“Living bodies require living food.”
All this chatter; some say our birds need to consume living enzymes from raw food to enhance their optimal nutritional profile. Others says enzymes from raw food are absolutely worthless. Who is correct?
Each of us need to decide for ourselves. I will tell you straight up that I opt for living enzymes from raw food. I honestly cannot see where eating highly processed, basically dead food; food that has been treated with high temperatures, cooked beyond all recognition, mechanically extruded using high pressure is a viable source of nutrition. Science has proved that the original nutrients are destroyed and removed by such processes to the point that synthetic nutrients must be added back in for the food to have any viable, quantitative nutrition to register when laboratory analyzed. It just isn’t my cup of tea for me, my family or any of my pets! Living creatures require living food in order to, well…LIVE!
Still, there are corporate shills who fill Facebook and Yahoo groups among other social media forums who will repeat the same false dis- and misinformation over and over and over again. They hide behind names appearing as innocent bird-lovers when they are nothing more than paid sales people shoveling out lies and reversing the truth about healthy nutrition for our birds. They delight in taking crap shots at people who want to help others feed their beloved avian friends the best. They are actually selling crappy food to the avian community by convincing us that feeding healthy, live, raw food is bad for our birds; this is how the game is designed. These shills know if they con the general public by stating the same false information over and over enough times that sooner or later most people will hear those lies repeating in their heads as repetitious tapes and actually begin to believe their lies! This is how our society has bought into so many of the lies of so many false advertising schemes peddled by the BIG corporations and snake oil sales people. Convincing people grain-based, cardboard looking kibble coated with a cheap carrier oil laced with synthetic vitamins is healthy for our birds!…All nothing more than highly processed kibble; if you want a dead body, feed it dead food.
Those who are against feeding enzymes to our birds will tell us that enzymes don’t survive the digestive process due to internal pH levels and the digestive acids in the digestive tract. This is categorically false information. Like all living matter digestive enzymes are made of a variety of pH levels and contain a variety of amino acids bonded together which make up their individual and unique structure. Therefore each enzyme will actually be “activated” by different pH levels and proteases as they traverse through the digestive tract. In fact this is exactly how digestive enzymes are created to work! If you want a living body to function, feed it food that triggers the body to function as it should!
Enzymes from the living food we and our pets consume mix with the enzymes already present in our bodies and activate the enzymes both in the food and in our bodies to break down the food we eat! Enzymes are the exogenous (outside) catalysts that get endogenous (inside) enzymes in our birds’ bodies triggered or activated to begin working. (1) Enzymes act like spark plugs. For instance, there are many, many enzymes, but let’s take a well-known enzyme like lactase. (2) (Birds do not produce lactase, and neither do humans after about 2 years old, but let’s use it as an example anyway.) When energy from the (micro protein) enzyme (lactase) is combined with the (macro) protein (lactose) causes more energy to be released due to the fact that lactose is now in its single unit form and totally available for absorption into the metabolic system. Lactase helps break down lactose, a protein found in dairy. When lactase is introduced to the body all of a sudden the body is able to break down lactose found in dairy. Without lactase, lactose can wreak havoc causing mild sensitivities such as bloating and itching to severe food allergies such as hives, and even in some cases anaphylactic shock. If the body’s enzymes are not properly functioning, or the body’s immune system is compromised due to illness or poor feeding habits of the past (long term feeding of “dead food”) then the “spark plug” is unable to ignite properly and the whole system short circuits. Then, proteins that are ingested are not properly digested, food can remain partially whole causing damage to the digestive tract scraping the protective mucosal lining away. The walls of the digestive tract are then damaged leaving wounds and holes where particles of undigested food manage to pass through into the blood stream (leaky gut) where it enters the blood system causing autoimmune disorders. All of this leads to more and more cascading autoimmune and digestive disorders compounding to the point leading to malabsorption syndrome and ultimately malnutrition, and many, many other health disorders and diseases.
As a living creature ages, endures sickness, disorders, illness and disease as well as ingests less than healthy foods containing pesticide residues, and residues from chemical fertilizers, preservatives, and other toxins, all kinds of substances considered “toxins” by a living body the natural and intrinsic enzymes already present in that creature’s body degrade and deteriorate over time. In addition when a living creature is exposed to airborne pollutants, pollution in drinking water, as well as pharmaceuticals this further destroys its body’s ability to produce all kinds of natural bodily substances and chemicals such as enzymes, antibodies and more. It just makes plain sense that introducing naturally occurring digestive enzymes, naturally occurring vitamins and minerals and other naturally occurring substances Nature has to offer can only benefit any living creature as long as that creature has not developed a sensitivity or allergy to a specific substance.
Still believe that living, raw food is unimportant and that enzymes in food is worthless? Don’t let some armchair “expert” tell you that it’s not necessary or beneficial for your bird to consume enzymes or other naturally occurring living, raw food substances created by Nature for the purpose of keeping living creatures alive, vital and thriving!
But wait, there’s more.
Enzymes are not the only “helpers” our birds require in their food to break down “whole” proteins into single unit amino acids. (3)
Enzymes need food of their own to function properly. For far too long we have been ignoring how important minerals are in our diets as well as our pets’ diets. Minerals are absolutely essential. In fact let’s take a look at what’s inside of these enzymatic “spark plugs.” Like real spark plugs there must be a “conductor” to help these enzymes do their work along with the proteins. The conductors for these enzymes are minerals. If the food is void of minerals these enzymes will be ineffective, in fact non-existent. We can pour all the minerals we want back into a highly processed food, but if we have destroyed the digestive enzymes during the high heat of the production process the food is still “dead”, furthermore we cannot have enzymes without minerals, it’s virtually impossible.
No matter how a manufacturer tries to piece back together highly processed food, if any one part of living, raw food has been destroyed it is still considered “dead” food when one part is missing. (The only part that can be subtracted is the moisture if the food is still to be considered “raw” and “living.” Even then high heat cannot be used to extract the moisture. The food must remain well below 115 degrees F to be considered “alive.”) If the enzymes are destroyed the food is not raw; enzymes are a type of protein (protease) that help break down the macro proteins. If the macro proteins are destroyed or adulterated by high heat the food cannot be considered raw and/or living. Most proteins are severely altered by the mass production methods used today; the reason synthetic proteins are often found in highly processed kibble. If fat is reduced or taken away many of the oil-soluble vitamins cannot be absorbed, ending up collecting in the liver where “fatty liver disease” begins. If the carbohydrates are subjected to high heat the food is not considered raw and/or living. In fact their molecular structure changes and they can become an anti-nutrient contributing to diabetes, especially in the case of starches and Omega 6s found in high amounts in most grains, the base of most highly processed kibble. If the naturally occurring vitamins are subjected to high heat many of those will be destroyed. In fact only most of the naturally occurring minerals will survive intense mass production methods of today’s manufacturing processes, but even some minerals are washed away during the production of food today when grains and other ingredients are subjected to milling and grinding methods used by high pressure mechanical equipment. If all of this isn’t reason enough to scare you away from feeding highly processed kibble…well. I would be running towards the organic produce department about now…not walking. It’s the same situation with our human foods too. Stay away from the center aisles and boxed foods. I digress…
It is extremely important that minerals are kept in our birds’ diets; these are literally the conductors of energy which keeps the metabolic system in balance. If the enzymes and macro proteins are the spark plugs, minerals are the conductors in the spark plugs AND the spark plug wires all in one! Minerals feed the exogenous (outside coming in) and endogenous (already within) enzymes as well as every other function within the body. If a balanced array of minerals are not present in our birds’ diets neither the enzymes already present in their bodies, the enzymes we introduce through living, raw foods, the macro proteins or the fats and carbohydrate will be absorbed into their metabolic systems or utilized correctly by their bodies.
I like how David Wolfe explains minerals, enzymes and overall nutrition:
“Living bodies require living food!”
(Ref: (1) http://www.enzymestuff.com/faq.htm; (2) http://www.enzymestuff.com/basicswhichenzyme.htm; (3) http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/04/23/digestive-enzymes-help-or-hype
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