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Letters, Fall 2006 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 September 2006 18:39

Conflicting Message

As much as I enjoyed "The Town of Allopath" in the last issue of Wise Traditions (Summer 2006), I was dismayed when I went to the source site listed. If one goes to, one will find much information or rather, propaganda, against the ideals of WAPF. Mike Adams, the author of the piece, is against dairy products and promotes a raw, vegan lifestyle. I feel this sends a conflicting message. Maybe there ought to have been a disclaimer included. Did someone drop the ball when deciding to use the story?

Lisa M. Richards
Ft. McGuire AFB, New Jersey

Editor's Response: You are right, your editor decidedly goofed in not checking out the website before running the story. We would have still included "The Town of Allopath" in the journal, but with the following disclaimer: The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Hopefully, Mr. Adams will become familiar with our message as a result of our publishing his excellent allegory.


Thank you for your excellent review of The Fish We Eat (Summer, 2006). However, I need to offer a disclaimer to the last sentence in the second paragraph, which should state that ". . . botulism seldom occurs in traditionally fermented foods. . ." I would never claim a zero possibility of botulism, it is too deadly and capricious. People need to be extra vigilant in their food preparation, instead of complacent.

The only other change would be to use Inupiat (which is the language and people of northwest Alaska), instead of Inuit (which is the language and people of eastern Canada), although they do have many similarities, including many of the same foods.

Anore Jones
Three Rivers, California

Editor's Response: The suggested change regarding botulism, as well as the change of Inuit to Inupiat, was made for the online version of the review.

Egg Lecithin in the Formula

I would like to share my discovery of how to keep the oils from separating from the milk in the homemade baby formula. The trick is to open up and add two capsules of powdered egg lecithin (Nature's Plus brand, available on the internet) to the formula and then blend in a blender. It works perfectly! Plus the baby is getting additional nutrients from egg, and even some lauric acid, which is listed on the label as a component of egg lecithin.

Cherie Calvert
Chevy Chase, Maryland

Editor's Response: Read our Recipes for Homemade Baby Formula as well as Formula FAQ.

Roundup-Treated Wheat

Along with my wife Sherry and family of five raw-milk-raised children, we are blessed to have our herd of organic Jersey cows for over 26 years.

When reading the article on the epidemic of gluten intolerance in the Summer 2006 issue, a parallel event struck me, from my farming perspective. In a period closely preceding the flood of increase in intolerance, began the near 100 percent practice of treating nearly ripe wheat crops in both Canada and the US with an unhealthy dose of Round-Up herbicide during the final ripening period. The large grain brokers and mills dock the farmer heavily for "green" kernels in the harvest, and with the price of toxically grown wheat at pre-WWII levels, the conventional farmer uses Round-Up and other herbicides to "brown out" the unripe wheat at harvest.

Monsanto will deny it, but glyphosate and its breakdown components are not health food. Please buy organic and use sourdough starters!

Walt Kawecki
Henvelton, New York

The Magic of Chicken Soup

An advertisement for collagen hydrolysate in a journal claims that the bioactive collagen peptides formed by hydrolysis of collagen, when ingested, are absorbed intact and deposited in the cartilage coating the ends of bones in the joints. Whereas many arthritis treatments merely lessen the discomfort, this product is advertised as actually improving the arthritic joint cartilage, thereby secondarily improving function and lessening discomfort.

By 1994, my knee problems increased to the point that discomfort kept me from riding a bike even a few feet. An orthopedic surgeon looked in both knees through an arthroscope. In each knee portions of the usual cartilage covering were gone, exposing bare bone. He did some "house cleaning" and treated the exposed bone in hopes that my body would form some scar tissue covering as a poor substitute for the worn, broken away and missing cartilage. My symptoms much improved but I always had fluid in the knee joint indicating that it was not as well as I might have felt.

One of our farm activities is raising chickens on pasture, processing and direct marketing them. A few customers take some chicken feet that we offer free, to make soup or stew. For the past two years we have used many hundreds of them to make chicken-foot broth for ourselves. For decades, most bones that came through our kitchen had been made into bone broth but it was not a very concentrated broth. I have been adding one-half pint of very concentrated chicken-foot broth to my diet daily for the past two years.

Gradually, around eighteen months ago, my knee symptoms improved further. Now I seldom have fluid there.

I asked the surgeon if I should thank him for this recent improvement. He said not at all; what he did could at best temporarily lessen symptoms and delay by months or a few years the need for artificial knee joints. He volunteered that the chicken-foot broth might well be a product to market, but he suggested that I not emphasize the chicken foot origin.

I would propose that broth--bones, ligaments, tendons and joint cartilage, all simmered for a day or two in water with some vinegar--has a major component none other than the collagen hydrolysate promoted in advertisements, although I do not know the commercial production details.

Charles Henkel
Norfolk, Nebraska

Editor's Response: Read more about broth: Broth is Beautiful and Why Broth Is Beautiful

Health Benefits of Shrimp Paste

I have been reading your articles, especially the "Out of Africa" and "Thailand: Land of the Coconut" on your website, where you talk about fermented shrimp paste. I found this abstract online, which you may be interested in: "Fibrinolytic, cardioprotective enzyme derived from fermented shrimp paste" ( According to the article, "A fibrinolytic--and potentially cardioprotective-- agent has been isolated from an unlikely source. In a recent study from Canada, a novel fibrinolytic enzyme was purified from fermented shrimp paste, a popular seasoning used in Asian countries."

I would be very interested if you would write more about this kind of food, as it is found throughout Africa and Asia. I live in Ghana and try to eat that kind of paste nearly every day-- but I'm an expat, not Ghanaian. Here they call it "shito," "shitor," or "black pepper sauce."

My friends cook it using two kinds of dried shrimp, dried small fish, tomato paste, and of course plenty of dried cayenne peppers (to taste). I have tried to discover what oil was originally used in the sauce, since now it is made using "Frytol," a brand of refined palm oil. One friend told me it was made with shea nut oil, but people like Frytol better because the shea nut oil "had a taste."
Thanks for all the hard work you do!

Meg Ross
Accra, Ghana

Editor's Response: Thanks for this confirmation of the health benefits of a traditional African food. Fermented shrimp paste contains not only fibrinolytic enzymes, but also would supply an abundance of vitamins A and D, iodine, magnesium, calcium and many other minerals. Refined palm oil is fine for frying as it is composed of mostly stable saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.

Palm Oil Under Fire

I am a new subscriber to your newsletter. As you can imagine, your information has been quite a revelation to me after spending a half century in health care, having graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1956.
Earlier this week on the morning Fox News show hosted by Ms. Quinn, a Dr. Alvarez was asked about palm oil. He spoke with dour criticism of its use owing to its being a highly saturated fat, which he told his audience must be avoided since it contributes directly to arteriosclerosis and heart disease. And he added that consumers should definitely not use any palm oil but instead use the popular vegetable oils such as canola and soybean oil. He conceded that olive oil was beneficial but only sparingly, making it clear that lowfat diets are best for healthy living.

I am sure you have to deal with these bold assertions on a daily basis. Please do continue with your good work and the messages you provide, though difficult for the American public to adopt.

Steve Barchet, MD
Issaquah, Washington

Filled in the Gaps

Dr. Silkman's article, "Is it Mental or is it Dental" (Winter-Spring 2006), really hit home and filled in the gaps left by no fewer than 147 allopathic and naturopathic medical books plus many more medical websites, which I have studied. As he explained, Dr. Price's dietary principles are best utilized by mothers in the preconception stage.

God made us in His image: perfect. But for only a second inside the womb. Then, processed foods take our tiny embryo and interrupt the building process. What an elegant plan Satan has. To abort and deform every life by brainwashing our parents with happy ads and cute commercials and big fat lies for pasteurized and processed garbage foods.

And by the time we are old enough and wise enough to understand why and how to correct it using God's foods, we've lost our money to useless medical professionals and we aren't strong enough to work anymore so we're supported by the government on a poverty income too small to afford God's natural raw organic foods from the few concerns willing to ship them to us.

I'm reading a book entitled, Education of a Princess, Marie Grand Duchess of Russia, by Russell Lord, translated from the original French and Russian. As children, Marie and her brother Dimitri were raised on the farm of Grand Duke Serge and his wife Elizabeth (sister of the Empress Alexandra). It's a cross-section of life on every average farm. What struck me as sad is how we have had to give up this ideal. On page 25 I read, "Every morning before breakfast we made a tour of the farm with my uncle. We would stop first at the stables and drink a glass of warm milk, fresh from the cow. Then, we would see the chickens, gravely walking around their enclosed yards, and take with us fresh eggs which had been saved for us."

Now, the milk's illegal and the eggs are for the budgets of the rich folks. Average and poor are left to eat garbage that people in 1904 Russia wouldn't have fed to their pigs.

Raw milk is the ideal food for people like me, who need to recover their health and who are forced to live on a meager budget. But raw dairy in Florida is rarer than rubies thanks to legislative and Department of Agriculture legalistic blockage.

Candace Reed
Lake Panasoffkee, Florida

Cod Liver Oil and Osteoporosis

In a recent Townsend Letter article about osteoporosis, the author Tori Hudson, ND, stated that the popular trend of giving cod liver oil to get vitamin D could be harmful because of vitamin A depleting the bones. I hope we can dispel this myth. Can you tell me about any native cultures that used cod liver oil and what their rates of osteoporosis were?

Dr. Paul Capobianco
Glen Cove, New York

Chris Masterjohn replies: Dr. Hudson's concern stems from studies carried out in Scandanavia that found a correlation between vitamin A consumption and osteoporosis. Even though Norway has areas with the highest fracture rate in the world, within Norway there is an inverse correlation between cod liver oil intake and fracture rate. The one, single study of vitamin A and osteoporosis risk that even mentions cod liver oil as a source of vitamin A found that the highest serum retinol intakes in the entire study were associated with the least degree of fracture. These results contrast with the finding of osteoporosis where vitamin A did not come from cod liver oil, including those where it came from land mammal liver, which has a negligible amount of vitamin D. The study found an even greater reduction in fracture risk for "use of a multivitamin or cod liver oil" compared to non-use. The one, single study indexed for Medline that is a human clinical trial of the effect of cod liver oil on fracture rate found that a teaspoon of cod liver oil per day had no effect on fracture rate compared to a teaspoon of cod liver oil with the vitamin D removed per day. The reason the vitamin D had no effect is probably because the vitamin D in a teaspoon of regular (not high-vitamin) cod liver oil (200-400 IU) is considerably below the amount needed to have any effect (800 IU minimum). But the catch was that both groups, even those administered the cod liver oil with the vitamin D removed, had a lower fracture rate than the total rate for the care center in which the study was conducted. That doesn't really strike me as much fodder for a case against cod liver oil. (See also Chris Masterjohn's article on Vitamin A and Osteoporosis.)

Protein Dangers

The articles and discussions of fat fads and habits on your website pay little or no attention to a case which, in my opinion, has become fairly common since the idea of carbohydrate limitation became more widely accepted. This is the case of people who cut back on carbohydrates but don't compensate by eating more fat. The idea remains stubbornly fixed, resisting rational argument, that fats make you fat. All this leads to a diet overly rich in protein.

I'd like to see on your pages a discussion of the health effects of that. We know from the experience of traditional carnivores such as the Inuit and the Plains Indians that in a diet largely comprised of protein and fat, the ratio of fat to protein (by calories) is optimally around 4:1. A diet almost wholly of lean meat has dire health consequences--the so-called "rabbit starvation" well known amongst the Northern Indians. It appears to me that whatever the diet, the optimum amount of protein is just about constant, namely that meeting the body's structural needs and not much more. On a diet excessive in protein, the surplus is burned for energy or converted to stored fat. Either way, the results are not conducive to best health. Between the optimum protein intake band and the high-intake limit producing rabbit starvation, there must be a range of increasingly serious ill effects of excess. A systematic discussion of that would be very helpful in further conveying the role and importance of fats and drawing attention to the dangers of too much protein.

I strongly support the efforts of the Weston A. Price Foundation; keep up the good work and continue to be courageous!

Dr. Henry A. Becker
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Editor's Response: We are in complete agreement with the premise that a high-protein diet is dangerous. The main reason is that too much protein without adequate fat rapidly depletes vitamin A. We have discussed this subject in many articles, such as "Vitamin A Saga," "Guts and Grease" and "Adventures in Macronutrientland."

Terrible Dietary Changes

I grew up in Colombia and I have witnessed terrible dietary changes there. I learned in conversations with my grandparents that they cooked with lard, tallow and raw butter. My grandfather is currently 97 years old (in amazing shape) and he was the pharmacist in town, so everyone who got sick visited him. I asked him about the common illnesses of his time and he noted yellow fever and accidents. I asked him about cancer and heart disease and he said, "No, that came later."

Things have changed so much down there. It's sad to see that currently the "butter section" in the supermarkets is 98 percent margarine and 2 percent butter which is of course pasteurized. The oil section is even worse. You can only find refined vegetable oil.

I was a vegan for eight years and it has taken me over three years to recover from the devastating effects of that diet. What has helped me recover is obviously the consumption of organic, grass fed, free range animal foods, as well as other saturated fats, such as coconut oil, raw butter, fish oils and beef tallow and pork lard for cooking. The broths have also helped a lot.

Ximena Gonzalez, NSCA, CPT
Aventura, Florida

Nothing to Do with Safety

Many have argued that we should not drink milk, if only because clearly not all cultures have traditionally relied on milk as a major source of nourishment beyond mother's mammary glands, but there are plenty examples of some that did use (or are still using) it as a major food. Let's take modern-day Mongolia, where a large portion of society has returned to its traditional way of life (after the "liberation") and where the principal sources of food are herd animals (milk and meat). Those who returned to this lifestyle are generally healthy, but those who stayed in the artificial environment of the city are suffering from many nutritionally-induced problems, rickets being a major one.

The issue of pasteurized milk being healthy versus non-pasteurized is interesting, and probably well covered in many places. But some recent history will make it even more interesting. As you know, Poland is now a part of the EU. Being one of a very few remnants of genuine small farming practices, locally pasteurized milk and products were the norm until recently.

But the EU health norms dealt with this "health issue" swiftly, and now most milk products are "safe." With few exceptions (hand-made mountain cheeses being a notable one), most products meet EU standards of UHT! More importantly, milk and all types of products were consumed by millions of farmers and their families without any problems and many small farmers would sell their milk products directly off the street, in local markets or by direct home delivery to consumers.
The whole issue has nothing to do with safety, but a lot with the economics of scale, and therefore control of the market.

Not long ago, every local district in Poland had its own milk collection and distribution center, which also made value-added products, such as butter and cream. These were delivered fresh locally, but their use-by date was short, as it should have been for a fresh, unprocessed product.

Since joining the EU, the big boys have come to roost, and are slowly taking over the collection, manufacturing and distribution of milk products. Small factories are being closed, mainly because it is not economical to upgrade them to the EU standards, even though for many decades these were clearly adequate, as long as distribution networks were kept local. But in the economy of scale--too many people were "unnecessarily" employed, and the production costs were unjustly high (so goes the propaganda sold to the stupid consumer)--such small factories had to go.

Therefore, using the health and safety argument, the local milk processing plant has been destroyed, allowing the big boys to grow and control every aspect of the market. This clearly would not be possible if non-pasteurized milk was collected and sold or converted to other products. Distribution, delivery, and shelf-life times demanded by the modern manufacturers are not possible for most non-pasteurized products (with a few types of cheeses excepted).

Bogdan Sikorski, PhD
Canberra, Australia

Judging Raw Milk

In view of the pleomorphic nature of bacteria--that is, bacteria's ability to adapt rapidly in response to their environment, depending on whether it is toxic or non-toxic and bacteria's ability to rapidly change form--one should never allow governmental agencies to use fecal tests on humans to judge whether the original raw milk source was the source of the E. coli bacteria, but should assume that the non-toxic form of bacteria in the raw milk mutated into the toxic bacterial form producing the symptoms of disease due to the toxic environment they found themselves in--the bodies of potentially sick, diseased individuals. Only tests performed on milk samples at the dairy before bottling and shipment should be used.

Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno, California has conducted biological tests in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, on raw versus pasteurized milk. Much to the disappointment of these officials, the test showed that E. coli bacteria thrived in pasteurized milk but could not survive in raw milk.

I was a close friend of Kenneth Peake, owner and operator of a certified raw milk dairy in Monte Sereno, California and operated the dairy for Kenneth when he suffered a crippling fall. The dairy is still in operation in Watsonville.

One of Kenneth's famous responses to a dairy inspector's order to change from wooden stanchions to steel stanchions was, "You tell me what bacteria count you want me to meet, but don't tell me how to run my dairy." We never changed the wooden stanchions but continued our thorough daily cleaning and oiling of the stanchions with linseed oil each week. You could virtually eat off the floor of his milking parlor.

Charles H. Martin
Willits, California


Methaemoglobinaemia is a condition characterized by headache, weakness, tachycardia, and breathlessness and occurs with excessive conversion of haemoglobin to methaemoglobin, which is incapable of transporting oxygen. (

Methaemoglobinaemia can be caused by the intake of nitrates and nitrites. According to the May 2006 issue of Meat Processing magazine ("Innovation in Cured Meats," Dr. Joe Sebranek), the cured meat processors have been innovative in creating a method of retaining the cured color of processed meats, with indirect inclusion of nitrates and subsequently nitrite compounds. The method incorporates vegetable juices, included on the package label as natural flavoring, and novel cultures of bacteria such as Kocuria and Staphylococcus. Through a fermentation process, the bacteria convert the rich source of nitrate in the vegetable juices to nitrite.

The benefits to processors include anti-oxidant protection, flavor production and anti-microbial properties. The bacteria, while converting nitrate to nitrite, are responsible for generating compounds that contribute to flavor and aroma. Those sensitive to nitrites or those who may consume large portions of processed meats may experience methaemoglobinaemia even though the ingredients indicate no nitrite added. This is due to the endogenous production of nitrite. Clearly the processed meat industry has again circumvented ingredient labeling concerns while promoting "all natural" meat products.

Rick Hopkins
Marionville, Missouri

A Warning

My wife and I have been small farmers since 1989 and have always practiced both humane animal husbandry and non-certified organic farming with an emphasis on protecting the land, the water, the animals and our own health. We have been blessed immensely with nutritious and tasty food from our livestock and our gardens and have shared with others. We both have "off-farm" jobs and have farmed as we do because we like it and want to protect the Lord's earth while looking forward to farming full time for a living. We don't grow crops, but rather have developed our entire farm into 120 acres of grass. It has not been easy but has been rewarding.

I am intrigued by your idea of pooling resources for legal representation for small farmers much as the home-schoolers have successfully done. Now I would like to add a comment: be very, very careful what you advocate pooling to protect. Anyone with even the smallest observational skills can see that the mega factory farms are a direct and indirect assault on the small, sustainable, "family" farms, from the economic destruction affecting the communities and commodities alike to the toxic purging gasses from the open-air cesspools, always associated with the factory farm, to the atrocious treatment of the livestock and the absurd disregard for the local environment. It's all easily seen and I find it disgusting when our state, local, and community politicians deny the obvious. I've communicated with these politicians directly, at public hearings and through written correspondence, and the response is always the same--total denial.

What is less obvious, and is what I am writing to you about now, is the life-threatening, government-protected, terrorism promoted by some small farms. My wife and I have unfortunately experienced this toxic model, namely the use of open cesspools for waste storage, which is also being utilized by small "family" farms as a means of "cheating" to reduce labor. I say "cheating" because these small farms are ruthlessly expelling their neighbors from their homes while hiding behind "right-to-farm" laws to legitimize their dirty work, while claiming to authorities to be small "family" farmers.

After peacefully living on our farm, caring for our livestock, cultivating a loyal customer base, and rebuilding an older home, the property next to us sold and the new owner placed a 100-cow confinement dairy and open cesspool approximately 600 feet west and 15 feet uphill from our home. In addition to the obvious stench that comes from liquid manure systems, the deadly hydrogen sulfide gases (and other elements) created a safety issue so bad that we had to leave our home.

We now live in an apartment while daily returning to our farm to care for our now dwindling livestock operation. Our health symptoms have ranged from manure odors on our breath, breathing issues, skin irritations, memory loss and other mental dysfunction to burning mouth, lips and tongue and constant mental harassment (the detailed list is much longer). Our state and local Indiana officials have no sympathy for us and, conversely, have actively worked to support this assault despite our constant complaining.

We are currently in a small-time court case because the operation spilled wastes on two separate occasions into two different creeks that traverse our property. Being downhill as well as usually downwind from the confinement property our property effectively becomes the "bio-filter" for all the pollutants. We have been unable to live on our farm for over two years.

The purpose for my providing you this extremely abbreviated story of our struggle is to ensure that you understand that not all "small" family farms are equal and that promotion of proper manure handling techniques as well as an over-all ecologically sound production program should be a part of any and every farm program promoted by your Foundation or any other organization concerned with human nutrition and preservation of the environment.

In closing I would also like to volunteer our farm for study by any of the Foundation board members or associates who may be interested in our situation and the extreme contrast that our two farms so grossly illustrate.

Eric Stickdorn
New Lisbon, Indiana

Editor's Response: We hope one of our members will volunteer for this interesting study! Your warning is well-taken; any legal defense fund we set up should carefully describe the nature of the farms to be included in the fund.

Infant Colic

Jen Allbritton's article on infant colic (Winter 2005/Spring 2006) presents the theory that poor brain maturity, caused by inadequate prenatal nutrition, is the likely underlying cause of colic. However, another school of thought suggests that high brain sensitivity may be associated with this condition. The population of gifted children may be at greater risk of suffering from allergies, asthma, hypoglycemia and colic than those considered to have lagging mental development. (See Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults by James T. Webb, and others.) Clearly, not all profoundly gifted individuals suffered from colic as infants, and not all colicky babies grow into intellectually gifted adults; however, several researchers have pointed out the overlap of high sensitivity and advanced cognitive function. Interestingly, British psychologist Penelope Leach cites a study in Babyhood on the higher incidence of colic among babies born to high-IQ moms.

My daughter suffered horribly from colic from birth, her body stiffening and electrified in agony as she screamed predictably every night from 6-9 pm; she also woke every hour on the hour to nurse for the first few months of life. Inadequate nutrition? I think not, for though I was not aware of Weston A. Price's research at the time, my daughter exhibited exuberant physical health from birth, along with some gorgeous, wide dental arches, and my prenatal diet was rich with the bounties of Napa Valley "foodie" culture, including organic meats, dairy, eggs and produce. Inadequate brain function? I think not, as she had a vocabulary of 200 words at age one and taught herself to read by age three.

The knotty problem of my daughter's colic has both irritated and intrigued me for some time now, and I've sifted through all the various possible contributing factors Allbritton mentions, particularly environmental stressors. It wasn't until I came across an article by A. Cronin on the Davidson Institute for Talent Development website that a giftedness theory began to emerge; Cronin, the mom of a colicky and profoundly gifted child, discusses the concept of "asynchronous development," that is, her child's mental capacity so far preceded the physical that intense frustration and pushing of physical limits to the point of chronic exhaustion and over-stimulation ensued.

I'd love to know whether any "WAPF mommies" have experienced colicky infants despite excellent prenatal diets. My husband and I used to vent our stress by gently making fun of what we came to call "peanut babies," sleeping happily in their carriers while our three-month-old force of nature, who pulled herself to standing against the coffee table over and over again until she collapsed in rage, seemed infinitely more mentally alert. I doubt that herbal tinctures and chiropractic manipulations would be the remedy in my particular case.

Jennifer Anderson
Napa, California

Editor's Response: Our standard remedy of cod liver oil to provide vitamins A and D, along with liver and egg yolks as first foods, would be our first recommendation for a precocious, colicky baby. Early brain maturity may cause a greater need for these nutrients.

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Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2009 19:15