I’m learning my lesson about the label “organic.” I was visiting a dairy the other day that feeds their cows “organically.” Was I shocked when I saw a truck pull up that was dropping off past-due “organic” donuts for the cows. I think it’s more important to know “who” it is that’s raising your food and how they are treating and feeding their animals, than to buy something labeled “organic.”
Lake Oswego, Oregon
No Raw Milk on Island Paradise
My wife and I just came back from ten glorious days at a place called Norfolk Island in the South Pacific, population 1700. You may have heard of The Mutiny on the Bounty. Well, 200 years ago in 1790 some sailors mutineered against their Captain Bligh (British) and headed to a little Island called Pitcairn Island, half way between New Zealand and South America. After a number of years these people were transferred to Norfolk Island in 1856. This is halfway between Australia and New Zealand, 6000 miles away.
It is an island paradise. However, I was shocked to find that virtually the only milk available is Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk from New Zealand, plus some “fresh milk” which is also from New Zealand but it is still pasteurized and homogenized. Cost is AUS$5 per liter! A few years ago they had a direction from the Australian government to stop selling raw milk and that it now had to be pasteurized. They had two dairies on the island at the time and they just shut the dairies down.
Do you have any long-term studies on the health dangers of drinking UHT milk over a period of time? I wish to write to their Government to warn them. Norfolk Island is managed by Australia but they have self government.
Trevor Savage ND
Editor’s Response: Unfortunately, no one is doing studies on the long-term effects of UHT milk, as far as we know, due to the political power of the dairy industry. However, consider this: you cannot make yoghurt or kefir out of UHT milk, it is simply too dead to hold a culture. If a product will not support microscopic life, it is not likely to support human life.
Treats Every Day
I thought you might like to hear about my experience in having switched over to full-fat dairy products. After I attended a Weston A. Price chapter workshop in April, I decided to no longer buy fat-free or lowfat dairy products. My ten-year-old daughter was over the moon with joy, as whole milk products have mostly been reserved for “a treat.” We both liked these foods much better than the lowfat versions, but I had been convinced through the current nutritional Zeitgeist that to buy anything with full fat was a treacherous act. My daughter, however, unexposed as she is to television, magazines and doctors had always maintained that it was the full-fat dairy that was the food we should eat.
We have now been regularly consuming “treats” for ten months. We relish the after-school yogurt snacks, creme fraiche in our soups, whole milk and butter on our morning porridge, whole milk in our tea and hot chocolate, the raw whole cheeses on fruits and bread, and the occasional ice cream. We have recently discovered how delicious whipped cream and (defrosted) berries can be, especially in a school lunch.
Interestingly, we have not gained weight during these ten months. My daughter experienced a two-inch growth spurt and yet her weight has not changed. She no longer comes home from school desperately hungry and wanting something intensely sweet. Even more importantly, I enjoy making and eating whole dairy products–the texture, taste and appearance are so appealing. The extra bonus, as a mother, comes from knowing that I am enhancing my family’s health every day by having made the switch. Thank you for providing me with this vital information that has made such a difference in our lives.
Like a Millionaire
I just want to share a special thanks with you for the information in Wise Traditions, shared at meetings and all else. We have highly benefited from nutrient-dense whole foods since we have been introduced to your diet.
In January of 2003 we visited friends who introduced us to this new way of eating (or maybe rather the old way of eating). We came home late that night with lots to ponder over. It all made so much sense, from our soil to grass-based animals to organic foods and much else. This man-made food is certainly not what our Creator intended for us to eat.
For about a week or two we did not have a whole lot to eat. What was in the house we didn’t want and we were not stocked up on healthy foods yet. So we lived off of eggs, cream and butter. A week later my husband and I cleaned out our cupboards and pantry, discarding all our food that was killing us including crackers, chips, drinks, cereals, dressings, flour, sugars and canned foods. Believe me, there was not much left. So we butchered a few of our chickens to make stock and saved enough money to buy a Jersey cow. Learned how to make cottage cheese, butter, kefir, yogurt and all those goodies. Found some beef bones that the neighbor did not want and made stock. We had a very challenging but interesting and fun summer.
It made us a little tight financially at first to be buying all this organic food but we didn’t go too long until we could put some aside again for we don’t enter a supermarket or discount grocery unless we need toilet tissue or paper towels.
Not only did our diet change; before long our goals in life were changed, our earthly goals. You know I always wish to give the Lord my best but how can a mother feel good about herself if her health hardly allows her to give proper care to her children and her home? We do not want any praise, only want to praise the Lord for opening this up to us. In fact, my husband has sold his carpentering business and we are now farming, with Jersey cows, pigs and chickens. We will not have much money but if we can nourish our family and the community and pay our debts, we are happy. It truly makes me smile and praise the Lord once again when my husband can sit at the table and say, “I may not have much money, but I feel like a millionaire!”
Thank you for your website and the information on soy dangers. I have Hashimoto’s disease and osteoporosis. It developed rather quickly after starting a food supplement containing 10 grams soy protein per serving plus 20 mg soy isoflavones. I was told to take one scoop twice a day, and if I felt I needed more, to increase the amount. Within a two-and-one-half year period I developed such severe brain fog I had to stop working. My hips ached and my hair started falling out in handfuls. Soon I developed a rash on my eyelids and around my mouth and nose. I was always catching colds and my heart would race as if I were having a heart attack.
I have asked my lawyer to investigate the possibility of a lawsuit. If you have any resources that may help with this lawsuit, I would appreciate hearing from them. Thank you once again for caring about all who suffer from soy.
Los Angeles, California
Editor’s Response: We are currently working with lawyers to initiate just such a lawsuit.
Just a short story to share. Our pastor and his wife were told many years ago that she was infertile and would never be able to conceive–something to do with a cyst. About 18 months ago I got her to take some butter oil and cod liver oil home and they both started to drink raw milk. Well, today was a joyous day because we learned that our pastor’s wife is pregnant and due this August. I am so happy for them. Her personality is one that begs to have 12 children around her feet at all times. (The doctors don’t know what happened to the cyst.)
Real Food and Weight Loss
I’ve been on a number of diets over the years and was even a low-fat vegetarian once. I lost some weight then, but found that I was hungry and weak all the time. I could not continue the low-fat regimen. I eventually regained the 50 pounds I lost and then some. Last May, I weighed over 400 pounds and was in terrible shape. Walking just a few feet was painful. Quite by accident, I came to realize that much of the food I was eating was at the root cause of my problem.
I embarked on a year-long journey to learn as much as I could about nutrition. I read Food Politics by Marion Nestle, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, and Fat Land by Greg Critser. I read scores of articles on the internet and learned to decipher medical and scientific jargon to uncover the real meaning behind published medical studies.
What I discovered left me bewildered and angry, but also resolute in the knowledge that I would no longer be a pawn of the food and pharmaceutical industries. Since then, my family and I have returned to the simple wisdom of eating imparted to me by my mother, an Alabama farm girl and avid gardener. We’ve started our own garden to supplement the organic produce we now buy. We buy organic meat as often as possible and we’ve cut all prepared foods from our diet–no more corn syrup, MSG or white flour. Most important, I’m no longer afraid of fat. We shop exclusively in the produce, meat, and dairy sections of the grocery store.
We’ve been doing this for 10 months now and the results have been breathtaking. I’ve lost 105 pounds and now weigh 295, my wife lost 40 pounds, even my oldest child has lost weight. More important, we are healthier now than perhaps we’ve ever been. I walk and jog 8 miles a day three times a week and work out in the gym three days a week. Our friends don’t even recognize us anymore.
My oldest daughter had been diagnosed with precocious puberty years ago and we reluctantly agreed to the doctor’s recommended prescription which involved medication through injection. My daughter hated it and my wife and I were deeply troubled by the experience as well. We even suggested to our doctor the possibility that her diet might be the cause, but he dismissed that idea, and us, out of hand. Last year, we noticed that our youngest daughter seemed to be developing early as well, but after changing our diet from synthetic foods to natural foods, her body responded almost immediately. She now looks like a normal nine-year-old child.
Finding the Weston A. Price website has been a blessing. It confirms what my mother taught me when I was a child and what my wife and I have come to believe over the last year. I am so glad that you and your associates have been courageous enough to stand up and tell the truth about what America eats.
I enjoy your website, realmilk.com. I am a 62-year-old retiree and have returned to our family farm after having retired from American Electric Power Co after 38 years, and also am a retired government official, having served local government for twelve years here in Botetourt County, Virginia. Back in 1947 my father purchased a milk route from a farmer who was giving it up after many years of operating a Grade C raw milk dairy. Our family operated this route from then until 1961. We sold milk in the town of Buchanan, Virginia, and made a good living doing it. Doctors took children off of pasteurized milk and put them on raw milk because of its health benefits at that time. It’s amazing how times have changed. Dad stopped the dairy and switched to beef when he lost his labor force. His children left the farm for college and work outside the farm. We heard many testimonials of the benefits of raw milk over the years and still have folks recall the times that they were able to obtain and enjoy real milk.
William G. (Bill) Loope
Comments on Dietary Guidelines
I wanted to commend you for the Comments to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (PDF). It is a remarkable document and makes me truly proud to be a member of this organization. I do hope our recommendations are reflected in the new Food Pyramid. I suspect that most of them won’t be, as I’m not sure the USDA and the rest of the country are ready to admit that saturated fat and cholesterol are actually good for you. I have the strange feeling however, that in a hundred years, long after we are gone, everything in those 57 pages will be common knowledge.
So don’t lose hope if the USDA doesn’t go for it. The truth can’t be held back forever. We are making progress, slowly but surely. You guys are doing a great job, and the rest of us are spreading the word too. Everyday I tell my patients to go home and throw out the margarine and never buy it again. I tell them to eat butter and not to fear saturated fat or cholesterol. I tell them to eat free-range eggs. In the few minutes I have with them, I pass on what I’ve learned from WAPF and THINCS (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics). And they listen to me.
So, I don’t know if you need the encouragement or not, but KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!
Jason DuPont, MD
Report from Moscow
Here’s an update on what’s been going on in our neck of the woods. We have been quite successful in disseminating information about Weston A. Price’s teachings and the Foundation’s activities here in Moscow. We have a wonderful working relationship with the Russian edition of Natural Health magazine (my company Pure North, Inc. advertises there quite heavily, and they are very receptive to the materials that I submit as the head of the Moscow Chapter of the Foundation). During the course of the year, seven articles relating to different aspects of the Foundation’s work were published there, and they have also invited me on a number of occasions to be an independent consultant on matters related to culinary fats and oils. It was especially gratifying to see them publish materials denouncing commercial vegetable oils and advocating the use of coconut oil and lard.
We were also able to locate a number of good suppliers of raw milk products and organic produce in the Moscow region. We have a particularly good relationship with an Orthodox Christian monastery in Anosino (about 20 miles from the city). In addition to selling raw milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, Italian cheese and butter from their own grass-fed cows, they also offer organic cabbage, cucumbers, celery root, carrots and beets, as well as a variety of lacto-fermented vegetables and kvass. We have more than 20 people now that buy from them on a regular basis, and are thinking about turning this relationship into the first real CSA co-op in the Moscow area.
I think that it is much more important at this stage to achieve a “critical mass” of supporters, so that we could have a stronger voice here in Russia, and be able to carry out more WAPF-related activities. One very important step in this direction is the planned launch of a Russian-language WAPF website, which we hope should happen this summer. We have already registered the name for the site, and are now working on the content and layout. I will keep you posted on how we progress.
Something for Everyone: Real Milk
In our family, Real Milk has improved the quality of everyone’s life. For our boys and our toddler, they get to drink healthy milk whenever they want. They love the taste and the good feeling they get from this wholesome food and Mom feels good about letting them have it anytime. Our eleven-year-old girl was plagued with allergies to many, many environmental things for most of her life. She was taking three prescription medicines a day. (With insurance, this cost us over $60/month, which will pay for a lot of raw milk!) Within six months of abstinence from pasteurized and homogenized milk and normal consumption of raw milk, she was off all medicine and has been faring well ever since. She still is bothered by cats but leads a normal, healthy, medicine-free life.
Dad is grateful for raw milk because it helped him to get his pre-baby, svelte wife back. Doing nothing else, she lost 30 pounds and returned to her wedding dress size in six months. Mom loves real milk because she knows how good it is for her family, and because it has greatly reduced Dad’s snoring. Yippee–something for everyone!!
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Your brochure and educational materials have turned up in the hands of a vegetarian mother in our home schooling group. Last week I saw her lend it to one of the vegan mothers in our group. So far they have not embraced the Weston A. Price teachings, but I think they are studying them. I’m waiting for someone to approach me about it, since they have seen the materials in my home. Four vegan children, one vegetarian child in our group. I see those pale little faces and just want to cook eggs and chicken soup for them. I’m praying that the mothers will soon approach me. Keep up the beautiful work!
Report from Holland
We really need the Weston A. Price message here in Holland. The soil is totally exhausted and there are almost only supermarket products available. One “milk producer” told me that a new law will make it difficult for farmers to sell milk directly to consumers, by requiring a test that costs 75 Euro; and soon after this there would be a new law also totally prohibiting the sale of milk from the farm.
The people are brainwashed every day via television and radio by cheap products. The average inhabitant here never has heard about mineral content of the soil, the grass here has no weeds, and in many fields not a single tree.
In general the treatment of the cows and other animals is very bad, with many hormonal and chemical injections, and the transport and slaughtering methods lacking in esthetics and morals. Pets in Holland are peacefully put to sleep by veterinary surgeons, however the cows, sheep and other farm animals who produce food for us are treated very badly. This is the reason that many rawfoodists refuse to eat any meat and milk products.
In 1980 there were 450,000 farms here, but now 25 years later there are only 50,000. This is the result of the economical and political guidelines. There are so many crazy laws against the farmers, that life for them has been very hard, and many of them were forced to give farming up. For the government it is financially more interesting to have the farmland available for industrial intentions. This year they want to install a new law, to allow building on farmland without any limitation, so all nature will be sacrificed to industrial concerns and dense housing. The result will be a country that is a replica of New York City. There is a website about this at www.milieudefensie.nl.
There will always be some tension between the technical civilization and the natural farmer, but if this soft-drink-drinking government does not understand the importance of the latter, then it will lead to many terrible situations, which already are happening.
The articles on diabetes by Tom Cowan MD and on fructose (fruit sugar) by Bill Sanda (Winter 2003) were very informative and well written. They highlight the dangers and treatment of this epidemic caused by excess carbohydrates consumed by a largely sedentary population. Because we burn so few calories, we have to limit our starch and sugar intake substantially. Many are not aware of the dangers of fructose, believing that since it occurs in fruits it must be safe.
However, I found the accompanying article on artificial sweeteners by Jim Earles did not mention the value of these sweeteners in reducing the amount of carbohydrate sweetener load that our sedentary population uses, and their resultant value in reducing incidence and/or severity of diabetes. I personally trust the FDA in their decision that these sweeteners are safe at the levels used. The testing is extensive and at levels several magnitudes higher than that used in food products.
It seems disingenuous that the writer suggests that the use of naturally occurring non-nutritive sweeteners is healthful even though these have received no toxicity, mutagenicity or long-term health testing in animals.
Thaumatin, stevioside, glycyrrhizin, and lo han kuo may be naturally occurring, but many toxic and mutagenic chemicals occur in plants naturally. We have to be scientifically wise enough to use the sweet chemicals that are safe, and that is the reason the FDA monitors the safety testing of sweeteners presented to them.
There is distinct value in having safe non-nutritive sweeteners. Each time I use acesulfame K, I am able to take in an additional 16 calories of nutrient-dense food. Each time I use maple syrup, raw sugar, honey or molasses, I will get 16 calories of sugar of which half is the more harmful fructose and have to reduce my nutrient rich carefully selected raw unrefined vegetable and animal food intake by 16 calories. Whole raw foods beat out sugars anytime, in my mind. Well tested and FDA approved non-nutritive sweeteners are helpful in achieving high nutrient intake, especially since the food supply is depleted of minerals and nutrient dense food intake is to be increased, not decreased by using raw sugars as he suggests.
Editor’s Response: The natural sweeteners we recommend are rich in nutrients, including nutrients that help combat diabetes. We believe that eaten in moderation, natural sweeteners are a better choice than artifical sweeteners that are made in a laboratory and do not contain any nutrients. All traditional cultures consumed small amounts of natural sweeteners; none consumed artificial sweeteners.
Where can I find a website listing the glycemic index or glycemic load of foods? Each source I find lists only about a dozen foodstuffs; hardly sufficient!
Editor’s Response: There are actually many websites that discuss the glycemic index, but we do not think it matters. Diets based on low-glycemic index foods ignore one important fact: fats lower the glycemic index! Put butter on your bread or mix coconut milk with your mashed potatoes, and the glycemic index of these foods immediately comes down–which means that these foods are absorbed slowly into the bloodstream rather than in one quick burst. In fact, when testing foods for glycemic index, researchers found that a sugar-laden Mars bar had a lower glycemic index than cornflakes or potatoes, because the Mars bar contains lots of fat.
In your political commentary responding to a letter from reader Dr. Williams (Wise Traditions, Winter 2003), you have gone overboard and expressed some outrageous political opinions.
Railing against capitalism and corporations as enemies of free enterprise in favor of tariffs and a world government that “benefits the many rather than the few” is not going to make it any easier to get raw milk. We don’t need to get “our guys” in charge of government regulation, we need to drastically reduce regulation.
Your comment that “those who do not return to real foods will eventually die out” is cruel, inhumane and most likely false. Expected lifespans are longer now than they have been for recorded history. Saying your viewpoint will prevail, because those who do not agree with you will die out, is reprehensible.
Editor’s Response: We are not arguing against capitalism and you misrepresent us when you say that we are in favor of “world government.” Obviously we need some kind of capitalistic system to produce products highly dependent on capital–cars, airplanes, steel, railroads, computers, etc. But it is clear to many that the large corporations are becoming a law unto themselves and attempting to use various types of force to further certain agendas–prohibition of alternative medicine, control of seeds, promotion of industrial agriculture and so forth. While laws and regulations often give an advantage to large corporations over small businesses, these industries are quick to oppose regulations they deem disadvantageous–witness the efforts of corporate hog farmers to have local Pennsylvania ordinances against confinement operations declared unconstitutional, or Wal-Mart’s campaign to overturn local zoning regulations in Inglewood, California.
The solution we are proposing can be adopted by people of all political persuasions–that is, to return prosperity to the local level by directly purchasing the products of conscientious, grass-based farmers, starting with raw milk. Whatever the legislative solution to the raw milk question will be–whether it involves passing certain laws, or getting rid of certain laws (and each state may require something different)–the first thing we must do is create a ground swell of demand for raw milk, and that includes ensuring that a few of “our guys” are on the inside so that existing or future laws will be fairly implemented. Only strong demand by educated consumers can counteract the stranglehold that the food processing industry (which includes dairy processing) has on federal and state governments, making raw milk so difficult to obtain. The physical body follows the laws of nature, just as physical objects follow the laws of physics. Is it “cruel, inhumane and most likely false” to tell someone that they will kill themselves if they jump off a tall building? The laws of physics do not make exceptions, and neither do the laws of biochemistry–they are just harder to discern. What Dr. Price’s work has taught us is that the body requires certain levels of nutrients from food in order to be healthy and to reproduce successfully. What is “cruel, inhumane and likely false” is the message that “diet does not matter” and “Americans have the safest, healthiest diet on earth.” The people who are living a long time today are the ones who were born and grew up at a time when Americans ate real food, including raw whole milk from pastured cows. Americans born after the Second World War have, for the most part, grown up on imitation and industrial foods, and the tragic effects are increasingly obvious, with soaring rates of chronic disease, especially in our children. This is not a question of ensuring that a particular point of view prevails, but ensuring that the human race prevails. The kindest and most humane course of action is to provide accurate nutrition information to those seeking answers and willing to listen.