Not Such a Good Idea
I am an inmate at Rockview State Correctional Facility. Approximately one year ago our institution changed the diet given to inmates to include “alternative meals.” Of course, they feed us as cheaply as possible–this is a prison, so the alternative meals were quite a surprise. Bean burgers, cottage cheese and lots of soy products–chili, faux scrambled eggs, tofu, barbecue, etc. I was ecstatic. Finally something genuinely healthy, filling and better than the D grade meat they feed us. I immediately started eating the alternative meals and liked the soy products. I was convinced for many years that soy was a wonder food and flabbergasted we expendable inmates would be fed it, but I chocked it all up to political correctness and the institution’s continuing placation of the various minority religious and gang groups, such as Muslims, which don’t eat various foods, such as pork or beef.
I lift weights, jog, stretch, etc. and consider myself in pretty good shape. The alternative meals made me healthier and feel even better. I thought. It was so gradual, I didn’t make the connection. Stomach problems–aches, pains, multiple bowel movements at ever increasingly inopportune times, and finally bloody stool all the time. I was scared. I thought I had colon cancer or was dying. The medical department had me scheduled for a scopology in a “real” hospital, outside the prison.
One year ago I read an article about soy not being all it’s cracked up to be and thought, “no way,” and promptly forgot about it. Approximately five months ago another anti-soy article in a health magazine, and another publication had a “soy-bad” story. I started to wonder, could I have been duped, all my life thinking soy was a health wonder? For goodness sake, it’s just a vegetable! Then again, I read an article in Nexus magazine. That was it. Time for an experiment. I stopped eating soy.
Within three days, all blood in my stool cleared up, bowel movements went back to normal and by the end of seven days, everything was fine. Not fine–great! I couldn’t believe it.
Thank you at the Weston A. Price Foundation for making the truth about soy available. May God bless you in all your endeavors.
The Skin Test
I quite accidentally found your article on the dangers of soy while doing research on prostate cancer. (“Tragedy and Hype” in Soy Alert!) I am shocked by this report and am now very concerned about using soy.
Ironically, I subscribe to Consumer Reports on Health and just received their May 2000 report with a two-page article stating the benefits of soy on the heart and osteoporosis, stating that the isoflavones bolster the bones.
You might find it interesting that I have psoriasis and recently visited the Canyon Ranch in Arizona, where soy is added to most of the food. After a few days, the skin rash flared up terribly. It took me a week to figure out that it was the soy. Once I stopped eating any food that contained soy, my skin improved. To test this, several months later I ate some soy beans and again my skin flared up. Needless to say, I now avoid all products containing soy.
Both of my children were given soy formula because they were unable to tolerate conventional formula. One developed severe asthma and the other was definitively diagnosed ADD. Is it possible that the lactose intolerance indicated a preexisting allergy and he would have developed asthma regardless, or was it the soy? I guess I will never know. However, your article certainly caught my attention. The biggest question is how to make this information more available to the general public.
New York, NY
Raw Milk and Fermented Foods to the Rescue
I want to acknowledge you for the incredible gift of life the Foundation is giving with their information on traditional diets. It has made an enormous positive change in our lives.
About three years ago my kids (now 8 and 9) and I were diagnosed with giardia. For six months we had been dealing with continual vomiting and diarrhea. My daughter, who only weighed 40 pounds to start with, had lost one-third of her body weight and things were not looking good. The medical profession had basically given up on us. We had tried every antibiotic we could with no success. It was on one such trip to the emergency room that the doctors told us we needed to look at alternative forms of healing as they had nothing else to offer us.
We were referred to a naturopath who tested each of us and immediately changed our diets and got us started on a homeopathic remedy for giardia. We were reacting to numerous foods and still do. He had us quit eating most additives and preservatives as well as all forms of goat and cow milk, including whey, butter, yogurt and cheese. My son had to stay away from all forms of MSG, chemically produced as well as naturally occurring. Our diets were so restrictive that eating became something we did out of necessity, and cooking was a chore. As long as we ate all meals at home and I cooked everything from scratch, I could count on a peaceful night’s sleep. But one treat at school, or a snack at a friend’s house, and I knew we would be up for a good four hours with vomiting and diarrhea. I dreaded holidays and family get-togethers. I felt so sorry for my kids who got sick whenever they ate things other kids took for granted, like pizza, tacos and lasagna.
Last year, however, a couple things happened that left me in the inquiry stage. We visited my aunt and uncle’s farm when they happened to be milking the goats. My kids have always reacted to goats milk. However, this time they went down to the barn with my uncle, milked the goats and proceeded to consume very large quantities of goat milk fresh from the goat before I realized what they were doing. They had had so much fun it crushed me to know in a few hours they would be deathly ill. Evening came and went and neither of them got sick.
Then a couple months ago we were visiting them again and we all tried some homemade ice cream, once again made from raw goat milk. Again, no one became ill. On a subsequent visit to our naturopath, he shared his thoughts on why he felt pasteurized, homogenized milk products were behind the rising rate of heart disease. The pieces began falling into place. Why could my kids drink goat milk fresh from the goat and not get sick? Yet when they were tested, they reacted to store-bought milk and it made them sick. It clicked. the naturopath’s machine tests products in the form that most people use. His machine was testing pasteurized products or commercially prepared products, not products fresh from the farm or cultured in my kitchen. The milk from the store was pasteurized. The milk on the farm was raw.
Then I got into culturing foods, like piima, kefir, and cultured butter, and have been sampling it all with none of the usual side effects. Yesterday I had the opportunity to use the machine to have all of the products I’ve made tested on my children. The kids were cheering every time a new food product was added to their diet and I was stunned to see the results.
The results were fascinating. The kefir I had left sitting out for 12 hours didn’t work for the kids. The kefir that had sat out for 2 days passed easily. I used whole, non-homogenized milk when making the kefir. I also had several brands of raw cheese (goat and cow) tested on them. The raw cheese was fine. The pasteurized cheese was not. We tried two different bottles of soy sauce. The first one was some organic soy sauce that was fermented two summers and it didn’t pass the test. The second bottle was some organic soy sauce that was fermented four years and it was unpasteurized. It passed!
My kids are on cloud nine. They ate cheese in the car on the way home and had real butter on toast for a bedtime snack! They had oatmeal soaked in whey for breakfast and butter on their green beans and broccoli for dinner.
Learning about raw dairy products and cultured foods has opened a whole new world up to our family. I am once again excited about cooking and even spent some time hanging out in a kitchen store today looking at the new gadgets available! Thank you for making a difference in so many people’s lives.
Lake Oswego, Oregon
The Land of Mixed Farms
Greetings to all at the Weston A. Price Foundation. I have been here in Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire for three weeks now. The countryside and seacoast are spectacular.
We have milk delivered to our door three times a week from a small open-sided, non-refrigerated lorry. The milk is pasteurized but not homogenized and is whole milk. It tastes good and from its taste and from the farms I see around me I know it is produced from pastured cows.
The countryside is privately owned but its quality as a traditionally farmed area is maintained with the help of a trust. The crops are barley and wheat, along with lots of sheep and dairy, on mixed farms. Hay is made in round bales, wrapped in plastic. Walking paths cross through the land, as well as a rail path now used for bikes and horses.
But the form I filled out for the National Health gave me cause for concern. After questions about whether I smoked or not, exercised or drank alcohol, they asked: “Do you try to have a lowfat diet?” and “Do you try to avoid saturated fats and use polyunsaturated fats?”
In Africa, the foreign missionaries tell the newcomers, “Unless you eat Africa, Africa will eat you.” Those who do not develop a liking for eating local food will get sick, whether in Africa or Europe.
North Yorkshire, UK
South African Adventure
We returned on Tuesday from our trip to South Africa. One thing I found so interesting was to see the wide faces and broad smiles of the native black people in the country. The blacks in the city were more like the whites with narrow faces and irregular teeth, just as Dr. Price observed.
We really enjoyed the food and the South African cuisine–very delicious and full of fresh fruits and vegetables. However, I was disappointed to see that the American influence is very strong there and they are now consuming much more processed and prepared foods. Coca Cola, Sprite, McDonald’s, KFC and other fast foods are very prominent. In general the people are still much slimmer than Americans, though.
I was able to taste some kaffir beer while I was there. They no longer call it that name–it is now known as sorghum beer. Kaffir is an Arabic term meaning “unbeliever” and had been used by white people as a derogatory term for blacks. It is now on a government list of words that are illegal to use. However, the sorghum beer I was finally able to find in a liquor store in a black area of East London was quite good. It is very sour with a yeasty flavor and tasted like liquid bread. It came in a paper carton like a half gallon of milk does here. What a pity the Africans are abandoning this healthy fermented drink for American soft drinks.
Alan M. Hart
Queen Valley, AZ
Editor’s Response: Yes, and their health is suffering as a result! Could it be that the so-called AIDS epidemic is really the result of malnutrition due to the “displacing foods of modern commerce?”
Good Health from Local Foods
A very big thank you for your fantastic educational information in Wise Traditions. In the back of your magazine we have discovered some advertisers who can supply us with the pasture-raised beef, pork, chickens, lamb, milk, butter, cream and cheese. This has been the most wonderful food my girlfriend and I have ever eaten. Since eating it we feel the healthiest we have ever been in our adult lives. We are so grateful to have such high quality foods available to us via mail order.
Your newsletter was the messenger for this timely and valuable information and we are very grateful. My girlfriend perhaps notices the biggest changes as she recently came off of a ten-year-long vegan diet. Since eating organic and pasture-raised animal foods, she is feeling much stronger, happier, and more productive. Your educational information will set a lot of vegan vegetarians free to live healthy, happy, more productive lives.
Keep up the outstanding work and sharing the fantastic health information you compile. Individual health is the first step to a healthy planet.
Stephen Heuer, Nutripath
Myths and Truths About the Chinese Diet
I think there is a very big misconception that the Chinese diet is a high-carb diet and here’s why:
In 1995 I, a mid-western typical carb-addicted college student, traveled to China to study and teach English for six months. Being overweight, I was very excited to travel to a country of thin people and eat what they ate! What I found shocked me–a very simple diet full of fatty meat fried in oil, steamed veggies with oil added and rice. No sweet and sour sauce, no thick starchy soups and no deep fried breaded chicken chunks–just plain fried pork, chicken, or beef with some spices. In the six months I lived there I rarely found a dairy product, never saw a loaf of bread, never saw potato chips and never saw a chocolate bar. In fact, I offered a Chinese friend some chocolate my father sent to me and she thought it was sickeningly sweet. Concentrated sweets are simply not consumed in the traditional Chinese diet.
Wanting to lose weight and being concerned about all the fat in the meat and oil, I would typically order a large bowl of rice to start out my meal to fill me up. This surprised my Chinese classmates who wondered why on earth I would be filling up on boring rice when I could be feasting on meats as a “rich” American. You see, although the Chinese serve rice with each meal, they do not throw their good meal on top of it and gobble it down. They use rice as a side dish to eat after the meal, and many times skip it altogether if they are full. They let me know that all that rice was making me fat, but I knew better than that! I cut that fattening meat out all together and ate mostly fried rice or fried noodles. Funny thing that I came home ten pounds heavier, even considering I had more exercise in my life riding my bike and walking everywhere I went. And I missed out on some of the best cooking and most nutritious food in the world.
This is why I believe when you speak of the high-carb Chinese diet, you are actually referring to the American Chinese-food diet! Funny how any food that hits American soil loses its fat and picks up carbs! It is we who add the sweet, starchy sauces and I know that doesn’t surprise you. If we all ate as the mainland Chinese, we would all be living on a low-carb diet and all be thin.
The biggest tragedy is that in China in areas with better economies and more money, obesity-related health problems are on the rise. I am certain this is not due to the rich eating more fat since I was in one of the poorest areas of China and meat, fat and veggies were prevalent. It is due to the crazy idea that rich people eat fun foods like French fries and donuts! I hope the crazy American “fad diet” of low fat/high carb will soon be exposed for what it really is, and thank you for spreading the message.
Editor’s Response: The “oil” used for frying meat and vegetables in China was probably lard. See our article Food in China: Variety and Monotony for more on the traditional Chinese diet.
Saved by Real Milk
I have been furnishing my son’s pediatrician with information on trans fats and soy products. She is the second pediatrician that I have spoken to that had heard nothing about the problems with soy infant formula. What’s going on? Seems to me, if anyone should know, it would be the pediatricians. I will make a copy of the “Soy Alert!” article in your magazine, plus the article on teeth and bone health with raw milk and forward it to her.
As for raw milk, Cody, my son, has always been tiny. He was full term, but only weighed just over four pounds at birth. His growth rate had always remained below what it should be. At almost six years, he only weighed 32 pounds. He also had been on four different allergy medications–Claritin, Flonase, Tanafed and Extendryl. Two weeks after my finding a source of raw Jersey milk, he no longer needed any medicine.
When I took him to the pediatrician, she wanted to know what I had done because Cody had gained four pounds and grown about one-and-one-half inches in a month. I told her and, surprisingly, she was for it. After all, what could she say? She has been his doctor since his birth.
Another story: Years ago Elton Maddox had a dairy. Some people he knew had a very sick baby. Elton said, “The little thing was as poor as a rail, and cried all of the time.” A baby specialist in Charleston told the baby’s father to find someone with a cow that had not been fresh for more than six weeks, and get the milk for the baby. Elton’s wife told the baby’s father that she was afraid that the milk would be too rich, give the baby diarrhea and that they might lose it. The father said that they were going to lose it anyway, so he wanted to try the milk. Elton separated out a Guernsey, milked her specially for the baby. The next day the baby’s mother wanted him to “come in and see something.” He went in and there was the baby sleeping peacefully. After putting it on the milk, the little thing got better, and did just fine.
Those in charge of public health policy in the US do not really understand what I am demonstrating about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSA) and Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (CJD). They get the main linchpin of the work wrong by stating “manganese deficiency” instead of “manganese excess.” Then they seem to marginalize my position in the BSE debate by falsely suggesting that I am at odds with Stanley Prisiner’s prion concept that has now been accepted as mainstream.
Ironically, both my own studies and those of Dr. David Brown largely open up the final door of evidence in support of Prisiner’s concept. We have shown what causes the prion protein to transform into its protease-resistant form (the disease-associated form). Prisiner first identified the abnormal prion as the hallmark of the BSE-diseased brain and he hypothesized that his abnormal protein somehow caused the disease. Where I do differ from the Prisiner brigade is only in one point–I don’t believe that the “prion” is highly infectious as they are suggesting; that is, I don’t believe that it can infect those who eat prion-contaminated meat. I believe that it is the manganese 3+ attached to the prion that is the infectious agent and only when it is transmitted by injection, etc., into susceptible genotypes. Prisiner himself is skeptical of “the-BSE-feed-caused-new-variant-CJD” hypotheses. He was the only person (apart from myself) who suggested this to the BSE inquiry!
I just hope that the beef industry in America realizes that we’re not as “way out” as has been suggested. The industry is shooting itself in the foot by rejecting the link to toxic mineral excess and organophosphate pesticides. We have accumulated so much hard evidence now–more than all other theories.
I have been to Calabria in Southern Italy looking at the case of 20 CJD victims in a hamlet of 150 population since 1995. Intriguing stuff! But I was warned that the Mafia controls the property market and meat market in this part of Italy and would be hostile to me. So I was unable to get soil samples at that time.
Things are so desperate in farming in Europe at present. We are so concerned by the totalitarian, global control that is molding the direction of agriculture into complete ecological and economic crisis. The “arable aid payments scheme” has caused acres of former livestock grassland to be ploughed up. The global warming flash flood storms have caused an unprecedented degree of soil erosion, with its attendant self-perpetuating drain on human reserves.
Editor’s Response: Read Mark Purdey’s articles about BSE under Myths & Truths About Mad Cow Disease.