I LOVE that on this board, the only argument is HOW to feed raw!
I've done a fair amount of research into studies around this topic lately (background for my article) and I've come to respect/accept ground as a viable alternative to frankenprey. While, yes, there is some degradation of nutrient content inherent in the grinding process, I have found nothing to indicate it is of any real concern. There is, in fact, no more indication that grinding damages food than there is that freezing damages foods. Yes, there is degradation in both "processes", but, again, not enough to cause a substantive drop in quality.
Especially if the grinding is done at home and the foods are frozen immediately afterward.
The one piece that I have found that should
be a cause for concern is the dental factor. This study was buried deep and has taken months to find.... Influence of diet consistency on periodontal disease in captive carnivores
. Actually, no, I wasn't able to find it at all - it was sent to me by another researcher!
Here is the highlight of the study: Soft, wet foods cause plaque build-up. Harsh, dry foods cause gum irritations and lesions. It is only through the action of tearing, ripping and scissoring through meat, tendons and bones that carnivores receive the stimulation necessary to maintain dental health.
Dental disease is rampant in the feline and canine pet populations, and poor dental health can have serious ramifications for the animal; for this point alone, I would chose frankenprey over ground.
However, not every cat will eat chunks or whole prey, and I don't believe their owners should be fussed at for feeding ground. They are willing to go to a lot of effort to give their furchildren a nutritious, species-appropriate diet, and that's a good thing.