Recently, I had a phone call with two of 50 international highly renowned professors of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE). I had some questions about the book Reference Values for the Nutrition Supply (first edition, published in 2000, ISBN: 3-8295-7114-3; 240 pages; available in book stores for 14,-)
In case you follow the instructions mentioned in the book - and if you are lucky, you might get very old, indeed. So I asked the authors some questions about the diet for me and my dog.They could not answer the questions concerning my dog, since they told me they do not know anything on animal nutrition. Unfortunately, they could not answer my questions either.
Common people think of universities as temples of knowledge and wisdom. I also regarded universities as abodes of science and research. In case one discovers something, everybody is happy and the newspapers are full. In case one discovers nothing, the searching continues till it succeeds. In some cases, one even discovers something which was not looked for. If this is the case, the whole public is happy about the scientific breakthrough.
Back to my correspondence with the two earlier mentioned scientists. After they were not able to answer my precise questions, I tried to finish the conversation in a friendly way by asking a rather simple question concerning the DGE recommendation for public health, called Five-a-Day. This recommendation says: one should consume a balanced diet of five meals a day, respectively 650 g of fruit and vegetables (half of it raw). Intentionally, I omitted silly questions like: When are meals served at universities, usually? After a funny kind of conversation I came to the sad conclusion: For me, it is impossible to meet the DGE nutrition recommendations without risking negative economic effects. If everybody would live after Five-a-Day, the world would be completely different and the end would be near (no cars, no jogging shoes, clothes pegs) All life on this planet would be extinguished, all life, but animal life since animals are not capable of reading DGE recommendations.
I ask for the readers patience for this lengthy introduction. In my opinion, it is necessary to talk about human and animal nutrition at the same, since there is a complex nexus between them. Without this nexus a complete understanding of nutrition is not possible. Keeping this in mind, it has to be said that the bodys supply with essential nutrients is not just highly complicated, but will never be completely known. Every being reacts differently to foods; which even goes for carrots. If this werent so, the world would be better off with, e.g., dry feed for all plus water, dietary physiologically balanced for the young and old, small and tall, slim and fat, healthy and ill. During writing this text, I have a craving for colourfully packages reading: For seniors, big breed, high activity even when sitting
The following scientifically correct scale proves this right:
0 ------------------------------------ 50 ----------------- 80 ------------- 100
0 all pure plant eaters (herbivores)
50 beings which consume mixed food, like humans or pigs (mixtivores)
80 no strict meat eaters, like dogs (faunavores)
100 strict predators, which even feed on the contents of their preys innards, like cats (strict faunavores)
Now one can see that nature supplies us with everything we need, the food industry comes up for the rest. Herbivores get animal substances as additives (the diseases stemming from this are well-known). Humans and pigs are under fire, anyway. And about 50% of all German dogs are forced to feed on industrial food (dry or wet). With cats the joke comes to a quicker end.
I have come to this conclusion: If dogs could survive just on frolics and water, simple, handy, clean and with little excrements, they are priviliged. I urge this privilege for me, too. Since I am not willing to consider what I should eat day after day, over and over, or where I should eat what (during my business life I have come in touch with many delicious meals all over the world) I ask for the following:
Frolics for all or, at least, for me.
Even dogs get them!
© Peter Grunert
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