by Sally Blanchard

In a discussion on my Sally Bs Companion Parrot Facebook page about Harrison's Parrot Pellets being organic, I disagreed. While the base ingredients may be organic, there are synthetic vitamins and minerals used to provide the actual nutrition. These are NOT organic so Harrisons is not an organic food for parrots but so many people think that it is organic because of the marketing hype. How can a food that contains synthetic vitamins as its "nutritional source" be called organic?

If a vitamin is not derived from natural foods, it is synthetic. For example, palmitate is listed as a source of vitamin A, pyridoxine hydrochloride is listed as a source of vitamin B6, and dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate is listed in Harrisons and they are all synthetic. So maybe he can call it organic for some reason I will never understand, but as far as I am concerned, it is NOT!

Check the ingredient list of any parrot and other pet food for these vitamin sources listed below as they are all synthetic vitamins to avoid. Some manufacturers of commercial vitamin and mineral supplements add synthetics to vitamin products, typically to increase the vitamin's potency, but many synthetics do not provide the vitamins that real food does and are made from derivatives of coal tar - a known carcinogen found in cigarette smoke. You've heard the old adage that if you can't pronounce it, maybe it shouldn't be in your foods or your parrot's food.

Common Synthetic Vitamins to Avoid
Vitamin A: Acetate and Palmitate
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin
Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
Vitamin B12: Cobalamin
PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
Biotin: d-Biotin
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosterol, Calciferol
Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate
NOTE: The “dl” form of any vitamin is synthetic.




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