Fred Provenza

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2019

Mending Broken Linkages: Soil, Plants, Herbivores, and Humans


Fred Provenza, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Behavioral Ecology at Utah State University Department of Wildland Resources


Ardmore Convention Center
2401 N. Rockford Rd. Ardmore, Okla. 73401


7 pm - 8 pm

Registration Fee

There is no fee for this event.

Fred Provenza
Palates link animals with landscapes. An attuned palate, which enables animals to meet needs for nutrients and medicines, evolves from three interrelated processes: flavor-feedback associations that alter liking for foods, availability of wholesome foods, and learning in utero and early in life to eat nourishing combinations of foods. That occurs when herbivores forage on phytochemically rich landscapes, is less common when they forage on monoculture pastures or in feedlots, and is rare for people who forage in modern food outlets. Selection for yield, appearance, and transportability diminish the flavor, phytochemical richness, and nutritive value of fruits and vegetables for humans. Phytochemically impoverished feedlot diets can adversely affect the health of livestock and the flavor and nutritive value of meat and dairy for humans. While the flavors of produce, meat, and dairy have become blander, processed foods have become more desirable as people learned to link synthetic flavors with feedback from processed foods that obscure nutritional sameness and diminish health. The roles plants and animals once played in nutrition have been usurped by processed foods that are fortified and enriched in ways that adversely affect appetitive states and food preferences. The need to amend foods, and take supplements, could be eliminated by creating cultures that know how to grow and combine wholesome foods into meals that nourish and satiate for the health of people and the planet.