A IS FOR ANTI-AGING
A is also for Andrea Arias Alberto. Andrea is the abuelita (grandmother) of my friend and she just turned one hundred one years old February 2, having been born in 1911. Andrea, mother of ten and grandmother of fifty, lives independently, still reading and solving mathematical problems at a rate that puts most of us calculator-dependent individuals to shame.
When I heard of my friend’s spry grandmother, I couldn’t help but remember Aunt Lettie, featured several years ago in Wise Traditions. Lettie was the beautiful centenarian with the gorgeous skin, which she attributed to my favorite food, butter. So what is Andrea’s elixir? Turtle oil! My friend recalled that her grandmother took two teaspoons each day of fat-soluble turtle oil. In addition to her turtle oil, Andrea regularly consumes fresh wild fish and pastured chicken. Andrea’s granddaughter is quick to point out to me that her grandmother ate “pollos naturale, not like the ones in the American supermarkets.”
This example echoes Dr. Price’s observation that healthy primitive peoples enjoyed sacred foods high in fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin A in particular. Due to the extinction of some species of turtles, turtle oil is not widely consumed as it was in years past. We do know that cultures in Mexico and South America, as well as parts of Africa and China, prized turtle oil for its ability to cure infertility and impotence, as well as tuberculosis, asthma, earaches, measles and waterborne diseases. In Kenya, local midwives used turtle oil to induce quicker placenta presentation. The Chinese consider turtle meat and the oil a delicacy. Presently a patent is pending for using derivatives from turtle oil for medicinal purposes in the treatment of lung disorders. By supporting cardiovascular function and possibly preventing the development of cardiovascular disease, the patent application claims turtle oil may improve the functioning of the heart and circulatory system and this could benefit the lungs.
Turtle oil also effectively treats burns and has a very positive effect when applied topically to the skin. I remember crossing the Texas-Mexican border during my teen years to shop and one of the most popular products in border towns was turtle oil-based skin care products.
Obviously turtle oil will not be found in most kitchens. However, this serves as a wonderful reminder that we would be wise to embrace the vitamin A-rich foods of our region. We are fortunate to have access to fermented high vitamin cod liver oil, X-factor butter oil, raw cream, liver of pastured animals, egg yolks and, my favorite, butter. May the wisdom of Andrea and Lettie be yours!
Kim Schuette, CN, Chapter Leader San Diego
Beverly Rubik’s article entitled “How does Pork Prepared in Various Ways Affect the Blood?” (Fall, 2011) is an excellent piece of research on the proper preparation of pork. I would however like to clarify some information on cured pork especially for those bacon lovers that have been purchasing uncured bacon with no added nitrates or nitrites.
Nitrates are used in the meat processing industry to preserve the meat and ensure consumers do not get an unhealthy dose of botulism with their bacon. The most recent concern over nitrates is the production of nitrosamines (a carcinogen) in the digestive tract. While the research on nitrates causing cancer is still sketchy, anyone who is health-conscious should avoid them if possible. Uncured bacon, which plainly advertises that there are no added nitrates or nitrites, has become a very popular choice among those who enjoy bacon and yet are concerned about nitrates. As Beverly points out in her article, the uncured bacon contains celery juice powder which is high in natural nitrates and other nutrients that may counteract the carcinogenicity of the nitrates. While it seems a safer alternative, nothing could be further from the truth.
As far as your body’s chemistry is concerned and for the curing process, a nitrate is a nitrate is a nitrate. It doesn’t matter if it is a chemically produced nitrate or nitrate from celery juice powder. So the notion that uncured bacon has no added nitrates or nitrites is completely false advertising; on the contrary, they are loaded with nitrates.
Now here’s where it starts to get a little crazy. There is no way to gauge how much nitrate is in celery juice powder. Conventional bacon production uses chemical nitrate so they know exactly how much is added to the pork for curing, based on parts per million. In fact when chemical nitrates are utilized the FDA and USDA mandate how much the processor can put into the bacon, how little they can put in and how much is left over. However because celery juice powder is considered a natural additive, there are no restrictions or mandates to follow. It’s as though the nitrates were never added. When it comes to how much nitrate is being added to uncured bacon with celery juice it’s a complete crapshoot. It’s a loophole that gives the meat producers one less inspector looking over their shoulder but leaves the door wide open for possible health issues.
In 2010, Cook’s Illustrated tested different types of bacon and found that two brands of “nitrate-free” bacon had significantly more nitrates than their conventional counterparts. The residual levels in the “uncured” bacons tested were all above the allowed levels in the conventional way of processing. So the very same nitrate level that everyone is trying to avoid by purchasing the uncured bacon is above, sometimes well above, that contained in the conventional brands.
In her article Beverly alluded to the fact that some people report adverse reactions to meat cured with celery juice. I happen to be one of those people. Sodium nitrite in its pure form is dangerous since it is an anti-oxidant. It would happen something like this. You eat a couple teaspoons of the stuff, and within a short while, your cells asphyxiate because your body can no longer carry oxygen. This is known as blue baby syndrome or cyanosis.
During the curing process sodium nitrate (NO3) is reduced or changed into sodium nitrite (NO2). The nitrate-to-nitrite process happens in a relatively short period of time and it is the sodium nitrite that does all of the work ensuring the meat is preserved and the consumer does not get botulism. If the meat is allowed to continue curing, as with salami and other cured meat products that hang from one month to one year, the sodium nitrites eventually convert to harmless nitric oxide (NO) with only residual amounts of nitrites left in the meat. In uncured meats there is no extended curing process. The bacon goes from the processing facility to the grocer’s shelf to your table. The consumer ends up getting a full dose of sodium nitrite. And since there are more nitrates in the uncured bacon by way of celery juice powder you end up ingesting dangerous amounts of sodium nitrites.
The adverse reaction I was suffering from was cyanosis. I couldn’t catch my breath and I felt like I was dying. I was all right if I wasn’t exerting myself but if I tried to do anything that involved moving or lifting I had very little oxygen getting into my system. Not sure if it was instinctive or if the effects were more severe after breakfast but I had a notion that the uncured bacon had something to do with the reaction. I eliminated bacon from my diet and within a few days the symptoms completely subsided and I’ve had no further health issues.
In my opinion uncured bacon with celery juice powder is a loaded gun. If nitrates are indeed a cause of cancer then people are getting it in large doses with the uncured bacon. And since there is no way to gauge how much nitrate is in celery juice powder, the odds of getting dangerous amounts of nitrites (causing a cyanosis type reaction) is fairly high. With an unknown quantity such as celery juice I’m sure the bacon processors feel it is better to weigh in on the side of too much than not enough since preventing botulism is their first priority. Unfortunately the “too much” has a whole other set of health issues.
With regard to nitrate and nitrite levels, conventional bacon is hands down the better choice. To avoid the nitrate-nitrite issue altogether I’d recommend purchasing bacon cured in salt. While sea salt has trace amounts of sodium nitrate, it would not be enough to cause health issues. Your best bet is to contact a local farmer with free range pigs, have the bacon portion of the pig cured the old traditional method in salt, maple syrup, a few spices and smoked to your liking.
STURDY, HEALTHY CHILDREN
Thank you so much for your diligent efforts and your thoughtful presentation of health, dietary, and agricultural information. Ever since my husband and I were introduced to Wise Traditions in 2009, we have made efforts to follow your nutrition principles and raise our family in the WAPF way. We enjoy raw milk, pastured eggs from our own hens daily, along with cod liver oil, plenty of grass-fed beef (from our cows), bacon, ham and lard (from our own foraging hogs), wild caught tuna and salmon, organic local vegetables (fresh and lacto-fermented), and of course, lots of butter! (Coconut oil, too!)
Our children, ages four, two and six months, are sturdy and healthy. None have even been on prescriptions or other medication of any kind. They love to eat! And they are very even-tempered. My father is a dentist and says our four-year- old has a perfect bite and no signs of decay whatsoever. She has never used fluoride or fluoride toothpaste. None of our children has been vaccinated and all three were born easily at home. We have to believe that all of the good fats they eat, as well as the absence of toxins and non-foods in their diet, must be making a difference. Many children we know are not this healthy.
Also, as small, pasture-based farmers, we appreciate your message about the benefits of this type of meat and eggs. The networking among members and chapter leaders is so helpful in putting us in touch with potential customers in our area and vice versa.
We will never have an impressive income, but living a WAPF lifestyle helps us to feel rich and blessed. Raising our own food, sharing it with others in our community, and feeding such satisfying and nutritious food to our children brings us so much happiness and vibrant health. Thank you!
ROOT CANAL HELL
I would like to tell my shocking experience with root canals, dental cysts and chronic illness. After reading articles about Weston Price’s documents, I felt I had to let your foundation know that all of his research of root canals and systemic illness reflects what happened to me.
It started twelve years ago, when an extremely painful one-centimeter cyst developed in the gum above the right front incisor. An oral surgeon removed the cyst, and a root canal was performed on the front incisor.
About five years later, I developed severely sensitive teeth, and all of my teeth started to die. Over time I had a total of five root canals. They still caused pain and gradually I had to have them out.
A couple of months after one of the root canals I developed facial swelling, urticaria and angioedema. I started reacting to latex, formaldehyde, benzene and numerous other chemicals. I believe my body was reacting to the components used in root canals. No doctor or dentist took notice of me; all they would say is that the nerve was dead and the x-ray normal.
Two years ago I had all upper teeth taken out and my condition improved by 70 percent. Then I started having shocking pain in my lower front tooth, below where the cyst was. My dentist talked me into having another root canal; when having the procedure the pain was extreme and the smell was awful. I was reacting once again to root canal therapy. After two months I had to have it out, with much nerve pain and mouth swelling during the procedure. I started to get better again, although not completely.
Then I developed severe facial nerve pain anytime I would eat sweet foods, or foods that required a lot of chewing. My face would swell with nerve pain impacting my life and appearance.
I have been on sick leave for twelve months because of facial pain and angioedema. I have been to specialists and many doctors but no one can help me.
I recently had a scan of my face which showed inflamed scar tissue. Doctors have suggested having a bone scan now. Residual infection can’t be picked up on x-ray. Root canals have caused serious illness, causing my other teeth to die. My immune system is reacting to so many things.
When I get pain in my mouth, my left knee swells and burns, as I think my body has created an interference field affecting tissues in my body. I have bone loss where I have had root canal therapy. I have had three sets of dentures none of which fit properly.
There needs to be more research done on the effects of toxic root canal therapy. It should be banned. People should be aware of the dangers, the chemicals that are used, and why so many people have illness and cancer.
I would appreciate your opinion or possible further help for the damage I’ve suffered from root canals.
I was worried. Despite my extended nursing commitment, I had raised our oldest son on both soy milk and a vegan diet during pregnancy and up until he was about five years old. What initially brought me to a nutritional shift was my son’s damaged teeth. But then, I also learned of the estrogen-mimicking properties of soy and it rocked my foundation.
Certain that I’d damaged his hormones, I swiftly and fundamentally changed our diet to include raw milk and bone stocks. To insure his masculine growth further, I also regularly included Rocky Mountain oysters, rare, and sometimes raw liver and steak tartare in his diet.
Countering soy milk’s damaging effects was my key objective and I employed my tactics with pig-headed determination. I was a mama on a mission.
Nonetheless, like many mothers who discover Weston A. Price, I was worried that the injury may have already taken place and my angst grew as our son entered puberty. More Rocky Mountain oysters.
Now, after nearly twenty years as a WAPF family, I believe that we commandeered the potential for harm before it manifested. As for his masculinity? I can triumphantly report that at twentyfour years old my son is sturdy, muscular, has a choice of girlfriends, and is the picture of robust, manly health.
I share this with you because I teach and meet with moms every day in my work as a homeopathic consultant. I witness the remorse that most of them carry once they learn of the mistakes they’ve made in their children’s health. Allow me to assure you of this: there’s good reason to believe that as long as we invest in our commitment, it could in reality pan out, just as it did for my son. Indeed, Dr. Price often found pathology to be antidoted by a return to indigenous methods, and we need to cling to that lifeboat. “Mama guilt” only flags our energy stores which we’re going to need while advancing the task at hand.
Set your impulse on “getting it right” this time and support each other along the way. Whether you’re a young mom or one who’s had the trying experience of guilt and later discovered the better course, we can all join hands in our concerted efforts. Pig-headed determination, moms. It’s the ultimate mothering weapon and it’s innate.
Joette Calabrese, HMC,CCH,RSHom
Colden, New York
TWO RULES FOR WEIGHT LOSS
I had no particular reason for starting my diet. I am a large-framed person and have been somewhat overweight most of my life. Each year I gained a little more weight, but nothing dramatic in any one year. About two years ago, I was told that my cholesterol level was high, but that it could be managed through medication, so this news did not alter my eating habits.
My pre-diet eating habits were pretty straightforward: eat anything, any time. Breakfast: bagel with cream cheese and bacon. Lunch: a full meal from the office cafeteria, followed by three cookies (the three-for-a-dollar special!). Starting mid-afternoon, repeated trips to the vending machine for chips and candy bars. Multiple trips throughout the day to the jar of chocolate candies on one secretary’s desk. In the evening, a full dinner, always with dessert. After the family went to bed, then the real eating began—raiding the pantry until I fell asleep. I gradually ballooned to two hundred eighty-three pounds.
Again, I had no particular reason for starting a diet, but my doctor recommended a nutritionist: Janet Zalman. Janet gave me two remarkably easy rules to follow: don’t eat or drink anything with more than four grams of sugar (except whole fruit and milk) and don’t eat any “double carbs.” Now, when I say ‘easy’ rules, I mean uncomplicated and understandable—no calorie counting or weighing of food. Living by them was difficult at first. But there was a principle underlying these rules.
Sugar is a poison. Excess sugar creates fat. It creates metabolic highs and then lows. It creates cravings. By limiting sugar, you do not create fat, your metabolism levels out, your cravings relent, your calorie intake drops, and weight loss follows. Thus, the rules.
The four-gram rule is easy to understand, but hard to implement. Try shopping the breakfast-cereal aisle at your local grocery. At mine, I found only four cereals that fit within the rule (and that assumes that your serving size is really the same as is labeled on the box). So nearly every morning I have eggs for breakfast—cholesterol be damned. On weekdays, those eggs are coupled with turkey bacon (I eat in the office cafeteria). On weekends, I cook the eggs with either ham or vegetables mixed into them. Some items are completely out: no juice, no alcohol. Obviously, no candy or sweets.
The no-double-carbs rule is, in principle, the same as the four-gram rule. Your body efficiently turns carbs into sugars. But eating too many carbs at any one sitting results in excess sugar in your system. Thus, eating a single carb is okay, but a double carb creates a sugar glut. What is a double carb? You can have a sandwich. You can have a bag of chips. You can’t have a sandwich and a bag of chips. Hamburger with bun, okay. Fries, okay. Hamburger with bun and fries, no way. Meals that used to appear balanced don’t look balanced upon closer examination. Steak, potatoes, and corn? Potatoes and corn are a double starch. Fajitas with rice and beans equal a triple starch (tortilla, rice, beans). Because of its density, a typical bagel, standing alone, is a triple starch.
At first, this took discipline. I tried to stick to only eating at meals, but allowed myself a small bag of pretzels in the afternoon and a piece of fruit in the evening after dinner. Eggs for breakfast, choosing the right items from the cafeteria at lunch, and a fabulous, thoughtfully prepared meal at dinner. Throughout, the nutritionist gave me guidance to tweak my eating habits. One thing that worked (and continues to work) for me: eat salad last. After a meal, I eat as much salad as it takes to fill me up.
I learned one other thing through this process: I am an addict. After months of not eating sweets, we were on a family vacation. The kids bought fudge, caramel corn and taffy. I took a small taste of the fudge, expecting that to be all I would eat. In fairly short order, I had eaten one-fourth of the block of fudge, about two cups of caramel corn, and ten or more pieces of taffy. I was out of control. I have not touched sweets since; they scare me.
Ron Buch: Before and After
So how did this turn out? I started on April 14 at two hundred eighty-three pounds. On October 20, I weighed in at two hundred six, seventy-seven pounds lighter and counting; I am continuing to lose weight. My first new suit in a few years was a size forty-four; the last suit I bought before the diet was size fifty-four. My waist dropped from forty-four inches to thirty-six (so far). Admittedly, this was not solely due to a change in eating habits. After I lost the first twenty pounds, I began exercising. That accelerated the weight loss, and the reward of noticeable weight loss became the motivation to continue. I recently completed a one hundred mile bike ride in just over eight hours (including rest stops).
One unexpected change also occurred: given my egg breakfasts, I expected my cholesterol to rise. I was surprised that my good cholesterol remains unchanged, but my bad cholesterol dropped by more than one hundred points. I am on a low dose of cholesterol medication, but the drop in my cholesterol is more than can be explained by the medication. The change, in my view, has been dramatic. See for yourself!
Editor’s Response: We suggest that you don’t even need that cholesterol medication!
SCHOOL CHILDREN ON SAD
I just attended the Wise Traditions conference in Dallas, and I would like to leave feedback.
I was unable to attend the whole conference, but particularly wanted to hear what Stephanie Seneff had to say. I was not disappointed. She was spectacular. I have read all she has written on her blog, but hearing her in person, I learned so much additional information that my head is happily spinning. Thank you for inviting her to speak and including her.
All of us have problems and challenges in our lives, but I think that for millions of unsuspecting people, their problems are exacerbated and some are made nearly intractable by the Standard American Diet of today. I weep for the poor school children, whose mothers want nothing but the very best for their cherubs, who are packed off to school every morning having just eaten Froot Loops with non-fat chocolate milk, toast with margarine and sugary jam, orange juice, a banana, and if those children are at least eight, might have taken a chaser of Lipitor. They have no chance to learn and no chance in life. It is so sad. Thank you for all you do.
Mount Holyoke College Department of Biochemistry
GLUCOSE AND COCONUT OIL
I have been reading through Dr. Stephanie Seneff’s essays on sulfur, sunshine, and cholesterol and her hypothesis of how glucose enters the cell—and have found them to be most compelling. I even forwarded a reference to her work to Professor Frank Sacks at Harvard, who has been part of a major multi-center study into the reasons why coronary events seem to continue apace despite drug-fuelled reductions in patients’ LDL levels. No response from him thus far!
I would like to add a small piece of information that bolsters even further her arguments regarding the crucial role that cholesterol sulphate seems to play in maintaining cellular health. According to Dr. Mary Newport, giving her husband daily doses of coconut oil had an immediate positive effect on the progression of an Alzheimer’s-type condition with which he had recently become afflicted. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which this substance provides can access the cell without needing the cholesterol rafts that are required for glucose access. Therefore in the presence of the low-cholesterol, high-carbohydrate diet, which seems to be a feature of the modern world and which is probably responsible for starving brain (and heart) cells of their needed glucose, the availability of MCTs can circumvent the problem, with equally dramatic results as those reported by Dr. Newport.
Hello, raw milk friends! I thought you might find this interesting though frustrating. A recent article entitled “Still Too Many Raw Oyster Deaths in Gulf States” (www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/still-too-many-raw-oysterdeaths/) calls for FDA to have a plan to reduce the risks.
According to the article, Marion Nestlé, the public health nutrition professor and book author who writes the daily blog “Food Politics,” said, “My translation: Despite years of warnings and promises that it has no intention of meeting, the Gulf oyster industry has been able to stave off FDA regulations for ten years at the expense of about fifteen preventable deaths a year.” Look how casually they discuss fifteen deaths per year.
And then look at the recommendations! “Recommendation 1: To better ensure the safety of oysters from the Gulf of Mexico that are sold for raw consumption, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) should direct the Commissioner of FDA to work with the ISSC to agree on a nationwide goal for reducing the number of V. vulnificus illnesses caused by the consumption of Gulf Coast raw oysters and develop strategies to achieve that goal, recognizing that consumer education and time and temperature controls have not resulted in achievement of the 60 percent V. vulnificus illness rate reduction goal.”
No talk of Russian roulette or dramatic statements that no one at any time under any circumstances should ever eat raw oysters. Rather it is again a gentle suggestion about education, developing strategies, and food safety experts working together to lower the illness rate by 60 percent. That would still be about five dead per year!
FEELING GREAT AT SEVENTY
I just celebrated my seventieth birthday. I am on no prescription meds, I work fifty to sixty hours a week (more like eighty during greenhouse and garden season) and feel wonderful. I credit getting on raw milk about ten years ago with much of my good health. My family is full of cancer, and that is of great concern to me. Everything I read says a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can help to prevent cancer. That is how I eat!
Both of my parents (now deceased) and my three siblings all have or have had terrible arthritis, and I have none. I have a problem with a knee, may need a partial knee replacement (meniscus is pretty much gone in one part), and the doctor remarked about the lack of arthritis in my joints. I seem to be beating the odds in that category!
REPORT FROM FINLAND
I am living in Finland, where the food situation is mixed. I think there is a lot of potential here, because the Finns maintain a close connection with nature in their culture, and it wasn’t that long ago that a large portion of the population was living out in the country without any electricity. Food is becoming a common topic on the news, especially lähiruoka, which means local food, either from a local farm or just from the wild.
I was motivated to start a WAPF chapter here out of my frustration at being unable to get basic things like lard from the grocery store. There are no butcher shops here, just one small fish shop, but the main source of food is the big grocery store chains, of which there are basically two companies that own everything. I live in a city of about one hundred thousand people. It’s the sixth or seventh largest city in Finland.
I have been studying the language, and one day I was finally brave enough to ask in the grocery if they sell lard. The woman gave me a confused look, and said in Finnish “just the white stuff?” She then proceeded to walk away from the meat department, and we ended up in pet food supplies. I couldn’t believe it. Since then I’ve gotten in touch with a couple of local beef farmers, and I have started to buy meat directly from them; they give me bones and beef fat for free. Their meat is much tastier than the organic or non-organic meat from the grocery store, and my broth has gelatin in it. I haven’t yet found local sources of other desired meat products, like chicken (or eggs for that matter). The fish however is wonderful. I love the salmon here. My Finnish friend told me that ahven or European perch is a nonoily fish, and he gives me the carcasses from what he catches.
Definitely a big issue in the culture is the vast consumption of margarine and non-fat dairy products. It’s amazing how small the butter section at the store is in comparison with the margarine selection. This is due to the North-Karelia project. Do you have access to any detailed information I could use to debunk this myth? There is, thankfully, one source of raw milk (both goat and cow), which I can buy directly from a health food store in the city center. Hopefully in the future there will be more sources.
Right now it’s just me and my friend from Spain, another student here, who make up this chapter. I’m happy to do what I can to bring WAPF’s resources here to help get folks back on the right track. I think people will really respond to it; it’s just a matter of getting the information out there.
Sita Benedict, Chapter Leader
Editor’s Response: Sita, thank you for all you are doing in Finland! Finns in general have high cholesterol levels and in North Karelia after the Second World War, there were high rates of heart disease. Researchers blamed this on high cholesterol but the likely explanation is large numbers of immigrants from Russia, who had lost everything and were living in government housing. Lots of broken hearts and lots of heart disease. In the rest of Finland, heart disease rates are relatively low, in spite of high cholesterol levels.
REPORT FROM GERMANY
Merry Christmas from the WAPF chapter in Germany! Another year has passed and Doug and I are now embarking on our eleventh year of following the WAPF diet ever more closely with continued health and happiness.
For all of you who worry that all that butter, good animal fat and fermented raw dairy might make you fat or sick, take a look at Doug in the picture. Where he was thick and puffy twelve years ago, he’s now lean and strong, and where his hands used to be crippled by chronic inflammation (he has several scars to prove the ineptitude of modern medicine to help him resolve his problems), he now plays guitar.
I only wish my sister the doc had listened to me and taken cod liver oil for her recurring bouts of bronchitis.
I am glad that my eighty-six-yearold mom is taking hers instead of the aspartame-laced strontium that landed her in the hospital in March.
WAPF advice has been a truly wonderful gift for us. Sharing the wisdom of consuming nutrient-dense delicious foods and beverages with our young Australian guest, who is experiencing the healing power of foods first hand, is inspiring and uplifting. We’re finally getting the chance to teach, teach, teach and he is soaking it up like a sponge.
Anita Reusch and Doug Mitchell, Chapter Leaders
SOY PRISON LAWSUIT
Having worked in a prison for three years, I so support your position on opposing the feeding of soy products to prisoners! There are many people unjustly detained in prisons. So many political and economic interests seem to converge to bring this about. Why should the innocent then suffer needlessly?
After all is said and done, even if the prisoners deserve to be detained, they are still human beings—and we limit our own goodness as fellow human beings when we justify ill treatment of any person. If we justify hurtful treatment of prisoners, we would not be building the treasures in heaven that we should be if we are a follower of Christ or Buddha, or any other religious leader. We should feed prisoners what we would want to eat if we were imprisoned, as that is the infallible and inevitable outworking of the Golden Rule or the Law of Cause and Effect—which every religion at least gives lip service to.
Why are we “helping prisoners” someone had asked (Spring 2009). I say because they need a lot of help. If some day they should be released onto the streets of America, wouldn’t we rather they be rehabilitated human beings rather than desperate, ill, still-criminals— the kind of person that usually issues forth from contemporary prisons?
There was a “golden period” in our nation’s history at the end of the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth when we sincerely sought to rehabilitate prisoners. We taught them trades, healed them, treated them like sentient beings while in prison—not like animals and callous criminals—and they came out rehabilitated and able to start a new life.
This can’t happen anymore because there are so many political and economic interests that make money off of them and set up an environment that pushes them back into prison so that the vicious cycle may continue, rather than healing their spirits and helping them to begin civil life anew. Whatever we can do to make their imprisonment more humane and healthful can only make this a better world.
DELICIOUS CHICKEN SOUP
I learned about nourishing traditional foods recently, and I completely believe in the healing power of foods. As a thirty-seven-year-old who suffers from severe arthritis in my neck, I have turned to the healing powers of foods instead of nerve blocks and surgery. I am hoping this helps. I also have two young, very active children and I want to support their diet and health however I can. Both suffer from chronic ear infections and have tubes. One has asthma, sensitive skin, and ADD.
My husband was raised on a farm fresh diet, but now after moving to the city, he eats a highly processed diet and dines out daily. He has stomach aches every day, mostly in the evening. Getting him to eat this food will be my biggest challenge. I was raised on home cooking and my mom bought non-homogenized milk fresh from the dairy, several times a week. It was wonderful! I never had a weight problem until becoming a working, stressed-out mom.
Here are my pictures of the chicken broth I made per the recipe in your book. It gelled like it was supposed to. I simmered it for six hours, but next time I am going to try to do it for twenty-four. This is the first time I cooked with a whole chicken, instead of just using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The soup was delicious! My husband thinks it needs more salt and misses that potent MSG flavor from bouillon cubes. However he didn’t get a headache from eating this soup! Thanks for everything!
THE SCIENCE OF RAW MILK
I am in receipt of the note from Doug McKalip, Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council regarding the safety of raw milk. The letter insists that opposition to raw milk is based on “good science.” Here is my reply:
“Sir, there is only one problem with your ‘in support of good science’ argument. I have not been able to drink pasteurized milk for close on thirty years now—without instant and severe diarrhea. I can drink gallons of raw milk, with no problems, and to boot, excellent health results. Raw milk has cured my rhinitis, seasonal allergies, asthma and digestion. Could you please explain the science behind this? Or are you going to claim it’s all in my head because the government says so?
“I would respectfully request that before you make sweeping statements and render colossally incompetent judgments based upon ‘science’ that does not comport with my objective assessments of your reality, it behooves you to back up your claims regarding the safety of pasteurized milk and the dangers of raw milk with some real and unbiased scientific analysis. Your government, or rather our government loses credibility by sending out the type of emails you just did. “Better yet, try a glass of pasteurized milk and a glass of raw milk side by side before you write your next email. Shame on you for your shoddy and irresponsible denunciation of a good, healthy food product; one that has saved my life.”
WHAT LOCAL CHAPTERS CAN DO
I just found a new goat milk producer who makes kefir and soap. After e-mailing our group, Julia, one of our members, questioned the farm about their feed and educated the farmer about the dangers of GM and soy. The farmer has now worked with a feed provider to create a proprietary GM-free and soy-free feed for goats that they will make available to other farms. To date, our organic farms have been GM free, but not soy free.
I think this is a fabulous story about the power of the chapter system and the proactive nature of WAPF members.
Phil Ridley, Chapter Leader
FOOD ADDICTION AND WAPF DIET
I am no expert in the field of nutrition. I am simply a housewife in suburban America, and a lifelong compulsive eater. I am one of six children. I was the “fat one,” the other five were “string beans.” I will never really know why I turned to excess food at such a young age, and I no longer care. After thirty-eight years of eating compulsively I have found my recovery in Overeaters Anonymous (OA) and that is enough for me.
Three years ago a friend told me about the Weston A. Price Foundation. After reading your info, I immediately set out to adopt the WAPF diet for my family of six. I found a supplier of raw milk just over the border of New Jersey in New York State. I made bone broths and started soaking grains. We even baked our own bread.
What I underestimated was the incredible power of my food addiction. It took me three years from the time that I first heard about WAPF before I could gain my “abstinence” and consistently implement the ideas. I was naive enough to think that knowing the “right” diet would enable me to overcome my food addiction. I couldn’t even put the food down long enough to detox. I was a slave to it. OA addressed the physical, mental, and spiritual component to my problem. Just like an alcoholic has to admit to powerlessness over alcohol, I had to admit I was powerless over certain foods. But my “sobriety” from food (which we call abstinence in OA) was a little more complex to figure out.
When I first came to OA I was shocked to find people who were abstaining from all forms of sugar and flour. I would venture to say that 75 percent of the people in that first meeting I attended were doing just that. Of course I felt that this was no way to live and I decided to do it “my way.” Surely there was a way to include natural sweeteners to my diet in a civilized way! But there was nothing civilized about the way I was eating. I did what many food addicts have done. I tried over and over to include my “binge foods” in my food plan without bingeing on them. It would work for a while but eventually I would slip and binge. I finally had to admit defeat. I realized that any amount of these foods led to a binge for me. That realization made everything really simple for me. But simple is not always easy. It took time for me to accept what I needed to do.
In April of 2011 I humbly joined the ranks of the abstinent OA members. It was a miracle. For the entire year prior to my recovery I was slipping further and further down into the misery of compulsive eating. My top weight was two hundred ninety pounds, which was quite heavy for a woman of just over six feet tall. By the grace of God I was able to admit that my binge foods were sugar, flour and alcohol. I gave them up that fateful day in April and in exchange have been given the gift of dignity and health. I now weigh in at one hundred eighty-four pounds and wear a size twelve to fourteen, which is pretty good for a tall girl like me!
The reason I am writing this letter is to reach out to other compulsive eaters who may still be suffering from this addiction, even though they have discovered the benefits of a traditional diet. There are over sixty-five hundred Overeaters Anonymous meetings listed at www.oa.org, in over seventy-five countries. If you can identify with my story my recommendation is to find a good meeting, get a sponsor, and get “abstinent.” The finer points of the WAPF food plan can be implemented later. In my case I was morbidly obese and unable to stay on a food plan, so step one was to arrest the food addiction. OA knows just how to help with that.
When I was active in my food addiction I was never able to consistently implement the WAPF ideas. All of my good intentions would end in disaster as my whole foods and raw milk would rot in the fridge while I would binge on processed foods. Or I would binge on my “healthy” treats. I would vow to begin again the WAPF way, and fail. When I first got abstinent I just followed my sponsor’s advice and got some “abstinent” time under my belt. Now as my recovery progresses I’ve been able to implement more and more of the WAPF ideas in a meaningful and lasting way.