Part 1 with Dr. Fred Provenza: Animal Feed as Medicine
In this first webinar in a three-part series, guest presenter Dr. Fred Provenza will discuss the wisdom of the body focusing on livestock and how animal feed can serve a medicinal purpose. Please see below for more information about Part 1 and the series as a whole.

Overview of the webinar series: In this three-part series, Dr. Fred Provenza will discuss how palates link animals with foodscapes - those parts of landscapes animals use to nourish and self-medicate - through three interrelated processes: 1) availability of foods, 2) flavor-feedback relationships, and 3) transgenerational linkages to landscapes: 

First, animals must have access to a variety of wholesome foods. The more they are restricted - for instance to a monoculture pasture or a feedlot ration for livestock or to ultra-processed foods for humans - the less they can sustain health.

Second, liking for the flavors of foods is mediated by feedback from cells and organ systems throughout the body, including the microbiome, in response to nutritional and medicinal needs. Those needs are met by nutrients (energy, protein, minerals, vitamins) and the thousands of compounds that diverse mixtures of plants produce (phenols, terpenes, alkaloids). 

Third, mother is a transgenerational link to landscapes. Her knowledge - of what and what not to eat and where and where not to go to forage - is essential for helping her offspring get a start in life. Her influence begins in the womb (through flavors in her amniotic fluid), and continues at birth (through flavors in her milk) and when her offspring begin to forage (as a model for what and what not to eat).

Collectively, these processes enable the wisdom of the body to be manifest in animals that are locally adapted to the environments they inhabit.

Background for Part 1: We will begin this three-part series by discussing how access to a variety of forages affects flavor-feedback associations and enables livestock to meet nutritional and medicinal needs. Understanding these relationships creates opportunities for people to consider the costs and benefits of cafeteria mineral supplements; to train livestock to eat (invasive plants) or avoid (poisonous plants, grape vines in vineyards, young trees in forest plantations) particular plants; and to rejuvenate landscapes for the benefit of both wild and domestic animals.
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