A New Path
By Arthur Haines
V.F. Thomas Co.
Modern humans who are immersed in Western civilization are getting weaker. This is a somewhat controversial statement, so the author, Arthur Haines, reviews a broad range of evidence. For those who don’t remember back to fifty years ago, you may be interested to know that chronic disease rates were much lower. Type 2 diabetes was a rare condition that occurred mainly in older adults (it was called adult-onset diabetes). AIDS, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and West Nile virus did not exist. Autism was a new and very rare malady. Obesity was also rare, especially among children. In my school class of approximately four hundred students, maybe one or two were obese. Cancer rates were considerably lower.
The pat answer put forward by critics is that we are living longer. Haines quickly buries that assertion by pointing out that cancer is now the number one or number two cause of death in children, depending on which study you look at, and childhood obesity and diabetes are rampant. One website article provides more statistics than you want to know about the explosion of learning disabilities in children today (worldmercuryproject.org/news/the-special-ed-epidemic-what-is-happening-to-our-children/). Put that together with increasing obesity, bad eyesight and braces, and it is clear that we are seeing a complete breakdown.
It is easy to compile a list of reasons why our civilization is circling the drain. We have permeated our environment with toxic chemicals, radiation and genetically modified crops. We have replaced real food with artificial substitutes. The subject of nutrition is one area that Haines nails particularly well. He is very familiar with the work of Weston A. Price and accurately explains why poor nutrition leads to narrowed facial structure, thinner bones, weakened bodies and weakened minds. He goes on to talk about not just a diet that will keep adults healthy but what it takes to keep the next generation healthy.
There are many reasons many people don’t realize what is happening. Younger generations simply don’t remember far enough back to notice the long-term trend. Older generations either don’t think about it or don’t remember—because we are not just getting physically weaker but mentally weaker. Emotional fragility seems to be at an all-time high, too. I know a lot of people who have trouble sleeping. I can’t help wondering if they spend all those sleepless nights finding new things to be offended by. Never before have so many been offended by so little.
The book contains some references, but there are no footnotes or long lists of references in the back of the book. I won’t argue whether that is good or bad, but Haines makes a good point: science is not objective. You can write a book about anything and scientifically back it up. You can find a long list of references to support a vegan diet, an Atkins diet, a raw food diet or a frugivorous diet. Readers will either be open-minded enough to consider the points in the book carefully or they won’t. A million references won’t change a mind that is already made up. Weston Price came to his conclusions based on first-hand observations from all over the world. His conclusions were consistent with what had worked for many generations of very healthy people. They were not just based on lab experiments carried out in an ivory tower and disconnected from reality. His conclusions were not funded by big industry interested in dollars rather than health or truth.
One study mentioned in the book (by Vom Saal and Welshons) is about other studies on bisphenol A (BPA) toxicity. Eleven out of eleven industry-funded studies found BPA to be safe, whereas one hundred and nine out of one hundred and nineteen independent studies found BPA to be toxic. Outlawing industry or government-funded studies alone might change the world.
Haines makes many recommendations and has a lot of good ideas for recovering the health of the human race. Almost no one will be able to adhere to all of his recommendations, but they could be good starting points for making some changes. Some ideas might be debatable. For example, I might not draw the line exactly where he draws it when it comes to abandoning technology, although I definitely agree that some of the technology being used today is a nightmare that will only get worse. What will happen in the long run? Predicting the future is like telling a joke nobody will get for at least twenty years. This is just a guess based on personal opinion, but I doubt that the human race will give up advanced technology and return to the wild. This could make everyone in 2040 laugh, but there it is, I said it. However, if we don’t recover the traditional wisdom of our ancestors, even if they were a little wild, the future looks grim. My thumb is UP for this book.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2018.