Friday, April 26, 2019

Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us About Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom

Continuing on with the idea we need to understand and re-embrace our space/place on this planet..

Self Loathing Humans Need Not Apply- Humans are Not A Cancer on the Planet

The book below is one I will be purchasing in short order:

Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us about Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom

Beautiful Cover Image
Reflections on feeding body and spirit in a world of change
Animal scientists have long considered domestic livestock to be too dumb to know how to eat right, but the lifetime research of animal behaviorist Fred Provenza and his colleagues has debunked this myth. Their work shows that when given a choice of natural foods, livestock have an astoundingly refined palate, nibbling through the day on as many as fifty kinds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs to meet their nutritional needs with remarkable precision.
In Nourishment Provenza presents his thesis of the wisdom body, a wisdom that links flavor-feedback relationships at a cellular level with biochemically rich foods to meet the body’s nutritional and medicinal needs. Provenza explores the fascinating complexity of these relationships as he raises and answers thought-provoking questions about what we can learn from animals about nutritional wisdom.
What kinds of memories form the basis for how herbivores, and humans, recognize foods? Can a body develop nutritional and medicinal memories in utero and early in life? Do humans still possess the wisdom to select nourishing diets? Or, has that ability been hijacked by nutritional “authorities”? Consumers eager for a “quick fix” have empowered the multibillion-dollar-a-year supplement industry, but is taking supplements and enriching and fortifying foods helping us, or is it hurting us?
On a broader scale Provenza explores the relationships among facets of complex, poorly understood, ever-changing ecological, social, and economic systems in light of an unpredictable future. To what degree do we lose contact with life-sustaining energies when the foods we eat come from anywhere but where we live? To what degree do we lose the mythological relationship that links us physically and spiritually with Mother Earth who nurtures our lives?
Provenza’s paradigm-changing exploration of these questions has implications that could vastly improve our health through a simple change in the way we view our relationships with the plants and animals we eat. Our health could be improved by eating biochemically rich foods and by creating cultures that know how to combine foods into meals that nourish and satiate. Provenza contends the voices of “authority” disconnect most people from a personal search to discover the inner wisdom that can nourish body and spirit. That journey means embracing wonder and uncertainty and avoiding illusions of stability and control as we dine on a planet in a universe bent on consuming itself.
Meanwhile I've been familiarizing myself with his ideas and information
Below is a link/embed to a very good talk given by Mr Provenza. It does include visual aids and is about 90 minutes in length. 


I hope you enjoy the presentation and will leave some feedback :) 


  1. Hi Penny: I watched the video. First off, without seeming too critical, I hope: the guy proved your point about education. He was very articulate and intelligent and knowledgeable, but he didn't know that "media" and "bacteria" are plurals, the singular being "medium" and "bacterium". This is often seen among many journalists as well.

    Other than that, he made excellent points. The scene where the one group of sheep stared at the other group of sheep as if wondering what they saw in the stuff they were eating was priceless. Also interesting was the possibility that obesity is a result of there not being enough nourishment in one's food, resulting in the urge to eat more and more of it.

    Also, it seems that grain-fed beef, for instance, can't possibly be as healthy as grass-fed when "grass" includes so many varieties of plants, and the animals get to choose what they prefer to eat.

    He also made an excellent point about longevity. No way I intend to live to be so old I'm decrepit and useless. Besides, my own mother lived to be 94, and it wasn't easy being in my 70's and still being told what to wear and when I needed to lose weight and then when I needed to gain some! But she was able to be in "assisted living" until almost the end, able to eat anything she wanted, drink coffee, eat big slices of cake and pie, munch on caramel corn (still had all her own teeth, even though they looked like baked beans) - you name it, and I don't begrudge her that at all.

    Me, I eat a very simple diet, after fasting for most of the day, until late afternoon, in order not to end up with digestive problems. Needless to say I don't attend the frequent pot lucks that are held in my apartment building.

    On a humorous note, maybe, I craved french fries the whole time I was carrying my daughter, and she now makes the world's tastiest french fries (using olive oil in a frying pan).

    Great article, Penny! Hope your garden does well this year despite the late season.

    1. I saw snow today!!!! Snow. It just flew in the air around 9:45 am It was jus above freezing with a bitter wind. Unbelievable cold for April and unbelievable cold for a world that is warming due to carbon (rolls eyes)

      I enjoyed the presentation very much. I listened 3 times. So I could extract as much info as possible
      I'm looking forward to the book that's for sure.

      Just got to finish two others I'm working on at this moment.

      He made so many interesting points that I couldn't even begin to talk about them all.

      From food through to culture- to the way we've been manipulated by big petro agriculture- to the condition of our soils and on and on..

      As for the garden? Our tomatoes are indoors still.
      No tilling yet. Our garlic is doing well (planted late fall last year- 56 beautiful plants)

      and I got to forage for nettles and eat them- people should eat nettles- they are super good and very tasty
      I really like them. I've made them into soup. Put them on pizza. Cooked and eaten them with a fried egg in a 'breakfast sandwich' (nettle/egg/cheese/english muffin)

  2. "people should eat nettles- they are super good and very tasty".

    Wait a sec: what I got from the video is that we should eat what our individual bodies tell us to eat. That made me feel much better about my very simple food habits, because there is so much hype out there, so many food fads, it gets confusing. (Thoreau thought a piece of bread with molasses was all anyone needed on a boat trip. But he was a stoic!)

    All to say that I'm glad you love nettles because somebody has to. Most people wouldn't even have thought of it. You are a true earth mother!

  3. Hey Yaya "what I got from the video is that we should eat what our individual bodies tell us to eat"

    Yah, but my body tells me to eat nettles :)

    Most people have never tasted them so their bodies wouldn't know- though nettles have a long history of being consumed by people

    We've even eaten cheese with nettle rind
    ie: the cheese was wrapped in nettle leaves

    I've had the one linked above and other types

    and nettle pizza with pancetta
    did I mention I eat dandelion leaves as well ?
    I'll read the link, and I consider being an earth mother as a compliment :)

  4. I"m so glad you saw it as compliment. Regardless of my bland tastes and citified ways, I at least somehow raised an earth mother, so that's my contribution to the good of society;-)