Should Parrot Food Be Organic?
What passes through your bird's beak is important! That's probably why you're wondering if you should be switching to a more organic parrot food. It's a topic worth bringing into the conversation. If you are working on the particulars of creating an optimized diet for your pet bird. No, it's not "spoiling" your bird to want to provide the best, most nutritious options available. It should ruffle your feathers a bit to think about what might be lurking in some non-organic bird foods. The reality is that you should be looking at your bird's diet the same way you look at your own diet. After all, the goal of creating a "menu plan" for your parrot is to foster health, happiness, and longevity for your treasured companion. It might make sense to you that organic food is beneficial for birds. However, you may still be interested in digging into the how and why of the matter before you finalize a parrot diet plan in your home. Let's dive into why quality ingredients are what allow a bird's health to really take flight!
Why Organic in Parrot Food MattersChoosing organic food for your bird isn't a matter of being "fancy" or "picky" with your buying choices. It's really a matter of understanding how and why some, not all, food choices can actually be harmful to the health of your bird. Unfortunately, some real dangers could be hidden in low-quality bird foods that don't use organic ingredients. Here's a look at some of the causes for concern that are often found in non-organic foods:
- Artificial preservatives
A Cautionary Tale About Bird DietsWhat a bird eats has a very direct and immediate impact on its health. According to a detailed articled published by National Geographic, a huge decline in songbirds in the wild has been linked to the use of common insecticides. Researchers found that songbirds that consumed seeds treated with harmful insecticides experienced severe weight loss that dramatically decreased their ability to thrive. National Geographic also details how similar findings have been made when studying the impact of foods laced with insecticides on birds in captivity.
The Glyphosate Problem in Parrot FoodThere's a long list of harmful chemicals that are used on various crops around the world. However, one especially troubling herbicide that you're bound to run into when sourcing foods for your pet bird is called glyphosate. Let's talk about why you should at least be informed about the use of glyphosate in crops that are commonly used in bird food even if you ultimately decide to skip going organic. Glyphosate is heavily used on corn crops. There's a very good chance that any non-organic bird food that you purchase will contain corn that was grown with the use of glyphosate. According to the American Bird Conservancy, close to 100 percent of corn on the market is treated with potentially harmful insecticides and herbicides. Why is this potentially problematic? First, there's a lot that we don't know about the long-term effects of glyphosate and other treatments. Most of what we do know has to do with research conducted on the impact of glyphosate on human health. It's notable that the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as being “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015. Corn isn't the only crop that is commonly grown with glyphosate. Here's a rundown of the ingredients commonly found in bird food that can be assumed to have been grown with glyphosate when not sold under an organic label:
- Oats and grains
What Are the Best Organic Foods to Give to Parrots?The list above of the four ingredients that should only be given to your bird when sourced from organic, non-GMO sellers should serve as the baseline for putting together a health-focused menu for your bird. The good news is that it's pretty simple to whip up an organic parrot diet for your bird. That's because you can simply choose to rely on an organic mix that sources and combines organic or non-GMO ingredients for you while allowing you to offer the nutritional variety and balance your bird needs and craves. Start with a Bird Street Bistro sample pack to discover which variety your bird finds to be the most irresistible! We never use fillers, additives, sulfites, preservatives, artificial colors, sugars, salt, or artificial flavorings in any of our tasty mixes! What about when you're giving your bird fresh fruits and vegetables? We know that there are some fruits and vegetables that make the list for the worst offenders in terms of pesticide residue. Here's the list of the "dirtiest" produce from the Environmental Working Group (EWG):