What is a crisis?
A crisis is an event that dramatically changes the landscape of our lives, negatively affecting our habits, lifestyle, and relationships. In view of the global example - COVID-19 - we dash madly to Costco’s and Sam’s warehouses to stock up on what we deem the “essentials” - Clorox wipes, toilet paper, bottled water, and hand sanitizer.
If people knew that their bodies were heading towards a crisis diagnosis of cancer or heart disease or Alzheimer's, what kinds of nutrition would they “stock up” on now to try to avert it?
Nutrition is never a crisis. You never know you have a nutritional deficiency until it manifests as lethargy, low thyroid hormone levels, and weight gain that your doctor diagnoses as hypothyroidism, or a high fever, weakness, and abnormal cells in your bone marrow that the doctor calls leukemia. External trauma aside, your body is always sliding progressively back and forth on a spectrum from Health to Illness, and nutrition is the crucial catalyst that decides which direction your body is heading. Move far enough along the spectrum towards Illness, and maladies start to crop up and gain names. In contrast, move closer to the Health end of the spectrum, and you have built up an innate defense against Illness, as the body has to face multiple breakdowns at multiple levels before it can no longer keep up.
In a society where over 50% of pets will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, it is hard to imagine that nutritional deficiency doesn’t have something to do with it. Highly processed, nutritionally stripped dry kibble provides only the bare necessities to support life (all the AAFCO requires for a food to be labeled as “balanced and complete” is for it to support life in 8 animals for 6 months - up to 25% of the animals are allowed to leave the study and up to a 15% weight loss is acceptable. There is no criteria for weight gain), and canned varieties aren’t much better with their inclusion of stabilizers and preservatives. Our environment is becoming increasingly more toxic, with nutritional density of our produce dropping anywhere from 20-80% over the last 40 years and Glyphosate showing its face in our drinking water, air, and even organic produce. A minimalist approach to simply “supporting life” isn’t going to cut it anymore.
What is one to do?
Feed a varied, whole, fresh, raw-meat-based diet. Support a healthy gut microbiome with a comprehensive mix of detoxifying botanicals, lactic acid yeast, prebiotics, and probiotics. Routinely evaluate your pet’s need for antioxidant support and additional nutritional support when minor complaints arise. Find a animal healthcare provider whose beliefs align with yours. Get exercise. Breathe fresh air. Love life, love yourself, and love that your companion animal is a part of it.
Association of American Feed Control Officials. 2018 Official Publication.
Davis et al. Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999
A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997
Scientific American – Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?
A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal
Anne-Marie Mayer Independent Researcher, Devon, UK – Historical changes in the mineral content of fruits and vegetables
Donald R. Davis in HortScience – Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence?
Davis et al. Domestic Dogs and Cancer Research: A Breed-Based Genomics Approach. ILAR J. 2014; 55(1): 59–68.