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Category — Eat Like an Animal

Tips For Eating Like An Animal

OK, we’ve established that animals eat better than we do. So here are some tips to help you eat like an animal:

4. Don’t eat out so often – Many Americans eat out far more than they eat a home cooked meal. Unfortunately, restaurants fill their food with way more fat and salt than you’d use at home, to make it taste better and to get you to come back often. But you wouldn’t let your dog eat there.

3. Don’t eat anything from a gas station – If snacks and sandwiches can sit around for months, they probably have more chemicals and additives than we can absorb. And you certainly wouldn’t buy food for your cat from a gas station snack rack.

2. No soda pop. Nada. – Both sugar free and regular soft drinks are bad for your teeth and for your body. They, and most sweetened drinks, are just bad for you all the way around. Besides, you only let your pet drink water anyway!

1. Eat a colorful plate – The first time I went in for a colonoscopy, the nurse gave me a big ole lecture about my diet. She said she could tell that I eat too much dairy, meat, sugar and white flour. Instead, she wanted me to mostly eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and to go sparingly on the others. It sounded complicated at the time.

But of course, not once I started eating like an animal.

Listen to 90-Second Naturalist “Tips for Eating Like an Animal” podcast.

February 6, 2012   1 Comment

The Zoo Diet

I am proud to say that at the Cincinnati Zoo, just like the zoo in your town, we have the very best food available. By miles. In fact, we go around the globe, sparing no expense, to procure the very freshest whole foods, anywhere – for our animals. No zoo animals eat junk food. Nor do they get weird, processed foods from a box that contains all sorts of impossible to comprehend additives.

When I come in on Saturdays to work with the zoo keepers, I am always impressed at the variety and actual beauty of the food we prepare for our animals. It looks like I imagine a snazzy farmer’s market must look in places like the Hamptons or Carmel – colorful, fresh, whole foods.

In all, at the Cincinnati Zoo we spend over $1 million every year on our food bill. And you wouldn’t believe the things we bring in for our animals. Every day we fly fig and ficus branches in from San Diego to feed our Sumatran rhinos – by far our most expensive animals to feed. Our Florida manatees are our second most expensive eaters, each chowing through 100 pounds of romaine lettuce and kale per day. And of course elephants have mammoth appetites. Each of our four Asian elephants eats about 250 pounds of food every day, including timothy hay, alfalfa, grains, vegetables and fruits.

Listen to the 90-Second Naturalist “Zoo Diet” podcast.

February 5, 2012   3 Comments

Eat Like an Animal – Keep it Simple

You don’t have to be Michael Pollan to recognize we have some problems with how we eat these days. As Director of the Cincinnati Zoo, I see hundreds of people every day through my office window, and I can assure you that the reports are true: we’ve gotten bigger.

Well, the answer to our food crisis is in keeping it simple – and eating like an animal. [Read more →]

February 3, 2012   2 Comments