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Zu: Healthy Dogs Are Happy dogs

ZU Healthy Dogs Are Happy Dogs

Story and Photos by Morgan Rhodes

Welcome to my corner of the world.

I’m a professional photographer, mostly shooting food and auto racing. I was in the film and TV industry for almost 20 years in Los Angeles, then got into auto–racing media seven years ago. I live in the Atlanta area now and travel monthly during the season.

One of the best parts of traveling is trying out new restaurants with colleagues. There’s nothing like having a great meal after a long day at the track. When not at the track, I’m creating photo projects, shooting food, and baking along with my professional taste tester, Zu, my German shepherd. Nothing gets by Zu. He has a very refined palate. My project supervisor is my cat, Figment, who is very curious about all things going on in the kitchen.

I am also proud to be a photographer, creative contributor and senior producer to Veracity Media Group and Nourish and Flourish™, a new international special–interest lifestyle publication dedicated to food origination, nutrition, regenerative farming, soil health, animal well-being, seasonal recipes, science, technology, and more! This article was first featured in Volume 1, which was released earlier in the summer. I have added a few of my favorite photos, recipes, and videos.

I hope you enjoy! Morgan

morganrhodes.com | morganskitchn.com

Article and recipes first appeared in Volume 1 2019 edition of Nourish and Flourish™.

If you enjoy baking as much as I do, you can take that first step of providing better nutrition by making your own organic dog treats. The recipes are very simple and basic, a fun project to do with your kids.

~ Morgan Rhodes, Photographer, Food Blogger, and Baker

Food specifically for pets, “pet food,” was first introduced around 1860 by Ohio electrician James Spratt. He had seen dogs being fed leftover biscuits meant for sailors, so he formulated his own “dog biscuit” consisting of wheat meal, vegetables, beet root, and beef ’s blood. It was a huge success, and Spratt was providing a valuable resource for sporting dogs in Great Britain. Spratt began producing his dog biscuits around 1895 for the United States’ market. Other companies started developing their own recipes for both biscuits and dry food, or “kibble.” Ken-L-Ration canned dog food, containing horsemeat, was introduced in 1922. The nutrient values and ingredients being used were acceptable at the time based on the knowledge of the industry. Dogs went from eating human-grade table scraps to processed condensed food in a sixty-year span. As animal science progressed, so did nutrition, according to PetFoodInstitute. org. Horsemeat is no longer used and many of the ingredients are now human-grade or organic; vitamin levels are more balanced for a dog’s lifespan. And we now have regulations on processing to ensure the safety of the food.

Within the last twenty years, human-grade organic pet foods have gained more traction. According to PackagedFacts.com, millennial consumers, ages 18 to 34, are partly responsible for the increase, as they choose to live a more sustainable and holistic lifestyle. As we became more interested in putting cleaner foods into our bodies, our thoughts naturally turned to what we were actually feeding our pets. Many are feeding dogs raw food, going back to the time when the wolf was “top dog.” Questions are still asked: Is it safe? Is it really healthy for our dogs when we’ve been told over and over that it’s not good to feed our dogs “people” food? It all depends on what you’re actually feeding them.

Morgan’s Organic Sweet Potato and Carrot Cookies

Ingredients When possible, use all organic ingredients.

3 cups oat flour ½ cup boiled or baked sweet potato ½ cup grated carrots 2 eggs ¾ cup water

Method Preheat oven to 350˚.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, add oat flour, sweet potato, carrots, 1 egg, and water. Mix well until combined into a ball. With a rolling pin, roll dough out to ¼ inch in thickness on an oat-floured surface.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Whip second egg in a bowl and brush the top of each treat.

Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes, until treats are golden brown. Time will vary depending on your oven. Turn off your oven and allow treats to cool for 1 hour. This will help make them crunchier. If still warm after removing from oven, cool on a wire rack.

Treats can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.