Food scores are based on ingredient quality and safety. For more information, view our evaluation criteria.
With a score of 6.4, Freshpet’s Nature’s Fresh line is considered a moderate risk food. This is Freshpet’s highest ranking food line. The line is calculated to average 16% carbohydrate and 43% protein on a dry matter basis. The Nature’s Fresh claim is that the ingredients are all locally sourced with BPA free packaging. Freshpet also promises that Nature’s Fresh is carbon neutral and that its poultry is Animal Welfare Certified, which is a meaningful certification that features on-farm verification.
Looking at ingredient quality, the carbohydrate content is decent for a food in this category. This food also scores higher than other FreshPet lines because it doesn’t contain seed oils and has fewer plant proteins than the other lines. However, the ingredient quality score for Nature’s Fresh does suffer for 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.
Some of the foods in the Nature’s Fresh line also contain fish oil, which is a low quality ingredient that doesn’t specify the species of fish – or whether the fish is farmed.
On the ingredient safety side, Nature’s Fresh loses a significant number of points. It does contain known high pesticide ingredients, including spinach and peas. Some of the foods also contain rice, which is known to be high in arsenic. The line also features carrageenan, which is a low quality thickener that may be linked to gut inflammation. There’s also natural flavor, which is another low quality ingredient with an unknown safety profile.
Rounding out the ingredient safety score, Freshpet’s Nature’s Fresh contains natural flavor, which is a low quality ingredient that can often be MSG or other low quality substances with little safety data.
Finally, it’s worth noting that 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.