Accolades from the Milk Man
Congratulations on your first edition of Wise Traditions! A wonderful achievement, elegant and professional in every way. Enclosed is a small contribution toward your work. I am confident the organization will do well.
William Campbell Douglass II, MD
New Smyrna Beach, FL
Finding the Truth
I am an acupuncturist and attended an acupuncture conference in San Francisco recently. When I went through all the pamphlets I collected, I read your informative pamphlet with complete enthusiasm. The information you presented so well in the pamphlet is certainly information I want to share with my patients who are desperately ill as they try to figure out what to eat. Truly, we are saturated with the myths we have all made part of our contemporary American “truth.”
Editor’s Response: Our informative booklet, “Principles of Healthy Diets,” containing Dietary Guidelines and Myths & Truths About Nutrition, is available for $1 each including postage in our online Store. We encourage our members and health professionals to purchase these brochures and make them available to friends, neighbors and patients, thus creating a powerful “Information Army” that works to get the truth about diet and nutrition to every American consumer.
The Real Mediterranean Diet
Your first issue of Wise Traditions is impressive in every way: content, presentation, readability.
A very special treat for me was the story on the French town of Pamiers in the “President’s Message.” During WWI, I lived as a refugee (from Belgium) in the Pyrenees region where I worked on a great variety of farms. For years I have puzzled about the so-called Mediterranean diet as it didn’t coincide in the least with my experience. During those years, I kept a diary where I detailed the work I did as well as the meals I ate at farms. Breakfast included big slices of liver and slabs of bacon–cured but uncooked. I received fresh (just made) goat cheese or lamb’s brains and once, when a young ram had been castrated, they served the fruits thereof, fried in lard.
As you may guess, those years the large family (13) was free of tooth cavities, colds and sore throats. On our return to civilization, cavities and colds, etc. returned. However, we saw the light, dropped the jams and white breads and lived happily ever after.
Flat Rock, NC
I though you would like a description of the Greek food we have been eating as we have toured the country in our van. All the ingredients are stunningly fresh and so tasty. We have a lot of delicious local sheeps’ yoghurt which is set with a crust on top. We usually eat this with local honey which we buy from the producer. Sometimes we buy fish from the vans which seem to tour all the villages or from the little markets which start at 8 and are done by 11. Eggs are delicious, dark centred and very fresh. Oranges and lemons are on the trees and the salads taste marvelous.
A staple in our diet is sausage which comes different every time and is very easy to cook. Sometimes it has large chunks of smoked meat in it and nuggets of orange peel, and sometimes it is quite spicy. Last week we bought one that caught our attention in the market as it was very moist looking and whitish. It was more expensive than usual and we were told that it was an Easter speciality and should be cooked on a spit. It turned out to be full of organ meats–heart, liver and lungs (almost certainly lamb or goat) in a very fatty intestinal casing. When we cooked it over a fire we did not cook it enough but when we were offered some from someone’s Easter barbecue, it was brown, crunchy and delicious. Pork is tough but tasty. Meats and fish tend to be very thoroughly cooked.
We have sometimes been cooking with sheeps’ butter. It is hopeless on bread as the texture is slightly granular and the taste rather strong. But it makes wonderfully crisp fried bread. The bread is sometimes quite yellow with maize flour added.
It is probably no accident that the local climate, food and drink seem to complement each other so well.
It’s the Cheese
My family has relatives that live in a mountain village in the northwest of Greece. Their animals are left to wander the valleys of the region, reducing the amount of antibiotics and medication they receive to only that which is absolutely necessary.
In Crete, the people have always been known for their strength and longevity. When their diet became the object of study, the researchers could not explain the fact that it included large amounts of saturated fats, derived mostly from milk products such as cheese and yogurt, as well as from meats. They attributed Cretans’ health to the red wine and nuts, instead of praising the combination and variety of whole and natural foods. Thus, it is not surprising that during last years, when we hear specialists promoting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, there is only mention of vegetables, grains and olive oil. As far as I know, all the Greeks have always consumed large amounts of cheese and yogurt, and reasonable amounts of meat of all kinds, including beef, lamb, chicken, fresh fish and even rabbit, and it’s the combination and the alternation of all of them in the diet, served with fresh vegetables and fruit, that provide the satisfying variety and nutritional balance.
Clean Raw Milk
I happen to live next door to a dairy operated by a cousin of mine. He originally got his start selling raw milk but switched over to being a bulk producer. When my cousin was selling raw milk, the most animals that he was milking at any one time as I recall was about 24. He was very finicky about cleanliness, both in the milk room and the milking parlor.
He milked into surge buckets and then poured the milk through a paper filter into the bottling machine. Then he would bottle the milk (into plastic containers) while it was still warm, place the filled and capped bottles in a plastic rack, then place the rack of filled bottles into the milk tank that was full of water that he kept at 38 degrees. This system worked very well for him as he always had very low bacteria counts. In fact, the milk inspector told him one time that with one sample he had taken, the state lab tech was unable to detect ANY bacteria and accused my cousin of putting disinfectant in the milk, although they apparently could not detect any such contamination. To make the lab tech happy, he just did not clean as much, his count went up to detectable levels, and the lab tech was happy!
His special attention to hygiene, not using a milk pipeline to transport the milk and bottling the milk while it was still warm and then cooling the bottled milk were the likely reasons he was able to achieve such a low bacteria count.
One of my helpers brought me milk. She has access to this milk for her children before it is hauled to the creamery. I poured it into a large bowl and added some yogurt to it and left it out with the bowl loosely covered. This morning it had turned to clabber. We skimmed the cream and enough clabber to fill a quart jar about 3/4 full and I sat and shook the jar for about 20 minutes when the butter formed and gathered. I have never seen paler homemade butter! It was almost white. This milk is from Holstein cows which produce little cream and apparently are fed nothing to produce beta-carotene and likely other nutrients. They certainly are not pasture-fed. The butter is almost tasteless!
Editor’s Response: Pale butter from confinement cows will not contain the natural fat-soluble vitamins that Weston A. Price determined to be so vital for good health.
Tragedy and Hope
The healthfood stores around here are soyfood, vegan, outrageously expensive establishments. They even do “gourmet” with an inside restaurant, cooking school and jazz club! We also have the Amish proud/locally grown/family farmer/organic greengrocers/meat packers that I frequent. The state outlaws raw dairy and the cows are mostly Holsteins but the Amish produce some of the most beautiful yellow-orange butter I’ve ever seen. The point is, the products are here but the healthfood people are unable to listen. The brain chemistry of those on antidepressants, HRT, soy products and a vegan diet cannot handle the slightest stress, let alone the shocking truth. Biochemistry rules.
The ones who will listen are people like me who have not made a religion out of diet or who have endured medical doctors’ mistreatment of their chronic illness. These people are sick and tired of being sick and tired and ain’t gonna take it any more. Here, where the Cleveland Clinic dominates allopathic medicine, alternative practitioners are fragmented, but they do exist. Few have a firm grip on the big picture, pushing supplements instead. The true healers stand out and they are our best allies, along with the patients who will be referred to them.
We are working here to establish a regional showcase for sustainable agriculture within our national park. Special funding and dispensations will be available and already over 125 inquiries have come in from farming families wanting to relocate. There is an opportunity to loosen the state dairy laws since this is technically a federal jurisdiction.
Something spectacular is going to happen here–as well it should being home to Weston himself. We’re poisoning ourselves and bankrupting ourselves in the process. The madness had got to stop somewhere. We all need to get involved and follow through!
Terry L. Smith
Editor’s Response: We are interested in your statement that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) alters the brain chemistry in a manner similar to soy foods and antidepressants. Can any of our readers corroborate this statement?
Price Was Right
I met a missionary last week from Alberta Canada, She works in the frontier there with the native Indians. I asked her what they ate and the answer was fascinating. Their diet is moose and some type of grain product. (I don’t remember what she called it.) So I asked her about the dental health of the people. The older people still eat jut moose and grain and they have healthy teeth, she said, but the children have a lot of cavities because they eat a lot of candy. They do have regular dental care available to them.
Also, I am currently reading a book called When the Banks Closed We Opened Our Hearts which is a compilation of recollections from those who lived through the depression. There is a chapter on how families came together to survive the hard times and in it was a letter with accompanying picture from a man who had 14 siblings. They almost all had nice wide faces, including both parents. He talked about how they ate well, but on their diet no one worried about getting fat. And he listed what they ate. You can guess what it was: Milk, butter, meat, vegetables from their garden and flour from their own grain.
High on Hogs
Here’s some information you might find interesting. In dealing with the organic farm and in speaking with others who farm and work with farmers, there is a gathering knowledge that the genetics and animals we have now need three to four generations of healthy organic foods, no antibiotics, etc. to come back to being animals with healthy constitutions and good immune systems, in other words, animals that can live without drugs. We are now coming into our second generation with our sows. We have fought through many problems and have come to deliberately seek out genetics for health, sturdiness and “liveability,” for lack of a better word. We are now seeing a 20 percent to 25 percent increase in fertility and production–this is remarkable to us. Slowly we are seeing animals that require less homeopathy and need less of the kid-glove treatment.
More and more it appears that “going organic” is not just simply a matter of changing feeds and management. It is a longtime commitment fraught with losses and experimentation to come to a better and healthier place.
Gloria van den Berg
Vermont Organic Pork