A revolution in pet care?
According to this recent article, a company called Petfolk announced to "revolutionize" the vet biz.
"Petfolk is a modern vet practice built by vets who love pets. Petfolk is at the forefront of transforming the fragmented, understaffed veterinary industry by providing modern, accessible, professional pet care facilities accompanied by a proprietary technology and data platform for consumers."
This is fantastic news, because the industry really needs it. Currently the vet world is monopolized by behemoth companies like MARs Inc., a sugar company who owns 41 brands of kibble, thousands of animal hospitals including the VCA, Banfield and Blue Pearl, make large donations to vet schools and parter with vaccine companies to sell their products for profit, not optimize the health of our animals.
Hopefully, Petfolk will achieve what it seeks out to do. Unfortunately, there are some red flags already though. The co-CEO and founder, Michael Wystrach, was the owner of Freshly, "a healthy meal delivery service offering nutrient-packed dishes with restaurant-quality taste" (see his Linkedin Profile here).
However, despite their claim to health, and as bit of a health fanatic, I did some digging. I took a look at some of their meals and many of them had added refined seed oils, "natural flavors" (which are anything but natural), anti-caking agents, which are anything but healthy as they are linked to increased inflammation and gut disruption. These ingredients are cheap, keep the cost down for them, and enable them to profit more, after all it is a business. Shadily, you have to dig a bit deeper to find these ingredients by clicking an extra link, which isn't a big deal, but they advertise the clean/healthy ingredients at first. And, if you don't know any better, you think you are buying healthy meals, but you actually aren't. Freshly was recently sold to behemoth company, Nestle in October 2020 for $950 million. You can read more about the acquisition here.
So, if the CEO and founder of Freshly is cool with using less than ideal ingredients in human foods, I am a bit skeptical about decisions made about pet health by Petfolk too.
The other co-CEO and founder, Dr. Audrey Wystrach, DVM was a team manger at Banfield Pet Hospital, aka MARs Inc. hospital, which is a slight red flag, but nothing so significant in my opinion.
Although I am skeptical of Petfolks' ability to to truly revolutionize pet care, I hope they do and I hope I am wrong because the industry really needs it.
-Written by Erica L.