Caustic Commentary, Winter 2015

Sally Fallon Morell takes on the Diet Dictocrats

CONTENTS:

MORE EFFICIENT
A HARD THEORY
A HUNT FOR A CURE
NO SEX REQUIRED
CANE OR BEETS?

THE K WORD IN THE PRESS!
K2 FOR CANCER
SEISMIC SHIFT

SOMETHING FISHY ABOUT FISH OIL
Fish oil supplements are a billion-dollar industry—at least one in ten Americans takes fish oil regularly—built on promises of good health with omega-3 supplementation. The National Institutes of Health claim that fish oil supplements are “likely effective for heart disease,” because they contain “beneficial” omega-3 fatty acids; yet on another page of the website you can read “Omega-3s in supplement form have not been shown to protect against heart disease.” The latter statement is more likely correct. From 2005 to 2012, medical journals published at least two dozen studies on fish oil. All but two of these studies showed that fish oil provided no protection against heart disease compared to a placebo (NY Times, March 30, 2015). In fact, fish oil can be hazardous when combined with aspirin or other blood thinners. The truth is that fish oil is a waste product of the fish meal industry. In these pages we have described the two main methods for obtaining the oil. One involves processing the oil at 95°C while the other produces the oil by mixing it with “water and a monosodium glutamate (MSG) by-product with stirring, fermenting the mixture in the presence of urea, processing the mixture with steam, and centrifuging the mixture to separate water and phospholipids from the fish oil. Further steps are neutralizing the separated fish oil with NaOH (caustic lye), washing and drying the washed fish oil in a vacuum, mixing the dehydrated fish oil with powders of earthworm excrement, subjecting the mixture to reaction at least 30°C or higher for 0.5-1 hour, bleaching the fish oil absorbed into the earthworm excrement powders by use of activated clay, filtering the bleached fish oil through a filter, deodorizing the bleached and filtered fish oil under a steam atmosphere in a high-vacuum, deodorizing apparatus, cooling and filtering the fish oil and packaging it into a closed vessel” (westonaprice.org/health-topics/update-on-cod-liver-oil-manufacture). WAPF recommends small amounts of gently extracted fish liver oil, enough to get adequate vitamins A and D, without overdosing on omega-3 fatty acids.

MORE EFFICIENT
Professor Mike Brown of South Dakota State University is working on a fish food to replace fish for carnivorous fish. Much of the farm-raised tilapia, Atlantic salmon and catfish get pellets containing anchovy, menhaden and herring (the by-product of which is fish oil, see above). Brown hopes to develop a fish feed that would “convert some farm-raised fish into vegetarians.” That feed would come from soy, of course, and help soybean farmers “dealing with stockpiles that have driven down prices.” The researchers have been working with various species, including coho salmon, rainbow trout, barramundi, white leg shrimp, yellow perch and hybrid striped bass “to see how much of the feed can be added to the species’ diets without affecting physiology or reducing growth.” Why would anyone want to feed feminizing soy to fish when environmentalists warn that “feeding fish species an uncommon food source could produce excess waste that muddies up inland tanks or offshore waters where fish are raised,” and produce embarrassing things like hermaphrodite fish? Money, of course. Fish-based fish feed currently costs up to two thousand dollars per ton, while soybean meal runs just over four hundred dollars per ton. Soy feed is “pretty darn efficient,” says Brown (The Delmarva Farmer, December 1, 2015).

A HARD THEORY
It’s really amazing how hard it is for conventional scientists to accept the premise that the intake of vitamins and minerals has anything to do with “dental deformities”—crowded teeth and malocclusions. A recent example is “Incongruity between Affinity Patterns Based on Mandibular and Lower Dental Dimensions following the Transition to Agriculture in the Near East, Anatolia and Europe” (PLOS ONE, 2015;10(2):e0117301). (Translation: Crooked Teeth Among Agriculturists.) The researchers noted almost “perfect harmony” between the lower jaws and teeth of the earliest humans, which “begins to fade” as humans transitioned to farming. The reason, say the investigators, is that the hunter-gatherer ate “hard” foods like wild uncooked vegetables and meat, while the staple diet of the sedentary farm is based on “soft” cooked foods like cereals and legumes. No consideration is given to the possibility that the higher levels of minerals and vitamins, especially fat-soluble vitamins, in the animal foods of the hunter-gatherer were the factors conferring excellent bone structure. In any event, the foods of the hunter-gatherer were not necessarily hard. Typically the organ meats, fat, and tenderest flesh were shredded with stone knives and cooked, along with the blood, inside the stomach of the animal. Vegetables often came in the form of thoroughly chewed and half-digested plant matter in the animal intestines. What’s often lacking in the diets of agriculturists is sufficient vitamins A, D and K, supplied by animal organs and fats. These vitamins are critical to facial formation in utero and during growth.

A HUNT FOR A CURE
The National Institutes of Health is gearing up to find a “cure” for chronic fatigue—“the mysterious, debilitating condition that disables many of the more than one million Americans who have it.” The condition is so widespread that doctors can no longer call it a psychosomatic condition. The agency wants to “recruit some new bright ideas and idea generators” to solve the riddle. In recent years, research had focused on the idea that chronic fatigue was caused by a mouse retrovirus (Washington Post, October 29, 2015). Let’s hope the “new bright ideas” include the obvious: processed food, poor gut health, amalgam fillings and root canals, and multiple vaccines.

NO SEX REQUIRED
Classical genetics is predicated on the theory that genetic traits can only be passed “downstream” from germline cells (egg and sperm) to somatic (bodily) cells via sexual reproduction. According to this view, genetic change can take hundreds, thousands, and even millions of years to appear. However, a new study has found that genetic information can be transferred “upstream” from somatic cells to germ cells. The research found that mice grafted with human melanoma tumor cells genetically manipulated to express genes for a fluorescent tracer enzyme were found to release molecules containing the enzyme into the animals’ blood and then deliver the genetic information to mature sperm cells where the information remained stored. The discovery revives the Lamarkian concept that an organism can pass on characteristics it has acquired during its lifetime to its offspring and implies that our nutrition, toxic exposures and even our behaviors and experiences can be passed on to our offspring and affect their biological destinies into the distant future (greenmedinfo.com/blog/no-sex-required-body-cells-transfer-genetic-info-directly-sperm-cells-amazing). It also begs the question whether the genetic material inserted into GMO seeds can be passed upstream to human germ cells.

CANE OR BEETS?
In 2008, the country’s ten thousand beet farmers switched almost overnight to GMO, Roundup-resistant seed. Since then, market share has declined steadily, from 47 percent of total U.S. sugar usage to less than 41 percent, as manufacturers switch to non-GMO ingredients, like cane sugar. Thanks to consumer pressure, companies like Hershey, Ben and Jerry’s, and General Mills have pledged to remove GMO ingredients. Rather than explore new conventional seed options, the sugar beet industry has embarked on a marketing campaign, enlisting eighteen women, largely farmers and wives of farmers, to defend sugar beet sugar on Twitter and Facebook, and to persuade the public that GMO seeds are safe (reuters.com/article/2015/10/29/us-sugar-gmo-insight).

THE K WORD IN THE PRESS!
Over the past few years, newspaper articles have described the decline in soft drink consumption, claiming that consumers are turning to water or “flavored teas” out of concern for taking in artificial sweeteners or too much sugar. Never a mention of the K word—K for kombucha—occurs in these articles, even though sales were four hundred million dollars in 2014, with estimated yearly growth of 30 percent. But kombucha entered the mainstream on November 10, 2015 with an article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s Business & Tech section. The article focuses on alcohol levels in kombucha and mentions our own Hannah Krum, president of Kombucha Brewers International, a trade group representing dozens of producers. Krum is lobbying government officials to use advanced alcohol testing techniques that do not give falsely high alcohol levels due to interference with the organic acids in kombucha. The article mentions benefits to digestion from this living food. It’s nice to see the K word reach the mainstream.

K2 FOR CANCER
Research indicates that vitamin K2—Dr. Price’s so-called X-Factor—provides key protection against cardiovascular disease, supports optimal growth and facial development, is vital for reproduction and supports brain myelination and learning capacity. Now we can add cancer protection to the long list of K2‘s benefits. Researchers at the University of Limerick found that vitamin K2 derivatives significantly inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells of the deadly triple-negative variety (Nutr Res 2015 Aug;35(8):736-43). Best sources of vitamin K2 in the Western diet are aged cheese, the fat and livers of ducks and geese, butter and egg yolks. It’s time to recognize these foods as health foods, and not something to be shunned by individuals with cancer and heart disease.

SEISMIC SHIFT
Economists are noticing a “seismic shift” in the way people are eating as they wake up to the dangers of processed foods. Per capita soda sales are down 25 percent since 1998, with orange juice consumption down 45 percent. Sales of packaged cereals are down over 25 percent since 2000 and sales of fast foods like McDonald’s are also on a downward spiral. Industry insiders now refer to grocery store center aisles as “the morgue” as consumers have increased their intake of fruits and vegetables and of fresh prepared foods. Food companies are tinkering by removing artificial flavors, lowering sugar content and, in the case of the fast food companies, limiting antibiotic use in their feeder farms. According to analysts Hans Taparia and Pamela Koch, “Instead of throwing good money after bad for its lagging frozen products, Nestlé, which is investing in a new $50 million frozen research and development facility, should introduce a range of healthy, fresh prepared meals for deli counters across the country . . . .These changes would require a complete overhaul of their supply chains, major organizational restructuring and billions of dollars of investment, but these corporations have the resources. It may be their last chance” (NYTimes, November 6, 2015). These “supply chains” have already undergone overhaul in the hundreds if not thousands of CSAs, food co-ops and direct farm sales and delivery set-ups, which are bringing nutrient-dense farm products to our communities. The inconvenient truth for the giant food companies is the impossibility of making any kind of profit on truly healthy food. Consumers need to make their own arrangements to obtain the kinds of foods that confer optimum health on their families.

Sally Fallon Morell is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk. She is the author of the best-selling cookbook, Nourishing Traditions (with Mary G. Enig, PhD) and the Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care (with Thomas S. Cowan, MD). She is also the author of Nourishing Broth (with Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN).

Leave a reply

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