Letters, Summer 2012

TOOTH BUTTER

I was looking on the net last night for a recipe for a Danish bread called Rugbrod. I found the following on this site, www.danishsandwich.com/2011/01/real-danish-rye-breadrugbrd.html, where I read the following: “In order to make Danish open-faced sandwiches, you need dark, dense rye bread generously slathered with butter. By the way, Danes have an expression to describe the ideal amount of butter to slather on your rye bread. It’s called tand smør, literally, tooth butter. This equates to enough butter so that you can see teeth marks in the butter when you bite into it.”

It then goes on to say that it’s not very heart healthy, but I ignored that bit!

Jill Freeman
Tauranga, New Zealand

IN DEFENSE OF BREAD

Lately bread has been under attack. I’m a baker, I love bread and I love making bread.

Dr. Weston A. Price guided us to the understanding that as humans populated the planet they found different environments and adapted to different food sources. Regional food traditions were created and they became the foundation of culture and healthy living. For the descendants of many agricultural societies, bread is one of those traditions, as Price documented well.

These days a plethora of food fads and gurus are trying to convince us that we should eat according to the diets that they have conceived for us. In many cases these “diets” are presented as based in scientific knowledge. Many have chosen grains and consequently bread as the enemy.

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I found followers of the Paleolithic diet ideas in my WAPF chapter. They would reject my bread if I offered it to them during a meal. I was shocked by their strong positions. If I was going to continue loving making bread, I had to be skeptical about it myself; I had to apply the scientific skepticism I had learned during my university years.

Was it true that there is a mismatch between our genes and our diet? Was the diet of the Paleolithic Europeans narrowly restricted to game? What was the role of women if men were the sole purveyors of sustenance? Is it possible to live a long healthy life without a source of preformed glucose from complex carbohydrates? How do our cells fulfill their constant energy requirements?

The fact is that roots, seeds, grains, leaves and fruits were part of the European Paleolithic diet. Some accounts even credit women with providing most of the food while the mighty hunters were hunting or goofing off. Grindstones from those times have been found and a variety of plant residues identified, confirming that they were eating some kind of flat bread.

The kind of farming that led to bread started in the Near East around ten thousand years ago. Early farmers ate foods that hunter-gatherers did not eat, or at least they ate them in much greater quantities. Initially they were not well adjusted to the new diet; they literally shrank, got more infectious diseases, etc. With time, however, they adapted and eventually thrived.

According to anthropologists, those living in the temperate regions developed a lighter skin to make more vitamin D, adopted new taste preferences, became lactose tolerant, got protection against diabetes and infectious diseases, better transport of vitamins into cells, improved digestion of starchy foods, and many other new traits that helped them transition to the new foods. Researchers have detected more than 700 regions of the human genome where genes appear to have been reshaped within the last 5,000 to 15,000 years.

By the time these farmers migrated to Europe the males must have been sexier or stronger since they almost totally replaced the hunter gatherer males. In contrast, most maternal lineages descend from hunter-gatherers, suggesting a reproductive advantage for farming males.

Porridge and flat bread remained the menu for an astonishingly long time in Europe as well as in ancient civilizations. It seems that the Egyptians were the first to make bread as we know it. In the beginning the loaves were baked in ceramic pots that had been heated on the fire, later they had to invent the oven too. What emerged out of the oven had no resemblance to what had gone in. A puffy crumbly inside and a fragrant crust was a magical transformation that delighted the whole Egyptian family. They also discovered that a piece of the old sour dough could be preserved to sour new dough much faster and thoroughly. Egyptian households started to keep this precious primal stuff of baking as one of their most valued possessions.

Egyptians became known as the “bread eaters”—and beer drinkers. Bread was not an incidental food but the principal food of all Egyptians; it became a cultural unit and a unit of measure. Wages were paid in bread, workers would refuse to work if they were given only fat and beer and no bread (maybe this was the origin of our slang usage of “dough” to mean money). Rows of bakeries have been unearthed near pyramids showing that bread was fueling their rise. The workers would stuff their bread with fat, meat, fish and vegetables.

From Egypt bread went to the Jews, then to the Greeks and finally to the Romans, who were not very refined eaters but when they adopted it they became passionate bread creators and eaters and they remain so to this day (I may be living proof of that).

During the Civil War, the soldiers were given the best bread. In the quartermasters’ headquarters in Alexandria there were experts in baking acquainted with the works of the French chemists of Napoleon’s day. The dough was kneaded carefully and the bread baked slowly. Dozens of wagons continuously transported the bright dark loaves of bread weighing several pounds each, dubbed Lincoln’s cannonballs, to the men at the front. The North had plenty of bread and the South, although richer and better prepared, could not eat cotton, hence the Nation remained united.

Unfortunately, industrial roller milling and refined flours started to be used widely in about 1880 and brought worldwide epidemics of pellagra and beriberi. The removal of bran and germ for longer shelf life had eliminated B vitamins. In 1937 scientists showed that nicotinic acid was the specific micronutrient deficiency for pellagra and thiamine for beriberi.

With mass production, bread was fundamentally redesigned. Refined flours, large quantities of commercial yeast, and a combination of additives and intense energy created the modern industrial bread. Fast mixing, fast rise, fast baking. Industrial bread is made far too fast.

What is Real Bread? It is bread made with whole grains that are gently stone ground just before mixing the dough and then allowed to ferment slowly and naturally—in other words, authentic sourdough. That’s how the Egyptians made it six thousand years ago. Bread made this way will be low in the potentially harmful gluten, will have a low glycemic response (the speed at which food raises the blood glucose levels), no anti-nutrients, and the myriad antioxidants in the bran layer will become bio-available to protect your body. In addition we get energy, fiber, antioxidants, protein and minerals.

The starch in bread is a complex polymer formed by units of glucose providing a rich energy source of preformed glucose for our cells. The first priority for our body is to use the food we eat to generate a constant supply of energy. Our cells get their energy only from ATP molecules which are made primarily from fat or glucose. Both fat and glucose are essential for fulfilling the energy needs of our different organs and they use strikingly different metabolic pathways. Glucose is so essential that when we starve ourselves of sources of glucose our body goes into stress and has to build it from protein or the glycerol in tryglicerides.

The truth is that many healthy societies consume products made from grains. In fact, it can be argued that the cultivation of grains made civilization possible and opened the door for mankind to live long and comfortable lives. Problems occur when we are cruel to our grains—when we fractionate them into bran, germ and naked starch; when we mill them at high temperatures; when we extrude them to make crunchy breakfast cereals; and when we consume them without careful preparation.

Mario Repetto Baker/Owner of Grindstone Bakery
Sonoma, California

Editor’s Response: Most people can enjoy bread if the bread has been properly prepared and it is eaten slathered with butter!

MODERN WHEAT AND INFERTILITY

I stopped eating wheat in December because it gave me cramps and diarrhea for about three days. If I made things at home from organic flour, it wasn’t quite as bad, but I still would react. I decided it wasn’t worth it.

Well, when I stopped having my morning cinnamon toast (made from cinnamon-raisin bread), I started having regular monthly periods again.There was an article on the Scientific American website recently saying that women can produce eggs even past normal menopause age. Must be all that butterfat, huh? I remember reading that in India, they don’t like for widows to eat butter, apparently because it helps them remain fertile.

Maria Kenworth
Denver, Colorado

DANGERS OF LOW-SALT DIETS

I am a statistical sample of one, but here is my story. In the name of health, I went on a serious low-salt diet during 2009-2010. I thought I was killing my partner with my salting habits, and took the low-salt mantra to heart. Within a year and a half, I felt perpetually ill and weak, I got dizziness attacks when I stood up or moved my head on the pillow at night, my digestion went to hell in a hand basket and I developed these intense pinworm infections, which I never had before.

I heard a passing remark from Sally Fallon Morell in one of her talks where she recalled speaking to a doctor who said he saw increased parasitical infections in low-salt patients. A light bulb went off in my head. I reverted back to salt, not Morton’s salt this time, but unrefined sea salt, and lo and behold, my worm infestations went away never to return. My dizziness stopped in its tracks. It was a painful lesson, but is now well learned. Without salt, hydrochloric acid (HCl) production is greatly impaired. Without HCl there is no destruction of parasites, there is no preliminary digestion of food, and there is no B12 released from food.

The scary part here is this: I could have gone through the next ten years on a low-salt diet and become progressively sicker—without knowing why. Thank you WAPF for the information you provide. I do not even know how to repay your kindness and intelligence.

Sushama Gokhale
Larkspur, California

FORBIDDEN TO SHARE INFORMATION

I have been a member of WAPF for several years and love your information. I share it whenever I have the opportunity. I am a psychologist practicing at a hospital in the Midwest. I specialize in addictions and eating disorders. I have had a situation come up recently where a dietitian at my facility got very angry over information I presented to patients, which contradicts what she has been telling them. I regularly hand out Weston A. Price Foundation information and present my information from a mental health standpoint regarding how to nourish our brains for optimal mental health. This has many implications with addictions, given the rates of hypoglycemia associated with alcoholism and relapse.

The dietitian complained to my supervisor who issued a station-wide mandate that all psychologists are prohibited from discussing food or any nutritional information, even as it relates to mental health or eating disorders. He said that I am not to present any data that contradicts anything a dietitian presents. This is a little hard given the dietitians are pushing a lowfat, high-carb diet and telling patients to eat Egg Beaters and margarine. According to my supervisor, presenting data regarding brain health and nutrition is outside the scope of psychology and only a registered dietitian can discuss food.

Do you have any thoughts on this? I have been an eating disorder/weight loss psychologist and substance abuse psychologist for over twenty years, and it is a little hard to do my job if I cannot mention food. My supervisor also said that psychologists are not permitted to refer to vitamins or amino acids either. I appreciate your feedback, as I have found your work enormously helpful, and patients love your information and have begged me to give even more classes. However, due to my supervisor’s mandate, I am no longer permitted to present your findings. This is very sad for the patients most of all.

Maria Keegan
Kansas City, Missouri

Editor’s Response: It is indeed a tragic situation when the very people supposedly in charge of our nation’s health forbid the disseminating of information that could help people regain their health. We can only suggest that you try to find a position in private practice. You might try contacting some of the practitioners advertised in Wise Traditions, or even put an ad in describing the kind of position you are looking for. And for a long-term solution, read on.

ADA CANDIDATES

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!” As I review the candidates running for office in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (American Dietetic Assn) election this year, I am reminded this is a very strong organization. The organization has over 73,000 members and growing. Members pay $220/year (more when you join a “Dietetic Practice Group”). Financial support is also derived from food companies such as Coca Cola, the National Dairy Council, and Nestlé as well as from publications distributed in most hospitals and doctors’ offices.

In recent years, I have observed some slight positive changes within this organization. There is more discussion about the ill effects of refined carbohydrates and sugar, syndrome X, and the nutritional implications of pharmaceutical medications. I see many of the younger dietitians promoting whole foods and “wondering” why saturated fats are bad for you, as they find evidence that proves otherwise.

There are dietitians who believe in the principles the WAPF teaches, but are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs or credentials. I would like to encourage anyone who is a WAPF member to join the ADA. The organization has a new “Practice Group” called “Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine” that appears to be open-minded and energetic. I would also like to encourage anyone planning nutrition study to seek a pathway to become a Registered Dietitian. With volume, voice and sound evidence we can create change. One day we just may have a WAPF RD running for office!

Kim Rodriguez RD LD
Aiken, North Carolina

HOMEOPATHY FOR TOOTH DECAY

Thanks for your great article on Homeopathy for Dental Care (Winter 2011). Many people in my life share similar stories of re-mineralization of cavities after improved nutrition and homeopathic cell salts, Calc phos 6x, Calc fluor 6x or 12x, Silicea 6x or 12x and sometimes Mag phos 6x. In England you can purchase this mix of cell salts to support re-mineralization of teeth and healing of bone fractures. Miranda Castro has a nice article on cell salts on her website: www.mirandacastro.com.

For dental issues, I also like Colin Lessell’s book A Textbook of Dental Homeopathy. Most people assume they have few options when it comes to dental health, but it is not so. What a thrill it is to discover the power of nutrition and the magic of homeopathy! Thank you Weston A. Price Foundation!

Tanya Renner, CCH, RSHom(NA)
Hollis, New Hampshire

WAPF AND HOMEOPATHY ARE LIFE-CHANGING!

Some things in life prove to be major positive influences. For our family two of these are the Weston A. Price Foundation and homeopathy. Concerned about the rise of chronic illness and degenerative disease, we had been trying to eat better but were discouraged that there was so much contradictory advice on what was good for us and what was not—particularly when such advice bashed the farm products that are our livelihood. We had also used homeopathy enough to know it really worked—like the time our 18-month-old son had a sudden rapidly rising fever and began to be unresponsive. It turned out to be food poisoning which was easily resolved at home with a few doses of homeopathic Belladonna.

But still, we felt so limited with the information we were able to obtain from homeopathic self-help books. Thankfully, we found answers to both our dietary and homeopathic questions.

Around the year 2000, we learned about nourishing traditional diets. It made so much sense to eat the foods that kept our ancestors healthy—particularly for my husband and myself who had both grown up on farms, had chosen the farm life as a great way to raise our children, and who had watched most of our parents and grandparents live vibrant lives into their nineties. So we made changes to our farming practices and began to provide drug-free pork and lamb, grass-fed and corn-finished beef, free range chicken, turkey, eggs, and naturally grown vegetables both for ourselves and for local consumers. Our efforts paid off in that our children have grown up with no cavities and free of serious illness, and we have many satisfied customers grateful for a source of high quality food.

However, despite eating as well as we knew how, we wondered why we still had health issues that seemed to escalate with age. In 2008, we found Ellen Bench, Master Homeopathic Clinician ( www.homeopathyinformation.com ), who not only does phone consultations but was also willing to travel to our area to teach classes on homeopathy. We discovered that diet and environment are influences in our health but that our roots—those factors we come into the world with— and stress, those hard knocks life deals us, cannot be overlooked. Our vitality is often diminished by putting disease into our body with vaccinations or by suppression of symptoms with drugs and medications that drive disease deeper. Business and financial pressures, difficulties in personal relationships, past griefs or emotional traumas and so on also play a huge part in our health and well-being.

Fortunately, we learned that homeopathy is capable of healing on the mental, physical and emotional levels beyond what we imagined possible! Following our homeopathic consultations, I quickly got over anxiety that began with a flu episode ten years previously and chronic fatigue and depression from past emotional issues. I continued to improve to the point that in my late fifties I now feel better than I ever have! I have lots of energy, am happy, and life just seems easier. My husband has overcome pain and stiffness from a congenital hip condition that worsened with age, plus he also is enjoying a more positive outlook on life. Our children no longer have frequent colds and are thrilled that their dad and mom are more easy-going. Our entire family and many friends also enjoy the benefits of homeopathy for first aid and acute situations thanks to knowledge gained from Ellen’s classes. She was able to answer our many questions so that we are now empowered to use homeopathic remedies for ourselves and even our pets and livestock. That means our customers benefit as well, since our animals are now raised using homeopathy and are free from vaccinations and drugs.

Yes, we thank God every day for our health and knowledge. A nourishing traditional diet and the use of classical homeopathy are life changing!

Richard and Kathleen Sobotka
Inman, Nebraska

DEER IN THE MEADOW

In the distant horizon line, where the sky meets the sea, an undulating rhythm can just barely be detected among the sparkling ocean rhythms. Tom has excellent sight and his distance vision surpasses most. “Yes,” he says, “Definitely kayakers, two most likely, are working their way into the bay.” A brisk easterly wind is blowing and it will take them an hour or more to work their way into the protected waters near our cabin. We stop working and sit comfortably on a big log settled high on the beach, staring intently at the horizon line. The possibility of visitors is exciting, as it is May and we have seen only a few from the outside since fall. Who could it be, especially coming from the South? Our step quickens, finishing the work of stacking the wood, carrying fresh water up from the creek and tidying up our little cabin. We are delighted and want to prepare to host new friends into our world.

The year is 1975 and we make our home on the protected southern edge of Burnaby Island, on the Queen Charlotte Islands, later re-named Haida Gwaii. These northern-most islands on the British Columbia coast are called the Canadian Galapagos for their tremendous biological diversity. An elder in Skidegate village said the traditional name for this bay is L’aanaa Dagang.a, but it’s known to the locals as Swan Bay. The serene bay with natural barriers to the winter winds welcomed us, creating a first sighting that was epic! A southeasterly wind had been slapping the bow of our freighter canoe, making headway slow until we came around the western point. The calmer waters of the small bay glistened in the rising tide. The clouds parted and a shaft of light illuminated the emerald meadow, filling our spirits with hope. We stopped paddling and let the momentum and tide carry the canoe through the giant kelp forest. We knew in the depths of our souls we would call this magical place home.

We then became three, having built our log cabin in time to birth our first child in the long days of the previous summer. Our first summer was spent searching for a home-site, two city kids longing for a natural life in the wilderness. We paddled down the west coast, high tide falling, to the old whaling station at Rose Harbor then up the forbidding west coast, low tide rising, where the powerful Pacific meets the continental shelf and the steep hillsides of San Cristoval Mountains of South Moresby. In the end, we made our way back to town late in the fall with dancing visions of L’aanaa Dagang.a and the simple life we dreamed of.

Our visitors finally arrive, along with their looks of amazement. We help them up the beach, securing their kayaks against the tide. We invite them in for tea and a warm place near the stove, which they gratefully accept. We soon discover that they are on the adventure of their lives, having dreamed of exploring the southern Charlottes for years. They flew from Seattle and hired a float plane to carry them from the airport in Sandspit to Rose Harbor, where they launched their inflatable kayaks. After a few days, the weather cleared for them to brave well-known rip tides on the southeast coast. They share the tale of their adventure, inquiring about good fishing and camping sites; all the while drinking their hot tea with relish.

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They tell us that the smoke from our wood stove greeted them far out in the inlet, and they wondered where it could be coming from. They couldn’t imagine anyone living so far into the wilderness and didn’t see our little cabin until they were almost upon us. We offer to dry their wet woolen clothes over the stove and soon the aroma fills our cabin, a familiar smell. Gratefully, they accept when we offer them the tiny shelter and a warm meal. After a while Tom asks them if they would like to share in taking a deer with us and they answer that deer meat would be a delight to complement their dried rations. Tom gets out the wooden cutting boards and begins sharpening our knives with confidence. Then he retrieves and loads his twenty-two rifle as our visitors watch with intense curiosity. As the evening mist settles, four or five deer come out and begin to graze peacefully on the meadow outside the cabin. After they settle into nibbling the choice meadow grass, Tom opens the upper part of our Dutch door and carefully balances the rifle on the ledge. He silently says to the deer, “If one of you is willing to give your life so we can sustain ours, show us.” One deer’s head rises up, and looks into Tom’s eyes as the others slowly amble off. He takes careful aim and the sharp crack of the rifle reverberates through the ancient forest. It is a clean kill and the deer hits the soft meadow soundlessly. Calmly, Tom puts down the rifle and walks out to care for the animal that had graciously given its life.

Our new friends have just witnessed something that has become a normal part of our life. We hunt and gather daily, giving thanks for all that is, each season bringing its unique gifts. Salmon in the fall, herring and roe-on-kelp in the spring, seagull eggs through the early summer, and the daily gathering of miner’s lettuce, cleavers and sorrel among the ancient sphagnum moss meadow. We take only what we need and we waste nothing; everything serves a purpose. The rich seafood and deer meat gifted us with a healthy pregnancy, an easy birth, and a beautiful son, who was greeted into this life by only his father and myself gently guided by candlelight.

The men walk out into the falling dusk to honor and clean the deer. The inedible organs are collected in a large wash tub and carried down to the low tide for the crabs to feast on. The liver, heart and kidneys are carefully washed and brought in to cook. I have our deep dish fry pan warmed on the small stove Tom made from a beach-combed barrel. We have wild greens from the meadow, brown rice and gently cooked heart and liver for dinner. They seem skeptical at first, but the meat is sweet and their appetite fresh, and they gobble it up. We tell stories long into the night until we find our guests worn out from their adventure filled day. They trundle off to sleep and prepare for another day of timeless adventures. The three of us climb the ladder into the loft to fall into a deep sleep that can only be known to those living within the natural cycles of the earth.

Victoria Schneider
Eugene, Oregon

GRASS-FEEDING AND FAT-SOLUBLE ACTIVATORS

I have been doing some library research to prepare for a seminar on Function of Pasture in Organic Farming and Food Systems. Today I found some interesting books on milk. In case you are not already aware of them: Fundamentals of Dairy Science by Lore A. Rogers, published in 1935 by Reinhold Pub.

On page 520 it reads: “The D content of butter varies greatly according to how the milking animal is fed and according to how much ultra-violet irradiation she receives. Under ordinary conditions the butter from animals on pasture is likely to be richer in D than that from animals kept in barns under winter feeding conditions. The D content of butter can, however, be driven up much higher than it ever is under ordinary conditions by feeding to the milking animal such D concentrates as cod liver oil, irradiated yeast, or irradiated egrgostrial.”

On the same page its says: “Yolk of eggs from hens on blue grass range may contain ten times as much D as that of hens confined indoors on the same basal mash.” Some measured values are given on this same page.

Joseph Heckman, PhD
New Brunswick, New Jersey

HOW TO LIE WITH NUMBERS

One way the CDC misrepresents the data associated with foodborne illness is in the way they categorize the outbreak as being from pasteurized versus unpasteurized products. Take the Jalisco listeriosis outbreak from 1985, which sickened eighty-six people. CDC’s database categorizes this as an unpasteurized milk outbreak. But I disagree with this categorization because Jalisco products are all sold as pasteurized products. It just so happens that in this case, some of the milk didn’t get adequately pasteurized. In my mind, this is an example of a pasteurized product contamination because that’s how the product is sold. Additionally, milk that is produced with the intent of being pasteurized is produced with much lower standards than milk that is intended to be consumed raw, and therefore must be pasteurized. So in my opinion, this categorization is totally misleading.

When I did my own analysis of the CDC’s data on listeria outbreaks (see http://churnyourown.com/2011/09/28/listeria/), I changed the categorization of this one row. And sure enough, the numbers led me to the following conclusions: 1) In the dairy category, far more people were sickened by pasteurized dairy than unpasteurized dairy, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of those who consume the product; and 2) More people contract listeriosis from processed meats compared to dairy products of any kind.

Nevra Ledwon
Arlington, Virginia

CRESTOR MEMORY AND COGNITIVE ISSUES

While taking the cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor, I had problems with everyday vocabulary. I couldn’t come up with words like “Niagara Falls,” “air conditioning,” or “roller coaster.” My brain substituted “the New York waterfall,” “turn on the wind” and “Montaña Rusa” (Spanish for roller coaster). I would stumble in conversation and had to insert replacement words because the ones I wanted were not coming to mind.

I was depressed. Hobbies and interests were no longer enjoyable. I couldn’t remember conversations. I forgot where I parked the car or left the keys. I took someone else’s grocery cart at the supermarket by mistake.

I had to concentrate on tasks that were usually second nature, like driving. I had to focus on how to get to locations. It’s not that I forgot how to get there, I just had to put it in focus and had to shut off the radio and ask my wife to stop talking so I could concentrate. Before Crestor, I could do all three effortlessly.

I had trouble focusing at work. This has never been an issue before. I would go to the bathroom at work just to run my head under cold water to get rid of the “cobwebs” or “lift the fog.” I was even considering buying smelling salts to keep by my desk so I could wake up and focus. I had to look at the keyboard to find keys. My typing speed was diminished by 75 percent. I was hunting and pecking. I would sometimes have to read a sentence three or four times to grasp its meaning.

I developed a tingling (pins-and-needles) sensation on the left side of my scalp towards the back of the neck. Slight pain in my finger joints came in waves that would last for a few minutes to an hour, then go away.

Before seeing a report on NBC highlighting the addition of “memory loss” to the list of possible side effects of statins, I went through my own diagnosis:

1. Sleep deprivation: Got more sleep and it didn’t solve my memory problems;

2. TIA or stroke? No family history, no headaches, no vision or hearing problems;

3. Aging: Just turned forty. If it progresses like this, I’ll be comatose by the time I hit forty-one.

Then I stumbled on the TV report and wrote a letter to my cardiologist begging to see if he would remove me from Crestor as a test. I had complained to him twice before about memory issues and he said it was a natural occurrence as we get older, not to worry about it. He called back and said OK, but that my cholesterol was great. I had done a blood test the previous week and he told me my total cholesterol was one hundred eight. Now I see that this is dangerously low and may be the cause of my memory issues.

After being on a statin for seven months, on March 8, 2012 I stopped taking 5 mg Crestor 1XD. Within three days my “joy of life” started coming back. I had renewed my interest in hobbies. My focus is now beginning to return. I am still having memory problems but, God willing, it will return with time. I have read reports that, for some return of memory takes as little as three days,for others as long as two years, and for a few not at all. I just hope that I have not done permanent damage.

As a result of my research, I also put myself on 200 mg of ubiquinol and on krill oil. I did not ask my cardiologist, but will follow-up with him in three weeks. He said he wants to do some tests to “get to the bottom” of my memory issues since he does not know of any correlation between statins and memory loss or cognitive impairment.

Dan Gonzalez
Miami, Florida

Editor’s Response: Hopefully you can educate your doctor on the dangers of all statin drugs. One thing is certain: you do not need your doctor’s permission to get off any drug. We would suggest adopting our dietary principles and adding cod liver oil to your routine.

A CASE FOR SUPPLEMENTS

Just wanted to say how my life has changed since starting the WAPF way of eating back in 2004. I feel that I continue to learn about how our food and drink has changed and not for the better.

Many of us are coming from families where we suffer from severe deficiencies, manifested in all kinds of ailments. Many of us have been born to vegetarian or vegan mothers eating a lot of soy; many of us have been born to mothers suffering from adrenal fatigue and whose mothers, in turn, had suffered from adrenal fatigue. Some of us have to go back more than three generations in order to see a generation that did not suffer from bad health, were vibrantly healthy, had wide broad shoulders and faces, a healthy disposition to life and died a natural death.

As a result of this dysfunction spanning a few generations, many of us including myself are not well, despite consuming the bone broths, raw milk, sourdough breads, and pastured meats and fats that WAPF fervently endorses. I, myself, was still experiencing an autoimmune disease that was not going away despite these measures. I tried GAPS, felt great for six months and then, experienced insomnia and a worsening of symptoms. I found with the GAPS diet, it was too low-carbohydrate for me and I needed to wise up to that fact and start adding back in the good carbohydrates, only to see many of my problems abate or disappear.

My situation is complicated by mercury fillings. I feel that when one is not experiencing better health with the addition of the WAPF diet and protocol, then one should automatically assume that toxic metals are to blame. In my case, I abandoned GAPS and was able to find a nutritionist who follows the WAPF diet. She has had me on a supplementation and nutritional balancing program in order to address the heavy metals as well as to supplement missing essential minerals. She advised me to continue to take fermented cod liver oil, high-vitamin butter oil, nutritional yeast and acerola powder as well as to maintain a good diet following WAPF principles.

I am aware that the WAPF position is not to take any supplementation beyond food supplements such as cod liver oil, nutritional yeast, acerola powder and the like. However, I am beginning to see that many of us have such dire nutritional deficits that can have serious consequences for future generations, if not addressed. There is definitely a great need for nutritional professionals who can address the heavy metals that we have been exposed to and provide proper supplementation which, of course, includes a good WAPF diet and WAPF-approved supplements.

Dionne Marcellin-Lewis
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

IODINE AND SEA SALT

There is evidence suggesting that some people who use Celtic sea salt or other non-iodized sea salts may not be obtaining adequate iodine in their diets.

Here is what my own research has turned up. Iodine is lacking in the soils in many areas of the world, and thyroid diseases such as goiter may result. “Worldwide, the soil in large geographic areas is deficient in iodine. Twenty-nine percent of the world’s population, living in approximately 130 countries, is estimated to live in areas of deficiency . . . . Persons who consume only locally produced foods in these areas are at risk for iodine deficiency disorder . . . . In the early 1900s, the Great Lakes, Appalachian, and northwestern regions of the United States were endemic regions for iodine deficiency disorders, but since the iodization of salt and other foods in the 1920s, dietary iodine levels generally have been adequate” (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/122714-overview).

Also, “In 1980, the first global estimate from the WHO on the prevalence of goiter, a thyroid disease related to a deficiency of iodine, was reported; it estimated 20–60 percent of the world’s population was iodine deficient and/or goitrous” (http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/11/2060.full).

In 1924, the U.S. started adding iodine to salt in order to prevent goiter, and the success of this program was impressive. “. . . Lee et al. . . . point out that since the introduction of iodized salt (there has been a) near-magical disappearance of goiter.” http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es0719071

Celtic sea salt and other non-iodinesupplemented sea salts are a poor source of iodine. A gram of Celtic sea salt contains only 0.45 mcg of iodine. (http:// www.dowsers.com/Celtic%20Sea%20 Salt%20analysis%202.pdf). In contrast, a gram of iodized salt contains 77 mcg. . . . that’s about 170 times more iodine than Celtic sea salt (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/iodine/).

Adequate dietary intake of iodine can be achieved without the use of iodized salt, but special care may be necessary to ensure that iodine-rich foods are included in the diet.

“Japan is one of the few countries where salt is not iodized because the Japanese diet contains large amounts of iodine-rich seaweed. One study reported the average urinary excretions in Japan to range between 700 and 3200 μg/d (58); this is considerably over what U.S. doctrine would regard as the maximum safe level. Nevertheless, thyroid health in Japan is excellent; there is no excess incidence of autoimmune thyroiditis that supposedly results from excess iodine consumption (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es0719071).

Some dietary, environmental and pharmaceutical substances can increase the need for iodine, for example: “Lithium is used for the treatment of bipolar manic-depressive disorder. Lithium treatment has been associated with the development of goiter.” (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/120243-overview)

Pollutants can also increase the need: “In the wake of the discovery that perchlorate is widely present in our environment, in our food and beverages and milk, human or bovine, there has been much concern about inhibition of iodine uptake, regardless of whether perchlorate originates from natural, rocket propellant, Chilean nitrate fertilizer, or other sources” (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es0719071).

Other nutrients are also required for adequate iodine utilization. “Selenium and iodine are thus linked biochemically because both are involved in thyroid hormone production” (http://www.ibisbirthdefects.org/start/iodine.htm).

My conclusion: those who use Celtic sea salt and other non-iodized sea salts should take care to obtain adequate iodine from other sources, such as seafood and sea vegetables. While these non-iodized salts are healthier than commercial alternatives, they should not be counted on as a source of iodine.

Roger Windsor Former editor of Spectrum Magazine
Pleasantville, Tennessee

Editor’s Response: The healthy nonindustrialized peoples that Dr. Price studied did not use iodized salt. However, many groups did just as Roger suggests, that is, they made a point of including iodine-rich foods in the diet to avoid “big neck.” These include fish eggs, butter and seaweed. The problem with iodization of salt is that it can lead to overdosing of iodine in some iodine-sensitive people (your editor is one of these). For more on iodine, see our article www.westonaprice.org/metabolic-disorders/the-great-iodinedebate.

HOLISTIC DENTISTRY CURE

My wife and I would like to thank you and your staff for the excellent article on toxic dentistry in your Winter 2011 publication. We both have been victims of this practice before we met Dr. James M. Ouye, DDS and Dr. Andrew Landerman, DDS, both biological dentists.

Both my wife and I are now past eighty, but fortunately met these holistic biological dentists in the mid-1970s. My wife and I had just been married. In 1980, she was suffering from Parkinson’s disease for many years, and the medical profession had her on six drugs to control tremor, memory loss, muscular nerve pain, etc. Our eyes were opened by Dr. D. Eggleston’s article in the journal of the Holistic Dental Convention in 1983 and by our discussion with Dr. Ouye and Dr. Landerman.

I had been an engineer and manager in several high tech companies, serving at the latter ones as quality assurance manager and general manager. I was forced to give up my profession due to a complete nervous breakdown.

When we realized that both of us were the victims of the allopathic medical and dental professions, I took my wife to my naturopathic doctor, Dr. Max Gastin, ND, former MD from Germany in San Jose, California.

After listening to my wife’s story, his first request, much to my surprise, was to open her mouth. There were titanium-stainless steel posts, capped root canaled teeth and other metal dental features, which were causing large quantities of galvanic electricity several hundred times the level of the current in her brain. Dr. Huggins, DDS, subsequently established that the typical level of current in these situations was generally four hundred times the level of the brain.

He stated quite emphatically that this was the cause of her Parkinson’s disease. Over the next few years, we first removed all amalgam fillings, then root canals, then metal posts and bridges and eventually had all her teeth removed and went to full dentures. We of course initiated a strict natural organic diet, employed homeopathic remedies selected by Dr. Volls, MD, used an electrical acupuncture instrument, and did some fasting on water and juice.

By 1985, she was almost symptom free, but we left the Bay area that year due to the state spraying of malathion, a toxic pesticide to kill the medfly. Malthion is known to destroy the cholinesterase enzyme that controls the nerve transmission over the synapse gap in the central nervous system.

Recently, I had a strange outbreak of a rash which covered my entire body. I never had a rash in my entire life up until then. It was subsequently verified by Stanford University that it was Grover’s disease. When I asked my dermatologist what caused Grover’s disease, he stated the medical profession doesn’t know and has no clue about treating it except toxic drugs.

I had my neighbor go on the web and search for Grover’s disease. No real conclusion, except that one study by the University of Kentucky suggested mercury. I immediately went back to Dr. Landerman who I knew could identify any residual mercury in my body with his electronic acupuncture instrumentation. He located four areas, two in my upper jaw and two in my lower jaw. Apparently, in spite of his thorough cleaning of the tooth sockets thirty-five years earlier, he overlooked a few small quantities of mercury from repaired teeth. The mercury had permeated my dentures making them unusable.

Dr. Landerman performed surgery, checking for mercury before and after surgery. Within two to three days the rash began to recede, the swelling at the time of the surgery was approximately thirty pounds (in the lower legs, testicles). Three months of natural therapy at the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa eliminated the toxic edema with a minimum of drugs along with some supervised water and juice fasting.

We hope that this story will inspire your readers to correct their dental health as soon as possible.

Charles and Cal Martin
California

COCONUT OIL IN THAILAND?

Although it would be nice if coconut oil was responsible for the lack of major outbreaks of diseases during the recent flooding in Thailand, as suggested in the Winter 2011 Caustic Commentary section of Wise Traditions, it is highly unlikely. Thais really don’t consume or cook with coconut oil: coconut oil is only recently available as a specialty health item and is quite expensive. Coconut is consumed only in some mainstream curries and soups (there are actually more curries made without coconut milk than with, and the coconut curries and soups tend to be thin and are not consumed on a daily basis) and in traditional desserts and snacks. Thais today just don’t eat that much food with coconut in it and much less than in the past.

summer2012-letterswim

Twenty years ago the open-air markets and stores were full of coconut snacks. Now in many markets you see more western-style cakes, donuts and sweet things made from white flour and sugar than the traditional snacks. Then, too, the Thais are being misinformed about coconut these days. My (Thai) wife knows many people in Thailand, and nearly all of them are afraid to eat curries with coconut too often or use coconut oil because they’ve been brainwashed as to its alleged dangers. She has a very difficult time convincing her friends that it’s an extremely healthy food; they just don’t believe her.

Thais have discovered the fear of saturated fat and the pervasive misconception that fat makes people fat. The main cooking oils are now vegetable oils. Peanut oil is completely non-existent while soybean oil is being touted as a healthy oil and soybean milk as a healthy beverage. The current saving grace is that palm oil is less expensive and street vendors still prefer to use the 50-50 blend of crude coconut and palm oil for deep-frying because the oil makes their food taste better and crispier and can be used over and over again before it tastes old.

In addition, over the past year or so a beetle infestation has made coconuts less widely available and much more expensive, leading to a lowered coconut content in many traditional foods. Certainly people living in the flood areas weren’t getting coconuts during the recent flood: their own coconut groves had been decimated and little could be trucked in from the country’s main coconut-producing region in the south as delivery to the flooded areas was virtually impossible.

It’s far more likely that there was no major outbreak of diseases because of the wide availability of clean, uncontaminated food and drinking water. Much of the flooded areas in the central region and particularly those provinces closer to Bangkok had adequate warnings of the oncoming flood (incidentally, most of Bangkok was spared from flooding). The flood was not a sudden event, as much of it was due to runoff from the northern region (which was flooded only a few days). Experts in water management were able to predict, based on the velocity of flow in the rivers, how long it would take for the floodwaters to reach particular areas in the flat, alluvial central plains. With prior warnings, people were able to prepare and stock up in advance with bottled water and food. Many evacuated before the flood came. The Thai government kept the tap water drinkable and clean throughout the flooded areas.

There were excellent flood relief efforts — a prime “savior” was TV Channel 3, which efficiently handled perhaps the most tireless flood relief effort ever—delivering flood relief bags filled with dried food products, ready-to-eat canned food, bottled water and antibiotics quite widely in the flooded areas. They also provided nearly around-the-clock live coverage with pleas to the rest of the country of items flood victims needed most (medicines were on the top of the list). Besides TV Channel 3, the Thai PBS TV station, various political parties and charitable organizations put in enormous efforts in providing food and drinking water to flood victims. Not only dried and canned foods, fresh cooked food in styrofoam boxes was delivered on a daily basis (actually, it was a photo op for politicians to be shown cooking up food in huge woks and pots for flood victims). Of course, setting the example and the standard for disaster relief effort was the swift and generous response of the Thai royal family to the suffering of their people.

It was also possible that the widely used “EM” balls (for Effective Microorganism) helped to mitigate disease: they are made of a culture of good microbes and were meant to set up areas of beneficial microorganisms to combat bacteria and the like. Mosquito problems were abated by widespread delivery of repellents and wide-scale spraying of mosquito-control poisons into areas of stagnant water. Floating toilets were provided by all kinds of public and private flood relief agencies.

Thailand is far from being a poor, third-world country, where a disaster of such a scale might have triggered major epidemics brought about by water and food contamination. Thais in general have high cleanliness standards and an overflowing generosity to help those in need. With the economy in better shape than many western countries, both public and private funds poured into flood relief agencies and the heroes of the relief efforts were volunteers from all sectors of society who spent tireless hours every day packing relief bags, making sandbags, cooking and delivering fresh food, making EM balls and much more. Public health facilities were well prepared to dole out medicines and prompt medical advice. The entire army and navy were involved in helping evacuate victims and delivering necessities. Because of Thailand’s relative affluence and the Thai people’s unfaltering spirit of generosity, as with the 2004 tsunami, relief efforts were effective and there were no major outbreaks of diseases during that disaster as well.

One reason there was no major disease outbreak could be that Thais have strong immune systems, perhaps because they don’t grow up and live in such a sterile environment. As Rob Dunn suggests in The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today, there is a growing body of evidence that our immune systems evolved along with parasites and pathogens and that they are necessary in order to create a strong immune system. (I’d love to see one of your great writers give us an article on helminthic therapy.) My wife tells me stories of her childhood when it was common for children to play and catch fish in muddy waters during Bangkok’s flash flooding every monsoon season and swim in muddy klongs (canals) during the unbearably hot months. In fact, Thai children still do as you can see driving through the Thai countryside.

In the open-air markets of Thailand, butchered meat is displayed in the open air, either hanging or lying directly on wooden counters in the tropical heat. Prepared food is left out, unrefrigerated, for hours and when sold to go is often placed, hot, in subsequently sealed plastic bags. While visiting Thailand, we routinely buy prepared food in the morning and leave it out all day until we consume it for dinner. I’ve never heard of a serious outbreak or incident of foodborne illness in Thailand. In addition, all meals are family style and the dishes are put on the table without serving spoons: everyone serves themselves with their own eating spoon. It could be that steady exposure to more bacteria and pathogens makes a stronger immune system that is better able to deal with added dangers during flooding.

Michael Babcock
Oakland, California

Editor’s Response: Thank you for this enlightening letter. For more on the use of coconut in the traditional (not modern) Thai diet, see www.westonaprice.org/traditionaldiets/thailand-land-of-coconut.

EXCEPTIONAL ELDERS AND LAZY BONES

Thanks for another great issue of Wise Traditions (Spring 2012) Kim Scheutte’s letter on her one-hundred-year-old new friend reminded me that I had wanted to suggest some time ago that when there is space available, a reverse of the Healthy Baby Gallery page might be well accepted called “Exceptional Elders.” They don’t have to be one hundred years old—but strapping while elderly, and have secrets to share that will validate the WAPF teachings, and remind us of ways of times gone past that are worth remembering. Photos would be great. I am sure many readers have stories to share of their loved ones! I have a great photo of my petite mom holding seventy-pound barbells above her head— she is gone now but it shows how the goat’s milk she grew up on at the homestead helped her win a title in weightlifting in her younger days.

Regarding Jen Albritton’s “Soupstenance” article, I have a good name for the crock pot method she describes: “The Lazy Bones Method for Bone Broth,” or “Lazy Bones Beef Broth,” I have been doing this myself for ten years now and it has always worked well. I would caution readers not to let the broth go more than twenty-four hours at a time—the gelatin seems to break down with just twelve hours, and the bone marrow becomes unidentifiable. I’ll go for a week or ten days with back-to-back bones in my crockpot—and tossing the fat frisbees from the cooled drained stock into my freezer until it is full—and then finally clean the crock pot.

I always think of the old nursery rhyme: “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot, nine days old.” Bet they didn’t like cleaning out the big iron pot either!

My next project is to figure out what to do with the bones. I would like to find a way to gracefully recycle them. I put them outside in the back where animals can’t get to them. Some of them have been bleached enough and soft enough to crush and put into the garden!

Finally, on your Caustic Commentary about supermarket scents (Spring 2012), I am horrified by the prospect of scents in the supermarket aisle. Thanks for the heads up about this. More reason to stay away from the supermarket chains—hopefully natural food stores will be slow to follow. Dryer sheets are the worst offender I have encountered. By the way, whatever the solvent is in the soy inks used to print Wise Traditions, it is enough to make me hold it at arm’s distance now. I still enjoy it though, and just read it with good ventilation!

I am so saddened by the passing of Jack Samuels. I had a special connection with him. In 2001, I was T-boned by a sixteen-year-old driver and my car was thrown into a tree at forty-five miles per hour. Jack was in a car just behind the kid, saw everything, gave me his card and offered to be a witness. He stayed with me for forty-five minutes until the ambulance came—what a dear and caring man! What a joyous surprise it was to discover him at a WAPF convention years later, a true Samaritan on the lookout to protect the welfare of others.

Nancy C. Henderson, MFA Rancho
Santa Fe, California

WAR ON REAL FOOD

The FDA has declared war on traditional living foods like raw milk, home canned pickles, and home processed charcuterie. How much life must food have before the FDA thinks it unsafe for human consumption?

The FDA has decided that Twinkies, Cocoa Puffs, and Mountain Dew are safe, but raw milk, compost-grown tomatoes, and home-made charcuterie are unsafe. Must food be sterile to be safe? If not, how much life can food possess until it is deemed unsafe?

Do American citizens have a right to the food of their choice? If so, then why does the government intervene between the voluntary transactions between producer and consumer for such things as raw milk, home-made quiche, or home-smoked pork?

Do American citizens own their bodies or do their bodies belong to society? If Americans own their bodies, then what right does FDA have to hamper the food choices we make with licenses and inspections between willing, consenting adults to engage in food commerce of their choice?

Joel Salatin
Swoope, Virginia

AN IDEA

As one who lives in a trailer park on a very limited income, and who struggles to pay bills, I have come up with an idea. Thanks to a gift membership, I’m a member of a fabulous organization called the Weston A. Price Foundation, which is involved with farmers and food, and, farmers sometimes tithe in cash to churches or charities. So, I’m thinking, what if they tossed into a carton some extra or leftover pieces of fruit or veggies or milk or cheese or bread or whatever they sell. Then, address the carton to members of WAPF who aren’t quite as affluent as the other members, members like myself, folks who run out of food every month.

The farmer’s only cash output is postage to one or two people, that’s much cheaper than a 10 percent tithe. Plus, they could get a kick out of helping others who appreciate them and fight for their rights!

Forget Food Stamps, they can only be used in supermarkets, not health food stores. I use health food stores.

About tithing: in Genesis, God held out for a great goat as a tithe; I think He got grain too. So why not food from a farmer? Is this a cracked brain idea or a good one?

Candy Reed
Lake Panasoffkee, Florida

Editor’s Response: This is a wonderful idea and we suggest a section in Wise Traditions that puts struggling individuals into a partner ship with a generous farmer. We nominate Candy to be the first participant in this Food Tithing program. An interested farmer in the Florida area should contact WAPF to make a connection with her.

 


 

SIDEBAR

THE ETHICS OF EATING MEAT
Submitted by Rob Elliott to the New York Times essay contest: Tell us why it is ethical to eat meat.
What am I to make of this request? Is it a trap set by some vegetarian witchfinder to catch an unwary omnivore in a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose equivalent of the ducking stool? Or is it an attempt to enter into serious debate? If the latter, the invitation is still booby-trapped through its lack of contextual reference. Thus the response from a hungry Pirahã or a Kalahari bushman will not be that of an overfed Westerner spoilt with choice by supermarket abundance.
Then of course there is that troublesome word, “ethical.” In common with so many words used in relation to the politics of food, it has undergone something of a transformation into a handy catch-all, bandied about by those who use it to justify personal food choices. It is not to be trusted. It has a touch of the weasel about it. Words are indeed weapons, and can be dangerous in the hands of an increasingly solipsistic species. The formal concept of ethics enjoys an elevated status, yet is essentially little more than an intellectual distraction, almost an esoteric irrelevance in a society that has become dysfunctional, divided and disconnected from the natural order of the universe. An obsolete them-and-us attitude ensures that Homo arrogans still struts his puerile stuff, believing he can live outside natural laws.
It is time we grew up. We must abandon our ivory towers, climb down from our moralising and look at the world around us. An absence of hubris will enable us to contemplate the damage we have done, much of it through the massively destructive application of chemically supported industrial agriculture that has laid waste to millions of acres of fertile soils across our planet. Contrition might also be appropriate, allowing a clearer view of our relationship with our food, defining the word “ethical” and giving it a valid frame of reference.
In this materialistic world in which love itself has been commoditised, the politics of food is about fear, peddled by those who have lost touch with the spirituality of eating. Love opens the door to an understanding of how we move from rapacious exploitation to nursing our soils – and our souls – back to health. Domesticated farm animals will play a major part in this future, as a return to true pasture farming is an essential component of land regeneration, underpinning a localised system of permanent polyculture. Industrialised grain and cereal production is insane, and all the arguments for “more of the same” collapse into farce in the face of the evidence provided by those engaged in the planet-friendly alternative.
Thus we come at last to the question of whether it is ethical to eat meat, and the answer is surely a qualified “yes”– qualified by the understanding that there is no place in our future for feedlot cattle, pig factories, grain-fed Holstein milk monsters or battery hens. Love rejects such unmitigated cruelty but accepts the highest principles of good husbandry. All living things, including us and our farm animals, are part of the food cycle. We have domesticated plant and animal alike, and we have responsibility to both, but it is well nurtured animals on managed grassland that hold the key to a healthy future. We must value their ability to convert vegetation into essential manure to help us grow plant food, but we must also accept the clear understanding that farming is management and necessitates the control of animal numbers. The meat from those animals is too precious and nutrient-dense to be wasted, but love and respectful husbandry are an essential input. Then, and only then, is it ethical to eat meat.

One Response to Letters, Summer 2012

  1. Mike Schneider says:

    Winnow out the homeopathic snake-oil rubbish, please.
    “Homeopathic remedies” (narrowly defined as massively diluted solutions) are blatant fraud, and SERIOUSLY detract from the legitimate scientific research going on at the WAPF. Please issue a statement paper on these nostrums, and drive the hucksters out.

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