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

Publish date:
November 26, 2018
Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us about Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom

"Nourishment will change the way you eat and the way you think."―Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect

"[Provenza is] a wise observer of the land and the animals [and] becomes transformed to learn the meaning of life."―Temple Grandin

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”?

  • 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.

"Nourishment is a conversation between science, culture, and a greater spiritual or cosmological umbrella."―Montana Public Radio

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Famine Foods
Foods that are depended upon during famines or when the preferred food isn't available. Generally, this means low quality plant foods, but could even be things like boiled leather skins used for clothing.
Nutritional Degeneration
The degeneration of the body through a changing nutrition from animal to plant foods.
Civilized Food
When the civilized food of intruding Europeans is introduced to native indigenous lands changing a nutritional revolution for the worse. This typically means white flour, sugar, corn, rice, cooking seed oils, and alcohol.
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