San Francisco Raw Feeders (SFRAW)

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Ethical, Humane, Sustainable Meat? Let’s Talk About Standards (or “the reason why I started SFRAW!”)

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Sustainable, ethical, humane, organic, pastured, local…

These are just a few of the descriptors that you will find when seeking out the best possible food for you and your family members.  We know that it can be incredibly confusing and also that it takes a lot of research and effort to source foods REALLY produced in a manner that honestly reflects these ideas and concepts.

It can be confusing to know if these labels actually mean anything at all — is that label or phrase defined, regulated or established by third-party certification and auditing? Perhaps it is part of a state or governmental program; or designed by private or industry certifications?

No matter how a product is labeled or described, it IS possible to find food that is in alignment with what your own values and standards are for ethical, humane and sustainable — it can be certified and verified or not — being certified does not always guarantee it is in alignment with your own personal values for what you want to support. The best you can do is to know your producer — visit the farm, learn about what they do and how they do it. This is not always possible, however, so most people need to rely on online or local guide/rating system or suppliers that you can trust to do this research for you.

One of the best places to learn more about these issues and the meaning behind these words is the Sustainable Table website. Their page titled, “These Labels are So Confusing” is a great place to start to better understand the various catch-phrases used within the food industry. The website is dedicated to the larger issue of sustainability and all this encompasses; doing a fairly good job making an incredibly complicated and complex number of issues related to sustainability and our food system in the US, understandable and digestible (pun intended!) Two related websites are the “Eat Well Guide” and “The Meatrix” (check out the original Meatrix video below):

When I first started SFRAW in 2003, my primary goal and focus was to seek out meats and related animal-derived ingredients that were raised humanely, outside of the unhealthy and cruel industrialized food system (“factory framed”) in order to provide species appropriate nutrition to the carnivores under my care.

At the time, it was very difficult to source a variety of proteins that were in alignment with my personal values for sustainability, animal welfare, and wholesomeness. Certifications and industry programs that related to these issues were not nearly as abundant as they are now. For example, in 2003, grass-finished beef and pastured lamb were not difficult to source but pastured poultry or truly pastured eggs were not commercially available in CA yet; pastured pork was just getting started here — thanks to Liz Cunningham — and because supply for this was so limited, the best option was Niman Ranch’s pork products from the mid-west.

I was on a constant hunt for suppliers and the industry was experiencing a lot of change (mostly for the good; but also included a lot of small operations not making it – saw many come & go – reliability was – and to some extent, continues to be – a serious challenge).  Over time, I developed relationships with small-scale producers that were putting in a genuine effort to bring food to market with far more care and consideration for the animals, environment, and people involved throughout the supply-chain and from “farm to table”.  Some foods I could find locally, others I had to get from a distance (and consider the carbon-footprint and economic impacts of making such a decision).  It was (and still is!) vitally important to support those producers doing things differently — they are working incredibly hard to change, and do things in a better way. These producers are brave, dedicated, and resilient visionaries that are dedicated to producing wholesome, healthy foods  in a manner that aligns with their ethics and ideals — they are in it for the love of the work, the animals/environment, and to provide a better, healthier future for all, not for greed or financial gains at any cost.

My goal continues to seek out sources that allow for me to:

  1. honor the animals under my care for their true nature and nutritional needs; food raised in this manner are typically much more nutritious/nutrient-dense, wholesome and safer.
  2. honor the animals being raised for food in a manner that was respectful to their true nature, in how they were allowed to live & how they were handled and cared for during their lifetime;
  3. honor the environment and health and well-being of the entire planet (air & water quality are local issues that have a global impact!);
  4. honor the human beings involved with producing these foods for us; this includes every person involved along the supply chain: the workers that raise their animals with care and kindness (doing this work 24/7 with a lot of inherent challenges associated with food production and working with living beings/ecosystems: draught, floods, illness, etc.);  those working in the processing plants; and the local independent wholesale distributors that bring these products to market and make them available at your local grocery/butcher, restaurant, and yes, your freezer at home! Supporting the local economy, and the health and well-being of the people involved in this industry is a part of the sustainability landscape when it comes to food – this aspect is never overlooked.

Over time, the options available to me here in California broadened and the standards of my suppliers/producers have not only maintained (for the most part) but a few have even continued to improve upon their already fine programs! Those that have succeeded in doing so have earned my respect — these companies or individuals are willing to look objectively and critically at what they are doing, identify opportunities where they could improve and have worked hard to make things even better.

For example, non-ruminant animals being certified as GMO-free, soy-free or corn-free were much harder to find than they are now — while still not easily available, change is happening! More and more producers are making efforts to elevate their practices and improve what they are doing every single year. While it is heartbreaking to learn of yet another small-scale producer that is doing a beautiful job with the food they produce not making it/shutting down or struggling to survive (trust me, the struggle is real for every single producer doing things in a way that falls outside “the norm”); from my vantage point of focusing on these topics and sources for over 10 years, it has been an encouraging and hopeful experience to see how much special individuals within the industry as a whole has pushed for change, and how much we continue to learn about sustainability over the past decade.

The first place I went to find sources for SFRAW, was Jo Robinson’s Eat Wild site. This website continues to be an excellent resource for learning about pasture-based food production, and for sourcing excellent grass-finished, truly pastured meat and poultry.


If your goal is focused on sourcing meats raised humanely to specific animal welfare standards, the Humaneitarian website provides good information and suggestions on sourcing “humane” meat/poultry.

Another place to find a great collection of resources that focus on a variety of food related concerns, check out the CivilEats website.


As a vegan for close to 35 years and raw feeder for over 25 years, the troubling and ethically difficult aspect of sourcing when feeding raw was the number one reason why I started San Francisco Raw Feeders (SFRAW) — to source meats/ingredients that had been raised and produced in a manner I consider honorable (honoring the animals for their true nature; treating them with dignity and respect).

Since 2003, these objectives have remained unchanged and our focus has stayed true to our founding principles:

SFRAW’s Mission
1) To give thoughtful consideration to and conduct business in a manner that honors the health and wellbeing of all species (human, wild, farm and domestic animals);
2) To be a discriminating purveyor of high-quality, ethically produced, truly wholesome & pure, genuinely natural foods & lifestyle products;
3)  To develop and produce the best wholesome raw pet foods and truly natural pet products with a focus on using pastured, organic, local, sustainable, wild-crafted ingredients;
4) To provide these products and services at a fair cost to both the consumer and supplier;
5) To support outstanding ranches, farms, small businesses and individuals that work hard to produce products with integrity and honor;
6) To unite a diverse community that share a common interest in wholesome foods & Natural Rearing;
7) To cultivate a compassionate and informed community that educate, inspire, and support one another;
8) To mentor through education about feeding whole fresh food diets to pets and Natural Rearing principles.


The vetting/rating system I’ve developed for SFRAW is vigorous and my personal standards are high — not many producers “meet the grade” to be represented by SFRAW. I take sourcing very seriously. Each new supplier is given very careful consideration and involves the building of strong personal relationships because trust and KNOWING your producers personally is, in the end, our best insurance policy for buying from those doing things we can support and feel good about.

One of our favorite producers has a saying, “my animals have just one bad day in their entire lifetime” — it is, of course, sad to think about the harvest/slaughtering of sentient beings, but he makes sure this is handled with reverence, respect and in as stress-free a manner possible up to the very end (they personally walk with their animals and handle them up until their last breath), and every single day of their lives leading up to that point are VERY good days for the animals raised under his excellent care.

These producers are rare and may not be easy to find. It takes a lot of work and diligence to establish mutually beneficial programs that are sustainable for all involved, and to maintain these relationships, because things inevitably do change over time.

It is upsetting for those “in the know” when companies green-wash their products or use catch phrases that do not translate to the reality of what is actually happening on the farm/ranch or at slaughter.

For example, in stark contrast to our Gold Standard producers, I was once proudly assured by a potential supplier that all of their beef was, indeed, “100% ranch raised!!!” — yep, “ranch raised” was the best he could provide to describe the beef he wanted to sell to me.

Oh my goodness…after that, I can only remember after that call just laughing to tears for about an hour! Ranch raised!? Seriously? Where else is beef being raised? On the moon? In the ocean? As if that phrase meant anything at all and was going to really impress me to want to work with them?!

“Ranch raised” (and I have actually seen this used/promoted by raw pet food producers!) is an utterly meaningless term with regards to domesticated livestock (for wild game meats, it may possibly lead to a discussion and further exploration about their program with a lot more Q&A…but tell me that your beef is ranch raised and I’ll promptly lose all interest!) Phrases such as this do not provide anywhere enough information at all about the standards of a supplier’s program — we want to know a lot more about the operation of that ranch to determine the quality of your program.


There are a number of standards in the US created by industry, by federal agencies and also by third-party organizations that can help consumers “do better” by looking for specific certifications that are meaningful.

Of course there is also a lot of misleading marketing catch-phrases (“ranch raised”) that do not necessarily translate into anything meaningful about how the ingredients or meats are being produced/raised at a genuinely higher standard.

In the end, everyone must do their best to procure and provide healthy, wholesome unprocessed food to our loved ones. It is not always easy to find producers that do everything you would hope for, and it usually costs quite a bit more for food provided by those that do.

For me, the most valuable thing for any person buying and eating food (for themselves or their loved ones) is that they at least give some thought and consideration to where the food is coming from/how it was raised. That’s a start and it can make a difference!  Even big national retailers like Whole Foods now have standards that consumers can use to help guide them to making better buying choices.

But don’t stop there, keep on digging, and keep on learning – soon, you will be amazed at how much you know and that you actually CAN find foods that are in alignment with your unique values.

Do the best you can with eyes wide open, be mindful of what you are supporting with your dollars, and aware of what we’re putting in our bodies and how we are nourishing our loved ones. Efforts made on a daily basis really do make a difference on the larger scale,  I have seen it happen in the agriculture industry and I know change is possible – it all starts with you!

Believe me, I know it is not easy and compromises sometimes need to be made to acquire certain foods with availability or budget constraints, but it is important to at least know what you are really buying = what you are voting for with your dollar, what actions and practices you support when it comes to food, animals, people, and the environment. And from a producer/supplier viewpoint, it is just as important for those in the industry to be as transparent and truthful about the standards of whatever they are selling/producing/representing, as possible.


As consumers, we have a choice every day to make a vote for what we want to see more of in the world through our purchases in the marketplace. Food/eating is something most people/animals do daily and so it provides a unique and profound opportunity every time we attain or provide sustenance to do the best we can with regards to this, whatever our circumstances are.

As providers, we’re all just doing the best that we can to care for our loved ones to the best of our abilities.  The big companies that use marketing to “green wash” and misrepresent are doing their best to make as much profit as they can by appealing to consumers’ concerns and exploiting the good intentions most people have; to acquire greater and greater market share for the health of their company, whatever it takes.

But you can counter this through knowledge and informed purchasing decisions.  Utilize the resources listed above to do your homework and find great sources for food. Don’t get overwhelmed – just take it one choice at a time. Soon you will become an informed consumer — create your own standards that align with what you care and value most!



Written by sfraw

September 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm

New Local Producer: Gefion Gamebird & Rabbit (registered organic prey model quail, quail eggs & rabbit)

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Gefion Gamebird quail eggs are ideally purchased with quail egg scissors ($2.50/ea). Quail eggs have thin – very beautiful – shells, and a thick inner membrane, so cracking them without quail egg scissors often results in a crushed egg rather than an intact egg yolk/white. We sell these nifty little scissors at the register!

We’re VERY excited to get our very first delivery of locally produced, registered organic, humanely handled and carefully cared for quail & quail eggs from our very own member, Shay Williams operating as Gefion Gamebird & Rabbits (registered organic by the CDFA!)

Below please find what we have available for this first delivery (more to come – including rabbits in the future!) with SFRAW member prices (walk-in/non-members are welcome to purchase anything we sell in store for 30% over listed price):

Gefion Gamebird & Rabbit Quail Eggs – doz $5.88 EA
Gefion Gamebird & Rabbit Quail Large, 5/PK $33.25 EA
Gefion Gamebird & Rabbit Quail Medium, 5/pk $28.00 EA
Gefion Gamebird & Rabbit Quail Small, 5/PK $24.50 EA


Exceptional husbandry, outstanding care has been put into every bag of prey model feeders and dozen of beautiful eggs; these quail and rabbits are meticulously produced by one of our own! We are so excited and proud to be her first account! @sfraw #buylocal #buygmofree #buyorganic #preymodelraw #gamebirdsforhealth #quaileggsforall #quaileggsaresupernutrientdense

We have the small, medium and large quail in stock — quail egg scissors and will get a fresh/restock delivery of the already SOLD OUT quail eggs this week.

More about this wonderful SFRAW member/producer:

Shanna (Shay) Williams has been an animal lover and advocate since childhood and has been a caretaker for feathered, hooved, scaled and furry creatures great and small. Shay was a wildlife rehabilitator for a number of years and discovered Cotournix quail as a wonderful food source while rehabilitating raptors.
Shay started breeding quail and rabbits at her small suburban farm to feed her family and pets, believing the most respectful way to eat meat is to care for it yourself. Shay began feeding her dogs a raw diet in 2015.
Shay’s rabbits are a medium heritage breed of Champagne d’Argent and a larger breed, New Zealand Red. She breeds Cotournix quail for meat and fresh eggs.
All of Shay’s animals are fed a 100% organic feed from Modesto Milling, supplemented with fresh vegetables, greens and grasses and never require hormones or antibiotics. The farm has received its Certificate of Organic Registration issued through the CA Department of Food and Agriculture. Shay follows PETA’s guidelines for painless and humane processing of her animals.
Shay Williams, San Mateo, CA

We have a lot to share with you about the unique qualities of quail & quail eggs, including:

  1. Quail & quail eggs are considered suitable and safe for those with chicken allergies/food intolerances – quail is a great alternative!
  2. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, quail eggs and quail are both considered neutral proteins (energetically); a perfect balance between yin/yang and suitable for all animals. Quail meat is known to tonify qi, check diarrhea, strengthen the tendons and bones. The TCM properties of quail are: sweet, neutral; meridians entered include large intestine, spleen, lung, kidney, liver and heart.quail4lunch
  3. Their small size (both the eggs & the quail) makes them ideal for easy supplementing & feeding to all of your animals, but especially nice for your small dogs & cats regular meals. Five quail eggs equal approximately one single chicken egg, so you can add a quail egg to your littles’ meals as a nice variety and nutrition boost to their regular diet without altering/adjusting their regular meals. Alternatively, a whole quail is the perfect complete/balanced meal for any prey model cat or dog; and Shay has delivered quail of various sizes so you can get just the right meal size for your animal. Yes, they eat it ALL – even the feathers! Learn more about the benefits of this feeding style here.
  4. When compared to chicken eggs, quail eggs have 2% more protein and 5 times higher iron content. One quail egg contains six times more vitamin B1 and 15 times more vitamin B2 than a chicken egg. They are a good source of easy to assimilate protein and also contain vitamins D and B12, selenium, choline, folate, panthothenic acid, and phosphorus, as well.
  5. Quail eggs have a higher yolk to white ratio than chicken eggs – so they are slightly richer in the beneficial fats and minerals found in yolks; nutrients that support a healthy skin/coat and immune system.
  6. Interestingly, unlike chicken eggs, quail eggs do not carry the risk of salmonella due to an increased amount of lysozyme; lysozyme kills harmful bacteria. The body temperature of quail are higher than that of chickens, another reason why they don’t contain common harmful bacteria.
  7. Followers of TCM Food Therapy (Traditional Chinese Medicine) suggest eating three to five quail eggs each morning to promote a strong immune system and improve metabolism.
  8. A home remedy for stomach aches is to consume raw quail eggs with warm water as a medicinal drink. Next time you or your animal are suffering from tummy troubles, try it out!
  9. Quail eggs may help to speed up recuperation after a blood stroke and are known for having a medicinal action on the heart by maintaining strong cardiac muscles.
  10. Some have experienced the healing of ulcers and gastritis after taking quail eggs; others believe that these little eggs can help to prevent cancer growth and treat diabetes.
  11. In TCM, quail is used to counter diarrhea caused by spleen deficiency, whooping cough, rheumatic arthritis, infantile malnutrition. In the TCM context, it is recommended to avoid eating quail along with pork while addressing specific energetic imbalances in the body.

While some of these claims are not supported by scientific research yet, traditional/time-honored/folk concepts, knowledge, methods and ideas about medicinal actions specific whole foods can have on the body/our health often do end up being confirmed or explained by science after all. We are not in the position to make health claims; we are simply providing suggestions and information passed on through time. We encourage you to consider quail and quail eggs a beneficial and fun/novel wholesome and healthy food that you can include in the diet.

Wondering how to prepare quail eggs for your family to enjoy? Check out these recipe ideas and a nice “paleo” salad option here. (note: these recipes include ingredients, such as onions, we do not suggest for dogs/cats due to toxicity — however, your dog/cat family members will probably love and best enjoy the eggs simply served to them raw or soft-boiled!)

Enjoy in the best possible health!

Awww — check out this sweet video of a dog trying quail egg for the first time:




Written by sfraw

June 29, 2016 at 10:07 am

NYT Blog: Organic Meat and Milk Higher in Healthful Fatty Acids

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Wanted to share this NYT post (Organic Meat and Milk Higher in Healthful Fatty Acids) about some new research regarding nutrients found in organic meat & milk vs. conventionally raised products.

Yes, thoughtful sourcing of meat & dairy does matter when it comes to nutrient density! We know this and this is why the meat and dairy products used in SFRAW products and what you will find for sale at SFRAW, meet higher standards and can be very different than your average grocery or meat market.

To learn more about how we carefully consider every ingredient we use and sell at SFRAW, check out the SFRAW Rating System. Put in place many years ago, this is how we determine, review and consider new vendors/suppliers and ingredients that we use and make available for you at SFRAW.

Sensitive animals (dogs/cats) do respond differently to meat & dairy raised in different ways (conventional vs organic vs truly pastured). I only wish they had distinguished between

 organic and truly pastured and/or grass-finished because there is a tremendous difference between these ranching methods and, I can only imagine, the nutrient profiles of the food produced through them.

Also, to consider: what breed of animals are they raising — heritage breeds or modern industrialized breeds? Then, there are distinguishing methods used at slaughter (is it humane/stress-free) and after slaughter — (air-chilled, dry-aged, non-irradiated and non-pasteurized, etc.)

We carefully consider all of this when we source meat and dairy products for SFRAW and I wonder how all of these different methods and influences compare when you consider the nutritional analysis and composition of the meat & dairy by the time it is consumed…?

More about SFRAW’s standards and sourcing can be found here:

Eat Wild

Food Issues

Raw Milk Vs. Pasteurized Milk – A Campaign for Real Milk

Heritage Animal Breeds and Heirloom Crop Varieties

Best Wishes for the Best Health Possible,


Written by sfraw

February 17, 2016 at 11:16 am

Posted in Producers

Rad Cat Turkey & Chicken Product Change & Our Position on HPP

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Pascalization, bridgmanization, or high pressure processing (HPP),[1] is a method of preserving and sterilizing food, in which a product is processed under very high pressure, leading to the inactivation of certain microorganisms and enzymes in the food.[2]  To learn more about HPP, we recommend reviewing this article on the subject by Wikipedia here.


Disappointed to learn, as of this month/Feb 2016, Rad Cat is now HPP-ing their poultry (chicken & turkey) flavors. We have discontinued the sale of these flavors due to this change. We will continue to sell their beef, lamb and venison flavors – which remain wholesome and unadulterated/are not HPP. We very much appreciate Rad Cat’s honesty and transparency in announcing this change to their processing and product handling.

SFRAW only sells wholesome, unadulterated, non-denatured (with the exception of the addition of ground fresh raw bone) and minimally (ground/frozen or traditional methods of fermentation or dehydration only) or un-processed whole foods & will never sell products that have been irradiated, microwaved, pasteurized, or high pressure pasteurized.

So far, only one container has the HPP information on it, and we will be returning this to our distributor. The remaining Rad Cat chicken & turkey inventory that we have on the shelves now is the last that we will sell.

To learn more about our stance on HPP, check out the following links. We concur with these assessments and have the same concerns against HPP foods. We stand firm on our position that HPP is it not safe and it is our opinion that HPP foods can no longer be considered “raw”, fresh or wholesome:

What is HPP High Pressure Processing | Safe for Dog and Cat Food?

Dogs Naturally Magazine The real reason Why Your Dog’s Food Isn’t Safe

HPP (and irradiation with more than just poultry/all meats) is a controversial topic amongst raw feeders but has, unfortunately, become common practice for almost all poultry products sold as “raw” pet foods & treats in the USA. Apparently, the industry concerns over common bacteria found in poultry outweighs a commitment to producing genuinely raw, unadulterated products. It’s too bad. But this is just so common now…most of the big companies are now on the HPP bandwagon and it is one of the reasons why we don’t sell many commercial pet products.

As a food purist and yes, an idealist, I personally just don’t think HPP is safe. I think that, like hydrogenation/transfats, pasteurizationirradiation, and other modern food processing technologies, we will eventually learn just how damaging HPP really is to the health of our animals (and us!), I’m pretty confident about that hunch…so you’ll find no HPP foods at SFRAW.

BACTERIAL/MICROBIAL CONERNS: If you have an animal that is immune compromised and considered at very high-risk for bacterial/microbial infection, we recommend and fully support the switch to a home-cooked diet. We are more than happy to make recommendations on how to do this safely and properly. It is our position that the loving preparation of home-cooked meals for your animals using high-quality, truly pastured/organic, fresh, wholesome ingredients is going to be much more health promoting and healing diet than any product adulterated by modern food processing techniques.


Written by sfraw

February 17, 2016 at 10:50 am

Posted in Nutrition, Producers

Q&A: How Much Vitamin E To Add When Regularly Feeding PUFAs, Fish Oil & Fish/Seafood

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I picked up a bottle of Eskimo-3 fish oil caps today and wanted to know the dosing. I do add fish (EcoPawz Sardine Grind or SFRAW Seafood Medley) to their meals but felt they needed a bit more. With the additional fish oil, how much vitamin E should I add? Thanks! – Julie


Hi Julie, Good question! I’m happy to answer. 🙂

The AAFCO recommends that balanced fish oil containing diets be supplemented with 10 IU of vitamin E for every gram of fish oil per kg of diet, and their proposed nutrient profiles provides additional information regarding the addition of PUFAs in the diet.

“It is recommended that the ratio of IU of vitamin E to grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) be > 0.6:1. A diet containing 50 IU of vitamin E will have a ratio of > 0.6:1 when the PUFA content is 83 grams or less. Diets containing more than 83 grams of PUFA should contain an additional 0.6 IU of vitamin E for every gram of PUFA.”

“Add 10 IU Vitamin E above the minimum concentration for each gram of fish oil per kilogram of diet.”

Source: Pet_Food_Report_2013_Midyear-Proposed_Revisions_to_AAFCO_Nutrient_Profiles

Most canine nutritionists provide the general recommendation of supplementing with 400 IU of vitamin E for every 1,000 mg of fish oil/PUFA – which is a recommendation I like because it’s easy for most people to calculate/follow, and I agree with this level of supplementation for the safe use of these two supplements (fish oil & vitamin E).

Like most high quality fish oil supplements, the Eskimo-3 oil contains a tocopherol complex in the ingredient listing. This is included as an antioxidant to maintain the stability and integrity of the product and prevent oxidation of this fragile substance. You’ll notice the vitamin E level is not listed on the label that provides nutritional analysis information because the vitamin E added is merely used as a natural preservative and not sufficient for additional supplementation. Typically, the gamma and/or delta (listed as “mixed”) forms are used in this case. These forms, as included in fish oil supplements, cannot be used to meet your dog’s vitamin E requirements, particularly when you are feeding fish and supplementing with fish oil on a regular, frequent and/or ongoing basis. Therefore, you will need to provide adequate amounts of the proper forms of Vitamin E to maintain health over the long-term when frequently feeding fish and PUFAs such as fish oil to dogs.

I suggest incorporating a high quality Vitamin E supplement when feeding fish oil & fish that provides a broad spectrum of natural tocopherols and tocotrienols (there are 8 known forms). In my opinion, the biggest challenge here is sourcing a supplement that includes all of the various forms, is natural and soy-free, bioavailable, free of contaminants/truly safe and made with care from a high quality supplement or food manufacturer, and sourced from a trusted country of origin (nearly all Vitamin E supplements originate from China, even if the final manufacturing occurs in the US).

After much research and concern over quality, safety and the provenance of vitamin E supplements, I have started using and recommending an organic natural form of Red Palm Oil for vitamin E supplementation from Nutiva. There are several other brands that are also very good – so you don’t need to get the Nutiva brand necessarily. Just do your research to ensure what you are buying is of the highest caliber possible, as it is vital to get this from a reputable source that meets high environmental, quality and fair labor standards. I really like Nutiva products and the company, but they are not the only brand that produces a safe and exceptional Red Palm Oil product.

Red Palm Oil is a wonderful food that provides the full spectrum of tocopherols (natural vitamin E) including tocotrienols, and is rich in natural carotenoids (vitamin A) and the antioxidant CoEnzyme Q10, which supports healthy mouth/teeth and cardiac function. If you buy from a reputable source that is harvesting organic Red Palm fruit in an area that is not negatively impacting the local wildlife and ecosystems, and working with the local economy to support fair labor, this is a superior way to supplement with a natural form of vitamin E when feeding fish & fish oils with a pleasant boost of additional health benefitting antioxidants!

Depending on which source you refer to, the nutritional profile information for red palm oil can vary significantly. So unless you get a nutritional analysis profile from the manufacturer of a specific batch of product, we will need to make some basic assumptions and generalizations within a range of possibilities when comparing the various well-respected brands of organic, unrefined red palm oils on the market. Remember that this is a FOOD (nutritional values of real, natural food will always vary) that is sourced from different regions and handled differently by the different manufacturers, so the best you can do is consider the range of these beneficial nutrients that you may be working with. In my opinion, feeding non-standardized, natural food based supplements provides safer and better results than synthetic or highly synthesized, yet standardized, supplements. This is a personal preference. I realize that others may find a natural yet standardized supplement more comforting for the reliability and consistency of the target nutrient being provided through supplementation.

Most sources I have seen state that Red Palm Oil is composed of 30 percent tocopherols and 70 percent tocotrienols; providing more than/over 800 mg/kg of natural tocotrienols and tocopherols.

For example, below please find another source I found provding vitamin E levels found in a popular brand of red palm oil, followed by a paper that investigates how refining palm oil can alters the vitamin E levels found in this food.

1 TBLS of red, unrefined palm oil contains approximately 23 IU of Vitamin E.

Breakdown of Vitamin E composition per tablespoon of unrefined palm oil %/IUs:

alpha-tocopherol (alpha-T): 17% (2.38-3.91 IU)

alpha-tocotrienol alpha-T3): 24% (3.36-5.5 IU)

alpha-tocomonoenol (alpha-??): 3% (.42-.69 IU)

gamma-tocotrienol (gamma T3): 49% (6.86-11.27 IU)

delta-tocotrienol (delta T3): 7% (.98-1.61 IU)

Refining, bleaching and deodorizing reduces Vitamin E content by ~20%


“Palm oil contains 600-1000 ppm of vitamin E”

– Source: The_Effect_of_Physical_Refining_on_Palm_Vitamin_E_(Tocopherol_Tocotrienol_and_Tocomonoenol

Red Palm Oil is food and can be fed safely as such. The only concern you would need to have for “overdoing it” is your pet’s tolerance for digesting fat (in general), if they enjoy the flavor (most love it, but some do not like it at all), as well as rare circumstances where an individual may have an allergic or negative reaction (it is not a high allergen food, so this would be rare, but it is always possible with any substance).

When using it as a food based supplement to accompany fish and fish oil supplements, simply scoop a bit of the oil to add it to their meals every time you feed fish or fish oil. You can feed it at room temperature or melt it – either way is fine. I am very conservative with supplementation in general, and so my recommendations for feeding (below) start low. You may decide to increase the amounts given, so long as your dog enjoys and tolerates eating more of this nutrient dense fat.

Daily feeding rates for Red Palm Oil, I suggest starting with:

small dogs, 1/2 tsp.

medium sized dogs, 1 tsp.

large dogs, 2 tsp.

I’d also like to refer all interested in reading more about Red Palm Oil to an excellent discussion and review of different brands done by Evita Ochel which can be found here.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Written by sfraw

July 22, 2015 at 2:04 pm

SFRAW Hosts NEW Royal Fishbox Subscription Program Every Thursday Night

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We’re pleased to announce a spectacular new seafood subscription program meticulously organized by Cynthia Yeh, Sustainability Coordinator at local sustainable seafood company, Royal Hawaiian Seafood called Royal Fishbox.

Royal Fishbox is a weekly subscription program that provides subscribers with a variety of INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS sustainable seafood every week in a nicely packaged box format that includes educational and suggested use/preparation information for the contents of each box.

Subscriptions cost $25/week and are delivered every Thursday afternoon to the SFRAW warehouse for you to pick-up. You do not need to be a SFRAW member to be a Royal Fishbox subscriber.

Ever wondered what other kinds of seafood are out there? Curious to learn more about the different sustainable seafood species available in the market and in your local restaurant? Interested in learning how to prepare unique cuts of fish or how to enjoy certain species of seafood?

Register now for Fishbox, a subscription program that offers a new variety of seafood every week!  Once you sign up, you can pick up your Fishbox at the “Fishbowl” location you chose.  Fishboxes will be in an ice chest awaiting retrieval at the designated time/date.

IMAG2592Each week, you’ll get a smart and tidy package of sample-size portions of seafood, packaged individually and labelled with QM codes for smartphone scanning to gather even more information online. You’ll also receive a weekly Themeletter that reviews the products contained in that week’s subscription box. Access fresh, high-quality, sustainable seafood (products typically exclusive to Chefs) while educating yourself on the environmental issues posed in today’s society.

Our goal is to provide culinary education, fish education and sustainability awareness to consumers. And of course to offer RHS’s best seafood to individuals!

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SHRIMP_ONO So far we’ve sampled some outstanding seafood with the Fishbox pilot program including last week’s Chilean Seabass (aka Patagonian toothfish). The week before we had fun with Rhode Island Towndock Squid (with tentacles), Mediterranean tenderized Cuttlefish (2-3 pieces of whole Sepia), and cuttlefish ink. July 10th we had packs of local Santa Cruz Pacific Rock crab (Pacific Stone crab) and West Coast Dungeness crab. Over July 4th the boxes were double sized and contained generous portions of Fort Bragg wild king salmon steaks and delicious shell-on headless sustainable domestic farmed shrimp. Our Japanese neighbor was overjoyed with the Fishhox which contained Sake Kama (salmon collars) and two Kampachi Kama (kampachi collars) – this is all very high quality seafood for you to eat, not to feed with your dogs or cats (well, not until after you’ve cooked or frozen it first!)

Enjoy and spread the word!

$10 BONUS for REFERRALS -> Remember, you receive $10 of RHS webstore credit for every new member you refer, that’s $10 you can spend on any product of your choosing (if available on the webstore)!

If you have any questions or feedback, find us at

chileanseabass3 SHRIMP_ONO logo IMAG2519

Written by sfraw

July 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Producers

NEW Supplier: BN Ranch Truly Pastured, Local Meats (Bolinas, CA)

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Some of you may have heard that we’ve recently established a relationship with a new supplier: BN Ranch.

BN Ranch is Bill Niman’s new fully pastured meat company located in Bolinas, CA.

First, we want to take a moment to extend a sincere “thank you” and much gratitude to our friend, strategic partner and mentor/guide, Jonathan Lewis of Pastoral Plate for facilitating and supporting this amazing connection. Thank you, Jonathan – you are wonderful!

BNlogoFor those of you unfamiliar with the name, Bill Niman was the founder of Niman Ranch. Bill is the visionary and idealist behind the brand that had a tremendous influence on how animals were being raised for food in the US. Bill Niman demanded an ethical, humane, sustainable departure from the cruel, harmful, industrialized food system that was (and continues to be) the industry standard of modern ranching. He is no longer associated with that business, to remain true to his ideals (read more about his departure from Niman Ranch here).

With BN Ranch, Bill has returned to ranching with an uncompromised vision to operate an ethical, environmentally sound ranch while producing truly sustainable, totally pastured & exceptionally high quality meats. From conception/field to table/consumption, every aspect is conducted with the utmost care and concern – I have been utterly impressed thus far with the attention to detail and quality of these products. We’re working closely with Bill on a program to incorporate his meats into our SFRAW branded products (treats & meals) as well as have his products available for sale to our members & customers.

This is a very exciting development for SFRAW! Bill’s experience & expertise in the industry is stellar; and his products reflect his undeniable commitment to quality. Thanks to Jonathan, I had the chance to spend the day at his ranch and home in Bolinas a few weeks ago, and since then, we’ve just started to bring in his products for sale here at SFRAW. He hand-delivered the first batch last week (& we quickly sold out) and today we got our second delivery –  nearly a full pallet of products priced to move quickly this week.

I can tell you, the quality of these products are just absolutely incredible. I’d love to hear feedback on how they work for you & your animals. We’re now using his beef in our Beef & Pumpkin Patties and Beef Jerky and they have been, hands-down, the best batches of these products we’ve made. Be sure to try these treats out with your beef loving dogs and cats! We have plenty in stock and are making more this week.

We are incredibly lucky to have this opportunity to work with a true legend and pioneer in the sustainable meat industry. What he’s doing at BN Ranch in Bolinas is absolutely wonderful. If you feed beef or turkey, you should absolutely try out these meats!

To learn more about his program at BN Ranch – check out his website: EAT LIKE IT MATTERS! 🙂 We love this motto!

Check out what we have available from BN Ranch this week (turkey & beef) below. Prices listed here are SFRAW member prices; non-members can shop at the warehouse for these products, too but will be charged 30% more at check-out.

Turkeys roaming free at BN Ranch during our farm tour visit.

Turkeys roaming free at BN Ranch during our farm tour visit.

1) Fully Pastured Broad-Breasted Whole Turkeys for just $2.70/lb. (DISCOUNTED! Regularly $4.05/lb)

Broad Breasted Turkey: These are TRULY pastured, entirely free-roaming/flying, never medicated, only supplemented with a GMO-free all-natural feed. The broad breasted turkey takes much less time to mature and is a good bird for lovers of white meat. It’s raised locally (Bolinas, CA) according to carefully pastured poultry standards. “B” birds are whole birds (no heads or feet attached, but with gibs included) are smaller/irregular shaped or sized birds for a very discounted price. They just don’t meet their size or shape standards. Nothing wrong with them, perfectly safe to eat (people, dogs, cats)! Some are missing a wing or are irregularly shaped, others are just small — great prey model meal for dogs and cats, or make for your family and share/give certain parts to your pets. Beautifully packaged as a single bird in a nice clean box; vacuum sealed with gibs packed into the cavity.

FRESH & Absolutely Gorgeous Truly Pastured Beef:

2) PET FOOD Grind – first “test run” available at a one-time DISCOUNTED price of just $1.35/lb. This is a screaming deal for this exceptional product!!! Limited supply available. FRESH, not frozen. The reason why we’re offering this grind for this extraordinarily low price is the fat % is higher than we had expected and this test run did not contain liver. Future batches should contain liver & will be lower in fat. This is a grind of 30-35% fat, muscle meat and 5% kidney. Packed into 5 and 10-lb. bags.

3) Ground Beef:

Regular 25% fat $4.45/lb.

Lean 20% fat $5.33/lb.

Super Lean 5% fat $6.10/lb.

Packed into 5-lb. and 10-lb. packs.  This is the very same beef being used in the burgers voted “Best of SF” recently at Kronner Burger ( The taste is spectacular! Enjoy.

4) Cross Cut Shanks for $4.75/lb.

Incredible bone-in osso buco steaks, 2” thick/high cut. This would be a wonderful, supervised jaw-working, teeth cleaning meaty meal for a small dog that would end with a recreational chew bone for dessert. Beneficial & nutritious marrow is included. This particular cut may not be safe, however, for medium to large dogs unless you removed the meat off of the bone to feed – which you can easily do. These bones could then be used to make a highly nutritious broth.

5) Boneless Beef Trim $4.05/lb.

Beautiful, fresh packs of lean beef trim; nice big hunks of muscle meat, excellent for any & all dogs & cats.

6) Very Meaty Beef Neck Bones $4.05/lb.

Small sized bulk cases approx.10-12-lbs each

7) Beef Kidney Fat/Leaf Lard $1.35/lb.

Calling all WAPF, paleo-diet, Nourishing Traditions eaters/devotees, gourmet foodies and skilled pastry chefs – this is for you! Dog & cats can also benefit from incorporating this into their diet if they need additional nutrition, calories and fat – leaf lard/tallow is very nutritious, has cancer fighting properties, and helps to promote luxurious, shiny, healthy fur/skin.

For those wanting to know more about how to use this highly nutritious, beneficial traditional food, check out these links:

These products are not yet in our online shopping cart, but we are happy to take orders via email and over the phone. For SFRAW members, we can deliver to you along with your regular order this month – just inquire so we can make arrangements to do so.

Enjoy!!! As you can tell from the glowing tone of this post, we’re very excited about this beautiful new venture with Bill Niman and BN Ranch – we hope this association will benefit you and your entire family.


Kasie Maxwell Founder/Owner, SFRAW

SFRAW 250 Napoleon Street, Unit G San Francisco, CA 94124 W: 415-225-0589 F: 866-332-2698

OPEN: Thursday 9am-7pm Friday 9am-7pm Saturday 9am-5pm Sunday 12-5pm CLOSED: Monday-Wednesday

Written by sfraw

August 2, 2013 at 9:10 am

Posted in Producers

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