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Rediscovering Ways to Enjoy Ancient Traditional Wisdom
Fish roe, liver, and bone marrow are a few examples of sacred foods honored by traditional cultures around the world, for nourishing not only babies, but mothers-to-be and growing children as well. We know from the travels of Weston A. Price that these sacred foods are undeniably nourishing, offering high levels of minerals and fat-soluble activators to support optimal development. For adults, these foods provide similar benefits, allowing efficient nutrient absorption and protection against disease. Granted, sacred foods are not your typical, everyday fare found in today’s urban homes, and perhaps they do not appeal to everyone’s taste buds—еspecially at first bite. But with some suave kitchen moves and an open mind, you may find them better received than you expected, and nutritionally they can’t be beat!
SACRED FOODS ARE REVERED FOODS
The dictionary defines sacred as “reverently dedicated to some purpose. . . regarded with reverence. . . ” Imagine a group of indigenous people living off their native land and thriving on their native foods. Elders of the group impart their wisdom to young men and women about to be married, to married couples and pregnant women, and to young mothers raising their infants and children. They will talk about specific foods needed to properly nourish their bodies during these critical periods. This counsel is not questioned or perceived as mere suggestion: these truths are revered.
What Weston A. Price discovered when evaluating these revered foods was that they were rich in minerals and extremely high in what he called “fat-soluble activators.” Minerals are the nutrients most people are familiar with—such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and iodine—that play many roles in building a beautiful, fully-developed body and maintaining its function throughout life. On the other hand, the “fat-soluble activators” are less understood and were a mystery even to Dr. Price when he first began his work. But what science has uncovered is the fact that these “activators” are the animal forms of vitamins A (retinol isomers), D (vitamin D3 and isomers) and K (vitamin K2).
The role of “fat-soluble activators” is best described by Dr. Price himself: “A question arises as to the efficiency of the human body in removing all of the minerals from the ingested foods. Extensive laboratory determinations have shown that most people cannot absorb more than half of the calcium and phosphorus from the foods eaten. The amounts utilized depend directly on the presence of other substances, particularly fat-soluble vitamins. It is probably at this point that the greatest breakdown in our modern diet takes place, namely, in the ingestion and utilization of adequate amounts of the special activating substances, including the vitamins [A, D and K2] needed for rendering the minerals in the food available to the human system. It is possible to starve for minerals that are abundant in the foods eaten because they cannot be utilized without an adequate quantity of the fat-soluble activators.”1
If we compare the body to a house built of bricks and mortar, think of the minerals as the bricks and fat-soluble activators as the mortar. In other words, we can consume a certain diet of fantastically nutrient-dense foods, but the value of such a diet comes down to what is actually absorbed. Without fat-soluble activator nutrients— namely vitamins A, D3, and K2—our efforts to consume the “right” foods will be futile.
Generations ago, sacred foods were revered, non-optional and non-negotiable additions to the diet. Today, the burden rests on all of us to reestablish these truths in our nutritionally confused culture. Only with our effort will inclusion of sacred foods in the diet become a common practice, passed down to future generations for the health of their own families, communities, and nations.
SAGE ADVICE FOR SACRED FOODS
Back to our elders’ sage advice. The wisdom bestowed would sound something like this. At least six months before trying to conceive, both parents-to-be should ideally begin to consume ample amounts of sacred foods (see sidebar, below). However, those who have consumed the typical Standard American Diet (SAD) since childhood would need a longer period of time to correct nutritional deficiencies—at least two years before attempting to conceive. The SAD is laden with many foods that are counterproductive to producing vibrantly healthy babies: foods such as damaged fats (those overheated and extracted with solvents), commercially raised meats (if any meat is consumed at all, as many fall victim to the deception of vegetarianism), and an abundance of pesticides and chemicals via conventionally farmed foods, fast foods, processed ingredients, body care products, cleaning supplies and municipal water sources.
Once the miracle of life has begun, sacred foods should be maintained throughout pregnancy. Mom should continue with the same diet during breast feeding, which should go on at least one year. Somewhere around four to six months, baby will be able to supplement breast milk with his first foods, ideally pastured egg yolk and liver (see the article “Nourishing a Growing Baby” at www.westonapirce.org for more on feeding infants). Yolks supply choline for brain development and cholesterol to nourish the brain and build the intestinal system, while liver supplies needed iron—which drops considerably around six months of age—plus vitamins B12, B6, A and C, and almost every mineral the baby needs. Not surprisingly, egg yolks and liver are both sacred foods.
The sacred foods we are familiar with in the western world include raw dairy products from pastured cows, egg yolks from pastured chickens and cod liver oil. In the context of the western diet, where the sacred foods are largely absent, cod liver oil provides a vital insurance policy. Until the Second World War, parents and health professionals understood that cod liver oil helped ensure optimal growth and development in children.
Four less commonly known sacred foods are small fish, fish eggs (fish roe), bone marrow and liver. With a little ingenuity, these nutrient-dense foods can be incorporated into the western diet in many delicious ways.
Small fatty fish, both fresh and dried, are exceptionally nourishing foods because they are eaten whole with the bones and sometimes— even better—with the heads and organs. There is no need to skin or de-bone these tiny critters; one consumes the whole kit and caboodle. And when dried, certain features—especially the eyes—become even more pronounced (which many kids think is pretty darn cool!). Dr. Price described several societies that preserved the high nutrient content in fresh fish through drying.
Anchovies, sardines and whitebait make a lovely addition to the family’s fish intake. They are rich in calcium and other minerals, and vitamins A, D and B12. They also have lower levels of mercury and other contaminants compared to larger fish, such as shark and tuna, because they are so low on the aquatic food chain, munching mostly on plankton.2 (See the Environmental Defense Fund’s website for more details on contaminants in ocean-going foods, www.edf.org).
Anchovies are small salty, green fish that flourish in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. These slender, strong-tasting fish are often gutted and salted in brine, and packed in oil. “Gentleman’s relish,” a salty blend of anchovies, butter, herbs and spices, was popularized in England in the early 1800s as a spread for sandwiches and flavorful addition to fish cakes and croquettes. Throughout Europe, marinated fresh anchovies are also still frequently found on the menu. In the U.S., anchovies are a well-known topping on pizzas and an ingredient in Caesar salad dressing and Worcestershire sauce.
The term sardine applies to more than twenty varieties of small, oily, silvery saltwater fish related to the herring. Their name comes from the Italian island of Sardinia, where these fish were one of the first to be packed in oil. Today they are collected from the seas of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean. Sardines tend to travel in large schools near the water’s surface and are sold fresh (although hard to find), canned in oil (olive oil being the best choice) or sauce, salted, smoked or dried. Most commercially available sardines are gutted with their heads removed then steamed before canning.3
Throughout Asia, dried baby sardines called niboshi (sometimes translated as anchovies) are consumed as snacks and traditionally used to make stock (called niboshi dashi) for miso soup. In Japan, sweet and savory fried sardines called tazukuri are enjoyed for New Year’s celebrations, and in Korea fried sardines are flavored with ginger, garlic, and chili paste.
Dried anchovies (available on-line through www.radiantlifecatalog.com) are delicious sprinkled in a fresh green salad or whirled in a chili or sauce, and make a humorous replacement for the typical “fish” crackers. Stir a handful into pizza sauce before slathering it on a sourdough crust; no one will ever know there are little fishes swimming around in there! You can use sardines to top pizzas, blend into dressings or dips (see recipe, page 71), season soup, or mix into a salmon salad without much alteration to the meal’s flavor. For the more adventurous, try a sardine wrap or sandwich with a fun spread such as hummus or olive tapenade, sliced hardboiled egg, tomato and avocado, all snuggled in a bed of arugula or watercress.
Whitebait is a term applied to young fish of a variety of species, one inch or less in length. The entire fish is eaten, including head, fins and gut. New Zealanders usually consume whitebait in an omelet or fried in batter. In Britain these sprats—usually young herring—are coated in lemon juice and served with bread and butter.
Fish roe or fish eggs have been a sacred food across the globe since ancient times. In his writings, Dr. Price detailed the great lengths the natives of the Andes went to carry dried fish roe from sea level back to their villages high in the mountains—sometimes hundreds of miles—to supply those of childbearing age with the nutrients needed to make the healthiest of babies. These nutrient- dense eggs are rich in vitamins A, D, and K2 (Activator X) along with zinc, iodine, and the brainbuilding fatty acid DHA, making them a powerful superfood for babies and adults alike. According to a recent WAPF-funded analysis by UBE Laboratories, fish eggs contain 17,000 IU vitamin D per tablespoon!
The Eskimos consumed roe from salmon and other fish in large quantities, often daily. During the warm season, salmon roe was dried in the sun to preserve it for use throughout the year, especially for pregnant women.
As one can imagine, there are many choices when it comes to fish roe. While most people associate fish eggs with caviar, technically, the only fish roe classified by this name comes from the prehistoric freshwater beluga sturgeon.4 All other varieties are simply fish eggs or roe, but they are usually prepared in the same way. The caviar process involves separating the fish eggs from the membrane by passing them through a sieve. The liquid is pressed off, and the eggs are mildly salted and sealed fresh in small tins, or they are canned and heat treated.
Salmon roe is one of the more accessible and generally better tasting fish roes available. In Japan, salmon roe—called ikura, borrowed from the Russian ikra—is used in making sushi, as is the sweet-tasting bright orange-red roe called tobikko that comes from flying fish, and that typically appears on California rolls in sushi restaurants. (Note: most California rolls contain additive-filled imitation crab meat; simply request that the real crab be used).5
Salted, processed “caviar,” whether fresh or canned, is delicious with finely chopped onions and sour cream. Put a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream on a good quality cracker or crispy pancake, top with the fish eggs and finely chopped onions. These will disappear quickly!
Unprocessed roe is more difficult to eat and prepare. It comes fresh, frozen, smoked or dried. If you are a fisherman and find roe in your fish, be sure to scoop it out and eat it on the spot—or save and serve with toast and butter when you get home. Your fish monger may also have fresh fish roe. Shad roe, available on the East Coast during the spring, is a regional delicacy that can be prepared in a variety of ways.
Unprocessed dried and frozen fish eggs are available through mail order (such as www.livesuperfoods.com or www.vitalchoice.com); they tend to be sticky and a challenge to prepare.
Frozen eggs can be thawed and used as needed. Toss a few on the high-chair tray for baby; he will more often than not enjoy his “salty peas,” as Nina Planck, author of Real Food, calls them. Another easy way to incorporate fresh or dried roe is by adding a little scoop into an egg scramble for the family or egg yolk pancake for baby (put one to two free-range egg yolks into a bowl and mix in cooked veggies, meats or fish and the fish eggs with seasonings and cook on a hot skillet like a pancake). Try blending a dollop into your next salmon salad with mayo and pesto. Mix it into your sun-dried tomato spread, smoked salmon dip (see recipe p. 71), or raw ketchup for a nutrient-boost.
In Greece and other European countries, fish roe that has been salted and smoked or dried is the main ingredient in the delicious fish roe spread called tamarasalata.
Liver from poultry (goose, duck, turkey or chicken), fish, cow, lamb, game and pig is recognized the world over as a superfood. All liver is rich in iron and other minerals, choline, and B vitamins, especially all-important B6 and B12. Liver from ruminant animals (cow, lamb and game) is our best food source of vitamin A; pig liver is loaded with vitamin D; liver from poultry contains about half the vitamin A as beef or lamb liver, but may be the best of all the livers with its nice balance of vitamins A, D and K2.
Because mother’s milk is low in iron, liver is a valuable first food for baby, as around six months a full-term baby’s iron stores begin to decrease. In many traditional cultures, pre-chewed liver is a common first food.7 It is no wonder this food is revered for its nutritional gifts—compared to other foods, it outdoes most others in terms of vitamin and mineral concentration (see chart below).
Ideally, purchase liver from animals that have enjoyed their lives on chemical-free pasture. The second best choice is organic chicken, beef, or calf liver. Third choice, non-organic calf liver, since these younger animals typically spend the first months of their lives on pasture. The amount of time on pasture varies from ranch to ranch, so do some investigative digging. Avoid livers from conventionally feed-lot raised chickens, hogs or cattle.8
As for taste, calf liver is considered the best of the best because of its delicate taste and tenderness. Lamb liver runs a close second and chicken liver is similar in rank because of its lighter flavor and texture. Beef liver is tougher and has a stronger flavor compared to calf liver, but if not overcooked, can still be delicious. Pork liver has the strongest flavor and is best utilized in highly seasoned liverwurst.
No matter what type of liver you choose, soaking or marinating liver will temper the strong flavor or bitterness some people find unpleasant, as well as make it more tender. Milk, buttermilk, sour milk, lemon juice, or vinegar works well.
Since liver is low in fat, it is good to cook it with plenty of lard, goose fat, bacon fat, or coconut oil. Vitamin D-rich lard or bacon fat are perfect with beef or lamb liver, as these are high in vitamin A but contain little if any vitamin D.
Eat liver fried, grilled, with bacon, or in sausage, pâté and liverwurst (a wonderful source for liverwurst is www.grasslandbeef.com). Keep in mind, cooking beyond medium rare will result in a tough piece of liver; the inside should be pink, but firm. When planning your liver dish, remember that onions, especially caramelized, are liver’s most compatible accompaniment.
Liver is easily disguised within meat dishes via meatballs, burgers, meat loaf, taco filling, and stews. And of course, poultry liver can be made into delicious spreads and patés.
Consider grating partially frozen liver and re-freezing it into clumps or ice cube trays for quick access to smaller amounts of liver to add to all these dishes at a moment’s notice.
If liver is something that your family isn’t ready to accept quite yet, consider desiccated liver in powder or capsules (available from www.radiantlifecatalog.com). Desiccated liver can be added to various meat dishes without compromising the taste of your dish.
Canned cod livers are another option—they are surprisingly mild. Mix them into other meat or seafood dishes as mentioned above or make a spread as detailed in Sally Fallon Morell and Mary Enig’s Eat Fat Lose Fat: blend a can of smoked cod livers with three tablespoons of mayonnaise and add salt and pepper. Serve with crackers or spread in a sandwich or wrap. If canned cod livers are unavailable at your local retailers, visit one of the many seafood retailers on the internet.
“Traditional peoples who consumed large animals did not ignore the marrow hidden away in the bones; in fact, they valued the marrow as an extremely nutritious food,” explains Sally Fallon Morell in her piece titled “Bone Marrow” (found at www. westonaprice.org).9 There are many examples from cultures around the world: Alaskan natives regularly eat the marrow from caribou and moose, Indians enjoy the traditional dish called nalli nihari from slow-cooked marrow, a Mexican dish featuring beef bone marrow (called tuetano) is used as taco and tostada fillings, and in the Philippines bone marrow is the primary ingredient in a soup called bulalo. Interestingly, the literal translation of bone marrow in Russian is “bone brains,” which indicates that its value was long ago understood.10
Dr. Price stated in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, “An important part of the nutrition of the children [of Native Americans] consisted in various preparations of bone marrow, both as a substitute for milk and as a special dietary ration.” 11 And while developing a meal plan for an orphanage, Price included bone marrow. “They then received a bowl containing approximately a pint of a very rich vegetable and meat stew, made largely from bone marrow and fine cuts of tender meat: the meat was usually broiled separately to retain its juice and then chopped very fine and added to the bone marrow meat soup which always contained finely chopped vegetables and plenty of very yellow carrots.”12
Lab tests show that 100 grams, approximately six and a half tablespoons, of bone marrow contains 677 IU vitamin A, 29 mcg vitamin K2, and high levels of nourishing fats (up to 45 percent saturated). Bone marrow is rich in spingolipids, which are specialized fats that protect cell membranes against environmental insults and that are critical components of the brain and nervous system.13,14 When pu rch a si ng m a rrow bones (typically shank), do your best to get free-range choices—lamb, beef, buffalo, and so on.
An easy way to infuse marrow into a meal is to simply melt the marrow from within the bone right into a slow-cooking sauce or stew. Marrow bones can also easily be roasted or boiled. For roasting, Fergus Henderson, author of The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating, has an easy explanation: place the marrow-bone pieces (approximately 3 inches each) standing upright in an ovenproof frying pan in a 450°F oven for about 20 minutes. Henderson says “you are looking for the marrow to be loose and giving, but not melted away, which it will do if left too long.” The ends will get a touch crispy. To eat the marrow, extract with a small fork or special marrow extractor, spread on toasted sourdough bread, sprinkle with sea salt and top with parsley salad.
For a pinker, less-grey marrow, soak two-to-three-inch bones in cold water for twelve to twenty-four hours, changing the water several times. Although this step is nutritionally unnecessary, the resultant less-grey color may make the marrow more appetizing. Then cover the soaked bones with cold water, bring to a low boil and simmer for approximately twenty minutes to one hour (depending on the size of the bones).15
Once cooked, use a kitchen towel to handle the hot bones and scoop out the marrow with the end of a spoon or a special marrow spoon and spread it like butter on crackers, mix it into a spread or dip for veggies, add a dollop into a bowl of soup or stew (see recipe page 72); no great fanfare is needed. Try spreading a thin layer of marrow on a tortilla (preferably sprouted grain), top with salsa, lime, and a sprinkle of sea salt and enjoy.
A CULTURAL IMPERATIVE
Following revered sacred food practices of long ago is not only sensible, but more important, essential. Whether you have plans to grow a baby, maximize your child’s brain and physical development, or optimize nutrient uptake during your adult years, sacred foods must be regular meal-time features. It is imperative that we passionately pursue ancient dietary wisdom for the sake of our families and make sacred foods more of a commonplace addition to our current culinary traditions.
Important Sacred Foods of Native Peoples
SEAFOOD: whole small fish, fish livers, fish liver oil, fish heads and shellfish
RAW DAIRY: whole milk, fermented milk, cream and butter from pastured animals
EGGS: especially egg yolks, from poultry; eggs of insects and fish
ORGAN MEATS: liver, brain, tongue, marrow, kidney, lungs, stomach lining, intestines and reproductive organs
ANIMAL FAT: from cows, lamb, game, pig, poultry and sea mammals
INSECTS: Worms, caterpillars, larvae, grasshoppers, etc.
TABLE 1. COD LIVER OIL DOSE RECOMMENDATIONS
Children age 3 months to 12 years: A dose of cod liver oil that provides about 5000 IU vitamin A and 500 IU vitamin D, daily, obtained from about 1 teaspoon of regular cod liver oil or 1/2 teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil. Use an eye dropper or syringe for the little ones.
Children over 12 years and adults: A maintenance dose of cod liver oil that provides about 10,000 IU vitamin A and 1000 IU vitamin D daily, obtained from 2 teaspoons of regular cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil.
Pregnant and nursing women: A dose of cod liver oil that provides about 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2000 IU vitamin D daily, obtained from 4 teaspoons regular cod liver oil or 2 teaspoons high-vitamin cod liver oil.16
Liver : No Other Common Food is Higher in Nutrients
|Per 100 grams||Apple||Carrots||Red Meat||Liver|
|Phosphorus||6 mg||31 mg||140 mg||476 mg|
|Iron||0.1 mg||0.6 mg||3.3 mg||8.8 mg|
|Zinc||0.05 mg||0.3 mg||4.4 mg||4.0 mg|
|Copper||0.04 mg||0.08 mg||0.2 mg||12 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.02 mg||0.05 mg||0.2 mg||4.2 mg|
|Vitamin A||0||0||40 IU||53,400 IU|
|Vitamin C||0 7 mg||6 mg||0||27 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.03 mg||0.1 mg||0.07 mg||.73 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0||0||1.84 mg||111.3 mg|
RECIPES HIGHLIGHTING THE SACRED FOODS
CREAMY GREEN DRESSING
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
5 or 6 anchovy filets, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cream all ingredients in a food processor or blender and refrigerate for up to 24 hours in an airtight container. Use on salads, as a dip for raw or steamed vegetables, or blend into mashed cauliflower or potatoes.
SMOKED SALMON AND FISH ROE DIP
1/2 cup chopped smoked salmon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
4 ounces cream cheese, preferably organic or homemade
2 tablespoons minced red onion or green onion
1 to 2 tablespoons dried fish roe
Salt and pepper to taste
In food processor, mix all ingredients until smooth. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. One tablespoon of fish roe supplies 17,000 IU vitamin D. Combining fish roe with sour cream, crème fraîche or cream cheese supplies vitamins A, D and K2 all together; a dynamite sacred food combo!6
LIVER AND FIG SAUTE
2 onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped into bite-sized chunks
5 dried figs, chopped into small bits
1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed preferably
1/2 cup homemade beef or chicken stock
1 cup sliced beef, bison or chicken liver, organic and pastured
Salt to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon
1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat
Marinate liver in sour milk or water with a bit of vinegar for several hours if desired. Sauté onions in your choice of fat until they are translucent. Add the red pepper and figs and cook until tender. Pour in the broth and orange juice and cook until there is a sauce-like consistency. Add the liver and cook until just done (and pink in the middle). Serve with whole grain or toasted sourdough bread. Recipe created by Dianne Koehler, Nutritionist, MNT.
HEARTY BEEF AND BONE MARROW SOUP Makes 6 quarts
4 beef shanks, cross-cut at 2-inch intervals
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 quarts filtered water
2 pounds carrots, peeled
2 pounds potatoes, washed
1 pound shallots or onions, peeled
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3-4 bay leaves
4 tablespoons green peppercorns
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt to taste
Chef John Umlauf prepared this delicious recipe at the 2004 Wise Traditions Conference, with rave reviews. Pat shanks dry and sprinkle with black pepper. In a heavy-bottomed, non-aluminum stockpot, heat half the oil. Sear the shanks on both sides until brown. Add water, vinegar, tomatoes, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Simmer for 4 hours or until beef is flaky tender. Remove meat and bones from the stock and allow to cool. Return stock to a simmer and skim debris from the top of the liquid. Separate the meat from bones and gristle. Cut potatoes and carrots into bite-sized pieces and add to stock along with the garlic. Quarter the shallots or onions, toss them in the remaining oil, roast or sauté until brown and add to stock. When the vegetables are tender, add meat, chopped parsley and salt to taste.
EASY CHICKEN LIVER PATE
1 pound livers from pastured chickens
2 tablespoons butter, lard or bacon fat
1/2 cup cognac
1/2 cup homemade beef or chicken stock
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
3-4 tablespoons softened butter
unrefined salt to taste
Chicken livers are lower in vitamin A than beef or lamb liver, but may be better nutritionally because they contain a balance of vitamins A, D and K2—all three of Weston Price’s fat-soluble activators in one delicious package.
Pat livers dry and saute in butter, lard or bacon fat until well browned. Add cognac and stock to the pan and deglaze. Add garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, mustard and dill. Boil the liquid down until it forms a thick paste. Allow the livers to cool slightly and then process until smooth in a food processor with softened butter. Season to taste with unrefined salt. Serve with sourdough toast or on endive leaves.
Bone Marrow Custard Serves 4
about 6 marrow bones, 2-3 inches in length
1 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
unrefined salt and pepper to taste
Soak marrow bones in cold water for 12-24 hours, changing the water several times. Cover the bones with cold water, bring slowly to a boil and barely simmer for about 20 minutes. Scoop the cylinder of marrow out with the handle of a small spoon. Blend cream, marrow and eggs and season to taste. Pour into four small buttered ramekins, place in hot water and bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the custard is set. Let cool and unmold. Serve as an accompaniment to meat.
1. Price, Weston A. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 6th edition, p 269.
2. Mateljan, George. The World’s Healthiest Foods. Essential Guide for the healthiest way of eating. Sardines 2007. pp 490-491
4. Gordon, Meredith. Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On: The Story of Caviar, from Prehistory to the Present. Found at http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/504/Gordon.html
5. Forristal, Linda Joyce, CCP, MTA. In the Kitchen with Mother Linda. The Roe of Health. First published in Wise Traditions, Spring 2002.
6. Morell, Sally Fallon. Honoring the Sacred Foods, presentation given at Wise Traditions, November 14, 2009.
7. Baumslag, Naomi, MD, MPH. Tricks of the Infant Food Industry. Wise Traditions, Fall 2001.
Found at www.westonaprice.org.
8. Razaitis, Lynn. The Liver Files. Wise Traditions, Spring 2005. Found at http://www.westonaprice.org/The-Liver-Files.html
9. Fallon, Sally, Bone Marrow. Wise Traditions, Summer 2007.
10. Molokhovetz, Elena. A Gift to Young Housewives (1861-Russian), via email from Katherine Czapp July 28, 2009.
11. Price, Weston A. DDS. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 6th Edition, p 260.
12. Ibid., p 295.
13. Sphingolipid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphingolipid
14. Morell, Sally Fallon. Honoring the Sacred Foods, presentation given at Wise Traditions, November 14, 2009.
15. Fallon, Sally, Bone Marrow.Wise Traditions, Summer 2007.
16. Fallon, Sally and Enig, Mary, PhD. Cod Liver Oil Basics and Recommendations. Feb 2009.
Found at http://www.westonaprice.org/Cod-Liver-Oil-Basics-and-Recommendations.html
17. Razaitis, Lynn. The Liver Files. Wise Traditions, Spring 2005. Found at http://www.westonaprice.org/The-Liver-Files.html
18. Morell, Sally Fallon. Honoring the Sacred Foods, presentation given at Wise Traditions, November 14, 2009.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2010.🖨️ Print post
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Melissa D says
Hi there! I love your articles! Question: Do you have the source for the actual analysis by UBE Laboratories regarding the fish eggs’ vitamin D content? I would love to get my hands on that! Thanks! 🙂
Virginia A. says
I, too, would like to know about the vitamin D. Other websites I’ve seen indicate that there are only 232 IU per 100g.
Vitamin D in Fish Roe
Like the other two comments, I was left wondering on your statement that “fish eggs contain 17,000 IU vitamin D per tablespoon”. Trying to find other sources that confirm such an amazing amount of vitamin D in fish roe I could only find articles that directly refer to your statement in this article. All other vitamin D measurements of fish roe indicate values of only 100 – 200 IU per tablespoon. Can you therefore please disclose more of the analysis you have funded, or provide references to other research corroborating your findings?
Barring more evidence, I struggle to believe that fish roe can be an adequate replacement for liver based supplements. Please prove me wrong, as I would love to switch to fish roe if it really is that good.
marcea klein says
nutritional counselor and coach, psychotherapist
can you please advise as to the Vit. D content of Fish roe and other sacred foods per tablespoons, With thanks, Marcea Klein
Sankofa Ra says
Motherhood Wellness Practitioner
Thank you and many blessings for this much needed information. Happy New Year!!!!
Will Mitchell. says
The vitamin D content of the roe is suspect. It sounds great, but it is nearly 100 times higher than other sources list. Can you share a little more about the methodology the lab used? Was this confirmed on other tests or other batches? A little transparency would go a long way.
thanks for the information on these sacred foods…now my question is.about how about those Blood type diet? For example my baby is Type A..but liver and meat is not on the allowed foods..What can you say about Blood type diet? is it applicable for babies too?
Tim Boyd says
You can see our review of blood type diet at http://www.westonaprice.org/book-reviews/eat-right-4-your-type-by-peter-dadamo/
I would greatly appreciate some sort of source or document (even a picture!) showing the validity of the statement regarding the lab report of the Vitamin D content of the fish roe. I really, really would love to rely on salmon roe for my vitamin D, but don’t want to blindly trust what you say simply because I respect your work. In this day and age, folks need documentation for stuff.
Hi, where do u recommend i purchaes caviar for pregnant/nursing mothers. Thank u!
Jessica J says
Have you found a safe source to purchase fish eggs?
I love fish but is it really healthy after all the radiation that has been and is being dumped in the ocean from Fukushima, and other toxins that bio-accumulate? I have a hard time finding any trustworthy source of fish these days.
How much dessicated liver per day is recommended during pregnancy? I take 4 capsules every other day. A also eat two egg yolks per day and take 2 teaspoons of green pasture cod liver oil and 1/4 spoon of butter oil per day. Are those ratios ok? Shall I increace the liver dosage? I can’t find the answer anywhere. Please advice :))
what kind of fish eggs did UBE labs test in their analysis of vit D content? can you provide a link to the research results or any other details? thank you.
I notice that the questions about the vitamin D content of fish roe were not answered here. Were they answered elsewhere? I am also interested in this information.
When I was buying ingredients for the salmon and fish roe dip I didn’t notice that it calls for dried fish roe. I bought canned, not dried fish roe, and… the recipe turned out AMAZING!!! This dip is so, so tasty and I’m obsessed!! I made some lo-carb keto flatbread to go with and…. mmmmmmmMMM! Love it. Thanks for the healthy recipe!!
Hello! My baby is 8 months old and we’ve been doing solid foods for a few months now. She loves her liver pate. But now that she’s eating larger quantities of solid foods, I’m worried about feeding her liver too often. I see so many recommendations to only serve liver once a week. I’m sure it’s okay to have more often than that, but I don’t have any cultural knowledge about how often really is appropriate for a baby (or for myself for that matter). Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks, Cymski.
Tim Boyd says
From Sally – Now that baby is eating a variety of foods, I think the liver pate about two times per week would be fine. Make sure she is getting plenty of butter in her other foods.
My son is almost 9 months old and I just learned of this site. He spits out every solid except the little Happy Baby Cheerios and crackers. He doesn’t have any teeth yet, either. Any advice? I think we can add cod liver oil to his milk—we’ve been adding some coconut oil for weight gain already.
Is it okay for pregnant women to eat both cod liver oil and fish roe? I don’t want to accidentally overdo it on the omega-3s. I’m currently taking 1 tsp of CLO daily and have been eating about 1 tsp of fish roe daily, but I’m second guessing myself and wondering whether I should just stick with one or the other.
Tim Boyd says
reply from Sally – Yes, this should be fine, sounds just right to me. .