. However, this food features plant protein (pea protein) in the top five ingredients, which is a less complete source of amino acids than animal protein. The food also contains dextrose, which is another low quality ingredient that’s often used to increase palatability of the food. Like all Freshpet foods, the ingredient quality score also suffers from excessive added vitamins and minerals. Vitamin premixes can be used to fortify low quality ingredients and can also cause dangerous toxicities, especially when too much copper and vitamin D are added.
On the ingredient safety side, the Homestyle Creations Chicken and Beef recipes both feature peas in the top five ingredients. This is split into pea protein and pea fiber. Peas are known high pesticide crops that are spray-dried with Roundup at harvesting. Chronic exposure to pesticides and herbicides has been associated with skin conditions, neurological conditions and cancer. It’s worth noting that the Homestyle Creations Beef, Chicken & Turkey Recipe does not contain known high pesticide foods in the top five ingredients, although it does contain rice, which will reduce the food’s ingredient safety score since rice is known to be high in arsenic. This food also contains canola oil, which apart from being a highly processed seed oil that is associated with inflammation, is both genetically modified and a known high pesticide crop that’s also typically spray dried with Roundup.
Rounding out the ingredient safety score, Freshpet’s Homestyle Creations contains natural flavor, which is a low quality ingredient that can often be MSG or other low quality substances with little safety data.
Finally, the omega6:omega-3 ratio is not reported, which is unfortunate since AAFCO allows a pro-inflammatory ratio of 30:1 for omega-6:omega-3 fats.