Letters, Winter 2007

GMO RENNET

I recently went to a cheese-making workshop at a grass-fed organic dairy farm in Massachusetts. After coming home I looked up rennet on the Internet to find out more about it and was disturbed to learn that up to 70 percent of commercial cheese in this country is now made using “rennet” from genetically engineered yeast.

Scientists figured out which gene in the cow was responsible for “the active ingredient” in rennet (as if it acted alone) and successfully spliced that gene into some yeast cells. The FDA approved the use of such “rennet” for cheese for human consumption. It seems, however, that the products are not identical since biochemists can tell what kind of rennet was used by analyzing a cheese. Is this situation commonly known to WAPF members?

Greg Luckman
Andover, Massachusetts

Editor’s Response: We have commented before on the GMO rennet. Ideally, cheese should be made with animal rennet, but this is expensive and also makes cheese unacceptable to vegetarians. People who are very sensitive to MSG report that they cannot eat cheese made with vegetarian rennet.

HELP FROM COD LIVER OIL

I have a daughter living in India who is working on improving her diet. Believe it or not, she is having trouble finding unrefined coconut oil. The Indians are in the throes of a propaganda campaign for lowfat, no-cholesterol dieting and absolutely everything is refined now—the effect of industrialization at any cost—and anything with a reputation for causing high cholesterol probably can’t even be found in a health food store.

So although my daughter has not been able to incorporate everything she would like in her improved diet, she was able to obtain cod liver oil. Immediately after starting on enough cod liver oil to supply 20,000 IUs of vitamin A each day, she has had the easiest menstrual period she has had in years. She has suffered from dysmenorrhea, fibromyalgia, IBS, as well as from no energy at all, and her fiance, who is Indian, is suffering from an amoebic infection and other symptoms indicative of long-term problems. The small improvement with the cod liver oil is a miracle in itself. We are praying for more!

Doris Montgomery
Salt Lake City, Utah

Editor’s Response: We hope you can find the coconut oil as it might help with the amoebic infection. If you can’t find unrefined coconut oil, try the refined as a second best choice.

A DIET FOR DIABETICS?

I highly recommend reading the book Life Without Bread by Christian Allan and Wolfgang Lutz. People might be willing to change their diets if they can understand the life-threatening damage that high glucose does to their tissues, organs, hormonal systems and entire bodies. It does not happen overnight, but slowly over time.

People diagnosed as diabetic should visit a clinic that specializes in treatment for advanced diabetes. They will see blind people and people without their feet or lower limbs. Then there are the women who cannot get or stay pregnant because of high glucose. Tragic!

Controlling blood sugar is primary to good health. High blood sugar keeps children from producing the puberty hormones needed to grow into young men and women. High glucose in males can result in too much estrogen and high glucose in females can result in too much testosterone.

I tell people to just not go down the danger zones in the supermarkets, where they sell cookies, candies, muffins, pies, Ding Dongs and Ho-Hos. Don’t buy chips, cold cereal or Ritz crackers either.

Our children grew up just fine without all of these things. I never once made a batch of cookies for my children. The cookies they got were from my husband’s mother who thought I was a terrible mother for depriving my children of such harmless delights. Every Christmas and Easter, she mailed us tins of her best cookies, as she fortunately lived 5,000 miles away.

We did use a little honey but molasses was our primary sweetener throughout their childhood. We had dried fruit, which we soaked to make them go further and wild fresh huckleberries, thimbleberries and blackberries, which we ate raw, fresh with homemade yogurt or cream. I never dreamed of making jam or jelly. If we had lots of berries, we would dry them for winter treats.

We had huge wonderful birthday parties with lots of games, homemade piñatas (filled with toys, nuts and fruit) and party costumes. We did have cake, but it was usually semi-sweet corn bread or ginger bread served heaped high with fresh whipped cream.

I didn’t know about the Weston A. Price Foundation then, I was just following my instincts to create a wholesome natural environment for our budding family. Such a great resource the Foundation has created, all for free to anyone willing to read and think. Thank you WAPF for such a great gift!

Our children grew up into strong healthy adults with balanced minds and bodies, which is without a doubt the greatest happiness you can experience as a parent. I have seen and continue to see incredible damage from sugar and white flour. It is just so tragic.

Then there are the vegans and vegetarians, those poor misguided young people, trying to do the best they know how, and their children likely to suffer their whole entire lives plagued by allergies, infections, plugged ears, weak teeth and bones, and, even worse, mental and emotional problems.

It is enough to keep me dedicated to teaching, teaching, teaching. Much happiness to all of you parents who are bucking the tide. Stay the course! You will be richly rewarded for your efforts in the long run. Yes, your children will possibly stray during their teenage years, but if their roots are deeply fertilized and stable, they will likely return to what they were raised on. In our case, that was true.

Victoria Schneider
Eugene, Oregon

NO MORE CRAVINGS

When I switched my diet away from what I thought were good foods to a WAPF diet, I was shocked at how rapidly I forgot about carbs and sweets. I think I realized on our third day of a WAPF diet that I had no cravings! That fat is some good stuff!

Cynthia Calisch,
Chapter Leader Sarasota, Florida

BODYBUILDERS IN ICELAND

What do some of the world’s strongest bodybuilders eat? I recently watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s excellent culinary travel show “No Reservations” where he travels to Iceland and explores some of their traditional food.

First he stopped in a local gym and met some of the world’s strongest bodybuilders, who were preparing to enjoy a hearty strength-building meal. In the kitchen the chef showed Tony what was on the menu that day: a traditional bone broth soup called kjotsupa made with “fatty lamb, rutabaga, onion, carrot, celery, cabbage, leek and a fistful of rice to thicken.” The men eat the soup both before and after their workout and they say it makes you “bulky and strong.” A far cry from the lowfat, high-carb, isolated soy protein shakes prescribed for bodybuilders and athletes.

Next Tony attended a traditional feast at a local restaurant, which served old time Icelandic food for the mid-winter feast of Thorrablot, a tribute to traditional Icelandic culture and foodways. This traditional food is known as Thorramatur and is prepared and eaten at feasts around the country. It often includes fermented shark, cured scrota, sheep heads, liver and offal sausage, blood pudding, dried fish with butter, rye bread, smoked lamb, sheep fat and sometimes seal flippers. And, of course, copious amounts of the unofficial national beer, Brennivin. Some of these foods are no longer eaten on a regular basis, but kudos to Icelanders for remembering the old ways!

Each episode of Tony’s show brings him to a different place and a different cuisine; and while the producers clearly delight in the entertainment value of the “ugh” factor, Tony obviously admires other cultures’ traditional (and often exotic to us) cuisines. I am always intrigued to see the nourishing food typically eaten by peoples around the world.

Sarah Jacobs
Tucson, Arizona

RAW MILK POINTERS

Here are some important points to make in our letters about raw milk— and we should all be writing letters!

First, it’s not illegal to drink raw milk, only illegal to sell it. Laws against raw milk clearly seem to be based on economics, don’t they? After all, it’s illegal to both sell and use illicit drugs. If raw milk is so unsafe, why isn’t it illegal to drink it?

Second, opponents of pasteurization describe the various ways of obtaining raw milk as “loopholes,” “black market,” or “circumventing the law.” This language creates a false impression. Cowshares are not new, nor loopholes, nor circumventions, they are longrecognized legal arrangements called agistments.

It doesn’t matter whether the reason you want to own a cow is to drink its milk—which is legal!—or for any other reason. It’s legal to own a cow or a share in a cow or herd, and it’s legal to drink raw milk from your own cow.

Many farmers are legally selling raw milk that is “not in final form” (no nutrition facts label, for example, with the assumption being that you’re buying it to pasteurize and resell) or labeled for animal/pet consumption. It’s legal to do that too in many places. If you buy such milk and drink it yourself, that’s legal! Legal! Legal! Not a loophole, not circumvention. It’s not the farmer’s business what you do with it once you’ve bought it. (I can buy cat food at the store legally, and eat it legally, if I want to.)

Also, we should always point out the relative risk. Assuming opponents have the facts right (so many illnesses and/or deaths attributed to raw milk over a certain period), we should point out how many more illnesses and/or deaths have been attributed to all manner of other foods including produce, meat, and pasteurized dairy. So far our government isn’t pasteurizing our lettuce.

Finally, we should speak up about our opponents’ distortion or selective use of facts and also, we should loudly speak up about their constant refrain that socalled “public health” or “public safety” should always trump individual rights.

Jill Nienhiser
Alexandria, Virginia

A TEST FOR RAW MILK

I am reading with interest your information about raw milk and also about the various state health departments, which are petrified about the supposed dangers of raw milk. I prefer the raw milk as it is a healing milk with its enzymes in place. However there could be some nasties in there.

Here is a way to find out whether the raw milk you want to drink contains nasty bacteria. When you put a few drops of raw, apple cider vinegar into a cup of raw milk and it is good, it will not curdle. If it is bad it instantly curdles, so you can always know when it is safe to drink raw. Just thought to share my experience.

I live in New Zealand and drink raw milk when I can and also give it to our pups. They grow up healthier than with pasteurized milk. My children drank a lot of pasteurized milk when they were young. I did not know about the goodness of raw milk and my youngest, who is very tall, has had a lot of back problems. My husband, growing up on a farm in the Netherlands, grew up on raw goat milk. He and his siblings are very strong and healthy, with good bone structure.

Good luck with your government!

Marjo Plessius
Lichfield, New Zealand

RAW MILK AND ECZEMA

My four-year-old daughter, Emma, has struggled with eczema for the past two years. It covered the creases of both arms and the creases of both legs in the back. The eczema was so bad it would keep her (and us) up at night with her itching and crying.

From your website I discovered information about raw milk. I eventually found a farmer who set us up in a cow share situation. I started Emma on the milk about three months ago and now her arms and legs have completely healed up and she sleeps through the night! There is only a very small patch on her bottom now. I wish I had taken pictures of her arms and legs, but I had no idea how dramatic the improvement would be or how quickly it would happen!

I have also been giving her high-vitamin cod liver oil, restricting her intake of white flour and sugar products and giving her farm-fresh eggs and grassfed beef. In addition to that my husband and I have been refining our parenting tactics with her as she is a high-needs child and can attract a lot of negative energy. However, we were doing all that before I introduced the raw milk and these measures were having very limited success so we believe it is the raw milk that made the difference!

I cannot say thanks enough to you and all who are involved in the Weston A. Price Foundation. Your dedication to the truth and the wonderful information you make accessible to all have made a difference in our family’s life and the life (and skin) of our daughter!

Isabel Remus
Ottawa, Canada

Editor’s Response: We predict that your daughter will not have such “high needs” after some time on the raw milk and cod liver oil.

MORE ON RAW MILK

Congratulations on the raw milk articles in the New York Times and Washington Post. My kids went to their annual pediatrician visit about one month ago. He said in his entire practice of six doctors and hundreds of patients, he thinks my three kids are the only ones he sees just once per year—for their annual visit.

He asked how we do it and the first thing my wife told him was about the raw milk. He was shocked yet gave us the standard comeback, “Well, if it’s working keep doing it.”

George Smith Dayton, Ohio

RAW MILK FOR THE EYES

Around February of 2005 I had blurred vision in my right eye, which had progressively gotten worse over the previous six months. It was time to get an eye exam. I was told by the optometrist that, yes, I had a cataract. She said that it would get worse and the left eye would probably be affected too, and eventually I would have to have surgery and put in manmade lenses.

I had been reading about raw milk and how nutritious it was for several years. I began to drink about three glasses a day. After six weeks, my right eye completely cleared up. I could see as clearly as one year earlier.

It is now almost three years since starting on raw milk and my vision is better than it has been since I was about 30—I’m now 64. I recently had another eye exam and the ophthalmologist said that I had no signs of any cataracts. I don’t even need glasses to use the computer anymore.

Bing Gibbs
Alton, Illinois

RAW MILK FOR ALLERGIES

My husband suffered from tree pollen allergies for 21 years. The allergies would appear in February and finally draw to a close in June. His eyes would swell and itch and water. It interfered with work, and at night, during the worst of it, he’d have to wear polar fleece gloves to keep from hurting himself in his sleep. For a full third of the year he was miserable and could not be outside, particularly after dusk.

We tried nettle, we tried quercetin, we tried probiotics—we tried everything of a natural stripe, with little or no relief. But a year and a half ago we switched to raw whole milk. By this February, when his symptoms didn’t appear, we thought the allergy season was going to be an easy one. But as March passed and then April, it dawned on us that the yearly affliction wasn’t happening at all! By June, amidst reports that others were suffering as usual, it was clear that my husband had finally cured himself, and raw milk was the only change we’d made during that time.

One change, and so powerful! We are so convinced of raw milk’s benefits that I now write on the subject for a local publication and when we move, it will be to a state that allows the sale of this incredible food. We don’t want to be without it again.

Jill Ebbott
Brookline, Massachusetts

SOY RASH

I had been drinking soy milk in protein shakes and on cereal for over a year, and what had started out as a foot problem (cracking, itching and scaling) then progressed to the rest of my body, beginning with the lower extremities, front and back, and up to my neck. I looked like I had some sort of pox all over my body—red and itching, with awful looking bumps.

One of the nurses in the hospital where I was visiting asked me whether I drank soy milk. I replied confidently, “Yes, every day!” to which she replied, “Quit!”

She then proceeded to tell me about the woes her own daughter had experienced with an allergy to soy, and said that my problem looked similar. From that day forward, I have tried not to eat or drink anything that has soy in it, and my skin has cleared up.

People! Start reading labels! Soy is not a harmless additive or natural substitute that is good for you. I am running across more and more people who have had problems with soy—and I thought I was doing myself a favor and reaping benefits for my body.

Thanks for your information on your website. Keep up the great work— America needs to know!

Patricia Sanders
San Diego, California

SOY FEED FOR COWS

My newborn grandson had problems with formula. He would forcibly vomit up large quantities of clear liquid, oftentimes when he was in bed. My daughter’s milk was slow to come in, but as soon as possible, we took him off all formula and she nursed him exclusively.

When he was weaned at about fifteen months, she naturally started giving him regular milk, but again he started vomiting up clear liquid. Not knowing what else to do, she put him on ultra-pasteurized goat milk and when that made him too congested, she added soy milk to his diet.

Later, when I would bathe him and help with potty training, I noticed that his scrotum seemed very large for a toddler, plus he had frequent erections. I had raised two sons and never remembered anything like that. I was concerned but didn’t want to worry my daughter.

When I learned about the problems with soy, I started searching for a source of raw milk. I was blessed to find an Amish farmer who had milk for sale. We were happy to find that the raw milk did not cause vomiting problems for my grandson, and we were especially happy to see his sex organs shrink and become normal for a little boy.

Because our Amish farmer lives 35 miles away, I continued to search for a closer source for milk. I found a small dairy that sold raw milk, and we used their milk when we couldn’t get the Amish milk, or could only get a limited amount.

After one extended period of a few weeks when we used only the new milk, I noticed that my grandson’s organs enlarged and he began to have erections again. I had known that the dairy fed their cows soybeans, but I had hoped it wouldn’t cause problems. After that time, we have gone exclusively to the Amish milk, and things are back to normal for my grandson.

What a difference your work has made in my grandson’s life! Who knows where his very premature sexual development would have led.

Anne Farmer
Rockville, Indiana

DEFINITELY NOT LOCAL

Everything comes from China these days. On the news recently I learned that 95 percent of U.S. apple juice comes from China…along with many brands of multiple vitamins, frozen fish, lots of grains, fruit and vegetables, as well as most of your shoes and clothes (including high-end labels like Ralph Lauren and Coach) and paper products (look at all the books published there and every pad of notepaper you buy) and so on and on.

Is this idiocy all in the misguided name of “free trade”? I ordered 25 pounds of organic buckwheat from our natural foods buying club distributor, and was stunned to read on the bag that it came from China! It should have come from the next county. The organic label was from a reputable certifying agency, but I just don’t trust or want this. Last winter our food co-op sold organic garlic from China, with apologies, but they claimed U.S. sources were scarce.

At a time when U.S. government authorities harass and regulate to death our farmers who try to feed their friends and neighbors with top quality food, I have made it yet another of my “hunter/gatherer” craft skills to dodge those Chinese products raining down on us! And always look for and support a nearby source; occasionally having to do without just hones one’s skills of improvisation.

Katherine Czapp
Ann Arbor, Michigan

PROGRESS WITH TRANS FATS

We are making progress in our area in our efforts to wipe out trans fats. We scored a victory recently in making the Powell Butte Christian Church start using lard instead of Crisco in their pie crusts. And we have sent a letter and some flyers to the publisher of a restaurant review magazine for central Oregon. Seems we’ve found someone who is willing to listen.

Rebecca Wagner, Chapter Leader
Powell Butte, Oregon

MENINGITIS VACCINE RESEARCH PROJECT

I am writing to ask the readers of Wise Traditions about their experiences with Epstein Barr virus (mononucleosis) and the development of meningitis vaccine, which is recommended for college entrance.

This vaccine was forced on my son because he wanted so badly to go to college. We were told at the doctor’s office by the Physician’s Assistant that it was mandatory for college admission. I only found out the vaccine was not mandatory after I had checked out and was leaving the doctor’s office. I was scanning the very fine print at the bottom of the form, saw this information and marched back directly into the MD’s office. She asked me what I wanted her to do about it. I later learned that the vaccine is not recommended by health officials, that it only covers a limited number of strains and that the so-call “immunity” is very short lived.

Sometime in the next several months, my son developed mononucleosis. He almost flunked out of college because he was sleeping 18 hours a day and barely alive. Epstein Barr (EBV) is an extremely damaging virus, which can recur at any time when immunity is compromised. It also interferes with P53, the main tumor-suppressing gene. There are other serious immunity issues. Monocytes can remain elevated for years and EBV can recur.

I have googled Pub Med to try to find any research connecting meningitis vaccine and Epstein Barr but I find virtually nothing, which is not surprising because Big Pharma controls research studies via selective funding. This kind of study would never find funding at a major US university or medical school.

So I am about to embark on a study of my own. I am asking WAPF members to write to me at sponusic128 (at) yahoo.com if they can report similar experiences or if they would like to help set up a website survey or publicize this project through the media such as telemarketing, TV appearances and radio appeals. We want to ask people who received this vaccine and whose kids received it whether they later developed mononucleosis—it just seems that so many college kids develop mono in the first year or two of college.

Mono brings a range of consequences, not only physical—it is mentally and psychologically debilitating, bringing on a state of depression, damaging relationships, interfering with the ability to work and study.

Sylvia P. Onusic, PhD
State College, Pennsylvania

CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH

It is my absolute pleasure to promote the WAPF. When I heard about your dietary principles, I was overcome with emotion. I realized that what I had “suspected” all along was true. Having a German grandmother and Russian grandfather (who are now in their mid 80s and doing well), who have said many similar things with regard to foods (especially fats and lactofermented foods and beverages), I was absolutely overjoyed to hear that all the foods I love to eat were the “best foods to eat.”

As a mother of two small children, health and nutrition are paramount to me and my partner. To finally find the truth in the maze of misinformation that is published, advertised and “spoon fed” to us, is an absolutely fantastic relief, and I cannot thank you and the Foundation enough. Raw milk, butter, free range (pasture-grazing) eggs, grass-fed organic beef and lamb, organ meats, beet kvass, and of course sauerkraut are all staples of our diet.

By the way, I now know why I ate so much raw salmon sushi during my pregnancies. Even though I was repeatedly told not to, I could not ignore what my body needed. When I spoke of this to the owner of the sushi bar (a Japanese man whose products are always made fresh, right in front of you), he laughed and said, “All pregnant women need raw salmon, this is what hundreds of thousands of Japanese women eat during pregnancy.” I knew he was right the moment he said it.

Kate Netschitowsky, Chapter Leader
Semaphore Park, South Australia

PARADOX

I have recently become a member of your organization. In the past, I read Dr. Price’s book on nutrition and physical degeneration. I am also familiar with the work of Dr. Pottenger and his experiments with raw protein and cats.

I also understand that certain vitamins are only found or best found and used in conjunction with fat. Some of the healthiest people are the traditional Eskimos and the Maasai warriors, both of whom live primarily on animal foods and fat.

However, I have recently been reading Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselsyn, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic of Medicine and The China Study by Dr. Colin Campbell, PhD. In these books they recommend a plantbased diet exclusively and suggest no more than 10 percent daily fat intake, all from plant sources. They claim remarkable results in arresting the advance of heart disease in patients suffering from cardiac problems and in addition show that they have been able in many cases to reverse atherosclerosis. They say they have taken people with seriously clogged arteries and returned those arteries to the condition of a teenager.

If what Price and Pottenger say is correct, how did these other doctors get these amazing results? Why are their results so at variance with your theories and with the experiences of people like Dr. Eades and Dr. Atkins? How is this explained? They say they have patients who have survived for over twenty years on a zero-fat diet. Why can’t I understand the paradox, what am I missing?

Edward Green
Chicago, Illinois

Editor’s Response: These are important questions and we spend a good deal of time trying to correct the misinformation put out by folks like Esselsyn and Campbell, misinformation that causes people to turn away from healthy dietary principles. Campbell actually misrepresents his findings. He did not find any benefits from a plantbased diet in the China Study. See the review of his book and also the article about diet in China. Regarding the claim that a lowfat diet will give you arteries like a teenager’s, we are not aware of any study in the literature that would allow a scientist to make that claim. The lowfat, plant-based diet that so many health-conscious people have adopted over the last few decades has been a colossal failure. Please see our article The Oiling of America for a description of the fraud and manipulation that goes on in heart disease research.

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