My name is Jim Earles and I am a member of a recently formed nutrition group in the Dubuque area. We are the local chapter of a nationwide non-profit group called the Weston A. Price Foundation, based out of Washington D.C. and located on the internet at www.westonaprice.org. Our local chapter of the Price Foundation holds public meetings on the first Monday evening of every month at 7:00. We meet at the Mississippi Mud Bistro, a coffeehouse located on Bluff Street in Dubuque. All of our meetings are completely free and open to whoever wishes to attend. Each month, the core members of our group offer a presentation on various topics related to diet, nutrition and general well being, all presented from the point of view of the Price Foundation. The only thing we ever have for sale at our meetings are books, in case people wish to learn more on their own. Here’s the kicker, though–the Price Foundation actively endorses and promotes eating meat, eggs, and dairy products of all manner. On top of that, we actively discourage the consumption of soy products, with a few notable exceptions.
So why on earth would I be bringing this information to the attention of a group of vegetarians? It is certainly not my intention to invite conflict or to attempt to “convert” anyone…quite to the contrary. It is my belief that, despite significant and obvious differences, our group shares many important ideals that seem to be common among many vegetarians/vegans/etc. I myself was a vegetarian for about 5 ½ years before encountering the Price Foundation and changing my mind. Again, it is not my intention to try to proselytize on the issue of meat, but having been a vegetarian myself I still feel a great affinity towards the ideals of the vegetarian. I honestly feel that the Price Foundation holds many of those same ideals. For example:
- we oppose Genetically Modified foods
- we support the ideals of organic and biodynamic agriculture
- we oppose unsustainable methods of corporate agriculture, which drive out small farmers, thrive on the use of pesticides and chemicals, deplete the soil, produce an inferior product and cause tremendous harm and suffering to countless animals
- we support efforts to obtain quality foods in a whole state directly off of local farms, thereby supporting small farmers and local economy, and also by-passing the ridiculous state of affairs wherein most modern organic foods travel further from the farm to your dinner plate than do their conventional equivalents
- we oppose food irradiation
- we believe that the typical diet of the average (meat-eating) American is extremely unhealthful
- we believe that the practice of raising vast amounts of grains to feed the cows that are turned into fast-food hamburgers is wasteful and destructive of our environment (Raising a cow on grains is the equivalent of raising a child on a diet of candy. The cow will get very fat–which is what drives the practice in the first place–but it also makes the animals unhealthy, makes them produce copious amounts of methane, and greatly diminishes the nutritive value of the milk and meat which are obtained from it. Exclusive grass feeding makes for a happy, healthy animal, provides superior nutrition in milk and meat, and naturally limits the number of animals that may be raised in one location.)
- we believe that Americans today consume far too much sugar and empty calories, especially young people and especially in the form of soft drinks
- we believe that the answer to a great many of the health problems people are experiencing today is to radically change and improve our diets…although our group would prescribe very different sorts of changes than would a vegetarian group.
All of these points of similarity say to me that we have a lot which we might work together to achieve! Meaningful change in this world can only come about when people overcome their differences and find the common ground. That being said, I would like to suggest that it might be valuable for everyone involved to bring our two groups together in some sort of manner.
If you are willing to read a little bit more, I would humbly submit to you that the Price Foundation might also be able to provide some information as to how to be a healthier vegetarian! I can only speak for myself, but I know that when I was a vegetarian, I never knew about:
- phytic acid and various enzyme inhibitor which are naturally found in all grains, nuts and seeds. Phytic acid combines with iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in the intestinal tract and thus interferes with the absorption of these substances. Enzyme inhibitors can interfere with digestion. Heat does not neutralize phytic acid or enzyme inhibitors. For this reason, all grains, nuts and seeds should either be sprouted, soaked in an acidic medium (such as lemon juice or whey), fermented or sour-leavened in order to make them more digestible and nourishing. (Many people who are allergic to grains can tolerate them when they are prepared in this way.) Corn is a little different–it must be soaked in a solution of water filtered through dolomite powder in order to free up its vitamin B3 content for human absorption.
- lacto-fermentation, a method of food preservation which was used before refrigeration or canning. It is extremely easy to do and it does not involve using boiling water or heat of any kind. In this way, food enzymes are preserved, and there is actually an increase in enzyme content and vitamin content. Just about any vegetable or fruit may be naturally preserved in this way. There are also a variety of healthy beverages which may be produced using lacto-fermentation techniques.
- the superior nutrition, safety and digestibility of raw dairy products over their pasteurized and homogenized counterparts. The health problems which are frequently attributed to consuming dairy products are as a result of over-processing and improper treatment of dairy animals–grain feeding, synthetic growth hormones, animal parts in the feed, etc. etc. Raw dairy products from healthy, exclusively grass-fed animals are very high in nutrients and these nutrients are much more available to the human body. (The Price Foundation has an ongoing campaign to restore the legality and availability of raw dairy products in this country–see www.realmilk.com.)
- the possible drawbacks of soy foods…a controversial topic among vegetarians, I know! Modern soy foods are frequently not prepared in such a way as to neutralize many anti-nutritive qualities. Soybeans contain very high levels of the aforementioned phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, and also contain high levels of phytoestrogens (isoflavones). These substances, far from being the panacea that they are claimed to be, are potent endocrine disrupters and goitrogens–substances which depress the thyroid. Once again, heat does not neutralize these substances…nor does sprouting in the case of the soybean. The only way to neutralize all of the difficulties with soybeans and truly unlock their nutritional value is to ferment them by ancient traditional methods into tempeh, miso, natto or traditional soy sauces such as shoyu and tamari. The Price Foundation strongly recommends reconsidering the decision to consume soy in any other form, which means avoiding tofu, texturized (or hydrolyzed) vegetable protein (TVP or HVP), soy protein powder, soy protein isolate, soy lecithin, soy nuts, soy nut butters, soy cooking oil, soy milk and other soy “dairy” products, and imitation soy “meat” products of all kinds.
There is of course much more information which the Price Foundation has to offer, but these are three important items which are vegetarian-friendly. (Veganism is, admittedly, very difficult to reconcile with our group’s perspective.) If any of this sounds like something which might be discussed in a friendly, non-confrontational way at a future Vegetarian meeting, members of our group would be very happy to oblige. Certainly we could learn things from your group as well. I think it would truly be a win-win situation. Please let us know how you feel.
Feel free to contact me any time at this e-mail address: yogaspectrum (at) yahoo.com.
Thank you for your time in reading all of this!🖨️ Print post
I’m very impressed with Dr. Price’s work, but it distresses me that the work of Dr. Gerson, who has a reputation for curing cancer and other diseases seems to oppose eating anything that comes from an animal. I want to improve my dental health, using Dr. Price’s protocol and also cure my arthritis, using Dr. Gerson’s protocol.
Emiliano Camargo says
I would suggest you start trying the bodyecology diet. This diet combines the best of the two approaches, and it helps a lot with arthritis…
I’m form Sri Lanka. In our country and inIndia there are numerous vegetarians lead a healthy life according to my knowledge. It may be due to we find many leafy vegetables and many vegetables and other foods to eat which could provide nutrition similar to meat. In Sri Lanka I suppose there are no non-milk vegetarians.please let me know whether we cannot live without meat at all a healthy and happy life.
Do you regularly eat insects
I have been vegetarian my whole 66years, tho bought up in a truly meat eating family; animal ears, tongues, tails, trotters, brains, etc, as well as body meat. so I was unusual but eating meat isn’t what my body needs; I am a natural vegetarian. So some of us don’t have a choice about whether to eat meat or not.
PleAse don’t lump us veggies all together.
I was strict vegan for six years, then became more flexible and began to include eggs, honey, and dairy in my diet for a variety of health reasons and change in beliefs. I was vegetarian for six months. I still didn’t feel that was enough, and began to add fish in my diet. This has been done very slowly and gradually to give my body the room to adjust. I came from a soy free and very low fat, at times even raw vegan, and was heavy on grains and beans and fruits/vegetables (daily leafy greens low oxalate), with small amounts of nuts seeds, so it has been quite an adjustment to include higher fat animal products back into my diet.
However, I discovered that, while my body is fine with pastured eggs and organic and carefully chosen fatty fish, I am having a very hard time digesting dairy products. I have been choosing organic yogurt, and softer organic cheeses like ricotta, cottage cheese, parmesan, feta. I can not tolerate straight milk though I have never tried raw (wouldn’t even know where to begin to find it), and hard cheese will definitely send me into cramps and diarrhea/spasms. I’ve also suffered with sinus issues, brain fog, lack of circulation and peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet that only became evident with the inclusion of dairy, all very alarming. I was discouraged when my doctor told me to cut out dairy and possibly eggs when I had just told her I began adding them back in for nutrition and to be more flexible with my diet and am trying to overcome a long standing eating disorder. She is a new doctor to me and has no clue the struggles I have overcome in my disorder. I feel lost and am not sure what to do next. It seems the more I experiment with food, the more symptoms I am having. I am now having constant very sore breasts since adding back in fish three times per week. Previously they were pancake flat and dead to feeling. I really don’t understand what is happening to me. I have long standing osteoporosis (I am only in my 40s) that was made much worse according to my DEXA scans as a vegan. Part of the reason for the fatty fish ( salmon, sardines, oysters etc) is for another source of calcium, protein, vitamin d, b12, selenium etc to help my bones and heal my body. So why am I having even more symptoms since including these foods back? The only thing that has improved is the brain fog and neuropathy in fingers since cutting back on dairy and introducing the fish.
I should mention I used to be one of those vegans who was hardcore against the Weston Price Foundation, but never really took the time to search your site fully and truly learn what you are about. I am actually finding some very useful information here now, especially the stuff on vitamin D (I am one of those increasingly frustrated by the supplement industry and alarmed at the number of supplements people are on who claim they are all about whole foods and health). I can not absorb a lot of supplements properly and have a very difficult time with them, so I keep my supplements minimal and would prefer to get as much as I can from food. Hence another reason for including eggs and fish for the natural B12 and vitamin D and host of other nutrients. I am still struggling with the idea of eating meat (besides fish), and would prefer to avoid that for now. But I am increasingly interested in local and small farming and the idea of better care and treatment of food animals as opposed to a radical end to all animal farming and consumption. I just seem to be having the complete opposite issues that others have, on a mental level I want to include animal products in my diet and see the benefit, but on a physical level my body is having all kinds of new symptoms in doing this…sinus issues, sore breasts, exhaustion, brain fog. I had iron, vitamin D, and thyroid all tested (I have long standing hypothyroidism but my numbers all seem to be optimal on my current med) and everything is normal. I have not yet had B12 tested but wonder if I should even bother since I have been getting it from fatty fish and eggs for the last month? I don’t eat these daily, but about three times a week for each. Otherwise my diet is still largely plant based. Any guidance would be appreciated. I am so completely lost trying to figure all this out.
I would love to talk with you and see how you are doing now and if you got any help? I have some ideas if you are still experiencing these challenges. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moneva Van Vooren says
Hi to all who will read this thread!
I have been a vegetarian almost from birth. I grew up in a family of omnivores. So it took my parents quite some time to realize and accept that I was never going to eat meat. But they ended up accepting it…
I do eat eggs on and off, whenever I feel a hunger for them. I also do eat yogurt and cheese. No alcohol, no sodas ever. I drink coffee, about three cups/day or less (sometimes, I simply forget!)
Mostly, I drink tea from my garden: peppermint tea and other blossoms which are in season. Right now, there are elderberry flowers, and their tea is delicious.
I have never counted a calorie in my life, and I am certain that calorie counting is a total waste of time and a totally useless undertaking, since a sheer number does not convey WHAT we are actually eating. I always say (testily) that … pardon my French!!! “dog shit also contains calories. Should we therefor consider eating it, if the number of calories is right? I hope NOT!”
Tooth health, and general health is based on how we live: our regular physical activities, balance in sleep and wake cycles, naturally grown foods….and so many things, which would lead me to write a book here if I listed them all. But one item is how we eat the food we eat.
Digestion starts in the mouth. When I saw the video of Dr. Price, this would have been what I’d said: Chew your food long and slowly. It is the first step and phase in proper digestion. Saliva and chewing prepare the food for processing by the stomach and intestines. But not only that: chewing keeps teeth healthy and strong. If we swallow everything without chewing, our teeth serve no purpose at all. Chewing helps them stay strong and solid, because the pressures, enormous pressures we exert when chewing help the bone (teeth are bones, too) to remain dense and strong. If we lie around on a couch each and every day without physical exertion, we lose muscle and bone mass very fast. The same goes for for the teeth.
Although I am a vegetarian, I don’t mind if others eat meat. I do mind though, if they don’t care where the meat is coming from, and how the animals were raised, fed and treated. I think it is important to educate children and adults about the hard facts of industrial animal raising and slaughter practices. Schools should have classes about farming, animal husbandry and how this relates to the food we can obtain in the stores. That in itself would make people wiser in the choices of how they want to nourish themselves.
If there is a group of this organization in Saint Louis, I’d love to get to know them!
Thanks for all the good information I have discovered on this website today!
Nima Subramanian says
I appreciate this as a lifelong Indian vegetarian raised in a Hindu family. I often feel alienated by WAP’s reliance of meat products and anti-vaccine and puzzling theories that microbes do not cause disease. On the other hand, I’m appreciative of their efforts to combat the misinformation that saturated fat causes heart disease, which it has been repeatedly shown now conclusively to NOT cause heart disease. I also generally agree on all the points listed above and far prefer traditional animal farming to grain fed factory farming. In my family, we always soak legumes (though just in water) and often sprout them for consumption. Legumes are the staple of south indian cuisine, taste great, I feel amazing when I eat them, and are a great source of so many nutrients. I feel like WAP should acknowledge that people of different genetic backgrounds may be suited to different diets – Indians have thrived on healthy lacto-vegetarian diets rich in vegetables and legumes for thousands of years (though modern India is suffering from processed foods addiction). Chinese, Japanese, and Korean thrive on soy rich foods in addition to seafood rich diets. Obviously there are differences in lactase persistence too, which make East Asians unable to drink milk and more suited toward soy products (they produce other chemicals as well uniquely to help them process soy). East Asians have very low rates of bone fracture and breast cancer with these very high phytoestrogen diets, more-so than Westerners who eat phytoestrogen rich diets. What is TRADITIONAL for one group is not for another, I will be sticking to MY traditional vegetarian diet with lots of whole foods and grains (mostly brown rice with sparing whole breads) and occasional egg and ghee consumption
Jessica K says
I just don’t see how these vegans can say they have a more environmentally-friendly diet than meat eaters. Have you ever watched a vegan cooking video or visited a vegan blog? They get avocados from Mexico, mangoes from India, goji berries, dragonfruit, all these exotic fruits from other countries, jackfruit shipped from Asia, tofu and soy milk from Asia, everything in plastic containers, and so on… everything wrapped in plastic and shipped all around the world. My raw milk comes in reusable half-gallon canning jars, from a family-owned regenerative farm 45 minutes from where I live. They package their yogurt, cream, and butter in glass jars as well, and ask you to bring them back to sanitize them and reuse them. I grow most of my vegetables and fruit in my yard and can a lot of it. I love avocados, but my family maybe eats 1 or 2 a week, not multiple avocados a day. My meat comes from another local farm, wrapped in paper instead of plastic. They sell all the organs and bones for broth, so absolutely nothing goes to waste. How can a diet where 90% or more of what you eat comes from around the world be considered “environmentally-friendly”?!