A PHYSICIAN DISCOVERS WAPF
This is first of all a message of gratitude. I am forty-six years old, an MD practicing in San Francisco. In 2007, I hurt my foot when I tried to run a few steps. For a year I walked with pain in every step. My arch in fact had fallen by 50 percent. Of course being a sports medicine doctor, I assumed I had badly strained a ligament and just waited for it to heal; it didn’t. In 2008 I got an MRI which documented a fracture in the navicular bone, the keystone of the medial arch. Physical therapy didn’t work so the podiatrist wanted to put me in orthotics and start a bone growth stimulator. All these interventions he said were unlikely to work and most likely I would need surgery within a year. Finally, I thought to myself, why on earth are my ligaments stronger than my bones? What is my vitamin D level? Ouch, it was only twelve. This explained the majority of the awful symptoms I had suffered for the preceding years. So I went to the web, searched vitamin D and found the WAPF website. I also found that WAPF was holding its conference in San Francisco in a week. Then I went to my local medical library and pulled the 1930s copy of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration off the shelf and read every word. I went to the conference and it changed my life. I had been vegetarian for way too many years. (Ironically, I received my Nutritional Science degree from UC Berkeley, in 1987.) The vegetarianism explained why I could not get pregnant. I saw Thomas Cowan, MD, and began my recovery. Also, through you, I discovered Three Stone Hearth as a source for healthy food. Also, I began to test vitamin D levels, serum ferritin, lipids and glucose levels in my patients with pain and joint problems. I began to see a huge difference in recovery using a WAPF-style protocol. Finally, for my tough patients, I sent them to Dr. Cowan. But the biggest gift of all was the health of my adopted daughter, Amelie. Fortunately, I was blessed with a baby healthy from birth—but I knew she needed more. For the last ten months I have combined donated breastmilk with your infant formula. She is absolutely thriving, truly like the babies in Weston Price’s original book. Everyone comments on her healthy appearance and good-natured personality. I get our milk from a local cowshare. She was weaned to egg yolks and liver paté.
Remarkably, what I learned from the Foundation has continued to change my life, the lives of family and friends and more and more patients. With respect to patients, one of them has just identified the high-vitamin cod liver oil and high-vitamin butter oil, as well as vitamin D supplements as the reason for his improved libido. There is absolutely no way I would have enough energy to be a single mom at forty-six years old without the Weston A. Price Foundation and Three Stone Hearth.
Lee R. Wolfer, MD
San Francisco, California
Daughter of Lee Wolfer has egg yolk
on her beautiful face!
THE CRISCO OF INDIA
I’m going to India next month to speak about ghee at an International Ayurveda and Yoga conference where I will be educating people about the dangers of industrial fats and oils.
The use of partially hydrogenated fat is widespread in India. The popular brand is called Dalda. This is the Crisco of India. It is promoted as a cheap and healthy ghee replacement and this product is primarily responsible for giving real ghee a bad name. Fortunately my mother never used it, even though I would have eaten it while eating away from home. Here is a link where this company “proudly” mentions that they brought partially hydrogenated fat to India from Denmark: www.daldaindia.com/heritage.html. It is ironic that Denmark became the first country to ban trans fats, in 2003, whereas the use of trans fats is widespread in India. The trans fat standard that the industry in India follows was originally set by Denmark, which permits up to 2 percent of trans fats in cooking oils. A research and advocacy organization, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), based in India, tested thirty samples of cooking oil available in the market. They found out that the oils contained very high levels of trans fats—up to 23 percent of the weight of the oil. Such cooking oils are sold to the public at a fraction of the cost of pure ghee.
It seems that even the vegetable oil industry recognizes the importance of fat-soluble vitamins and is jumping on the bandwagon. Bunge Ltd., based in New York, is the ten billion dollar multinational company that owns the Dalda brand in India. Bunge now fortifies its vegetable oils with vitamins A and D.
Lawrenceville, New Jersey
WHIPPED EGG WHITES?
Thanks to Chris Masterjohn for the scoop on raw milk and glutathione (Winter 2010). I believe that to render raw egg whites digestible for top glutathione production one should whip them very well by hand. This is made easier and faster by adding salt to taste and ascorbic acid powder (a pinch or two per egg white). Then add the yolk back and whip it well again. The mixture will be creamy and very tasty. Molasses or another natural sweetener you like can be added, or the “cream” can be used in other raw dishes, like fruit or vegetable salad, or added at the table to a cooked dish. Or just have it as a side. This treatment renders the white digestible by incorporating digestive enzymes from the air—the same happy healthy aerobic yeasts and enzymes that make sourdough bread. The ascorbic acid and salt also aid digestion.
State College, Pennsylvania
Chris Masterjohn replies: This is an interesting idea, but should be considered unlikely to have the desired effect unless supported by experimental results. The incorporation of airborne microbes without allowing time for fermentation seems unlikely to contribute to digestibility. The whipping process itself will contribute to the denaturation and fragmentation of the proteins, which may contribute to digestibility, but this fragmentation combined with the addition of oxygen that occurs during whipping is likely to destroy the glutathione-boosting properties of the egg white. It is possible that the addition of acid may protect against these effects, but how much acid is required and just how protective the effect might be must be confirmed experimentally before any conclusions can be made.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
I love this publication and the Foundation; thanks for all you do. Here are a couple of comments from an organic want-to-be sustainable farmer. First, in the Fall, 2010 issue of Wise Traditions, the article about magnesium deficiency: even in well managed organic farms, deficiencies of elements like magnesium often occur, and this affects the plant productivity (size, color and appearance). So we add small amounts of magnesium—as non-organic farms do—to supplement our gardens. My point is that if you buy healthy-looking produce there should not be any kind of major deficiencies of this element. True, our soils are in big trouble, and it’s not just the farmer, but our unsustainable agrarian system of farming that keeps seven billion of us alive. We need to face the real questions of human population versus environment.
I also wonder about GMOs and the amount of time and energy the Foundation spends on the topic. True, I’m not a fan of Monsanto, and corporate greed in general, but genetic engineering is here to stay. I feel it’s a necessary evil considering the dire predicament our natural world is facing. Anything we can do to reduce carbon emissions should be thoroughly examined, and be acceptable based on scientific facts. We need to understand the consequences of each American burning the average equivalent of about sixty barrels of oil each year. In addition to some genetic engineering in plants, I think we need to modify genes in our heads to make us dislike war, greed and hatred, and instead make us kind and caring of all humanity and our natural world. What is the worth of our personal health on a rapidly declining unhealthy planet?
Plant City, Florida
Editor’s Response: It is unclear how the use of genetically engineered plants, which result in lower crop yields and require herbicides produced and transported using copious amounts of oil would result in any improvement in the environment or general health of the population. And only a healthy population can solve the problems of our unhealthy planet.
One of my neighbors just passed away from stomach cancer at age sixty-seven, a real loss. He was a very nice and decent person who wanted people to come together—-but his eating habits were very bad and he held onto some grudges with two neighbors whom he would not forgive. In the end it did him in. When I looked down at him in the casket, I realized so clearly that we must take care of ourselves and each other.
In the eight years that I have lived in this area, nine neighbors have died here of cancer. Ironically, the older the people are, the better they seem to be doing. I have a theory that people born here in Canada before the pasteurization of milk will nearly always outlive those born after mandatory pasteurization, which occurred in 1934. Raw milk is far better for our health than we realize.
One thing that has been a godsend besides raw milk and fermented drinks is what I call my adrenal mineral tonic: one tablespoon of Celtic sea salt with one teaspoon of Redmond Clay, mixed in artesian water, warmed gently. Nothing has been better for killing my hay fever. Weston Price mentions eating clay in his book—the primitives have followed the custom of Mother Nature’s obedient animals in eating clay and dirt.
REPORT FROM CZECHOSLOVAKIA
My wife has a new blog, in the Czech language (http://zubeni.posterous.com/—zubeni means “toothy one”) where she’s sharing traditional recipes as well as basic texts from Weston A. Price’s book. She’d love to translate the whole book to Czech but it’s a big book with currently little interest and no funding as yet. She’s doing this to help motivate her to study the material again for a presentation she’ll be doing about Price’s wonderful nutritional research at a university next year.
My second love in life, after my wife, is our Jersey cow, which we bought inspired by Price’s great book. We were so lucky to stumble across these books just before we considered conceiving our first child six years ago, and now our latest young one is six months old. For five or six years now, we’ve had a small family farm and homestead, and it’s great to hear you talking positively about non-vegetarian diets. It’s difficult not to see faces of people differently after reading Price’s book, and difficult to observe and then keep silent.
We have a website, www.mowingwithease.com or in czech http://kosimesnadno.cz/—both redirect to the same pages which are in both English and Czech. It shows how we feed our two cows, two horses and donkey with hay cut by a scythe on our five hectares of meadows. Of course we didn’t start off as big—we had three goats in the first year and gradually moved to larger models over the years. We run courses during the mowing season, seeing around eighty people per year, and we sell real high quality Austrian scythes and accessories. More importantly, we provide the know-how to empower people in the satisfying sport of mowing and making hay with hand tools. This year we had an Australian couple from www.allsun.com.au/ who were our oldest and most inspiring mowers yet.
A Czechoslovakian cherub, nourished with raw milk.
Mladocov, Czech Republic
MORE BITTERS SOURCES
Thank you for the article on bitters in the latest Wise Traditions (Winter, 2010)! I believe this can be the missing ingredient for some who have difficulties with digestion, even if they are on a sound, traditional diet. As a long-time bitters user, I would like to add two more sources of bitters available in the U.S., which I have found mild, but effective: Uriel Pharmacy’s “Chicory Ginger Digestive Bitters” (it comes in two sizes) has a noticeable, but gentle effect, and I enjoy the flavor; Uriel Pharmacy and Gaia Herbs’ sell “Sweetish Bitters Elixir” (it has many more ingredients than the previous one). The websites are gaiaherbs.com and urielpharmacy.com.
Thank you for all your good work in educating and standing up for traditional, healthy ways of eating!
San Francisco, California
AUTISM AND CHILD SPACING
An article called “Autism Risk Factor Studied” in the January 10, 2011 Milwaukee Sentinel, noted that childhood autism is more frequent in children born too soon after the previous child.
The article failed to note that we have a horrific rise in maternal and child health problems over the last twenty years. Autism is just a part of these growing problems of complicated pregnancies and c-sections, congenital defects, allergies, infections, diabetes, cancer, metabolic disorders and on and on. This growing trend will bring our nation much suffering and bankruptcy if we do not put this right.
This study does point out one of the key reasons for these growing health problems. Most of our young people are not well enough nourished to conceive, give birth and raise healthy children. When they put further stress on this marginal nutrition by conceiving children before they have restored their nutritional status from the first birth, they are likely to have problems with the next child. Autism is just one of many problems found in closely conceived children.
Traditional peoples around the world recognized the pitfalls of conceiving children closer than three years. They also knew which foods were needed to provide for a healthy future generation. Animal foods rich in cholesterol such as liver, eggs, butter from spring grasses and seafood were key ingredients in every traditional culture.
Roy Ozanne, MD, HMD
UPDATE ON PYROLURIA
I have been responding by email, as much as possible, to those who continue to contact me regarding my article on copper-zinc imbalance (Spring 2007). I continue to make improvements. For example, the difficulty of doing sustained work on the computer is somewhat lessened. From my experience and the feedback I have received, I believe that pyroluria is widespread among those with chronic fatigue. I continue to communicate with Theresa Vernon and learn from her developing viewpoint derived from a busy and expanding practice. I can confirm her observations with my own. We are finding copper-zinc problems and especially vitamin B6 deficiency in those with stress, chronic illness and GAPS-type problems, usually as an immediate need. Treatment usually helps other baffling difficulties. If these are simply stress-related, they clear up readily, but those with pyroluria require more intensive work. I can confirm from my own experience that pyroluria requires continuing high amounts of zinc and vitamin B6, extra magnesium and manganese. Extreme susceptability to stress remains a problem.
Theresa has much technical information regarding this condition and can speak in more detail, especially in light of distinguishing stress-deficiency from pyroluria, which she generally confirms empirically. Visit her website www.tvernonlac.com. You can also check on yahoo groups for the list on Pyrroluria (British spelling), which regularly discusses the technical sides of this.
Julie Incerti’s letter (Winter 2010) about longer soaking of oats has prompted me to share two stories of my own food evolution. A couple of months ago I learned that a friend was claiming an improvement in digestibility and nourishment by doing a several-day salt fermentation on her breakfast oats. I revisited an oat article you published, which cited oats as containing mega amounts of phytic acid best neutralized by sprouting or fermentation rather than soaking. I decided to give it a try and have been eating fermented oatmeal since. It sits well with me—a little honey deals well with the sourness—and also with my wife who could not gain substantial energy from other forms of oatmeal.
Here’s my method: on Tuesday I put two cups of freshly rolled oats, two teaspoons of salt, a little whey and one-third cup of last week’s oats into a half-gallon jar. I add water to well above the oats, stir, and let it sit in the kitchen until the following Monday, when I cook it in more water.
On another topic, I was inspired by Chris Masterjohn’s article on Activator X (Spring 2007) to research making natto. In that article natto was cited as containing an astonishing amount of vitamin K2, which, besides performing many other useful functions, works in harmony with vitamins A and D throughout our bodies. The first step in pursuing this project was to overcome my soybean phobia—natto is a fermented soy product. But since I use miso and soy sauce, why not natto? I got organic beans to insure they were non-GMO and using a procedure I got off the internet (www.gaia21.net/natto), have made three batches so far. Each batch produced ten cup-size jars, which I froze until ready for use. I now eat a tablespoon of natto along with my morning cod liver oil. Natto is certainly an acquired taste, but one that I have become quite comfortable with. Suffice it to say that I have a high tolerance for “healthy tastes.”
A WAPF YEAR
It’s the beginning of a new year—a time to reflect, summarize and review what has happened and what lies ahead. The summary below showing the major foods consumed by our family this past year came out of this process, and I feel it is a good reflection on what it practically means to eat a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet.
We are a family of five (give or take!) and most nights I try to cook eight to ten servings. This provides for unannounced extra company that we may have for dinner, leftovers for a couple of lunches or snacks for the boys! We live in Northern California in a town of approximately one hundred thousand, and despite being in a decidedly urban area, we have wonderful access to many farms within a fifty-mile radius.
My husband is a school teacher and our food costs are high—we pay six dollars a dozen for pastured eggs and our grass-fed meats average seven dollars a pound. We rarely eat out but this is no longer seen as a disadvantage as we have come to appreciate the true deliciousness of real whole food at home. My kitchen, aka “the bio-terrorist zone,” is always filled with growing or brewing items. Our vegetables come in the form of a weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box and we purchase fresh local seasonal fruit directly from local farms and farmers markets.
To put what it means to eat this way into perspective against the average American diet, consider the following:
• Each man, woman and child in America eats an average of forty-six slices (twenty-three pounds) of pizza a year.
• Americans consume, on average, fifty-three pounds of bread per year.
• Average American intake of added sugars is thirty-two teaspoons a day.
• The new USDA nutrition recommendations currently state: “Oils are not a food group but you need some for good health. Get oils from fish, nuts and liquid oils such as corn oil, soybean oil and canola oil.
Are we “there” yet? I don’t think you ever really get “there” (wherever that may be)—it’s a constant journey of education and development of skills that continue to feed and sustain us along the way. With the Weston A. Price Foundation alongside our family as we continue this journey, I am comforted by the fact that my kids have a solid fundamental base for achieving and maintaining true health in their lives. And my husband and I, Lord willing, will be able to continue to be around to be a part of it all!
Foods Consumed by a Family of Five in a WAPF Year
|Raw Goat Milk
|Steel Cut Oats
|Mixed Berries (frozen)
WHEY NOT THE WAY WITH CHICKENS
As a small scale poultry raiser for the last thirty years, I have read with enjoyment the various articles in Wise Traditions encouraging your readers to try poultry raising, and I have scanned eagerly for new ideas to try with my own birds. The title of Matt Rales’ article, “Chickens are Omnivores,” especially caught my attention (Summer 2010). I can second his account of cannibalism and picking problems with meat-free feed. This has been a continuous problem for my birds ever since the “mad cow” scare took meat scrap out of poultry feed. Predators have always seriously limited the amount of free ranging possible, even in the six-month grazing season (a generous time estimate). Presently my laying birds are getting certified organic soy-free feed supplemented with fresh greens, grit, oyster shell and the local slaughter plant’s “pet food.” I feed one cup “pet food” plus one heaping teaspoon kelp to thirty-four birds per day. Twice the amount of meat would be even better. At bedtime they get mixed organic wheat and cracked corn. Sometimes in the bitterest cold (it can get down to minus forty degrees here) I give them a hot mash, which they gobble up.
With this background I naturally paid special attention to Matt Rales’ “Soybean Alternatives” side bar, but was dismayed to see that whey was recommended as being “protein and mineral rich.” Whey is not a good source of protein. Anyone who makes cheese will testify that you need a very large quantity of whey to get a decent amount of ricotta. (By the way, you’ll never find “raw milk ricotta” because ricotta is made by almost boiling whey with a bit of vinegar to precipitate out the last bits of protein.) The fourth edition of Henry and Morrison’s Feeds and Feeding (1922) lists the percentage protein of skim milk (centrifugal separation, not hand skimmed) as three to eight percent; whey registers less than one percent protein.
Years ago a friend of mine tried raising Barred Rock pullets on whey and grain. They were stunted, sickly and most died before coming into lay. Whey may be all right to moisten mash, but it certainly will not suffice as the sole protein for chickens. They simply can’t consume enough to get adequate protein. If you’re going to feed it to birds so as not to waste it, better count it as water, and figure the low-level nutrients are a bonus. I have no information as to whether or not the lactobacilli in whey are a benefit to poultry.
By the way, your readers may want to be careful about salvaging road-killed deer. Here in Canada, if the Ministry of Natural Resources catches anyone with a deer and no license, there can be nasty consequences.
P. A. Hunter Burnstown,
MEDITERRANEAN DIET MYTHS
The Mediterranean diet or the way of eating of the Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain, France and Greece, is often cited for its health benefits. I was born and raised in Italy but I have travelled extensively and also lived in all those countries so I am very familiar with their traditions and their food.
It is often stated that in the Mediterranean countries people are healthy because they eat a diet that is low in fat, with plenty of grains and olive oil. Nothing can be further from the truth. France has as main foods bone broth, butter and cheese, Greece has a large use of full-fat dairy, Spain has a wide selection of raw cheese, cured hams of all types and meat prepared in all ways, with butter and whole eggs used in abundance. Organ meats are often consumed in all those countries as well.
When it comes to Italy, people think of bread and pasta which are certainly part of our culture but not as much as people think. The Italian diet is actually a very high-fat diet. Organ meats are frequently consumed; you can eat brain, liver, spleen, tongue, kidney, thyroid, adrenals, eyes and testicles, while the bone broths of all types are very common. Some of the seafood and red meat are eaten raw or air dried. There is a wide selection of olives, cheese, nuts, legumes and cured hams. There are so many varieties of cheese that stores called “la casa del formaggio” (the house of cheese) sell only cheese of all types.
Italy is divided in twenty-one regions and in each one there are different characteristics. In the south or on the coast, where the weather is very similar to that of Miami, we find less dairy but more seafood, including plenty of soups made with fish bones, and of course pasta and rice. If we move more toward the center of the country, you would find more legumes, meat and a larger use of dairy. In this part of Italy you will find many farms which have grass-fed animals and provide raw dairy foods.
In the north of Italy, the diet tends to be very high in fat and raw dairy. In my city, Genova, which is by the sea but in the north, one of the staple dishes is focaccia al formaggio, which is a thin flat bread with plenty of butter and cheese inside. Another characteristic dish is trenette al pesto, which is a short homemade pasta with pesto sauce. Genova is where pesto was born; originally there was also an order of knights called “the knights of pesto.” Pesto was traditionally made with basil, pinenuts, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, remesheia (a local cheese) and pecorino sardo cheese. When you serve it, you need to add butter and parmesan cheese.
Moving into the Alps, in many towns you cannot even find pasteurized milk, and they have an extremely high-fat diet. Here people are extremely active, they either ski, climb, walk or just move; the only overweight people that you would see here are the tourists. When you wake up in the morning, you can go to the farmer for fresh raw milk still warm and pastured eggs. The milk here is extremely rich and tasty, I have never found better. One of the staple dishes is polenta alla valdostana, which is polenta (corn) flour which sits in water and whey for one week, in a wood vessel. When it’s ready, they cook it with tons of butter and fontina cheese. Farmers in this region have told me that they tried to use pasteurized whole milk or to mix pasteurized whole milk with raw milk to make their cheese and it did not work. I wonder how they can make the cheese sold in the supermarkets.
The typical breakfast in the Alps includes sourdough bread with butter (in the summer they also put wild berries on it), grilled sausages, grilled wurstel (smoked sausage), speck (similar to bacon), eggs, raw milk, cheese, cream and yogurt. It is a huge breakfast but remember that you also exercise a lot in the mountains. When they serve you breakfast, they give you a twenty-pound piece of raw butter on a wooden board. The butter is almost orange, not even dark yellow. And apart from sourdough bread and polenta, you will not find any other grain-based food—no nuts, no legumes and fruit such as raspberries and wild berries only in the summer.
In the most modernized cities in Italy you can find many of the unhealthy foods, like the food that people consume here in the U.S., but for the most part in the Alps and in many small towns, people still consume traditional foods. If you would like more information about the Mediterranean diet or where to go while visiting Italy, Spain or France, send an email to email@example.com.
Shantih Coro, CN, Chapter Leader
FOLLY OF FOOD QUESTIONNAIRES
For many years, I’ve participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II. I’ve been in many of the sub-studies. The current one is the Lifestyle Validation Study. Its purpose is to determine the best way to measure and analyze diet and physical activity in large cohorts. It is paid for by the NIH-NCI.
I was elated to be asked to be part of this study. What an opportunity to teach a few things about proper nutrition! For example, I commented on many problems in the food questionnaire, including:
1. No distinction between pastured and CAFO animal products.
2. No raw milk included in a long list of milk types.
3. Lumping plain yogurt with artificially sweetened yogurt!
4. The “never, or less than once a month” category. So, for example, not eating any soy goes in the same category as each kind of berry. I eat lots of kinds of berries, but each kind comes out to less than once a month.
5. Oatmeal and bran are lumped together.
6. No bacon grease under fats.
7. Artificially sweetened products are classed with “otherwise sweetened” products.
I just completed a seven-day dietary record for which I had to measure everything I consumed. (A scale was provided.) The questionnaire also asked for all cooking methods. You should see the sample record they provided! It looks like a big ad for processed food. I felt sick just reading it. Makes me wonder whether the food industry is paying for this. My record included:
1. Milk, raw, whole from Jersey cows.
2. Oatmeal, soaked overnight with whey, topped with raw cream or raw butter.
3. Roasted chicken, pastured, smeared with butter, with the skin.
4. Brown rice cooked in the chicken drippings.
5. Meats that have not been trimmed of the fat.
6. Eggs almost every day, including one eggnog with raw yolks.
8. Homemade raw yogurt.
The homemade yogurt really impressed my study contact. “You make your own yogurt?! You’re the first one I’ve talked to who does that.”
This record went to the Nutrition Coordinating Center in Minnesota. I told my study contact that I really do eat this way every day, and that I do not eat any cookies, pies, candy, etc. And no white flour, white sugar, or processed foods.
I am so grateful for all that you teach and all the books you recommend. One of those books led me to a proper diagnosis of low thyroid function, despite normal labs. I just began treatment for this. Since beginning WAPF nutrition in 2008, and later going low carb-high fat, I’ve gained twenty-five pounds, which I do not need. This does not give a good impression of this diet, but I’m sticking with it. I hope that getting thyroid treatment turns that and other health problems around.
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