The following is a cumulative response to several popular inquiries we have received of late.
The Harrison’s Bird Foods company provides a line of premium, whole, certified organic, non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) product with decades of excellent results in providing a foundation of exceptional nutritional health in pet birds.
HARRISON’S IS ORGANIC & non-GMO VERIFIED
Harrison’s Bird Foods is a line of National Organic Program (USDA) third-party certified organic products. There is no higher recognized level of organic certification in the US.
USDA certified organic means that, by law, Harrison’s meets strict, third-party verification standards by maintaining the qualifying minimum of 95% or more of the ingredients used in a product being certified organic (Harrison’s formulas typically always exceed this percentage and on average reside at around 97-98% certified organic ingredients). Additionally, any item that falls within the “allowable 5%” must be an item necessary to the formulation and only available in a non-organic form. For example, Harrison’s uses montmorillonite clay (the same clay Amazon parrots seek out in the hillsides of Peru) as an essential ingredient to the formulas, but this clay is not available anywhere in the world as a certified organic item.
If an item as such becomes available in organic form, it must replace the non-organic item. We are committed to this process.
As of 2015, Harrison’s has added an entire extra layer of certification by meeting non-GMO verified standards.
MENADIONE, ARTIFICIAL COLORS, OTHER ADDITIVES
Harrison’s products do not contain menadione; nor do they contain any artificial color, flavoring or preservatives etc. of any kind. No chemical pesticides are used on Harrison’s ingredients, products or in facilities. Organic certification disallows the inclusion of such items (but we wouldn’t use them anyway).
SUPPLEMENTAL VITAMIN CONTENT
Harrison’s formulas are fully fortified and complete. Most vitamin content occurs naturally within the premium, whole ingredients but an infinitesimal amount of supplemental vitamin content (a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the whole) is incorporated as deemed recommended by PhD avian nutritionists.
SOY, PEANUTS & CORN
The popular public concern over soy has to do with lesser soy products (including soy-protein-isolate) that are GMO (genetically modified organisms), often associated with a chemical extraction method using Hexane and contains high phytoestrogens (hormones).
Harrison’s uses only certified organic, whole soybeans. Our untreated soybeans contain a thousand times less phytoestrogen content than the aforementioned processed soy. Our whole organic soybean is a significant viable source of protein and, with decades of premium nutritional results, we have simply not seen Harrison’s-fed birds with histories of soy-related issues.
Harrison’s Bird Foods are created by blending whole, intact items to create a premium, evenly balanced, finished item. Peanuts and corn both contribute a small part in this balancing. The popular complaint about peanuts is lack of testing for mycotoxins. This is not a concern with Harrison’s because we batch test all of our premium, whole, certified organic peanuts at multiple levels of production (at sourcing, prior to production and again after production). Our premium, whole, certified organic yellow corn is rich in beta carotene and other nutrients such as magnesium, fiber and other naturally occurring beneficial characteristics.
Diagnosed allergies of these specific items in parrots is actually quite rare, but Harrison’s offers certain low-antigen formulas for any bird with suspected food allergies.
WHAT DOES WHOLE/INTACT MEAN?
Manufacturers will often include just one part of the grain (often the endosperm – aka starch – or remnants of the grain after oils have been removed) which when separated remove much of the valuable nutrient content and qualifies as one type of byproduct.
Harrison’s has never included an item as a “filler” ingredient. Every included ingredient has an intended nutritional purpose.
We do not use byproducts, leftover or bleached, fine-milled or refined items.
Harrison’s uses only whole or “intact” items, which refers to the complete grain (bran, germ and endosperm) for maximum nutritional results.
LOOK FOR THE SEALS
The USDA Organic seal is currently the only way for a consumer to be assured a product is indeed legally certified organic. Organic certification requires all steps in the process of creating a product to provide clear, transparent proof of rules being met. Certification is performed annually for all facilities and brand owners involved.
Non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) verification is a similar, yet additional process that requires that every step of farming-through-finished-product meets strict non-GMO rules.
An item claiming to be organic but which does not provide certification (the seal) may or may not be organic – there is no proof either way.
Harrison’s carries both the USDA Organic Seal and the Non-GMO Verified Seal.
WE SUPPORT VETERINARIANS
Harrison’s Bird Foods was founded by Dr. Greg Harrison, a pioneer in avian medicine who has authored several important texts in the field. Harrison’s has always valued the importance of a veterinarian being involved whenever a significant change to the diet of a pet bird is made. With a preexisting relationship to the worldwide network of avian veterinarians, we chose early on to maintain a veterinary distribution network as the veterinarian/avian patient relationship is deemed critical and synergistic. It should be noted that Harrison’s has always made products available directly to the consumer. Harrison’s has never implemented minimum orders to veterinarians (they can buy “just one” if they choose) and while we have provided recommended guidelines for product usage for best results (not unlike another pet food company) there are no formal rules stating a person (including veterinarians) cannot feed or recommend Harrison’s any way they deem fit.
Harrison’s does not utilize “incentive programs” with veterinarians or any other purchasing entities.
Our list of recommended supplemental foods includes mostly dark green/orange/yellow organic veggies, sprouts and limited fruit items. Your veterinarian may deem other food items beneficial for your bird.
WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU.
Harrison’s provides a friendly, live customer service staff – available Monday through Friday 9-5 EST to answer your questions and help you with your orders.
If you have questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly at 800-346-0269 (615-221-9890) or email firstname.lastname@example.org