Copper-Zinc Article Worth Weight in Gold
Laurie Warner’s piece on the copper-zinc imbalance (Spring, 2007), is worth its weight in gold! I am a longtime advocate of the work of the late Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer, the founder of the Princeton Brain-Bio Center. I have studied his written work, use his formulated multivitamins, researched every institution that still practices what he preached and always search for re-validation of his work in those who were healed by applying his knowledge, insight and methods.
It was so wonderful to read and study Laurie’s piece. She used many sources and gave us a roadmap to recovery from illness. I hope that many of your readers recognized the treasury she wrote about, her ability to put it all together and to validate it by her current state of health.
Livingston Manor, New York
Victory for Claravale Dairy
Thank you so much for your action alert and letter writing campaign to help us get our permits for our new raw milk dairy location. The letter writing was very successful and we have received the permit we needed. It took us one day short of a month! This is really incredible. In Santa Cruz County we had not been successful after trying for eleven years.
The planning director called and wrote to me twice asking to call off the letter writing campaign because it was taking all of his time to answer everyone. I told him we’d do it when he had our permit. We are now up and running. A big “Thank you!” to everyone from us.
Curse or Privilege?
I was watching Oprah Winfrey at the school she is supporting in Africa. She was surrounded by smiling children and what struck me was the fact that they all had beautiful teeth and well-formed faces.
Now her school is going to teach them table manners, among other skills. But what kind of foods will they be eating at the table? And will their western-style education be the beginning of a downward health spiral in coming generations?
Raw Milk for the Navy?
I am writing in regards to your action to legalize raw milk sales and distribution in Maryland.
I am a recent graduate of the US Naval Academy Class of 2007 and a newly commissioned officer in the US Marine Corps. I was Midshipman in the US Naval Academy for four years. Before coming to USNA, I was an Enlisted Marine Corps firefighter for three years, as a Corporal. I majored in political science and focused my studies on international relations. As an engineering and sciences student, I received a Bachelor of Science degree. This technical training helps me to understand on the atomic level what all the issues are in regards to real milk and the health problems associated with pasteurized, homogenized, non-pastured dairy.
I also understand the big business issues. There are many holes in the opposition’s arguments regarding the health claims against raw milk, and the perceived health benefits of industrial pasteurized dairy operations. This is an uphill battle, but it is a mountain worth climbing.
I have seen the detriments of non-real commercial dairy in my family. I also have seen it affecting myself and others. While on overseas deployment when enlisted in the Marines, I saw the processed foods and UHT milk take a severe toll on my fellow Marines’ health. Some couldn’t pass bowel movements for a week. Everybody was so tired of eating because the food was polluted with preservatives and chemicals, and the milk was not beneficial for good health. I understand we were in the jungle, but it was a good personal test on how bad food can make you feel and look sickly. The Naval Academy still owns a large pasture in Gambrills, Maryland. It was used as the Academy’s dairy farm for Midshipmen to have fresh milk. This was the main source for dairy products for a long time, until they thought they could save money by going commercial with pasteurized products. Though leased by a dairy co-op, the land is still owned by the Navy. This Naval Academy could be used as a raw milk test for Maryland, the way it was common to all Americans in the past. How great it would be to have free raw pastured milk for USNA’s leaders and select Midshipmen.
Disgusted in New Zealand
Last night on television the commentators were talking about the fish and chips shops in New Zealand, saying how great it is that they use cottonseed oil instead of beef tallow like in the old days. Now, they say, the oil won’t give people heart attacks.
Then came discussion about a book on health and breathing written by a New Zealander who recommends canola oil in place of butter. I am just disgusted with all this rubbish they are telling the public.
Auckland, New Zealand
Cattle Versus Soy
I read with interest the President’s Message (Winter, 2006) regarding the UN report which states that cattle are the chief cause of environmental degradation. It brought to mind some things I read recently in light of the (hopeful) rediscovery of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker.
The Ivory-Billed plunged toward extinction due to an overwhelming loss of habitat, specifically bottomland swamp forest. Prior to this loss of habitat, families had kept a few grazing cows in these forests with seemingly little or no effect on the birds.
The Race to Save the Lord God Bird by Phillip Hoose details this relationship in the following passage: “Gene Laird, the twelve-year-old son of Jesse, helped his family by driving their cattle on horseback through the grand old trees. The trees at Singer were so big that their wide crowns drew together to form a leafy shield at the top, blocking sunlight from reaching the ground. Because young trees couldn’t grow in the shade, spaces on the ground between the giants were wide enough for Gene to drive cattle through, giving them exercise and letting them graze on switch cane that grew beneath the trees. There was only one small detour in his daily route. His father…had Gene ride past the old ash tree and check in on the last female ivory-bill every day” (page 32).
So while a moderate number of grazing livestock didn’t seem to faze the Ivory-Billed, the loss of habitat, not only from logging, but also from soybean culture, posed an insurmountable barrier to their existence. As Tim Gallagher points out in his book The Grail Bird, “…during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the price of soybeans rose astronomically, perhaps in response to a boom in the vegetarian and health food markets.”
Richard Hines, a wildlife biologist elaborated, “The farmers cleared every square inch of property anywhere they could. .They stuck tiles in the ground and drained the swamps. Any place they could get a crop of soybeans in, they were doing it….It took its toll” (page 79).
How sad to think that many truly kind-hearted individuals who adopted vegetarianism in an attempt to spare animals may have instead contributed to the demise of entire species. We can only hope that a thoughtful look at the true impact of our actions will lead to a reconsideration of traditional farming practices and avert such misguided destruction in the future.
Mullica Hill, New Jersey
The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is important for the health of mothers-to-be, because to create preconception health women must be off birth control pills and the IUD (which is designed to secrete small amounts of estrogen as an “extra precaution”).
This recommendation is based on guidelines from a very effective preconception program in England called Foresight. (See www.foresight-preconception.org.uk) The Foresight program discusses the virtues of whole foods but unfortunately does not emphasize the importance of organ meats and raw milk for both men and women prior to conception.
The pill is dangerous because the synthetic hormones can wreak havoc on women’s bodies, with side effects ranging from cysts and blood clots to breast and ovarian cancer. A young woman who uses oral contraceptives has up to ten times the risk for developing breast cancer as does a non-user.
In a woman taking the pill, the body is fighting for balance and stasis; also the body believes it is preparing for pregnancy. As a result, the pill upsets the balance of zinc and copper in the blood. If a woman gets off the pill and immediately becomes pregnant, she is starting pregnancy in a zinc-deficient state. Zinc is essential for neurological development. The pill also depletes the body of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3 and B6 as well as magnesium, iron, iodine, chromium and manganese and perhaps other vitamins and minerals.
From this list of nutrients, you will see that liver, especially raw liver, is likely the best preconception and pregnancy food for modern women. If a woman has ever used birth control pills or the IUD, her body will be depleted of many vitamins and minerals, a majority of which are found in liver. Even if a woman used birth control pills ten years prior to pregnancy, unless she has regularly been eating organ meats including liver, she is probably still depleted in many minerals.
The depletion of nutrients caused by the pill can also repress the level of pleasure in the sexual experience because we feel pleasure through the release of hormones, which require an adequate balance of minerals in the body.
Santa Cruz, California
Not for the Birds
At a recent farm co-op meeting, a gentleman was discussing a new USDA processing facility he was opening. During the conversation he mentioned that he butchers meat from conventional growers and from some grass-based growers farther north. He was giving the suet from the conventionally grown beef to his birder friends and they said the birds wouldn’t eat it. He gave them some suet from the grass-based cattle and the birds loved it. So, he doesn’t bother saving anything from the conventional beef but saves the “good stuff” from the grass-raised beef for his birder friends. Who’s the dummy here? Not wildlife!
Little Falls, Minnesota
I heard National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm Show this morning (wamu.org) when she interviewed the new FDA Commissioner. One of the interesting themes the Commissioner repeated was his preference to have quality incorporated into foods rather than to rely on inspection or other follow-up risk management technologies to “catch” problems.
This, of course, is a mantra of modern manufacturing (especially in the car business), so that quality can be increased at the same time as inspection costs are decreased. This makes sense for an agency like FDA. They can have businesses certify their own manufacturing processes and thereby minimize inspection by both the business and the agency.
I think this is an ideal argument against pasteurization and in favor of fresh unprocessed milk. Our argument would depend on positioning the production of milk separate from the pasteurizing process. In other words, define the pasteurizing process as an after-the-fact quality control effort (which it is), rather than have it included as part of the manufacturing process itself (pretty revolting to talk about “manufacturing” milk, but that is the industrialized food paradigm).
As we try to deal with FDA, sometimes the dogma log-jam can be broken most easily by appealing to the top guy, particularly if he or she is new on the job, and speak to their own particular new way of looking at things.
The phrase, “fresh unprocessed milk,” by the way, is the preference of Ted Beals, MD, retired University of Michigan Medical School professor for over twenty years and retired head of pathology for eight years for the US Veterans Administration. He uses this phrase to distinguish milk produced so as not to require pasteurization, from raw milk which requires pasteurization.
Stephen T. Bemis
Vegetarianism and Cavities
I want to write to thank the Weston A. Price Foundation for all of your research, which has made a huge difference in our lives. My mother was vegetarian when pregnant with me. She went back and forth between eating some meat and then not throughout my childhood, often using soy to replace meat and dairy.
I have suffered many cavities through my life. I became a vegetarian at age thirteen, and then a vegan at age sixteen; I studied many different schools of nutritional thought, including macrobiotic, raw fruitarian and ayurvedic.
After becoming vegan, my menstruation stopped for six months until I started craving and eating whole milk yogurt, which brought my cycle back. I continued being vegetarian.
I got pregnant when I was 22 and had a miscarriage, then had my first son a year later. My son was a healthy big beautiful baby; however, his first two teeth started coming in at three and a half months and they were yellow. They chipped within days of emerging, and when he was eighteen months, he had six cavities and one abscessed tooth that had to be pulled.
I have to mention along with this long story that my husband and I are organic farmers and eat really healthily all in all-we eat our own eggs from pastured chickens.
I then went on to get pregnant again just four months after weaning my first son. I went crazy during my second pregnancy; my anger was hard to control. I was severely depressed, even suicidal at times. Still, I had another gorgeous big baby boy; however, even though I was breastfeeding him, he seemed to have a constant cold the first six months of life.
Throughout this time I was doing all the research I could on health and diet. I first discovered the work of Weston Price in relation to tooth decay. I started taking high vitamin cod liver oil and giving it to my children, and we got some dairy cows and started drinking our own raw milk. We have added butter and coconut oil, and have slowly introduced meat.
I recently brought my oldest to a pediatric dentist to have a look at those cavities. Although not a holistic dentist, she said, “It looks like there has been a change in the diet, his cavities have hardened and could probably just be watched for now!”
Stiff Cell Walls
I subscribe to a monthly newsletter by a naturopathic doctor who is very opposed to the medical establishment. This month the newsletter talks about the causes of cancer (lack of oxygen), and he says that the best oils to minimize cancer and lack of oxygen in the body are hemp oil followed by flax oil-in other words, polyunsaturated fatty acids. He says all saturated fats “stiffen” the cell wall and make oxygen passage very difficult and can set up cancer. Obviously coconut is the highest in saturated fats. This seems like a bizarre theory, but now it’s out there. What are your views on this?
Pennington, New Jersey
Nutritionists and health professionals often warn against saturated fats with the statement that “saturated fats are solid at room temperature and therefore make the cell membranes too stiff.” But our bodies do not function internally at room temperature; they function at tropical temperatures, twenty-five degrees above room temperature! That is why we need a lot of saturated fatty acids in our cell membranes. Without saturated fats, cell membranes lack structural integrity and do not work properly. Saturated fats also strengthen the immune system. As for polyunsaturated fatty acids, numerous studies have shown that an excess contributes to cancer. For a discussion of the notion that polyunsaturated fatty acids provide more oxygen to the cell, see the article on Brian Peskin in Wise Traditions, Spring, 2007. By the way, isn’t it interesting how commentators who criticize the medical establishment still promote the establishment’s antisaturated fat agenda?
Modern Versus Traditional Holsteins
We have a small, grass-based, family dairy and have been selling raw milk, raw milk cheese and other farm products. The information you provide helps considerably.
We have a mixed herd of Jerseys and Holsteins. When all the trends for dairy farms were going in the direction of quantity, we stayed with the bulls whose daughters had the highest milk quality. We didn’t stress our Holsteins at all. As a matter of fact, our highest butter fat cow is a Holstein who most recently scored 6.3 in butter fat.
Our Holsteins consistently keep up with the Jerseys in solid counts, and they certainly don’t need antibiotics to keep them healthy. So the Holstein cow should not be condemned when it isn’t the breed that ought to be boycotted, but the genetic practices that have no concern for milk quality.
Betty Sue Robie
Your point is well taken. When we talk about “modern Holsteins,” the stress is on “modern.” Holsteins that do well on grass and produce milk with a high fat content are fine. We have made some adjustments at realmilk.com to reflect this fact.
The article on cruciferous vegetables (Summer 2007) states that fermentation does not neutralize the goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables and that eating fermented sauerkraut or kim chi frequently is not a good idea. The impression I get is that this is bad for the thyroid gland, even with iodine supplementation.
I have cabbage, radishes, turnips, bok choy, horseradish, radish and broccoli in most of my ferments and am really enjoying eating them, so I am disappointed by this information. I thought fermentation made them safe.
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Chris Masterjohn replies: Fermentation does not neutralize the goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables. However, according to the principle of hormesis, exposure to small amounts of naturally occurring toxins can actually produce a robust state of health by training the defensive systems of the body. Moderate amounts of cruciferous goitrogens may help protect against cancer, and their goitrogenic effect can easily be overcome by consuming extra iodine. In the context of an iodine-rich diet, fermented crucifers can be eaten regularly. There are certain conditions where one may want to pay extra attention to moderating the intake of cruciferous vegetables or getting more iodine than usual-in the case of hypothyroidism or during lactation (when iodine requirements are high). The conclusion is not that these foods are bad, but that one must pay attention to the interaction between various foods within one’s diet. We have a tendency to want to pick and choose the items from various traditional diets as suits us, but we must remember that every traditional diet was more than a collection of various individual foods and operated as an orchestrated symphony of interacting components.
In regard to your article on the goitrogenic properties of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, my husband, who is Russian, likes to tell me he finds it “barbaric” that Americans will put a bowl of plain raw sauerkraut on the dining table. In Russia, sauerkraut destined for raw consumption was never soured by itself. You traditionally added cranberries or carrot medallions or quartered Antonovka apples (variety of tart apple not available in US) or all three, and often herbs such as juniper berries. These additions do make a delicious version. You don’t eat a large amount of it, but use it like a condiment.
Just for fun, I looked into the iodine content of cranberries and carrots (Antonovka apples were not available for analysis). Carrots actually have a fair amount, and then I found this reprint of an older study showing Cape Cod cranberries to be a rather good source of iodine (www.jbc.org/cgi/reprint/ 79/2/409.pdf).
I knew a Korean fellow who had a little deli in town who told me he always made his kimchi with fish sauce, but that most kimchi made in America didn’t contain fish sauce because it was too expensive. Fish sauce would be a great source of iodine. He also told me that he was generally not happy with the commercial Napa cabbage he bought here-usually too bitter, he said. It just didn’t have the right flavor. His mother in Korea always grew their Napa cabbage interspersed with rows of soybeans, he told me. The cabbage was always sweet and made the best kimchi. Did you then eat the soybeans? I asked. “Oh, no!” he said. “The soybeans were just for growing the cabbage.”
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Raw Treachery in Utah
In the April, 2007 issue of VICFA VOICE, the newsletter of the Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association, editor Deborah Stockton wrote the following under the headline “Tracking the Trojan Cow: A Rotten Milk Bill in Utah. Redmond Salt CEO Creates Cow-Share Ban in Utah Bill.”
The article goes on to explain how Roberts, the owner of Redmond’s Salt of Real Food Market in Orem, Utah, worked with the Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and various politicians to secure passage of HB311, which outlaws cowshares in Utah but allows raw milk to be sold in stores where the dairy farmer owns at least 51 percent of the store. The bill outlaws sales of raw milk in stores where pasteurized milk is sold. Roberts is the sole beneficiary of the bill; he can continue to sell raw milk at his Real Food Market. Cow shares are now illegal, and any other farmer wanting to sell in a store would have to own at least 51 percent of the store.
On the floor of the Utah General Assembly during debates on the bill, Rep. Melvin Brown said, “I don’t usually vote for raw milk, but I’m voting for this bill because the restrictions are so strict it will make it impossible for any new raw milk dairies to open.”
And, as Deborah Stockton concludes,”The 51 percent ownership requirement is convenient for someone like Roberts, who happens to own a retail food store where he can sell his milk, but simply eliminates that distribution possibility for smaller dairies, especially those just starting out, which would not only have to meet dairy regulations, but would have to invest in owning retail space and meeting that set of regulations as well. Fine if you have an extra million dollars in your pocket.”
I have bought Redmond products as long as I have had livestock, and I was just about to get more salt blocks, but they will not be Redmond products. Nor will I buy Redmond products again. I hope other WAPF farmers will do the same.
Ron Schmid, ND
Asthma Versus Foodborne Illness
While working on the raw milk issue here in NC, I discovered that the US asthma death risk is greater than the food-borne pathogen death risk.
The estimated death rate for asthma in the US is approximately 6,000 per year. The total deaths from common food-borne pathogens from all sources (including raw milk) are an estimated 1,250 per year. Thus, the risk of dying from asthma is over four times that of dying from food-borne pathogens.
With the new studies out showing that raw milk consumption in childhood helps prevent asthma, legislators actually increase the likelihood of death for their constituents when they vote against raw milk. By contrasting these two risks, it makes a very forceful argument-one that would be hard for the anti-raw milk lawmakers to stand against.
I am using this argument to urge North Carolina legislators to vote for S 948, the Small Dairy Sustainability bill, which would make clean raw milk from grass-fed cows an option for parents by allowing cow shares.
Durham, North Carolina
The new studies showing that raw milk consumption reduces the risk of asthma can be found at Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology 2006 Jun;117(6):1374-81 and Clinical & Experimental Allergy 2007 May 37(5,):627-630.
An Invented Disease?
On the news a few days ago, we learned about the discovery that children who drink raw milk don’t have asthma. “How about that!” they said, “But what are we to do because raw milk is full of harmful bacteria?”
I grew up drinking raw milk along with one brother and two sisters. We didn’t know anyone who had asthma. We were seldom sick except for the chicken pox. One sister got measles, one brother got whooping cough but none of us got the mumps, although it was going around in school.
I have come to the conclusion that COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is an invented disease. I have emphysema which the doctors think is caused by over fifty years of smoking. I was over in the Mediterranean area for three years during WWII and started smoking like almost everybody else did then. My sisters both smoked as much or more than I did. One died at 85 but the lung X-rays didn’t indicate she ever smoked. One died last week at age 89. They blamed it on smoking. But you wonder how long she would have lived if she hadn’t smoked.
There is no treatment for emphysema but most sufferers like myself go to a doctor when they develop shortness of breath. Doctors start them on inhalers. Eventually the inhalers give a person asthma and chronic bronchitis, which they never had before. The expensive sprays for these conditions are addictive, and the patient can’t get off them for life. It’s a multibillion dollar bonanza to drug companies. They then call this new condition COPD.
The Lowfat Thirst
Regarding the polar bear that eats fat and leaves the muscle meat (Caustic Commentary, Summer, 2007), we learn that “fat requires no energy for digestion and is metabolized into water…meat, on the other hand, requires a lot of energy to digest and will leave the bear listless and dehydrated. Something to think about as we impose lowfat diets on our omnivorous children.”
You are familiar with the picture these days: people everywhere sipping on water bottles. I have just been amazed and puzzled at this. Where did this suddenly national urge to sip water all day long come from? First I thought it was good advertising. But could it be the low fat diet that keeps people thirsty all the time?
Lake City, Minnesota
One Home-Cooked Meal at a Time
When I decided to shift gears to be a stay-at-home mother and got interested in how to cook nutritious meals for my family, I never thought that my husband’s ideas about local and world politics and how to make the world a better place and my ideas about how to make a nutritious meal would end up being one and the same! So here we parents are-making the world a more harmonious, balanced place-one homecooked meal at a time.
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