Cover to Cover
Thanks so much for your wonderful publication. I look forward to receiving every issue, which I read from cover to cover and even make copies of articles to pass along to friends and neighbors. Please keep up your wonderful work.
Thanks again for your tireless effort to wake up those who have been lulled to sleep by media bias.
Good food – the staff of life. Bad food – the staph of life!
Glen Haven, WI
I found the Winter 2002 issue very interesting and it helped make more sense on the topic of fats. How enlightening to see the menus of all the board members. I use butter from pasture-fed Jersey cows, as well as pasture-fed lamb, beef, chicken and eggs, but in comparison, my fat intake was still lower than that of your board members. So I’ve increased my fat intake and as a result I’m much more satisfied and feel like I don’t really need as much of my whole grain foods.
One question, though. It would have been interesting to have a copy of the lab work (lipid profile) of the board members to accompany their diets. Have you thought of that? I know that in my practice when I recommend increasing meat and good fats to my patients, they are fearful. However, after doing so their health improves so much that they have greater trust in me. However, when their fear persists, I just tell them to go to their family doctor and have their lipids tested. It always comes back in healthy numbers and now the patient has less fear and more information to continue this new way of eating.
Editor’s Response: Very often cholesterol levels “improve,” that is, come down, when individuals add more healthy animal fats to their diet. But just as often they go up. The members of the board do not feel it is worth the time or money to have their cholesterol levels tested. The level of cholesterol in the blood tells us nothing about the state of health of the individual (unless the levels are too low). In fact, high cholesterol is protective in women and in the elderly. Furthermore, cholesterol levels are constantly changing depending on age, time of day, fasting or non-fasting, levels of stress and the type of test used.
Pesticides and Polio
In the Fall 2002 edition you chose to publish a long article on pesticides and polio. The third paragraph on page 35 summarizes the article. Paraphrased, it ways: The statistical correlation between pesticide exposure and polio is so good that there is no reason to look further for the cause of polio.
One of the subthemes of The Cholesterol Myths by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, which was positively reviewed in your journal, concerns the error of confusing statistical correlation with causation. Stated explicitly by the author: “You cannot tell anything about causation from statistical correlation.”
Why have you abandoned the sound approach to discerning dietary knowledge of Dr. Ravnskov to embrace its antithesis? You could have published an ultrashortened version of the polio article, pointed out that statistical correlation doesn’t equal causation, and used the space for more meaningful material.
Jim West Responds: Mr. Henkel improperly paraphrases my sentence (on page 35) in the article “Pesticides and Polio.” His paraphrase: “The statistical correlation between pesticide exposure and polio is so good that there is no reason to look further for the cause of polio.”
However, I actually wrote, “A clear, direct, one-to-one relationship between pesticides and polio over a period of 30 years, with pesticides preceding polio incidence in the context of the CNS-related physiology just described, leaves little room for complicated virus arguments, even as a cofactor, unless there exists a rigorous proof for virus causation.”
Occam’s Razor is a rule of argument which states that the simplest explanation is preferable. The toxicological explanation for polio fulfills Occam’s Razor. Unprecedented mass neurological poisoning correlates closely with unprecedented neurological disease.
Furthermore, the argument of polio virology is weak, with that weakness covered with complexity. Polio virology is founded upon studies that utilized grossly contaminated samples to characterize what is supposed to be a poliovirus. The lab samples routinely injected extraneous matter directly into the cranium of immune-deficient infant mice and sick monkeys. Orthodox medicine has completely omitted pertinent toxicology from the history of polio.
Charles Henkel continues, writing that Dr. Uffe Ravnskov explicitly states, “You cannot tell anything about causation from statistical correlation.” I find this portrayal of Dr. Ravnskov to be inaccurate and lacking context. Statistical analysis, the discovery of relationships amongst data, is fundamental to science, but there is variance in skills and bias amongst analysts, data gatherers and readers. I understand Dr. Ranvskov to mean that a single correlation can be misleading and that more data, analysis and objectivity is to be encouraged. Accordingly, I study polio from many angles. Statistical correlation is a necessary but not sufficient factor in proving cause. Proof of causation is bolstered when various correlations intersect–not just one correlation will do.
Dr. Uffe Ravnskov’s home webpage says it well: “The reason why laymen, doctors and most scientists have been misled is because opposing and disagreeing results are systematically ignored or misquoted. . .”
I enjoyed reading Ron Schmid’s article on the Pottenger cat study (“Analysis of a Health Fetish,” Winter 2002). It is tedious trying to analyze studies and see how misleading the comments of the detractors really are. However his conclusion is also misleading: “Dr. Pottenger’s work leaves us with clear indications that there is no better food for human beings than raw milk. . . ”
The entire article has been about raw milk for cats and he suddenly extrapolates from the information that the raw milk is good for human beings. I have no doubt that it is but his conclusion in this case, given that he is talking about cats and raw milk, is erroneous and should read “Dr. Pottenger’s study leaves us with clear indications that there is no better food for cats than raw milk!”
Dr. Schmid Responds: The writer’s statement misses the central point. In my article, the entire paragraph preceding the sentence the writer has quoted consists of Dr. Pottenger’s detailed explanation of elements in food that are destroyed by heat. Problems in cats eating cooked foods provided parallels with human populations Weston Price studied–the cats developed the same deformities and diseases as humans eating refined foods. Human beings do not have exactly the same nutritional requirements as cats, but whatever else each needs, Pottenger’s work provides “clear indications” that both need a significant amount of certain high quality raw foods to reproduce and function efficiently. Price’s work as well demonstrates clearly the fundamental nature of this principle. Raw milk from grass-fed animals, and its products, are obviously such foods.
Although we enjoy reading your magazine, we were surprised that you included the article on lowfat capitalism by Barbara Ehrenreich. This article is an insult to all the honest, hard-working people involved in private enterprise. It is unfair to characterize the business world in this way.
Los Angeles, CA
Editor’s Response: Yours is one of several letters we received concerning this article–some of which praised us for including it. Our intention was not to insult the many hard-working people involved in the business world. Fortunately, most are neither greedy nor dishonest. However, the year 2002 saw the downfall of several large corporations due directly to the dishonesty and greed of their chief executives, leaving many honest and hard-working people without jobs. In a highly amusing way, Ehrenreich presents the theory that one cause of the dissatisfaction that leads people to want more and more is the lack of satisfying fats in the diet. Of course, poor diet does not entirely explain the presence of greed in the business world, but it is certainly true that a healthy diet is prerequisite for the ability to find joy in life, no matter what one’s station and without a constantly gnawing hunger for more.
I am writing to express my concern about your choice of Spam as a “good” choice in your Shopping Guide. Spam is packed by Hormel which engages in factory farming that raises hogs in intolerable conditions and causes the destruction of the environment. Please review this choice and let people know it was an oversight.
Editor’s Response: We are well aware of the deplorable conditions of the hogs that provide us with most of our pork products, as well as chickens and dairy cows that provide our eggs and dairy products. However, many of our members have access only to conventional supermarkets and have no choice but to purchase animal products raised in this way. Many people enjoy fatty pork products and Spam was the only one we found that did not contain MSG. It is also widely enjoyed by Asians and in fact contributed to a healthy increase in fat levels in Asian diets after the World War II.
If we eliminated Spam from the Shopping Guide because it comes from pigs in confinement, then to be consistent we would also have to eliminate many of the other compromise recommendations that people buy in supermarkets such as eggs, butter and cheese.
The Shopping Guide was designed to meet people where they are at the moment. At the same time, through our system of local chapters, we are trying to make products from humanely raised animals more available. What we would like to see is the development of pork, paté and sausage products produced locally from healthy animals. When these products are widely available, we will remove Spam from the Shopping Guide.
We are trying to undo the teaching we did through our workshop to students across the US. We taught a vegan diet, extolling the virtues of the “Hallelujah Diet.” In the end our family lost our health on the diet as well as many of Hallelujah Acres “Health Ministers” and our students. [Hallelujah Acres is a Canadian religious group that promotes an extreme vegan diet.] You can read our story at weightofwisdom.com.
Recently I had a call from a lady in Florida. She did the Hallelujah Diet for 3 1/2 years very faithfully. Now she has found out that she has 3 to 6 months to live. She has had 8 grand mal seizures, falls down and tests have shown she has a brain tumor. Her doctor told her that the brain tumor is directly linked to a lack of amino acids! She was in excellent health before she went on the vegan diet. This is just one of many stories.
I am so thankful for the work of Dr. Price and the Foundation. The vegan movement is strong and mean-spirited. We know we won’t win all the people, but we want to inform those who are searching for truth, as well as help the people recover from their deficiencies.
If you have any recommendations for other sources to back up the benefits of animal products, I would greatly appreciate that as well.
Editor’s Response: “The Myths of Vegetarianism” by Stephen Byrnes contains a wealth of references on the dangers of the vegan diet.
Robert Cohen of notmilk.com has castigated the consumption of milk but he is only half right. Reading and taking his advice would be similar to not eating vegetables because of pesticides and herbicides. That would be silly. Simply get organic vegetables, and the problem is solved. Pasteurization and homogenization are the main problems with milk; others include hormones, antibiotics, rBGH and other contaminants. These are only a problem when milk is obtained from conventional sources like your grocery store. However, raw organic milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized and is free of contaminants is quite healthy and has been consumed for thousands of years with benefit.
Even better than raw milk, is raw yogurt. The fermentation process makes all of the nutrients in the milk more available to the body.
I challenged some of Robert Cohen’s views in an email months ago. He never responded.
What do you think of all the fuss about the acid/alkaline balance diet fad? I have not been able to find any solid research connecting the pH of saliva and urine to actual blood pH. Also, the statement often made that acidity helps microbes grow does not square with the research showing that acidity in the stomach and on the skin kills germs. It seems to me to be just another form of vegetarianism trying to sneak in under the cloak of pseudo-scientific jargon.
Protein ash? I don’t recall emptying any ash cans from my body. And the statement one devotee made about there only being one acid, hydrochloric, found “naturally” in the human body is nonsense–what about lactic acid, uric acid, glucuronic acid, etc? This just doesn’t square with Price’s research about traditional diets, or a lot of other knowledge about physiology. Alterations in breathing, for example, can radically alter blood pH. Is that “oxygen ash” contaminating my system? Anyway, I would appreciate your opinion.
Editor’s Response: The notion that foods like meat and whole grains, which are high in “acid ash” minerals, such as phosphorus, contribute to an “acid” condition in the blood and hence to osteoporosis and other diseases, has been around since Dr. Price’s day. In a published article, Price pointed out that all the diets of the healthy primitive peoples he studied contained a preponderance of “acid ash” foods, yet these people showed no signs of bone problems. He dismissed the theory as bogus, noting that the important thing is to obtain high levels of all the minerals–both “acid ash” and “alkaline ash”–in the diet. The maintenance of the proper pH in the various parts of the body is a complex process involving many feedback loops and a variety of nutrients. Adequate protein is very important in maintaining this homeostasis. Read on.
Cancer and Macrobiotics
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2000 while on a macrobiotic diet for three years, and also using a progesterone cream since 1998. After partial mastectomy surgery I became extremely ill from the general anesthetic and developed malabsorption and chronic diarrhea, losing weight rapidly over the next few weeks. I tried various macrobiotic remedies which stemmed the diarrhea but I did not begin to regain the lost weight until Christmas, when I abandoned the vegan stuff and attacked an organic, free-range turkey carcass and ate my fill. That night I slept well for the first time in months and my urinary pH, which had been very acid, was normal in the morning. So much for “alkalinizing” through macrobiotics.
I continue to focus on organic lightly cooked vegetables of all kinds and small amounts of whole grains, but I have added back butter, olive, sesame and coconut oils and organic, free-range, grass-fed or naturally raised meats and fowl, eggs and organic kefir with flax oil. It took over a year to regain the lost weight. I feel and look better, and my menopause symptoms which had been very severe are no longer troublesome, even without the progesterone cream (which now contains propylene glycol, propylparaben and methylparaben, apparently to appease the vegan constituents who objected to the keratin and hyaluronic acid from animal sources). As my digestion has improved I have been able to tolerate the occasional bit of wheat, spelt and Kamut®.
I would like to bake stuff again, and this leads me to my question: where can I find good lard that does not contain BHA and BHT and comes from naturally raised animals? Health food store personnel seem to react with horror and revulsion when I ask about this
Editor’s Response: Many of our readers have asked us about sources for healthy lard. We are encouraging our farmers and advertisers to start producing it and hope that this delicious, healthy fat will be widely available soon.
The Search for Raw Milk
Recently I was able to obtain some raw milk. I started my search by calling every dairy I could find, and couldn’t find any that were willing to sell raw milk. Then I tried to locate individuals who might have a family cow, but couldn’t find any.
Finally, I bought some local eggs from the food co-op here and they were of very high quality. Nice, tall, deep yellow yolks. I called the producer and complemented him on the obvious quality of the eggs. I asked if I might bring my children out to his farm to see the animals for a field trip (I home school my children). He said sure. I then asked if he knew of anyone who had a family cow or goat so I could get some fresh milk. He said he gets his from a local Jersey dairy and has for years. I previously had called this dairy and they wouldn’t sell to me. Probably because they don’t know me. Anyway, I asked if he could get a few extra gallons for me. He said sure! I tell you I was dancing on the ceiling for an hour singing praises to the Lord!
Then I went out to meet this man and see his farm. Two things struck me. He was much older than I had imagined. I thought maybe he’d be in his late 50s but he was 89 years old, still strong and vigorous, doing his chores on the farm! What a testament to real foods!
This was my first taste of raw milk, and I found it to be wonderful! The body, texture and flavor is absolutely fantastic. I can taste that it has life and vitality in it. It doesn’t taste like the lifeless, homogenized, pasteurized, plastic flavor of milk from the store, milk that is left on the shelf for weeks. I know this was a huge step in the right direction for our family’s health. Thank you for helping to keep the raw milk movement alive.
Chlorox in Your Milk
I was talking to a dairy farmer friend who supplies us with excellent raw butter and milk. He told me that a common practice of dairy farmers is to pour a gallon or more of Chlorox chlorine into their bulk tanks to kill bacteria. High bacteria counts mean a lower price for the milk or outright rejection. The chlorine cannot be detected in the tests. The processors may not be looking for it. This practice might be something worth investigating. Either way it is one more reason to buy raw milk from a farmer you trust.
East Aurora, NY
A few years ago my mother bought something at the grocery store. After a few days she realized that the box she’d brought home had also contained mealy bugs and they had proceeded to invade everything else in her kitchen cabinet. . . everything, that is, except the white flour pancake mix. She remarked, “I’d always had my doubts as to whether that stuff could sustain life.” In fact, one could say, “The dumbest mealy bug is smarter than the smartest pancake-mix user.”
Plymouth Meeting, PA
A Treatment for Acne
Your website neglects to mention high doses of the water-soluble vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) for curing acne. It does wonders, without of course the damaging effects of Accutane.
Des Moines, IA
Editor’s Response: Thank you for sharing this important piece of information with us. Good sources of pantothenic acid include nutritional yeast and liver. Other nutrients that help in the treatment of acne are vitamin A (available in cod liver oil, organ meats, egg yolks and butter) and zinc (available in shellfish and red meat).