HYPNOTIZED BY A CULT?
Thank you for your articles on GMO dangers (Fall 2013). I have been here on the farm for around forty years. I’ve seen all sorts of trends come and go, but when GMOs came to town, it was as though everyone was hypnotized by a cult.
The promises were higher yields, but when the yields were only equal to, or even less than what they were getting before, the farmers still held to it like a religion. I have never seen such self-deception.
Now there are superweeds, fursarium mold has gone pathogenic, and the pest insects come to my natural garden to eat. Fortunately, these visiting insects are mostly too sick to even move, let alone contaminate my plants with the GMO vectors.
This planet has gone to a very dark and smokey place in a handbasket.
PEOPLE’S MILK IN PAKISTAN
I was very interested in your article on the People’s Milk (Fall 2013). Here in Pakistan, processed milk marketing companies have taken full advantage of the disturbed political situation by involving corrupt politicians as well. But a group of enlightened people are struggling hard against these companies, and the companies are aware of that subtle change.
About two months ago, a Nestlé senior employee approached me and offered me a huge amount of money to work for them as their nutritionist! Naturally I declined. Fortunately, we can still get wonderful raw milk products in Pakistan.
Dr. Shagufta Feroz, Chapter Leader
WHEAT AND LEGUMES
Regarding all the discussion about the paleo diet, I finally read The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet (after following the blog over the years). The blog was a great experimental platform—I learned a lot from the different solutions people were pursuing towards better health. I particularly admired Jaminet’s thoughtful, logic and science-based responses to various health issues. However, he lost me on the wheat.
The conclusions appear to be that wheat is bad for you. This is based on a correlation, not a thoughtful analysis of what the causative factors might be. His premise is, wheat and legumes are hard-to-digest foods if not properly prepared; people are not likely to prepare them properly; therefore people should refrain from eating them. What sort of logic is this? Are we using poor quality, badly prepared foods, poorly combined with complementary foods, to justify asking humans to eschew these foods in their entirety?
Over one billion people in India have thrived and bred prolifically on these same foods, especially so in the wheat and legume-growing regions, where people have lived long, healthy, productive and honorable lives for centuries (see www.globaldialoguefoundation. org/files/41.pdf) while living on a diet of grains, dairy, legumes, fruits and meats. Yes, perhaps these grains and legumes have lectins and phytates that drain your body’s vitamins and minerals. You simply have to pay attention to the quality of such foods (actually any foods), in order to have them confer health benefits upon you. To say that because some wheat is genetically modified or that food prep is difficult, one must avoid all wheat is just silly.
This is no different from demonizing all milk because some milk (pasteurized milk) causes problems. Raw milk is a materially different food from pasteurized and homogenized milk. Ditto with grains and legumes. Grains and legumes are the staples of my diet. I use high quality ingredients and I prepare them traditionally. These result in no sickness, no bloating, no celiac disease, no digestive disorders; to the contrary, they bring about excellent bowel movement, good mental stability (absence of anxiety, stress and angry behavior), good sleep patterns, good energy among my consuming family, one of whom is of European ancestry who did not grow up eating legumes and chapatis. He, in particular, has thrived on this food. We eat these foods with lots of raw dairy, yogurt, some meat, lots of ghee and local fruits and vegetables. We thus consume these foods in a very traditional manner.
Quality and processing techniques are incredibly important and just as incredibly overlooked are aspects of successful assimilation of foods into the body. I object to tarring a whole food group with the same brush as we do industrial foods. In my view, the health crisis in India today is generated in people who have drifted from traditional methods of cooking and eating. Influenced by heavy television marketing, they avoid traditional fats and tend to eat refined fats. Influenced by Western sound bytes, many women are embarking upon restricted calorie or worse, zero fat diets. They eat Cheerios and Corn Flakes instead of dosas and idlis, made of fermented lentils and rice for breakfast. They have learned to live in terror of cholesterol readings. Where 250 mg/dcl levels are routine for coconut-eating cultures, these are now considered markers of ill health. The local wheat is hybridized, sprayed with reckless amounts of pesticides, and harvested from nutrient stripped soils. Additionally, city folks live in a lot of industrial pollution, eat out a lot more (restaurant food is cooked in highly refined and hydrogenated fats) and eat more highly refined grains (in the form of cakes, pastries and biscuits).
The obesity I see in women today did not exist in my mum’s generation. Women were plump and voluptuous, but never gargantuan. Every woman I know who is very, very overweight is on a calorically restricted, nutrient-poor diet.
In the North, the green revolution has decimated the Indo Gangetic delta that had been nurtured effectively for five thousand years. Some farming households actually use poisonous pesticide containers to store foods! The drift from traditional methods of cultivation and the intrusion of modern soil stripping techniques is appalling. The government sits mute, helpless and corrupt. Instead of investing in sound distribution systems, the focus has been on chemically driven yields. Thank heavens for people like Dr. Vandana Shiva.
I love Dr. Jaminet but I am perplexed by his conclusion and recommendations on wheat and legumes. I just don’t agree with these.
ALWAYS A SMILE
I want to thank you for all your information on raising children. My wife and I have been using all the suggestions and recipes that you recommend. Our baby loves liver, raw cream and egg yolks. He thrived on the raw milk formula. We make all his foods and are happy to do so. We have not vaccinated him and we will not.
The baby sitter we have sees many babies and said that the other babies always cry, scream and cannot stay still. She is amazed because Keenai never cries, is always happy and always has a smile. I want to send you a picture so you can see his smile and round healthy face.
North Miami Beach, Florida
PUBLIC HEALTH RISK
If air pollution risk, chemical fire or environmental catastrophe occurs, first responders and workers are required to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus to protect their lungs. When the public sees respirators, we realize the public health risk is great.
BP’s Gulf oil spill and 9-11 Ground- Zero showed a pattern of federal officials lying to first responders and workers and blocking the use of respirators. Other catastrophe clean-ups also failed to use proper safety equipment. Unacceptable injuries and harm occurred in these cover- ups! Why has the federal government turned against good citizen-heroes?
BP claims that no health or safety concerns ever existed for workers or public exposures. Corexit9500 MSDS sheets showed high risk warnings. Anyone wanting a respirator was threatened with termination by Unified Command supervisors from BP and Transocean. BP cruelly treated first responders as disposable.
Dr. Michael Robichaux, also former Louisiana state senator, was shocked to find exposed patients experiencing symptom-clusters with memory loss, headaches, extreme fatigue, irritability, abdominal cramps, seizures and trancelike states, unlike symptoms treated from frequent oil spills.
BP should have predicted this. Similar severe respiratory and nervous system damage occurred during Corexit use for the Exxon Valdez cleanup. More details are in Government Accountability Project’s “Deadly Dispersions in the Gulf.”
Occupational health physician under US-DHSS Robert Bourgeois rejected Louisiana Shrimp Association president Clint Guidry’s request for respirators. Why did a federal government doctor cause harm? Regulation enforcement should protect public and worker safety.
Will Senators Johnson or Baldwin call for a grand jury racketeering investigation into the corporate and antienvironmental crime wave, resulting in catastrophes made worse by federal negligence or criminal conspiracy?
Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin
We are writing to thank you for the dietary advice for a path to healing other than the conventional tablet swallowing. It started with a visit to the butcher who gave me flack when I requested bones. I can laugh now about the butcher, but as you can imagine it was freaky asking for some whacky food such as bones to heal your body when “everyone knows” you must “eat lowfat and moderate your meat intake.”
In the past I’ve never bought from a butcher. Silly me for trusting the supermarket to value my health! The first butcher I visited and asked for bones fumed and said, “What? You want bones? Do you want any meat on those bones? Do you see the sign outside? It says ‘butcher.’ We sell meat not bones!” In his fury he smashed some thin bones to a pulp, and I slipped out of the shop quickly and went home to produce my first batch of broth, which we had to filter through muslin as well as our teeth!!
My husband had a major back fusion at the end of February after I had had a basal cell carcinoma removed mid- February. What happened post operatively is interesting and I’ve attributed this to the influence of the GAPS and Weston A. Price Foundation’s dietary advice. My husband and our middle daughter each lost about 14 kilograms from August to December 2012 after we changed our eating to incorporate some of the traditional methods of eating, including homemade yogurt, sauerkraut and broths, while cutting out carbohydrates initially to re-balance our gut flora.
Having read many articles relating to statins on the WAPF website, my husband decided he would wean himself off them. He’d been taking statins for about four or five years and not a scrap of dietary advice was given him. So he ate what he liked and took a tablet to sort out any problems internally. He gradually took less and less of the tablet over a period of a month and a half. He was still on a drug (can’t remember which) to lower slightly raised blood pressure. After the back operation in February he was in the Intensive Therapy Unit and monitored hourly. They noticed that his blood pressure was too low, and the doctors stopped the blood pressure tablets. When he moved to the normal ward and stayed there for a further nine days his blood pressure was still monitored. This means we have a detailed account, which our doctors now have, of his reduced blood pressure readings. He is no longer on the tablets!
We are suggesting that the diet lowered his blood pressure. It is interesting that the doctors tend to smile when you tell them how you healed yourself! You can see them thinking, “Shame, she must be a nutter–yogurt, sauerkraut; yeah right!” But what gets people’s attention is my husband’s and our daughter’s weight loss and her greatly reduced migraines. They do want to know what she ate to help lose weight, so that’s a positive.
Also, the reason I started looking into WAPF’s advice was because our middle daughter had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which was confirmed with a scan. She returned earlier this year, at her request, for a follow-up scan, where they found that most of the cysts were no longer there. Again we have attributed this to the diet which was high in bone broth and initially cut out all carbohydrates. We also increased our butter and meat intake as well as having homemade sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir. It has been hard to sustain with all the extra care my husband needed, but we seem to have reaped many benefits from the initial stringent diet and what we cut out.
Thanks for the ongoing advice and I know that the many people we talk to are accessing the WAPF site and learning from you good guys!!
I can’t thank you enough for Sarah Pope’s videos on the homemade baby formula, posted at www.westonaprice. org. I first learned about WAPF when researching alternatives for conventional baby formula. I had breast cancer when I was twenty-three and because of a double mastectomy, will not be able to breastfeed. For years I have been researching formulas, and when I found your videos and the WAPF recipe for homemade baby formula, it was a tremendous answer to my prayers.
CAVITIES FROM FERMENTED FOODS?
I am a dentist and would like to report my observations of patients following WAPF dietary principles. I’ve been an avid supporter of these principles for years but much to my dismay I’m seeing a significant increase in cavities in many patients that start following this type of diet. I also have not seen anyone reverse or heal medium-to-large cavities so far. It may be possible; I just haven’t seen it yet.
I believe the reasons for the phenomenon are twofold. One is the inclusion of a lot of fermented foods and the other is the impression that followers get when they read about isolated primitive cultures that had excellent dental health but never received any professional dental care nor did they brush their teeth.
Fermented foods are acidic because of the formation of lactic acid. While these foods are great for digestion and intestinal health they are hard on the teeth. The acids pull minerals from the teeth making them weaker and more prone to decay. I’ve seen similar high decay rates in patients drinking kombucha tea all day long as I see in patients drinking Coca-Cola all day. To prevent this problem I recommend to patients that they only consume femented food and drink with meals to limit the time of exposure of the teeth to the acids. I also recommend that patients rinse their mouths after meals with an alkaline rinse such as baking soda to neutralize the acids. They are advised to spit the solution out after rinsing and not to swallow it so that necessary stomach acid is not neutralized.
As for primitive isolated cultures I think that readers get the impression that oral hygiene and professional dental care are not important or necessary if one eats a nutrient-dense diet. This may have been the case for those cultures because they probably never ate a morsel of highly processed junk food in their lifetime and neither did their parents or grandparents. So their teeth had a much stronger foundation that could withstand some acidic foods as well as lack of oral hygiene. But in our present culture this is just not the case for most. I do observe that most patients who have regular dental cleanings and brush and floss their teeth daily have many fewer dental problems even if their diet is not always ideal. I also find that cleaning between the teeth with soft picks (available at many pharmacies) to be very helpful as well.
I hope that my observations and suggestions help readers enjoy the health benefits of a WAPF type diet while avoiding the pitfalls.
Carol S. Berman, DDS
Editor’s Response: Thank you for your interesting letter. All traditional cultures consumed fermented foods so the problem may be that your patients with cavities are not getting enough vitamin K2 in the diet or, as you say, they may have started out with teeth that are not very strong. Also, much commercial kombucha is very sweet; it should be long-brewed and sour and consumed in small quantities. We have not had any reports of folks on our diet getting cavities, just the opposite, they stop getting cavities. It would be interesting to do a full dietary survey of your patients who are getting caries to find out exactly what they are eating.
SENSITIVE TO MSG
I am very sensitive to glutamates so some of the WAPF foods have the potential to cause reactions in people like me. However I have slowly been able to add bone broth and sauerkraut to my diet. And now, I am very happy to report I am having no MSG reaction to the fermented cod liver oil! I take about one-fourth teaspoon with breakfast and one-half teaspoon with dinner or at bedtime.
I can report notably greater health— physical, emotional, cognitive—since I have been transitioning to a traditional diet. My diet was already free of processed foods and all chemicals, completely organic, mostly local, included small amounts of local meats and poultry, and small amounts of fish and raw cheese. Also, I did not eat any of the “bad fats,” except I cooked with olive oil at high heat. I’ve removed grains for now as I’ve noticed fatigue and brain fog when I eat them, added in lacto-fermented veggies with meals, and now cod liver oil each day. I start the day with stock, protein and fat (instead of oatmeal), eat some liver pâté from local organic pasture-raised chickens throughout the week, eat lots more organic eggs, butter and raw milk, cream and raw cheese, and now I eat olive oil only raw. Of course, I still eat plenty of organic fruits and veggies. The cod liver oil seems to have provided an additional calming effect and a higher stress threshold. I haven’t been this relaxed in years. I’m relieved about the cod liver oil as I have been concerned for twenty years about keeping my bones healthy but have never found a supplement I trusted.
South Burlington, Vermont
RAW MILK FOR BLOOD PRESSURE
Here’s a great story for raw milk drinkers. I went on a strictly raw milk diet sixteen days ago to treat my high blood pressure of 160/100. Within four days it dropped like a stone to 120/80, sometimes lower, sometimes a little bit higher, but it’s never been back to 160/100.
I’m utterly elated; you can’t imagine what a monkey off my back that has been after all this time. I had had a large blood clot in my left shoulder earlier this year that has confounded medics and me alike as to cause, given my general fitness. Actually chronic dehydration contributed as well as elevated blood pressure and some minor trauma to the shoulder through doing, ironically, Tibetan longevity exercises.
You want me as a poster boy for raw milk as a kick-arse hypertension cure: I’m yer man! I only had one side effect to the raw milk diet: it had a majorly constipating effect. But I used a heaping dessert spoon of my good coconut flour with every sixteen-ounce glass and that resolved the issue.
New Plymouth, New Zealand