Traditional Fats and Sacred Foods Video by Sarah Pope

Sarah Pope is a local chapter leader in Florida. She also blogs as The Healthy Home Economist.

By Sarah Pope


(Filmed in chair with lake scene behind)

Welcome everyone. My name is Sarah Pope and you may know me from my blog TheHealthyHomeEconomist. I’ve also been a Chapter Leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation since 2002.

When most people consider changing their diet for the better, they assume that they have to stop eating saturated fats like butter and meat fats. This is because marketing forces have effectively programmed us against eating visible fats since about the 1950’s.

The truth is that man-made fats, factory fats if you will, are the dangerous fats to avoid. Highly processed Trans fats and liquid vegetable oils are primary contributors to the rapid growth of degenerative diseases in our modern culture. These fats are incorporated in almost all processed foods so it is easy to consume a lot of them without realizing it.

The truth is that natural, unprocessed, traditional fats are a vital part of a healthy diet and should be generously included. Our bodies need saturated fats and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K are found in animal fats, particularly when these fats come from grassfed animals.

Adequate consumption of the fat soluble activators A, D, and K also supercharges mineral absorption and therefore renders your entire diet even more nutritious!

In other words, it is possible to consume plenty of minerals but still be mineral starved without proper amounts of healthy fats in the diet .

Eating plenty of Traditional, whole fats is critical to being well nourished. You simply cannot be healthy without them.

Let’s talk about cholesterol for a moment.

One reason people avoid animal fats is because they are afraid of the cholesterol they contain. But the natural cholesterol in animal fats is very important for tissue repair and brain function, which explains why blood cholesterol levels slowly rise as we age. It is important to note that women with the highest cholesterol live the longest! This is likely because cholesterol provides the building blocks necessary for the body’s production of natural steroids that protect against cancer, heart disease, and cancer. Cholesterol is also important for growing children as it helps build a healthy brain, nervous system and intestinal tract.
It is the oxidized or rancid cholesterol found in processed foods that should be avoided as consuming this type of cholesterol raises the risk of many inflammatory conditions, such as heart disease.

If this paradox seems hard to grasp at first, consider the fact that coronary heart disease prior to 1920 was extremely rare in America, yet during this same period, Americans were famous for drowning everything in butter and cream!

My own Grandfather, who made his livelihood as a butcher, always ate the thick strip of fat surrounding his steaks and fried 2 eggs in butter every morning for breakfast. He lived independently on his own to the ripe old age of 97!

This personal example is more the rule than the exception for the pre-WWII generations. Those raised on wholesome fats seem to be a much hardier stock than the pale children of today who are given lowfat milk and butter substitutes.

Traditional cultures instinctively knew the value of wholesome fats in the diet. In fact, these cultures greatly revered these foods and took special care to ensure that growing children, pregnant mothers, and the elderly were provided sufficient quantity to maintain health.

Let’s talk about some of the most nourishing traditional foods—all rich in saturated fat, cholesterol or both.


(the word “Butter” at bottom of screen .. I will hold up a tub of raw, deep yellow butter)

When Dr. Weston A. Price studied isolated traditional peoples around the world, he found several that valued the deep yellow butter from cows grazing on rapidly growing spring grass.

Analysis of this butter in a lab indicated very high levels of fat soluble vitamins, which Dr. Price referred to as catalysts for mineral absorption. Dr. Price also believed these fat soluble activators to be important for absorption of the water soluble B vitamins and even vitamin C.

Perhaps traditional cultures prized butterfat so highly because of its importance to successful reproduction. In calves, butter substitutes do not promote growth or sustain fertility. Similarly, in America, as butter consumption has declined, sterility rates and hormonal problems have increased.


(show word “Liver” at bottom of screen)

Liver is another sacred food highly prized by traditional societies. Like butter, liver is extremely high in the fat soluble activators, particularly vitamins A and D. It is also rich in choline, iron, and B vitamins, particularly B12 which so many Westerners are deficient in. Choline is critical for the development of the brain.

Liver is an excellent source of natural cholesterol, which is so important for the body’s production of anti-inflammatory steroids to protect against degenerative disease.

Liver was so revered by traditional cultures that many groups gave this superfood to babies as a first food. Mothers would pre-chew small pieces of liver and then feed to their children for easy swallowing, starting at about six months of age.


(show words “Fish Eggs” at bottom of screen – hold up small jar of fish eggs from store)

Fish eggs, also known as fish roe, were highly prized by the natives of South America who would sometimes travel hundreds of miles from their mountain villages down to the sea to procure it in dried form. This superfood was then provided to women of childbearing age to ensure healthy and robust babies and children.

The Eskimos also consumed fish roe from a number of fish species, particularly salmon. Fish eggs were dried for consumption during winter months and for special feeding to pregnant women.

It is no wonder fish roe was so highly prized by isolated natives. According to an analysis carried out by the Weston A. Price Foundation, a single teaspoon of fish roe contains approximately 17,000 international units of vitamin D! In addition, fish roe contains vitamins A, K, zinc, iodine, and the brain supporting omega 3 fatty acid DHA in ample amounts.

(words “Egg Yolks” at the bottom of the screen)

Deep yellow or orange eggs yolks from hens allowed to run free and peck for their natural food of insects and grubs are another underappreciated superfood. Pastured egg yolks contain high levels of DHA and arachidonic acid, both necessary for healthy neurological development and function. Arachidonic acid is also important for maintaining the integrity and function of the digestive tract.

Egg yolks contain very powerful antioxidant carotenoids. These are the nutrients that give egg yolks their vibrant color. Carotenoids are much easier to absorb when found in egg yolks than plant foods due to the wholesome fats also present in abundance which promote easy conversion to vitamin A.

(words “Cod Liver Oil” at the bottom of the screen – hold up bottle of FCLO to show)

Cod liver oil has been used for centuries as a superfood for health reinforcement and invigoration. Scandinavian Vikings kept a drum of fermenting fish livers outside the doors of their homes. The Roman soldier was provided a daily ration of fermented fish oil to provide strength and endurance for long marches.

Your own Grandmother may have even kept a bottle in her back cupboard as cod liver oil was an important superfood prior to the advent of antibiotic. People took cod liver oil to strengthen the immune system to resist winter flus and other illnesses, and to ensure optimal growth in children..

In recent years, this healthy oil has been making a comeback as it is an excellent source of the fat soluble activators, vitamins A and D. Like egg yolks and liver, cod liver oil contains high levels of the fatty acid DHA, so essential to the brain and nervous system.

Dr. Weston A. Price got miraculous results when he when he gave high vitamin cod liver oil and a product he developed called high-vitamin butter oil together for the treatment of dental caries and other diseases. The saturated fat in the butter oil supercharges absorption of the DHA in the cod liver oil, which may explain this highly synergistic effect. This product is now available, from the same company that makes the high-vitamin cod liver oil.

(words “Coconut Oil” at the bottom of the screen – show jar of Green Pastures’ virgin coconut oil, plus 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil shown. This scene filmed in the kitchen).

Coconut oil has been vilified for decades due to its extremely high saturated fat content. The smear campaign against this healthy traditional fat has proven short sighted in recent years as more and more wondrous health benefits of this tropical oil become evident.

Lauric acid is by far the most exciting fatty acid in coconut oil and it is present in copious amounts. Interestingly, human breastmilk is also very high in lauric acid.

This wondrous fatty acid has been found to exhibit strong anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. Its traditional use in tropical cuisine protected natives from the bacteria and fungus which were so very common in their food supply.

The special fats in coconut oil can be used by the body for immediate energy. Many people find that adding coconut oil to their diet helps tremendously with improved energy level and stamina. Many have found that starting the day with a cup of herbal tea to which coconut oil has been added is a better wake-up drink that coffee.

On a practical level, coconut oil is a fantastic baking oil , and can also be used for light sautees. Storage is easy as it can be kept at room temperature for many months with no loss of freshness. I keep a 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil in my garage and it keeps perfectly through the long, hot, and humid Florida summers.


(words “Goose, Duck, Lard, and Tallow” at bottom of the screen. This scene filmed in the kitchen where I show the layer of fat on the top of a frozen quart of stock)

Animal fats such as goose fat, duck fat, lard, and tallow have nourished Traditional Cultures for centuries. The stability of these fats makes them ideal for frying and other high heat cooking. They also impart valuable nutrition and irresistible flavor to vegetables, a fact that will not be lost on your children.

Even McDonalds used beef tallow for frying french fries until the lobbying of animal rights groups—financed by the soy oil industry– forced the change to highly processed, rancid vegetable oils.

Like coconut oil, traditional animal fats confer anti-microbial properties in the form of palmitoleic acid.

The easiest way to obtain these nourishing animal fats in your own kitchen is to skim off the fat that comes to the top of homemade stocks or the juices from a roast and reserve them in a glass container in the refrigerator. Be sure to save the bacon fat from cooking bacon.

Tallow and lard can also be purchased from a local farm which practices pasturing of livestock. Contact your local Weston A. Price Chapter Leader (show URL at bottom) for a list of farms in your area.


(filmed in chair with lake scene behind)

Placing high value on traditional fats and sacred foods in your kitchen will transform your family’s health more rapidly than any other single lifestyle change.

For those on a limited food budget, procuring the highest quality fats you can afford is the best use of your budget dollars and is a sound insurance policy for maintaining health during times of stress.

Be sure to order a copy of the Weston A. Price Foundation Shopping Guide to identify high quality brands of healthy fats and the names of small farms and businesses from which to order them (URL at bottom of screen – hold up copy of Shopping Guide).

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© 2015 The Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts.