Landscapes with rich arrays of forages and foodscapes with rich assortments of wholesome foods are nutrition centres and pharmacies for herbivores and humans. Whether herbivore or human, health ensues when cultures learn to combine biochemically rich foods into meals that nourish and satiate. Biochemically rich diets include not only energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins, but also a host of other compounds—such as phenolics, terpenes, and alkaloids—with nutritional, prophylactic, and therapeutic benefits. We discuss some not-so-obvious ways food systems undermine biochemically rich alternatives and choices to the detriment of herbivores and humans. We also consider how food systems can enable individuality in form (morphology), function (physiology), and behavior by providing biochemically rich foods. We conclude by discussing how providing a variety of wholesome foods— and letting the wisdom of the body guide food selection—can enhance the health and well-being of herbivores and humans.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 78, Lincoln, 204-211, 2018
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