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Letters, Summer 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 June 2010 17:39

EATING IN FEAR?

Regarding your issue focused on plant toxins (Spring, 2010), I wish people would stop dissecting their food so much and enjoy what our Creator has given us in terms of produce, meats, dairy, grains, beans and nuts—as long as they have been unadulterated and are grown and raised or fed according to what nature intended. To compare scientific research that is based on studies done with typical American cuisine with that of a truly natural traditional wholesome diet is insanity, but it is often done.

As for concerns about polyunsaturated fatty acids, I’ll keep eating my nuts and seeds, and those delicious avocadoes; and for those demonized goitrogens like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, I will eat them as well and maintain my excellent health in doing so. Eat not in fear, especially for those with thyroid issues; your veggies are not your problem.

As for those who are also in fear of eating something because it contains certain harmful substances, let me remind you that Nature knows best and knows why things contain what they do; however, we are too naive to understand why, and so we rationalize our thinking that we know better. This foolishly makes us sound intelligent amongst our peers and friends, but in reality it’s only filling the need of ego.

Have you ever sat and wondered why our bodies contain so many organs and glands? Do we really understand digestion, utilization, assimilation, elimination and all the other processes that go on in our bodies? Could it be that almost all things contain something, if isolated, that could do us harm? Hasn’t nature given us the ability to handle such substances?

I’m thankful that my Creator gave me common sense, eyes to see, a nose to smell, a mouth to consume, teeth to chew, a tongue to taste, and a stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, kidneys and intestines to process a wide variety of food. We even have a complex system to detoxify and eliminate toxic waste. How clever!

I like to keep things simple as I believe nature intended them to be. If we are honest with ourselves, the more we think we know by digging deeper and deeper into things we know little about, the more we realize we know nothing at all. My trust is in nature not man. Stop dissecting your food and enjoy your bounty.

Dr. Bogozat, DC, ND
Monroe County, NJ Chapter Leader
Cedar Knolls, New Jersey

The goal at WAPF is to create superb health in the next generations so that everyone can enjoy a variety of foods without side effects—including grains, dairy foods, and problematic vegetables—as long as they are naturally grown or raised and prepared to maximize digestibility. However, many people today have severely compromised digestion and are forced to be careful about what they eat.

LYCOPENE

I very much appreciated your nightshade article (Spring, 2010). I want to make one correction to the statement that lycopene is highest in tomatoes. This is not so. To my knowledge, lycopene is highest in the autumn olive berry (Elaeagnus umbellata), which normally contains up to eighteen times as much lycopene as tomatoes, and as far as I know does not cause allergic reactions. I would assume that other members of the elaeagnus family, like the goumi, trebizond date, silverberry and Russian or autumn olive, would also be very high in lycopene.

The autumn olive ripens anywhere from September to November in the Philadelphia area. It tastes like a tart version of a fruit roll-up. The seeds are edible, but not very good. It’s considered an invasive plant, and is often found growing wild or planted in parks, often by the seashore.

George Russell
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

PHYTIC PHOBIA?

The article “Living with Phytic Acid” (Spring, 2010) by Ramiel Nagel was very detailed and informative; however I do not believe that the conclusions and recommendations were warranted by the evidence presented. While I agree that phytic acid is an anti-nutrient, and that traditional people usually soaked or otherwise processed their grains resulting in a reduction of phytic acid, I believe that this ubiquitous chemical may be far less of a threat to human health than the author contends. Consider these points (quotations are from the article):

1. “In populations where cereal grains provide a major source of calories, rickets and osteoporosis are common.” That may be true, but is phytic acid causing these mineral deficiency diseases, or is another dietary factor or factors responsible? Most of the world now eats refined grains and refined sugars, from which a large portion of the minerals, vitamins and oils have been removed—not very good for bone health. Also, in many places where grains supply the major source of calories, the diet may be lacking in other important nutrients that aid in the utilization of minerals.

2. Mellanby’s experiments with dogs show that “High levels of phytic acid in the context of a diet low in calcium and vitamin D resulted in rickets and a severe lack of bone formation.” Dogs are primarily carnivores, so it is not surprising that they may be poorly adapted to dealing with phytic acid. Still, as with humans, a diet with too much phytic acid and low in vitamin D can result in bone disease. The culprit may not be phytic acid, but rather an unbalanced diet, or in the case of the dog experiments, a diet that is not species-appropriate.

3. “In general, humans do not produce enough phytase to safely consume large quantities of high-phytate foods on a regular basis.” Where is the reference for this claim? The following sentence references an article about malabsorption of minerals by vegetarians, but this is not relevant for those on the animal-inclusive WAPF diet.

4. “The traditional method for preparing brown rice is to pound it in a mortar and pestle in order to remove the bran. The pounding process results in milled rice, which contains a reduced amount of the bran and germ.” This is inaccurate. The purpose of pounding is to remove the outer, inedible hull of the rice, not the bran. I had my own mini-Weston Price adventure in 1980, when I traveled throughout nine Asian countries observing the growing and processing of rice. In most places, rice was grown and milled with machines to produce white rice. However, I went to several remote locations where rice was still hand-pounded and eaten as brown rice, such as villages in Sumatra and the mountainous areas of the Philippines. While the purpose of pounding is to remove the outer hull, in the process of pounding and winnowing a small amount of the bran and germ are lost leaving the rice about 90-95 percent whole. Since that time, I have always added about 5 percent white rice to my brown rice to replicate the way rice has been eaten by humans for thousands of years. I don’t know whether this practice has any health consequences, but I find the rice somehow tastes better and is easier to chew.

5. “Other experiments have shown that while whole grains contain more minerals, in the end equal or lower amounts of minerals are absorbed compared to polished rice and white flour.” Yet the article also says, “Several studies show that subjects given high levels of whole wheat at first excrete more calcium than they take in, but after several weeks on this diet, they reach a balance and do not excrete excess calcium.” This suggests that we may not need to worry about phytic acid in whole grains at all, and we can safely enjoy the health benefits of the high vitamin and mineral content found therein.

6. “It is not necessary to completely eliminate phytic acid from the diet, only to keep it to acceptable levels. . . In practical terms, this means properly preparing phytate-rich foods to reduce at least a portion of the phytate content, and restricting their consumption to two or three servings per day.” In my opinion, the article has not convincingly established just what are “acceptable levels.” Several of the traditional cultures studied by Dr. Price consumed grain as a major component of the diet without suffering tooth problems. Consider the Peruvian Indians. In commenting on their worn-down teeth, Dr. Price states, “Much of the food is eaten cold and dry, as parched corn and beans.” Did this apparently non-fermented, non-sprouted phytic acid feast of corn and beans cause tooth decay? In a group of 25 of these Indians he found, “not one tooth had been attacked by dental caries.” And, this achievement of dental health occurred in a location “where dairy products have not been and are not at present a large part of the nutritional program,” which “differs radically from the present and past groups of people who live in high valleys of Switzerland and Tibet where milk is plentiful.”

7. “Through observation I have witnessed the powerful anti-nutritional effects of a diet high in phytate-rich grains on my family members, with many health problems as a result, including tooth decay, nutrient deficiencies, lack of appetite and digestive problems.” Personal observations based on small numbers of people may have some value, but generally they are not good science. Let me give a counter example. Before adopting the WAPF diet that I now follow, I practiced macrobiotics for eighteen years. I ate grains almost three times a day, with nuts, beans, seeds and vegetables as a smaller component of my diet. I ate a small portion of fish once a week, but consumed no dairy, eggs, meat, fowl or refined foods. I soaked grains overnight in plain water before cooking them, but I never fermented or sprouted any grains or beans. On this low-calcium, low-vitamin D, lowfat, high-phytic-acid diet, one might expect my teeth to be filled with holes and my bones to be fragile. But in reality, I experienced only three small cavities during those eighteen years—and I never flossed. Also, I suffered two accidents that resulted in sharp blows to my leg bones, but I experienced no fracture. If phytic acid is so injurious to bones, shouldn’t I have suffered severe damage to my teeth and bones on this phytic-acid-rich diet?

In summary, my opinion is that the concerns expressed in the article about the dangers of phytic acid are overblown. Yes, we should follow the dietary practices of traditional people, but the suggestions in the article go beyond that. Individuals with genetic propensities toward bone problems may benefit from some concentrated efforts to reduce phytic acid in their diets, but for most people many of the elaborate measures recommended in the article are probably unnecessary.

Why do some on the WAPF diet experience dental cavities? Phytic acid and genetic susceptibility could play a role, but there may be other important factors. One possible suspect is excess sweets—even if they are the WAPF “approved” ones. Unlike the complex carbohydrates in grains, the simple sugars in sweets are a feast for tooth-decay causing bacteria. Traditional people had very limited exposure to sweets, except in the summer, and even then the fruits and berries they had were far less sweet than modern desserts jacked up with concentrated sweeteners like honey, sorghum, molasses, sugar, etc. In the cooler months, they may have had some dried berries preserved from the summer, or some honey on rare occasions, but that’s it. Traditional people were pretty much constrained to a healthy diet by Nature, but modern people have cheap, unhealthy food available in abundance. So just as we have to overpower our desires and say “No!” to junk food, we also have to mentally override our natural urge for sweets if we want to achieve optimum health. Bummer!

Roger Windsor
Pleasantville, Tennessee

Editor's Response: Roger Windsor is the former editor of Spectrum Magazine and a recovered macrobiotic living on a farm in Tennessee, where he raises grass-fed livestock and organic food for his family and neighbors.

Rami Nagel wrote his article on phytic acid in response to reports of widespread tooth decay in children whose parents were following WAPF principles while including a lot of grain in their diets. As stated in the article, individual responses to phytic acid in the diet vary considerably, most likely because of differences in gut flora. Some people produce enough phytase in the digestive tract to allow them to eat large quantities of phytate-containing foods without adverse effects.

VEGETARIAN JOURNEY

In 1972 at the age of eighteen I became a (pasteurized) lacto-vegetarian for spiritual and moral reasons. That was also the year I became involved in the natural foods and products industry, both professionally and as a lifestyle choice. It was not an easy journey given both the social disapproval and lack of dietary choices I had to manage.

Seventeen long years later, in 1989, I vividly remember reading John Robbins’ newly published book, Diet for a New America, where I learned that my diet was not only kinder to animals, but also healthier for me and (another big bonus) environmentally better for the planet. In my eyes my social status had suddenly risen overnight from pariah to world-saving super star, and I caught fire with conviction! Deep in my soul I had always known that the way humans treated the animal kingdom was intimately tied in with the fate of the planet, and here was a book to prove it!

Yet despite my stellar, organic, protein-balanced diet, moving into my forties turned out to be surprisingly tough. Dragging myself home from work, I would crawl into bed exhausted before I could even make a quick meal for my daughter. It was hard to have the energy to complete even ordinary chores.

As migraines appeared, later complicated by nightmares, anxiety, hot flashes and sweats, I was shocked to realize that at age forty-five I was experiencing early peri-menopause. I had eaten soy products daily for years. According to “experts,” I shouldn’t have these symptoms!

I finally agreed to food allergy testing and the results came back positive for almost all the foods I ate on a daily basis. When I eliminated the major offenders, thank god, the headaches disappeared. But without my usual protein sources—dairy and soy—I could barely function. Consistently, my ever-patient naturopathic doctor kept raising the suggestion of adding meat to my diet or, more accurately, tiptoed around the subject, since I would bite her head off (yes, a non-violent vegetarian) every time she brought up the idea.

Desperate to find food that would nurture rather than sicken me, one day a long-forgotten memory floated up from shortly after reading Robbins’ book twelve years earlier. I was fervently explaining to a stranger at a party why I thought a plant-based diet was, in fact, the next natural step in human evolution and he simply replied, “Good luck explaining that (vegetarianism) to all the indigenous peoples of the world!”

For some reason that recollection opened an internal floodgate previously held under lock and key. I lay my head down on the kitchen table and wept uncontrollably as doubts about my three decades of vegetarianism washed over me.

If this decision had affected only myself, I probably would be vegetarian to this day, albeit a dead or dying one. But I was the only parent my daughter had. And I knew she deserved a better mother than someone who snapped at her irrationally and spent endless hours in bed.

Nevertheless, it took me weeks to work up the nerve to actually let dead animals pass into my mouth. I heard many horror stories over the years of vegetarians vomiting meat at first bite. I settled on seafood as my first carnivorous meal because, if need be, fishing was a killing act I could most easily imagine myself actually performing. Holding my breath, I put the first forkful in. . . and immediately noticed (not that I said it out loud) how good it tasted! In fact, I had to force myself not to make a spectacle of myself inhaling the entire fish in the restaurant.

Gradually my health ratcheted upward. Headaches, exhaustion, insomnia, digestive problems, blood sugar and mood swings, frequent coughs and colds, a lifetime of gradually increasing health problems all improved on a steady upswing. Nevertheless, it took close to six months before I stopped feeling like I was starving.

But what about the claims of environmentalists that you can’t be serious about the movement without decreasing or eliminating meat altogether? Michael Pollan shed new light on this question for me in The Omnivore’s Dilemma: “Much of the carbon footprint of beef comes from growing grain to feed animals, which requires fossil fuel-based fertilizers, pesticides and transportation.”

The information in Robbins’ books only represents the effects of large-scale feedlot operations, not livestock living naturally on grass. Animals living healthy lives on small, diversified farms are not included in these figures.

Eliot Coleman, author of The New Organic Grower, hits the ball squarely at the petrochemical industry. “The culprit is not meat eating but rather the excesses of the corporate-industrial agriculture.” And he adds, “If I butcher a steer for my food, and that steer has been raised on grass on my farm, I am not responsible for any increased CO2. . . A vegetarian eating tofu made in a factory from soybeans grown in Brazil is responsible for a lot more CO2 than I am.”

Joel Salatin, sustainable farmer and author of six books, goes a step further. Since plants remove carbon from the air and fix it in the earth, he argues that animals living on pasture improve soil quality with their manure and therefore, actually reduce carbon emissions.

Thomas Harttung concurs. Harttung operates the world’s largest CSA through his Aarstiderne farm in Denmark where he grazes one hundred fifty head of cattle. “With proper management, pastoralists, ranchers and farmers could achieve a 2 percent increase in soil-carbon levels on existing agricultural, grazing and desert lands over the next two decades.” This is an astounding claim when some experts estimate that only a 1 percent increase in soilcarbon is necessary to capture the total equivalent of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. If Harttung’s figures are correct, then the proper management of livestock grazing is, in fact, a powerful tool for reducing emissions globally. Furthermore, it means the consumption of locally produced, pastured meat, dairy and eggs actually improves our environment by fixing more carbon into the soil than is emitted in the process of producing these foods. Wow. Talk about eating crow. . . so to speak.

Ironically, my essential belief remains fundamentally the same as it was almost four decades ago: all three evolutionary paths, those of human, animal and Gaia, are, in fact, a single road. But exactly how that road has unfolded in front of me has been a humbling and exacting process far different from what I expected! Thank you all again and again for keeping this information alive so that one day I could finally hear what both my body and the Weston A. Price Foundation have been saying for years!

Joanie Blaxter
Oak View, California

EARTHENWARE POTS

I am of Indian origin. After reading about traditional foods, I have been seeking whatever I can glean from elderly relatives as to how foods were cooked in their day. One thing that struck me was the use of clay pots and vessels for storing water and cooking. Bone broths, (to which acid in the form of tomatoes and tamarind were added), were traditionally cooked in these pots, very slowly, pretty much like a crock pot.

In the hot climate of India, water was stored in special earthenware vessels called surai and covered with a clean wet muslin cloth. Being of a porous nature, the pot kept the water inside it cool and also imparted a great taste to the water. Eventually the pots themselves wore out and were replaced frequently.

I am wondering whether the practice of storing water in clay pots increases the mineral content of the water and food? Those elderly people who remembered told me that you could not fall sick if you drank that water; they said it brought “strength and coolness” inside you.

I myself have tasted water from a surai—they are still available though plastic bottled water from the refrigerator has become common today. The water is delicious.

Suri Raj
Delhi, India

Editor's Response: No doubt the clay pots served several purposes. They kept the water cool and probably added minerals to water and broth. They may have also served a disinfecting role, as the pores in the pots can harbor beneficial bacteria.

FAILURE OF FAT-FREE

My mother died last year at eighty-two years of age. The cause of death noted on her death certificate was “failure to thrive.” Personally, I think she died of malnutrition. We had oleo in our home when I was growing up, even though my father had grown up on a farm. I think my parents believed the information that was becoming available in the 1950s about saturated fat and heart disease. I can remember my mother telling me not to eat the fat on the meat I was eating. I wanted to eat it! But I cut it off.

Later, when more manufactured food was available, my parents bought fat-free cheese, fat-free mayonnaise and skimmed milk. My mother used artificial sweeteners. I remember one time in the 1990s when I visited their home and looked in the refrigerator. I didn’t see anything in there that looked like food to me.

I found out about the Weston A. Price Foundation after my father died. I told my mother about it, but she was already experiencing enough mental confusion that she could not take in the new information or make any dietary changes. I finally had to come to terms with the fact that she had made the decisions about what she would eat many years before, had firmly believed she would need long term care, and therefore, the responsibility was hers. This realization was painful for me, because I thought proper food would help.

My mother had osteoporosis and had experienced numerous painful vertebral fractures. She lost eight inches of height and forty-five pounds. I suspect the drugs she took for the pain did not help her mental capacity, but she needed them. She was practically skin and bones.

My mother had always been fanatical about doing her exercises. She performed them regularly as long as I can remember. She walked, too, but all of this exercise did not help her to keep her muscle tissue intact since she was not supporting herself with proper diet.

Fortunately for me, I took some yoga classes in the 1980s and learned about eating butter. I learned about homeopathy. My homeopath eventually warned me about soy, and in searching the internet for information, I found the Weston A. Price Foundation in 2002. I also discovered that real food was not enough to get to the bottom of my health issues. I had to address the underlying emotional issues that were blocking my healing. I did this with the help of a practitioner of Quantum Techniques, a powerful energy healing system.

WAPF was the first leg and Quantum Techniques the second leg of my personal program. Tom Cowan’s information about super slow contraction training is the third. I googled “super slow contraction training” and found a local training studio where I am now recovering my muscle mass. This seems to be working well for me. I have a lot of energy, and I think I will recover more of this as time goes on.

Thank you WAPF for your efforts to get accurate information out to the public.

Carrie Martin
Toledo, Ohio

CALL ME ON MY HEART CELL

I appreciated Thomas Cowan’s article “A Holistic Approach to Cancer” (Winter, 2009) and his discussion of toxic aspects of our contemporary society, which contribute to cancers and other diseases. To reduce health risks, Dr. Cowan suggests several lifestyle changes including “throw away your cell phone; live as far away from a cell tower as you can.”

I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t even know how to text. I get the feeling I’m almost the only one left with a landline telephone, not to mention dial-up internet. Despite the apparent conveniences, a cell phone is something I’ve chosen not to have—because of the health risks, the damaging effects of cell towers rising up in our neighborhoods and wild lands, and the harm done to people and the planet in the desperate race to mine crystals for computer technologies to keep up with consumer demands for something more and newer and faster.

Yet I have to admit there’s one thing I love about cell phones: I can drive down the road alone in my car talking to myself. Nobody thinks I’m crazy. They just assume I’m plugged into some kind of mobile device.

Cell phones have become permanent fixtures attached to our bodies, gripped in our hands, stuffed in our pockets, always somewhere within reach. Friendships, love and commitment are now getting measured by how quickly and frequently text messages are sent. It’s rare to find a place where loud ringers aren’t ringing, where people aren’t talking on the phone or incessantly checking messages instead of engaging eye to eye, face to face, with those physically present. We’re visibly chained to our wireless gadgets.

People without cell phones are becoming extinct. And so is the stillness, that rich and vibrant space for the quiet inside us, between us, and all around. To an outsider looking in, it seems that cell phones and texting have become all-consuming habits. The never-enoughness of calls and messages; the thrill of the next text quick-fix; the belief it’s our lifeline. It’s got the flavor of addiction. And buried inside any addiction is something essential, beautiful, and true seeking freedom to be expressed.

Our ceaseless high-speed communications show how much we yearn to connect. We want to know we’re not alone, that they’re thinking about us and we’re thinking about them, that we’re loved, that we really belong. There’s nothing inherently wrong with modern technology and what it can offer us. My concern is about what’s been left behind in the addictive, distracting, quick-fix, disembodied rush.

It’s simply and naturally an unshakable fact of life: we are innately connected, person to person, heart to heart, with all beings in the extraordinary web of life. We can feel our belonging any time, any place and connect with anyone anywhere with our thoughts, loving regard, and healing intent. All that’s available 24/7. No batteries or cell towers required. Giving and receiving along these invisible energy lines instinctively woven between us, we can feel our belonging, nourish our relationships, expand loving connections beyond time and space and words. No one is ever out of range.

Most people are perplexed when they find out I don’t have a cell phone. After a long puzzled pause, stumbling for words, they question how I could possibly survive. Just call me on my heart cell—that’s what I like to say. And if you listen inside the stillness, I promise you’ll feel me call you right back.

JoAnne Dodgson
Abiquiu, New Mexico

DESPERATE VEGETARIANS

I am moved this morning to write and thank everyone at WAPF for your work. I get emails continuously from desperate vegetarians who know that their health is failing and are terrified because they know what they’re going to have to do. I think my role right now is to hold their hands while they eat that first bite of meat.

I got an email yesterday from a woman who not only was a vegetarian, but she was “breastfeeding an infant” on an “elimination diet” because the baby has eczema. So she can’t eat eggs or dairy or (thankfully) soy. There’s basically no fat or protein in her diet. I literally cried reading her note. That poor woman and that poor, starving baby! I begged her to eat some meat, some eggs, and some raw, grassfed dairy.

But the reason I’m writing to you is because it was so wonderful to include the link to WAPF and all the articles about babies and children. If she even spends ten minutes reading, she will have her whole world blown open, and there is every chance that she and her baby can find their way back to health. Where could I possibly have sent her if WAPF didn’t exist? WAPF has made it so easy. And you’ve created this vibrant, ever-growing movement that could change the world. I’m so grateful for your work.

Lierre Keith
Arcata, California

LOW-CARB PITFALL

Our family of four improved our health and well-being considerably on a nutrient-dense traditional diet. We then decided to try the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) to tackle some lingering issues.

A week or so into our transition, some old complaints—heartburn, sluggish digestion—became more intense, and several new symptoms developed— stomachaches, irritated bladder, irregular and rapid heartbeat, muscle twitching and leg cramps.

The explanation we got from members of the GAPS support group was that we were experiencing “die-off.” Not satisfied with this answer, we turned to the low-carb camp for another perspective. (GAPS is essentially a low-carb diet.) From those authors (Drs. Eades, Atkins, Sisson, Taubes, Gedgaudas), we were clued in to the possibility of mineral deficiencies, specifically potassium and magnesium.

We learned that when you switch to a low-carb diet, one initial effect is that you burn through your body’s glycogen stores, and the water that’s bound up with the glycogen is released. This flush of water takes potassium out with it. Both potassium and magnesium are crucial to proper muscle and nerve function.

The GAPS diet is not low in these minerals, but the bone broths and other nutrient-dense foods were apparently not enough to make up for our increased mineral loss during the transition period. In addition, we were eating a fair amount of fermented (salty) vegetables, like kimchi and sauerkraut. Because sodium and potassium work in opposition in the body, these higher sodium foods may actually have made our symptoms worse.

Within days of supplementing with potassium and magnesium, the symptoms we’d been having for weeks went away. If you are starting the GAPS diet, I strongly suggest you consider supplementing these minerals. Attributing your symptoms to “die-off” and waiting for them to pass may only make matters worse.

Dr. Cowan (Spring, 2010) mentioned adding grains back into the diet as a possible fix. If you prefer to avoid grains, another option would be to supplement your minerals until you can resume eating those foods that are naturally higher in minerals, like potatoes, nuts and legumes.

Angie Carr
Portland, Oregon

EVERYTHING IMPROVED

For the last fifteen years, my husband suffered from a long list of complaints. Most of his symptoms were not so severe as to cause him to go to a doctor—headaches, stomachaches, occasional diarrhea—and some were serious enough to send him to the doctor— depression, fatigue, over-active bladder. The list goes on! And, of course, nothing helped. Then we stumbled across the work of Dr. Natasha McBride and her Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet from a book at the library and the internet.

My husband was less than thrilled on the strict diet but, he was getting tired of being tired and depressed, so we tried it. Everything improved in two weeks! He has now been 90 percent better (his assessment!) for going on two years now. It was the best thing that ever happened for my husband. He now consumes raw milk, natural sweeteners, potatoes and other starches; only grains remain off the menu for now.

Charlene Turner
Maumee, Ohio

CIPRO DANGERS

With regard to your article on the antibiotic Cipro (www.westonaprice.org/The-True-Story-of-Cipro.html), you couldn’t be more accurate. I went to the emergency room in early January with what turned out to be a case of cellulitis in my right leg resulting from an infected crack in the bottom of my foot. After eliminating the possibility of clotting, the doctor prescribed me a course of Cipro.

The drug had no effect whatsoever on the infection—the leg kept getting bigger and the red marks kept going higher up the leg. I went back to the hospital and they gave me Bactrim, which finally knocked out the infection.

However, it was the after effects of Cipro that made this such an ordeal—my joints feel like someone is pounding on them with a hammer (tendonitis), my gout acted up in several areas at once, I had a minor rash over a good part of my body and I was so depressed I felt like drowning myself.

I’m down to just the tendonitis pain now. When I can move again, a very large, angry rugby player is going to pay the doctor a visit! My confidence in the medical profession is spiraling downward as the doctors become more and more dominated by the drug companies. Thank you for the information.

John S. C. Martin CIP, CCIB
Wallaceburg, Canada

SMALL FARMER & CONSUMER BILL OF RIGHTS

Like many folks in other states, we here in Maine are battling an increasing number of draconian state laws, which are incrementally putting our small farmers out of business.

Recently the Maine legislature passed a law that would require small poultry producers to purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of new equipment if they slaughter on the farm. As far as I know, we only have one or two government- approved poultry slaughtering facilities in the state, so most poultry producers must slaughter on the farm.

One farmer said the new regulations would require poultry producers to purchase at least ten thousand dollars’ worth of new equipment. Here’s a passage directly from the final draft of rules for the bill describing some of the new equipment that farmers would need: “Toilet rooms, if opening directly into any rooms used for processing or packaging, shall be equipped with self-closing doors.”

Self-closing bathroom doors! Does anyone know a small farmer who’s not already struggling under a dizzying array of regulations and their concurrent costs, who can afford the additional cost of installing bathrooms with self-closing doors! Even a farmer who slaughters five birds a week would need all this fancy and completely unnecessary equipment. It’s beyond ridiculous.

I’m tired of being in reactive mode all the time. I’m tired of fighting attack after attack on small farmers by both my state and by our federal government. Every time one new law or proposed law or regulation is fought over with much stress, time and effort, mainly by farmers fighting for their livelihood, another new oppressive law is proposed. We are constantly reacting.

It’s time to do something proactive. Maybe we concerned citizens and small farmers here in Maine and in other states should propose a law that would protect small farmers and consumers from future laws attacking small farmers— something along the lines of a Small Farmer Bill of Rights. But it would need to include consumer rights as well, as it is both the rights of small farmers to sell to us as well as our right to freely choose what food we wish to purchase that is under attack.

So maybe a “Small Farmer and Consumer Bill of Rights” would be a more appropriate concept. This would be a proactive way to prevent future oppressive laws from hurting small farmers and the consumers who choose to purchase their products. I don’t yet have a clear idea of what it would say—we’ll need a great deal of input from farmers and consumers to draft something. If citizens in one state drafted their own, maybe farmers and concerned citizen activists in other states could use it as a template or as an idea to generate their own.

Since first proposing this idea to my fellow WAPF chapter leaders on our email group, I’ve learned that there is already a well-organized movement in Oregon to draft something similar in concept, called the “Agricultural Reclamation Act.” See www.youtube.com/user/FamilyFarmFriends#p/a/u/1/Sqyk-NIr2zZY. Further, Florida has drafted the “Florida Food Freedom Act,” which would lift burdensome overregulation off the backs of Florida’s small farmers. See: www.ftcldf.org/aa/aa-26feb2010-4.htm. Lastly, I’ve been told that a group in Wyoming is working on similar legislation.

So, a few states are already moving in the direction of protecting small farmer and consumer food freedoms. We’re just getting started here in Maine on our own version of this. Please consider getting something similar organized in your state!

Suze Fisher
Casco Bay Maine WAPF Chapter
Brunswick, Maine

BIG CORPORATE MACHINE

Sometimes it is disheartening to see that despite all our efforts, the big corporate machine keeps rolling on across the world, leaving destruction in its wake. It is rolling across Russia now; all the popular “gurus” on TV are teaching people to boil their meat for half an hour, throw away the stock (because “it is full of cholesterol!”), then add more water and boil the meat again. Soup has always been a Russian staple, always made out of homemade meat stock. This propaganda just horrifies me.

Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD
Cambridge, U.K.

SOY REFLECTIONS

As a naturopath and medical intuitive, I’d like to share my observations of those who have eaten a lot of soy. First, men who continually drink their soy milk are unable to make their wives pregnant, as they have built up too much estrogen in their systems. And women who consume a lot of soy often lose their libido, especially if they are also on the pill. The cause is too much estrogen. Such women need to get off the soy and the pill and take some type of male herb to rebalance.

I have also found, through kinesiology, that those who have consumed a lot of soy often suffer from thyroid problems, and they are short of iodine. But most interestingly, those who have eaten soy routinely need manganese—not magnesium, calcium or zinc, but manganese. I do not know how to explain this as soy is actually high in manganese.

Geoffrey Morell, ND
Washington, DC

HAD TO INTERVENE

A few days ago I heard that a Latino friend in the restaurant kitchen where I work was now drinking soy milk. He is on a weight loss-diet and is doing some good things, such as no white sugar or flour, and no beer, and has lost thirty-three pounds so far.

When I heard about the soy, and also that he is drinking soy protein shakes, I knew I had to intervene. I found two soy articles (“Myths and Truths” and “Soy Infant Formula”) on the WAPF site translated into Spanish and printed them out for him.

When I gave them to him, he stopped his work at the stove immediately to start reading. He thanked me so very much! He has a sense of what is right to eat as he was very connected to agriculture in Mexico. When I first told him I thought the soy was not a good idea and he asked why, all I needed to say was that this white liquid came from a green-colored bean and was “very far away from the farm.” He understood instinctively what I was getting at, but the words in Spanish were the real trick.

I just ordered the info booklet in Spanish for him and was hoping some of the trifolds would also be available in Spanish—especially the cancer trifold, as his wife just had a breast cancer scare. Guess this is a long way of asking: how can I find out everything on the WAPF site that is in Spanish and what can we do to get more info translated? Here in Tucson, there’s lots that could be done with more info in Spanish!

Lynn Wright
Tucson, Arizona & Fort Jones, California

Editor's Response: All the translations on the WAPF website are listed here: www.westonaprice.org/Translations/. These have all been done by volunteers, and we would welcome more!

UNFORTUNATE CONTROL GROUP

You cannot know the punishment inflicted upon a person’s body by soy until you experience the violent reaction yourself. The prisoners are an unfortunate control group that could change the food industry in the U.S. In Canada and Europe, soy flour, “protein” and other soy derivatives are recognized as dangerous and the hype as a fraud. But in the U.S., the soy industry is subsidized by the government and as a result soy is the cheapest filler American companies can put in foods.

The soybean is on the FDA’s poisonous plant list for good reason. The stories of Chinese people eating it and benefiting from it as a source of protein are a lie. The only time people in China ate soybeans as a source of calories (rather than just as a flavoring) throughout the centuries was during times of starvation. And then, they fermented it before consuming it, knowing it was poisonous.

The inmate soyfood victims know that they will be painfully sick—heart attack sick—every single day. I went on the soy-based Nutrisystem for two weeks. I felt like my heart was attacking me, usually about 3 a.m. Vomiting was violent. It took six months to remove all of the soy from my diet and life. Doctors were unable to help because the dangers of soy are kept hidden in the United States. Nutrisystem counselors state they have never heard of these symptoms before, yet complaints similar to those of the prisoners are all over the internet.

In conducting my own research I learned that soy poisoning takes twentyfour hours to manifest its symptoms. The body produces an army of histamine compounds that will attack your next soy protein intake.

Reading labels is now a habit for me. I hadn’t thought soy would be in vitamins, probiotics and fresh baked bread, but it is. There is no label for soy notification required and no soy-free area in stores. This has to change. The food industry is poisoning us and our children to improve their bottom line. Soy is a fraud and I hope you and your clients prevail. They will remain ill long after the soy is gone.

Name withheld

LIMITED-TIME, LIMITED-BUDGET FEEDING SYSTEM

Reading the article by Jen Allbritton on baby-led weaning (Winter, 2009), I cringed a little. In the early 1950s (before I discovered Nutrition and Physical Degeneration), we were a dirt poor but health-conscious couple with more children than we had planned. To watch babies play with food was not an option; neither was spreading out a buffet for them to pick from. We did not have the luxury of time.

In the interim, roughly between weaning and table food, here is the system I came up with: the babies got four bottles of freshly milked goat milk a day. One bottle had a cereal blended in it, one had a yellow vegetable blended in it, one had a green vegetable in it (all vegetables home grown), and one bottle had fruit. An egg yolk (from our hens) was added to one of the bottles as well as some cod liver oil. The opening in the baby bottle was widened as needed.

Yes, I know, cereals should preferably be chewed, but pretty soon our children held their own buttered toast, chicken leg, etc. There never was coaxing at the table.

I reject the notion that babies should practice coordination by playing with food. They get coordination all day by playing with pots and pans (lids make delightful sounds as do wooden spoons on salad bowls), egg beaters, toys and pets.

By the way, our very first visit to a physician came when one of our teenagers got strep throat. I had gone for a three-week visit to see my mother in Europe, during which time he had slipped into junk food. All four grew into athletic individuals—who love vegetables and WAPF!

Treska Lindsey
Flat Rock, North Carolina

IODINE OVERDOSE?

In response to your article on iodine (Summer, 2009) I wanted to let you know of my own iodine experience.

At the time I started iodine I was twenty-six years old, one hundred seventy-five pounds with no chronic illnesses that I know of, except for low adrenal function (now diagnosed through cortisol tests, etc.). I was taking a multivitamin from Purity Products, plus EPA+DHA fish oil (not cod liver oil) and flaxseed (2 tablespoons) plus magnesium citrate.

My basal temperature was low, around 96.4 over several days. After beginning four drops of Iosol (a solution of iodine and ammonium iodide in water) per day (1,830 mg iodine per drop), I soon noticed a swelling sensation in my neck, roughly in the area of my thyroid. I stopped the Iosol. The distress went away, but came back in about a week. I resumed Iosol at one drop a day, and it went away. I added Standard Process Drenamin (3 tablets) and Thytrophin (2 tablets) daily.

After about three months of this regimen, I began to have bowel difficulties— bloating, discomfort, low-level diarrhea, irregular bowel movements. No dietary or other changes would’ve caused that, I think. After a couple weeks, I thought there could be an iodine connection, and stopped taking the Iosol, but continued the glandulars. Within days the bowel problems went away and have stayed away. The makers of Iosol said they have never had a problem with it. (I had read about this protocol in Dr. David Williams’s Alternatives newsletter.)

I have no idea what to make of all this and neither does my chiropractor, but it was very unnerving, and I thought you might wish to add the story to your files on iodine.

Paula Gifford
Boston, Massachusetts

IODINE ON THE SKIN

Last summer I went to the dermatologist because I had a small dry patch of skin on my cheek that would not go away. She froze it off, very gently as I had asked, so I would not get a scar. It came back again and the physician wanted me to try photo dynamic therapy, (PTD) which involves putting chemicals on the face and then going under a UV light, resulting in a very red, peeling face for a few days.

Before I went in, I read the article about iodine and the advice from Dr. Morell about using iodine on actinic keratosis and skin cancer. I went in for the PTD, but chickened out before it was started. I told the doctor about the iodine, and she said to go home and try it “as an experiment.”

After a couple of weeks, the dry patch was gone, (I actually peeled the dead skin off) and it has not returned.

I used Lugol’s Iodine, 7%. The only mistake I made was ordering it on the internet, unknowingly from Costa Rica. It cost more for shipping than it did for the iodine, and then I was charged extra on my credit card for ordering outside of the U.S. But the most important thing is that it worked!

Thanks so much for the valuable information, once again.

Beth B.
Farmington, Connecticut

SPICES

You have taught me that food with “spices” on the label is suspect of containing MSG in some form. Yet, when I contacted a food company, they sent me the following reply: “According to FDA regulations, which we follow strictly, only actual spices can be listed under the general term of ‘spices’ on the ingredient label. Thus, when you are considering any of our products, you can be assured that the term ‘spices’ refers only to spices, and nothing else. Since spices are free of MSG, you can be assured you are avoiding this product. Please be aware that we do have some products that contain MSG. These products have monosodium glutamate listed on the ingredient panel (in exactly that terminology).”

Please tell me whether the FDA really does have the rule stiplating that spices may mean only spices.

Jane Kraft
Alger, Ohio

Response from Jack Samuels: Spices, as defined by the FDA, should be safe for MSG-sensitive people. The website truth-in-labeling.org does not list spices on our list of MSG-containing ingredients. However, it has been found that some spice importers or sellers of spices have added MSG to some spices, without identification.

I do not think that the use of undisclosed MSG in spices is common because the resulting product would be mislabeled and would subject the involved companies to liability. Certainly, a major spice company would not want to take the risk of adding undisclosed MSG to their products. Having said the above, I once saw individual packets of red pepper flakes that included a disclosed source of MSG. Can you imagine red pepper flakes that need a flavor enhancer?

NO BROKEN BONES

I grew up on a Virginia farm as part of a family of eight boys. None of us ever had a broken bone, and I attribute that to the fact that we all drank raw milk.

Tam Murray
Alexandria, Virginia

 

GOOD HEALTH FROM RAW MILK

My two brothers and I were raised on raw milk. We are now in our sixties. My youngest brother takes some medication, but my older brother and I take no medication. We do regularly take vitamins.

I raised my son and daughter on raw milk. Now in their thirties, neither takes any medication. They suffer only from some psoriasis. Other than that, they are very healthy. I attest that our good health had its good start in drinking raw milk. My mother was a strong advocate. She was a farm girl from South Dakota.

I am sorry for those that oppose the legalization of this wonderful product. It is their loss. If they could follow so many of us, like my family, rather than focus on those alleged to have fallen ill drinking raw milk, I believe they would discover there are more healthy than ill folk.

Carrie Gonzalo
La Crescenta, California

HISTORICALLY SUCCESSFUL METHOD

I am writing in appreciation for the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Wise Traditions journal.

Real milk is a big issue in alternative agriculture today. Those of us who provide raw milk are on the front line of regulation and sometimes disruption. What can we do to come further ahead in this battle? My advice is that we should avoid having a negative attitude towards the USDA and regulators, and instead embrace a method that historically has succeeded: civil disobedience with nonresistance. Read about Ghandi and the British salt tax. Read about Rosa Parks and Alabama public transportation. Read about the Amish and Mennonites and “mandatory” public school attendance.

These people were right, but they did not receive widespread public support until they refused to obey and then turned the other cheek when they were punished. Let’s stop fighting for our rights. Let’s just do what we and most people know is right—graze our cows on grass and sell our milk raw. If they arrest us, suffer willingly and do not strike back—not with language, not with angry protests, not with lawsuits, not even with ill feelings. Then we will win.

I am a grass farmer who cares for Jersey and Guernsey cows and sells raw milk. I live in a state where it is illegal to sell raw milk. I cannot advertise my raw milk. Most of your readers are consumers. What can they do to lighten my load? Simple: buy my product. Believe in me if I am worth believing in. They must look for me. They must investigate and prioritize finding me.

Then organize car pools with your friends to come to my farm and purchase my milk. You, the consumer, must prioritize and find time to make it work.

Name withheld

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Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2012 13:53