#974 Animal Nutrition

You at the Zoo

The other day I did my normal morning thing. Only, this time after my Trail session I had my breakfast/first meal a little earlier than usual. 9:30am to be precise.

I sat down at the kitchen table with my salad and noticed the latest Zoo News quarterly magazine from the local (Santa Barbara) Zoo we like to visit.

I flip it open.

I land on an article about Animal Nutrition featuring a virtual tour by the zoo’s resident Animal Nutritionist.

There’s a great little Q&A that made me laugh with joy at how perfect their zoo nutrition ideas are for our modern primate lives.

That’s what we’re going to talk about Today. 🤓

Question1: “Do you ever change the animals’ diets?

Answer1: “We have around 145 species of animals and are always learning new information about what is best to feed them. We partner with research programs and keep up with the latest trends, so animal diets are continually being adjusted to reflect this research.

Note1: Insert first chuckle. I LOVE that. Optimizing nutritional approaches with new research for the win!

Question2: “What is an example of a change?

Answer2: “Modern hybridized fruit contains more sugar and less fiber than fruit typically found in wild primate habitats, for example. Since we don’t have access to that fruit, we utilize a commercially-produced biscuit that is low in sugar. Bananas and grapes are now occasional treats rather than mainstays gibbon diets.

Note2: Remember: YOU are also a “wild” primate. That modern hybridized fruit with too much sugar and not enough fiber that isn’t good enough for those zoo monkeys? Perhaps it’s not good enough for you either. 🐵

Question3: “What are the biggest trends right now?

Answer3: “We are moving towards diets that are more nutritionally similar to those that an animal would consume in the wild.

Note3: Well that sure makes a lot of sense, eh? (btw: I repeat: YOU are also a wild primate. 🐒 ) (We have a Note on a book called Go Wild by Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey you might enjoy.)

Question4: “How do the exotic animal food companies respond to special dietary needs?

Answer4: “Our gibbon Jasmine has diabetes and we can manage it just through her diet. The commercial ‘glucose-free primate diet’ we use comes as a powder that is mixed with water and sets up overnight, like Jell-O. We also limit sugary fruits, so instead of grapes and bananas, she now gets apples and pears.

Note4: What? You can manage a primate’s diabetes with nutrition alone? Oh, if only (all) our doctor’s offices and hospitals had their own Zoo Nutritionists.

That’s Today’s +1.

Let’s honor the inner monkey within.

And go wild with our nutrition.

🙈 🙉 🙊

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