Blue Ridge Beef is affordable, and finding a distributor for their product is straightforward (check their website). Also, they have been doing raw pet food since 1979 and are family owned and operated; sounds wholesome, right?! However, what stuck with me the most was a quote on their site stating, "food is no longer 'real' when men change things from their natural state to increase profits. Instead, it becomes a manufactured imitation." I 100% percent agree.
So let's get to the meals!
They offer a different range of natural fresh, and flash-frozen products for cats and dogs. My dog, Yenko, tried BRB, Natural Mix (Includes Green Tripe but no bone), Beef with Bone, and Venison with bone. In this post, we will focus mainly on Beef with Bone.
Nutritional Info: Ground Beef, Ground Beef Bone-no organ meats
Protein- 19.63% Fat- 10.16% Fiber- 0.72%
Ash- 1.47% Moisture- 63.02% Calcium- 2820.5 mg/100g
Phosphorus- 2430 mg/100g Energy- 2052 kcal/kg
Is it balanced and complete:? Blue Ridge Beef offers only the BRB Complete as a meal you can feed without adding anything additional. To the BRB, I would still add a fish source. I had to add organs and other supplemental items to complete and balance all the other meals Yenko had. Yenko is on a Barf diet, so by supplemental items, I mean fruits and veggies and single-ingredient treats and chews.
Weight and packaging of the product: All their meals come in 2-pound and sometimes 5-pound chubs; we tried a variety of the 2-pound chubs, and their weight teetered between 31 ounces and a little over 32 ounces ( I am very picky when it comes to weight. I want to ensure I am getting what I paid for, which is two pounds of product and not 31 ounces of meat and 1 ounce of a plastic coating) so weight is a tiny bit inconsistent.
Visuals of the meat: Nice red color typical of beef with fragments of crushed bone. According to their website, their foods don't contain artificial ingredients, gluten, grain or imported materials, meat and bone meal or organ fillers, or no color or taste additives. But no mention of the animal's feed (grain can lead to intolerance in some dogs)or their protein sources because I want to ensure this meat is from a humane place. So I reached out and received an answer, "our beef products are comprised of a mix of grass-fed, grain-fed, and other conventional feed methods." Of course, I figured it based on their price point!
Taste: It looks attractive, and even its smell appeals to the dog. Its moisture content is high, which makes it juicy and easy to eat and digest for dogs. My partner Oscar and I cooked the beef with bone at a low temperature, which tasted like regular beef with bone.
Poop: My dog, Yenko's poop while on this food was ok. Color, size, and consistency was normal, although it was a bit harder than I'd liked, but not by much. This can be possible because of the amount of bone in the recipe and or lack of hydration.
Price: A 2-pound pack is about $8-10.
Delivery: Find a local distributor on their website; they are usually small businesses.
Other things to note: While doing my due diligence, the FDA issued Blue Ridge Beef a warning in June 2020 for violations ranging from Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals regulation. The family that owns Lea-Way Farm does business as Blue Ridge Beef. Their violations are of unsanitary conditions and the questioning of meat sources as if the animals have died other than by slaughter. Blue Ridge Beef replied on Facebook, "the Warning Letter is addressed to Lea-Way Farms. We want to take this time to inform our customers that this does not pertain in any fashion to the Blue Ridge Beef facility producing in Georgia. Both facilities are entirely separate entities and operate independently from each other. Blue Ridge Beef-GA has worked diligently to produce a safe, nutritional, and wholesome product for your pets." To me, there is no conclusion if Blue Ridge Beef uses "bad meat" or not. Is Blue Ridge Beef as transparent as I would like them to be? No, but the choice of feeding this is ultimately yours. What I saw and fed to my dog (and myself) seemed like ordinary beef. Thankfully, I tried this before diving deep into Blue Ridge Beefs' issues to produce an unopinionated review on the raw food.