HIGH IN THE ANDES
I am in the high Andes, in Cusco, Peru, which has a pretty big tourist population. I wanted to share what I see in the market here. Not only chicken feet, but the snouts of cows, steer heads, testicles, and every part inside and out of an animal you can imagine. A friend told me as a child, they used to eat sheep eyes boiled.
There are fresh cheeses, butter, exotic fruits, several varieties of quinoa and amaranth. They sell an edible lupin seed that looks like a lentil but bigger; it is white and does not have much flavor but it is high in protein. You can choose from hundreds of varieties of potatoes. I met a man on the street who sells yogurt from leche fresca, raw milk, which is not available in the grocery stores.
Today we went to a small village and met a woman who had a few little girls hanging around her, all with beautiful teeth. I asked her what the children ate. She said they ate corn, wheat, quinoa and guinea pig―the whole animal. They gut the little rodent and cook it with the head and teeth on. Then they do various things to prepare the viscera. But as commercialism has taken hold you can see the maxillas of these beautiful people changing, especially in the city dwellers. There are dentist offices everywhere.
Ann Oldham Michael
I am concerned about the Foundation’s endorsement of the GAPS diet, which has pushed the Carb Wars further in the low-carb direction. People appear to be making the illogical conclusion that because it is effective for some children with autism, not only is it good for all kids with autism, but it will cure everything.
In 2006, I successfully treated my own autistic son in the context of a wellrounded WAPF diet, which included fruit, maple syrup, honey, Rapadura, raw milk and soaked grains, so I don’t see the utility of GAPS for all autism spectrum disorders. From my online forum experience and as a past chapter leader, I have endless feedback from people who think that GAPS is a panacea rather than a temporary therapeutic approach.
In 2009, I personally got swept away in the low-carb wave, and by the spring of 2010, was battling fatigue, depression, hair loss, dry skin and menstrual problems. My son’s anxiety returned, and my kids have since not been as healthy as they were in 2007 and 2008, on a well-rounded WAPF-inspired way of eating. All the broth and liver in the world did not make up for the effects of the lost glucose. We are still recovering from that experiment!
WAPF is a non-profit organization. I believe its most important contributions are in the areas of connecting consumers with local, nourishing foods, underscoring the importance of animal foods and saturated fats in the diet, and highlighting the destructive effects of food additives. Those recommendations alone have the potential to make a great impact on the health of any individual. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the chapter leaders are in the health business and are thus biased, more apt to follow trends, or recommend things that worked for them personally, without understanding that there may be no universal solutions. Quite a few of them are demonizing carbohydrates. Many benefit from the client base attracted by the Foundation. All of the “Real Food Bloggers” (like the ones who try a diet on the bestseller list because it mentions Green Pasture’s cod liver oil) and tangentially-related health professionals definitely affect the direction the organization is trying to take. People turn to these sources to recreate the kind of support they get at local chapter meetings. Their well-marketed messages, in the interest of attracting hits, advertisers and clients, are becoming louder than the organization’s message.
While Price himself discovered healthy individuals all over the world eating many different types of foods in different combinations, chapter leaders, bloggers and Paleo gurus are spreading the message that “carboydrates feed yeast, fructose causes fatty liver disease, and glucose spikes insulin!” This type of fear, coupled with the rapid weight loss one experiences on a low-carb diet, is driving people to try extreme diets in the name of improving their health, rather than taking a balanced approach.
GAPS, for a person who is still struggling on a well-rounded WAPF diet, looks like the perfect solution. The basic tenet that glucose fuels a healthy metabolism via mitochondria and optimal thyroid function is now overlooked. Somehow we’ve made this all about the intestine, and for folks who are unfamiliar with the context of a whole organism, these scientific arguments are difficult to sort out. I got sucked into it, too. Scientists are fallible. They make mistakes in their research and in their conclusions. The idea that there is a perfect solution at all is a logical fallacy in itself.
I suspect that these low-carb approaches do not support hormonal health in menstruating, pregnant, or nursing women. Furthermore, the safety of the GAPS diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established. Pregnancy ketosis in animals is analogous to toxemia in pregnancy, and can be induced by simply reducing a pregnant animal’s feed ration. This organization’s mission, from what I could tell when I originally joined, was especially to prevent the malnourishment of mothers and children, and thus, I cannot understand why so many “volunteers” would advocate the use of a diet that promotes ketosis, specifically in this population.
I think if the organization is going to support the use of the GAPS diet for “curing” all these health problems, at the very least, its safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding needs to be investigated before harm befalls unborn children.
Amy Lewark, MS
Ohio University Neurobiology ’99
Editor’s Response: Your points are very well taken. The GAPS diet is a difficult and temporary diet to use in situations where the WAPF dietary guidelines are not working. Because it is a detoxifying diet, it should never be used during pregnancy and lactation.
OLIVE OIL SCAM
I have checked in practically every restaurant I have eaten at in San Francisco in the last few months. These restaurants range from the very posh to the very inexpensive. Nearly all of them use either soybean oil exclusively, or soybean oil mixed with a smidgen of olive oil (so they can claim it’s olive oil) in their salad dressings. When asked, the wait staff has always been the most honest. The owners just lie (I know this because they get shifty when asked, and because they are frequently also chefs who are well aware they are using an inferior oil).
This is distressing on many counts. It means that I thought my balsamic dressing all these years was olive oil and vinegar―when in fact, it was not. It means I thought I was eating healthy salads when I ate out―when in fact, I was not. This surely must have been going on for several years. I am from Marin, and just got reminded that Marin has the highest breast cancer rate in the nation. Coincidence?
The problem is, I frequently go on work lunches and have to eat something. Ideally I want to carry my own dressing. But my business companions and colleagues might be embarrassed by this.
It’s one thing to embarrass your own children, and quite another to embarrass your boss, colleague or important clients who pay your wages (although I admit, on many occasions I’ve managed to do both). Any salad solutions?
Editor’s Response: The only solution is to carry a small bottle of olive oil in your purse and discreetly request that the restaurant make up the dressing for you. It may be embarrassing, but it may also open up a constructive conversation with your colleagues.
I found WAPF in March 2011 at a conference in Pittsburgh supporting local farmers. I was encouraged to discover that WAPF held the same values as I held: even in my teenage years I would look at modern society and ask myself, “If these things (drugs, processed foods, etc.) are as ‘necessary’ now as people claim, how did humans survive for thousands of years? And why do you never hear much about cancer and various diseases prior to the 1900s?”
Your materials have been a great help to me in confirming my childhood instincts about modern versus traditional life. And without a doubt I have met the kindest people through WAPF, people willing to share even more, which further reinforces Weston Price’s observations on the friendly personalities of primitives on native diets.
What prompted me to write to you today is an “incurable” auto-immune disease, vitiligo, in which your skin develops white spots. I have a very severe case. Doctors told my family that my skin had “died” there and that there was no cure—the best they could offer was to “bleach” all of my skin with drugs (like Michael Jackson). Instead I resigned myself to covering up and had low self-esteem. My mother has lived with horrendous guilt for almost thirty years because she did not take a drug which would have allegedly prevented my condition.
I started drinking raw milk and eating traditional WAPF foods in the summer of 2011, and in August began adding a spoonful of diatomaceous earth in a glass of water each night to help detoxify. Then it happened in the late fall that I noticed my legs looking tanner than usual. The vitiligo, which once ran down my legs from knee to toe, developed a “lacey” edge of tan color. Now approximately 60 percent of the vitiligo on my legs has disappeared! It has also begun to disappear on my abdomen and my arms also. (My optometrist has also observed that my eyesight is improving and now she is curious about raw milk.)
I don’t know whether this is due to one specific food or the combination of WAPF eating or the diatomaceous earth detox. I must confess to not having a scientific approach in this, because I am so excited to see these improvements and will keep doing more of the same—maybe, one day, it will go away completely? If the skin is the “window” into a body’s health, I’m encouraged that my whole body must be healing.
I hope this testimony will encourage others who have vitiligo to investigate the WAPF principles and diatomaceous earth to potentially ameliorate their own conditions. I want to thank you for the work you are doing, because it is amazing how the “incurable” is being cured through the simple act of detoxifying and eating nourishing traditional foods.
I spend a lot of time on Instagram, a social media app for iPhone and Android. It is a platform that allows for photo exchange and I am very attracted to it as a means of learning and of sharing ideas. Most of my posts are food related, and most employ WAPF principles, and I tag them with #wapf and #westonaprice. I have gained new followers through my tags but am hard pressed to find others to follow and learn from as they are not tagging.
I wanted to suggest that on the website and in the next Wise Traditions publication the Foundation encourages users of this social app to tag their photos as I have done above so that we can easily find each other. You have no idea the amazing reaction I get when I post photos of my beautifully jellied chicken foot stock being mixed into banana muffins for my girls. Let me know if there is someone else I should share this with!
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Editor’s Response: Thank you Ilana, we have added your suggestion to the information on WAPF on the web, below.
WAPF nutrition advice has brought me many benefits over the years, and while it may be coincidence, my wisdom teeth erupted in my mid-thirties, even though in my early twenties they had been X-rayed and found to be impacted. My dentist refused to believe me when I told him my last wisdom tooth was growing in at age thirty-six
Adelaide, South Australia
GRASS-FED AND FAT
Thank you for acknowledging the possibility of excellent fat production from organically raised grass-fed (no grain) beef. In addition to the beautiful exterior fat, we consistently experience a generous amount of white marbling within the meat. We do managed intensive grazing year-round on the rolling hills surrounding our home here in Alberta, Canada. Each year the pasture grasses return with increased density and nutrition.
It was commonly known in the past that the true taste of beef comes in around the fourth year. As small family farmers, we cannot afford to hold onto the animals that long; however, we can verify that a consistent, delicious, sweet taste in the beef is possible at around the third year.
We’ve eliminated the chemical and hormonal loading by raising the animals organically and removed the acidic loading by not including any grain in their diet. The net result is an experience of the true taste of the meat.
The fat, the bone broth and the delicious meat all contribute greatly to our family’s welfare and the welfare of the beautiful families we serve.
You may be interested to know that we organically grow pastured, soy-free chicken and turkeys as well. I am proud of the fact that my husband persisted and insisted on soy-free, despite being told that it was impossible to raise soy-free poultry. He spent a great deal of time consulting with poultry nutritionists to come up with a formula that we’re happy with. In addition, our friends are using the soy-free formula, and we have the great advantage of gorgeous eggs from their pastured, organic, soy-free hens!
Thank you and all of those associated with the Foundation for the critical contributions you are making toward the restoration of healthy families.
Maighread Axe, Chapter Leader
Terra Caritatis Patris Farm
Clandonald, Alberta, Canada
I am a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation and while I agree that small business enterprises must be sustainable, I have been in the catering and food manufacturing business for over thirty years. There is a very good reason food should be made in a licensed and inspected facility where those preparing the food have taken the food handlers’ safety course. Not everyone who has a home kitchen knows how to keep all the surfaces sterile nor are they likely to wash their hands often and clean their utensils and cutting boards properly. Also, in food manufacturing and preparing, the law states that manufacturers use good manufacturing principles to make sure there is no cross-contamination of allergens (these can be airborne) which will infiltrate the food you are preparing.
Also, it is important that food be stored in proper containers and at least six inches off the floor. Other pathogenic bacteria which may be floating around the kitchen or be on your kitchen counter surfaces may get into the prepared food. It is well known that the home kitchen sink has more bacteria than your bathroom toilet.
When I was in the catering business in Napa I had a twelve-hundred-squarefoot commercial kitchen. I rented half of it out to another caterer and a taco truck. Taco trucks now have to prepare their food in an inspected kitchen for good reason. Yes, all this does cost money. People in the food industry have to pay for licensing, rent and liability insurance. All this is expensive. I do not feel it is fair for people to be able to prepare their product at home just to circumvent the expenses of being in business. And it leaves the public at risk for contamination of food.
I thought I would give you a different perspective from someone who has been in the business. We all want safe food. Get a group of people together and have a cooperative commercial kitchen. That would be legal and sustainable.
Nevada City, California
Editor’s Response: Thank you for your thoughts on this subject. Our view is that regulations should be size-specific. It is not expensive for the home pickler to take a food handling course, but extremely expensive to set up a commercial kitchen, something that is not necessary for a product as inherently safe as homemade pickles.
FOOD IN ROMANIA
My wife and I can certainly empathize with Daniela Schmidt’s concerns over what has happened to the diet of the people of Romania (Winter, 2011) and the similar progression of events in the U.S., as creeping totalitarianism seeks to deprive us even (one might say especially) of our inferred right—nay, ability—to feed ourselves and our families as we see fit.
We were in Bulgaria (neighbor to Romania) about eight years ago to visit friends and family. Everywhere we went the food was excellent. I had one of the best tripe soups (and I’ve had many) of my life in a dingy little cafeteria, (now gone) near the Women’s Market in Sofia. Traditional Bulgarian cuisine puts a very high value on organ meats and they were available in their many forms in every restaurant in which we ate.
Three years ago (soon after the E.U. conquered Bulgaria without a shot being fired, and was welcomed as a liberator) we returned. Our culinary experience was worse than dismal. Even in the homes of many of our beloved friends and family, packaged foods had become the norm. In five years’ time true Bulgarian cuisine had become an outcast, banished to the back alleys, off the beaten path. We actually heard women on the streets of Sofia talking to each other about the glories of packaged food and how it liberated them from wasting their time cooking for their families, presumably allowing them more time to shop for cheap Chinese junk (which has also flooded Bulgaria in the same period).
Eight years ago we observed no grossly obese people. This had been a point of pride among many Bulgarians in observing the trend in America. Three years ago the waddling malnourished were already quite conspicuous. I would like to correct Ms. Schmidt on one point. Orthodox Christianity has nothing to do with veganism (a philosophical and political term coined, I believe, in the mid 1940s). In fact all forms of vegetarianism (except for reasons of health, but we all know what that’s worth) are antithetical to orthodox Christianity. The very idea of giving up meat and dairy of all kinds should convince anyone of what a high value our societies traditionally put on these items. Fasting, in a religious context, is about sacrifice, not about health, or even about food. When we fast, food is the very least of the things that we are to give up. Rather, it is a time of spiritual warfare wherein we confront the things that distract us from what is most important, reject them, and in doing so, it is to be hoped, achieve a closer relationship to God. Fasting is not, however, about suicide, which is forbidden in orthodox Christianity. The Church forbids those who are not physically able from fasting (confirmation that the Church acknowledges the dangers of such a diet, albeit in pursuit of a higher end) and condemns none, per Christ’s teaching, who do not feel able to endure or spiritually benefit from its rigors.
Also, there is a monastic rule (the ideal fast, which, incidentally, allows for the consumption of “fish without backbones”―sort of giving inlanders like my own mountain people, Carpatho-Rusyns, the shaft—err, um, that is to say, greater opportunity for sacrifice) and a less rigorous rule for the laity, which takes under consideration our modern way of life and its constant demand for high productivity (requiring a high calorie intake) and which does not allow for winter’s (both of the main fasts on the Orthodox calendar occur in winter) traditional period of relative rest.
The fast is followed by a feast, a celebration required no less than the fast, during which we eat of all the things, in abundance, of which vegans would insist that we all be deprived.
Anyone eating soy “sausage,” “meat” and “cheese” during the Fast (aside from damaging his health) is merely following a pharisaical rule and has not understood the true meaning and purpose of the fast.
Sayville, New York
SHOW US THE SCIENCE
It is impossible to estimate how many children will owe their future good mental, emotional and physical health to Leslie Manookian and her excellent film, The Greater Good. This film thoughtfully examines the use of mandatory vaccines in the U.S., and calls into question the wisdom of this compulsory practice through the stories of three families adversely affected by vaccines.
However, Manookian’s assertion that “a large, long-term clinical study comparing the health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated patients has never been done. . . ” is not correct. On the contrary, there have been many longitudinal survey studies comparing vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. Further, these studies have clearly demonstrated the occurrence of statistically significant vaccinosis―illness produced in an individual after receiving a vaccine―in the vaccinated groups. The following summarizes a few of these:
• 1992 New Zealand Study: 495 children surveyed with 226 vaccinated and 269 unvaccinated. “Results overwhelmingly showed that unvaccinated children suffer far less from chronic childhood conditions than vaccinated children.” This included a ten-fold increase in tonsillitis (26) and tonsillectomies (10) in vaccinated children, as compared to three cases of tonsillitis and no tonsillectomies in the unvaccinated group. Similarly, the incidence of ear infections (56 versus 16), sleep apnea (14 versus 4), hyperactivity (13 versus 4), and epilepsy (4 versus 0) was statistically significantly higher in the vaccinated children than the unvaccinated (www.whale.to/v/ias1992study.pdf).
• 1997 New Zealand Study: 1265 children were surveyed. The vaccinated children experienced episodes of asthma (23 percent) and allergies (30 percent), as compared to no asthma or allergy incidences in the unvaccinated group (Epidemiology, 1997 Nov; 8(6), 678-80).
• 2000 Africa Study: The children of 15,000 mothers were observed from 1990 to 1996. Results showed that the death rate from diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough in vaccinated children was twice as high as that in unvaccinated children (10.5 percent versus 4.7 percent) (British Medical Journal, 2000, 321: 1435-41).
• 2004 British Study: 30,000 children were compared. The vaccinated children had an increased risk of allergic asthma (5.04 percent) as compared to the unvaccinated children (0.36 percent) (American Journal of Public Health, June 2004, Vol 94, No. 6).
• 2011 German Study: This study of 8000 unvaccinated children (which included medical documentation of each case), from newborn to nineteen years, revealed that vaccinated children have at least two to five times more diseases and disorders than unvaccinated children (http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/new-study-vaccinated-children-have-2-to-5-times-more-diseases-and-disorders-than-unvaccinated-children/).
In contradistinction, no scientific (peer-reviewed, placebo-controlled, double-blind) study has ever been conducted that supports the effectiveness of vaccinations. Despite the fact that Barbara Loe Fisher, president and co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, and her colleagues entreated the CDC, the NIH, and other federal agencies to “Show Us the Science” at the second NVIC conference in 2000, twelve years later no valid scientific research has yet been published proving the efficacy of vaccines.
Given the results of the international survey studies described above it is obvious why the allopathic community of medical doctors, pharmaceutical companies and federal agencies have failed to publish convincing research―because they can’t. Vaccines not only do not confer effective immunity, but they clearly cause serious harm. Further, since none of these longitudinal studies conducted in other countries is ever picked up by our national mainstream media, the disinformation goes on, and children continue to be damaged.
Louisa L. Williams, MS, DC, ND
San Rafael, CA
Editor’s Response: For more information on this subject see Dr. Williams’s Chapter 15, “The Most Profound Holistic Treatment and its Ugly Allopathic Twin,” in her book, Radical Medicine, www.radicalmedicine.com.
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I am writing about a personal experience in case it might be of value to another truth and health seeker. About eight years ago I was diagnosed with fairly aggressive prostate cancer and of course was offered the three big solutions—cut, poison and burn. Rejecting that approach, I decided to put to the test my belief that my marvelous body would heal itself if given the right tools of nutrition, attitude, lifestyle, etc. Eventually it became clear to me that Weston Price had it right, so I embarked on that nutritional path, which incidentally was pretty much the path of my family and ancestors, descendants of the highland Scotch. At that time and even to this day I have not seen much support for this approach as a viable way to treat cancer.
I can only say that it worked for me. After eight years and at age eighty-two I am a vigorous and happy camper with no sign of cancer.
Duane M. Johnson
LETTER FROM MARK MCAFEE OF ORGANIC PASTURES DAIRY
Dear Eco Labs,
Your company came highly recommended as a source of advice and also chemicals. We operate California’s largest raw milk dairy, raw milk brand and creamery near Fresno, California. We will buy tens of thousands of dollars of chemicals this year and we would like Eco Labs to be our vender.
A few weeks ago we had Joe Tomas, an Eco Labs representative, come visit our facilities to orient him and get our account established. When we went to order our first chemicals, the Eco Labs representative expressed his apologies and said that Eco Labs refuses to service a “raw milk dairy or creamery.”
This is simply unacceptable. In California, raw milk is 100 percent legal and state inspected. Raw milk is sold in four hundred stores and is an emerging and growing market. Raw milk does not cause lactose intolerance and does not trigger asthma, yet Eco Labs refuses to service a growing organic raw milk brand at Organic Pastures Dairy. There have been zero deaths from raw milk in the last forty years. According to the CDC, pasteurized milk and pasteurized cheese have killed at least seventy people since 1973 (including the Jalisco incident in 1985).
This is full blown discrimination. Please address this issue and respond to me directly. If this is not corrected, we will address this discrimination with a well-written letter to our huge Facebook following and we will let the consumers know all about how Eco Labs hates raw milk. We also know that Eco Labs services many of the processors in California and nationally. It would be nice if Eco Labs could appreciate how these same processors have robbed the farmers blind and created lactose intolerance in broad swaths of the consuming market—not to mention the several kids that have died from drinking pasteurized milk and suffered an allergic response and could not be saved by paramedics.
Mark McAfee, Founder OPDC
Editor’s Note: Mark was able to find the chemicals he needs for his ultra-clean dairy operation through another company.
ODE TO TOFU
The gentle cows upon our plains
Who feed upon the grass,
And then, in turn, expel methane
In manner somewhat crass,
Are being blamed for making
Our atmosphere less dense.
They say someday we’ll die because
Of bovine flatulence.
Does the answer lie in planting
Our range lands all to soy?
If we abstain from eating beef
Will life be filled with joy?
Let’s not accept this premise
‘Til we check behind the scenes,
Just how much gas will people pass
When they’re only eating beans?
South Dakota native Elizabeth Elbert has received many awards for her poetry.
Visit her website at http://www.cowboypoetry.com/elizabethebert.htm.