All Weston Price, All the Time - Excerpts and Commentary This week
Last week, I rhetorically asked the following questions: Why don't we all learn about Weston A. Price's research as soon as we can talk? And why don't we talk about the amazing health and societal differences he documented between Primitive and Modernized races? Why don't we talk about this with everyone we know, every DAY?!
One Alert Reader (as Dave Barry likes to say) offered some thoughtful answers:
“...In the words of Mary Croft, 'I contend and still do that the cause of every single problem on this planet is caused from the infliction of commerce by the banks onto the people.'
“I [similarly] think that it is very appropriate that Weston Price calls modern foods 'foods of commerce'.
“The thing is that there is a much larger profit margin on these crappy processed foods! It also makes people dependent on buying those processed foods rather than growing their own. So the big corporate food giants make tons of money on these foods and uses that money for advertising and lobbying the government to protect their interests and influence the media and the average person falls for the BS hook, line and sinker! If the knowledge about Weston A. Price got out into the mainstream, these companies would go bankrupt. So it is in the interest of 'the powers that be' to keep this knowledge under wraps. It usually takes some kind of illness, like the one you are experiencing with your own son, for certain people (like you and me!) and being able to cure it through natural means to wake-up to the manipulation of the public that is going on in the name of profit.
“The processed food thing also goes hand in hand with the medical/pharmaceutical industries. The pharmaceutical industry, which is wildly profitable, pretty much controls and influences the medical industry, through sponsoring research and universities. If you can accept this radical notion: that the purpose of the medical/pharmaceutical industries is not to create health but to create lifelong REPEAT customers. The more crap people eat and the sicker they become and the more drugs and medical procedures they have, the more profit.
“Welcome to the Orwellian Corporate State!
“By the way, have you seen the movie "Food Inc.?" I haven't seen the whole movie, but I think it explains what really goes on in the food industry and why it is in the interests of the corporations to produce crappy food.
“Anyway, my question is not why we don't learn about Weston Price. My question is when are people going to wake up to the fact that we have been manipulated to eat crap for the profit of a few high ups in these corporations? If people stopped buying this food in the first place these companies would not exist...”
And with that, I can't help but fill out the rest of this e-mail with some of my favorite excerpts from “Nutrition and Physical Regeneration,” by Weston Price http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200251h.html#toc :
Jobbers and middlemen as well as supply depot managers want butter sold in accordance with its label rather than in accordance with its vitamin content. One large distributor whom I asked to cooperate by maintaining a stock of high-vitamin butter to which I could refer people, told me frankly that he wished I would stop telling people about the difference in the vitamins in butter. He did not wish them to think of butter in terms of its vitamin content. Another large concern told me that when I had worked up a sufficiently large market they would become interested in supplying the demand. I counsel people to put in storage some of that butter which has the grassy flavor and which melts easily and is produced when the cows go onto the rapidly growing young grass. Unfortunately, cows that have been on a stable fodder low in carotene and under the stress of gestation often are so depleted in their own body vitamins that it takes them three or four weeks to replenish their own bodies when they get on good pasture. Then the vitamins will appear in liberal quantity in their milk. This has made it necessary for me to assist many patients in obtaining a supply by analyzing butter for its vitamin content and then putting this material in storage and making it available for special cases as needed...
...A question arises at this point as to the efficiency of the human body in removing all of the minerals from the ingested foods. Extensive laboratory determinations have shown that most people cannot absorb more than half of the calcium and phosphorus from the foods eaten. The amounts utilized depend directly on the presence of other substances, particularly fat-soluble vitamins. It is at this point probably that the greatest breakdown in our modern diet takes place, namely, in the ingestion and utilization of adequate amounts of the special activating substances, including the vitamins needed for rendering the minerals in the food available to the human system. A recent report by the Council on Foods of the American Medical (4) Association makes this comment on spinach:
Spinach may be regarded as a rich source of vitamin A and as a contributor of vitamin C, iron and roughage to the diet. It is therefore a valuable food. (But) the iron is not well utilized by infants . . . (and) the feeding of spinach is of no value during early infancy as a source of calcium.
Even though calcium is present in spinach children cannot utilize it. Data have been published showing that children absorb very little of the calcium or phosphorus in spinach before six years of age. Adult individuals vary in the efficiency with which they absorb minerals and other chemicals essential for mineral utilization. It is possible to starve for minerals that are abundant in the foods eaten because they cannot be utilized without an adequate quantity of the fat-soluble activators.
... Few people who have not been in contact with experimental data on metabolism can appreciate how little of the minerals in the food are retained in the body by large numbers of individuals who are in need of these very chemicals. We have seen that infants cannot absorb calcium from spinach. If we are to provide nutrition that will include an adequate excess as a factor of safety for overloads, and for such periods as those of rapid growth (for children), pregnancy, lactation and sickness, we must provide the excess to the extent of about twice the requirements of normal adults. It will therefore, be necessary for an adequate nutrition to contain approximately four times the minimum requirements of the average adult if all stress periods are to be passed safely.
It is of interest that the diets of the primitive groups which have shown a very high immunity to dental caries and freedom from other degenerative processes have all provided a nutrition containing at least four times these minimum requirements; whereas the displacing nutrition of commerce, consisting largely of white-flour products, sugar, polished rice, jams, canned goods, and vegetable fats have invariably failed to provide even the minimum requirements. In other words the foods of the native Eskimos contained 5.4 times as much calcium as the displacing foods of the white man, five times as much phosphorus, 1.5 times as much iron, 7.9 times as much magnesium, 1.8 times as much copper, 49.0 times as much iodine, and at least ten times that number of fat-soluble vitamins. For the Indians of the far North of Canada, the native foods provided 5.8 times as much calcium, 5.8 times as much phosphorus, 2.7 times as much iron, 4.3 times as much magnesium, 1.5 times as much copper, 8.8 times as much iodine, and at least a ten fold increase in fat-soluble activators. For brevity, we will apply the figures to calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and fat-soluble activators in order. The ratio in the Swiss native diets to that in the displacing diet was for calcium, 3.7 fold; for phosphorus, 2.2 fold; for magnesium, 2.5 fold; for iron, 3.1 fold; and for the fat-soluble activators, at least ten fold. For the Gaelics in the Outer Hebrides, the native foods provided 2.1 times as much calcium, 2.3 times as much phosphorus, 1.3 times as much magnesium, and 1.0 times as much iron; and the fat-soluble activators were increased at least ten fold. For the Aborigines of Australia, living along the eastern coast where they have access to sea foods the ratio of minerals in the native diet to those in the displacing modernized foods was, for calcium, 4.6 fold; for phosphorus, 6.2 fold; for magnesium, 17 fold; and for iron 50.6 fold; while for the fatsoluble activators, it was at least ten fold. The native diet of the New Zealand Maori provided an increase in the native foods over the displacing foods of the modernized whites of 6.2 fold for calcium, 6.9 fold for phosphorus, 23.4 fold for magnesium, 58.3 fold for iron; and the fatsoluble activators were increased at least ten fold. The native diet of the Melanesians provided similarly an increase over the provision made in the modernized foods which displaced them of 5.7 fold for calcium, 6.4 fold for phosphorus, 26.4 fold for magnesium, and 22.4 fold for iron; while the fat-soluble activators were increased at least ten fold. The Polynesians provided through their native diet for an increase in provision over that of the displacing imported diets, of 5.6 fold for calcium, 7.2 fold for phosphorus, 28.5 fold for magnesium, 18.6 fold for iron; and the fat-soluble activators were increased at least ten fold. The coastal Indians of Peru provided through their native primitive diets for an increase in provision over that of the displacing modernized diet of 6.6 fold for calcium, 5.5 fold for phosphorus, 13.6 fold for magnesium, 5.1 fold for iron; and an excess of ten fold was provided for fat-soluble vitamins. For the Indians of the Andean Mountains of Peru, the native foods provided an increase over the provision of the displacing modern foods of S fold for calcium, 5.5 fold for phosphorus, 13.3 fold for magnesium, 29.3 fold for iron; and an excess of at least ten fold was provided for fat-soluble vitamins. For the cattle tribes in the interior of Africa, the primitive foods provided an increase over the provision of the displacing modernized foods of 7.5 fold for calcium, 8.2 fold for phosphorus, 19.1 fold for magnesium, 16.6 fold for iron and at least ten fold for fat-soluble activators. For the agricultural tribes in Central Africa the native diet provided an increase over the provision of the displacing modern diet of 3.5 fold for calcium, 4.1 fold for phosphorus, 5.4 fold for magnesium, 16.6 fold for iron and ten fold for fat-soluble activators. All the above primitive diets provided also a large increase in the water-soluble vitamins over the number provided in the displacing modern diets.
From the data presented in the preceding chapters and in this comparison of the primitive and modernized dietaries it is obvious that there is great need that the grains eaten shall contain all the minerals and vitamins which Nature has provided that they carry. Important data might be presented to illustrate this phase in a practical way. In Fig. 95 will be seen three rats all of which received the same diet, except for the type of bread. The first rat (at the left) received whole-wheat products freshly ground, the center one received a white flour product and the third (at the right) a bran and middlings product. The amounts of each ash, of calcium as the oxide, and of phosphorus as the pentoxide; and the amounts of iron and copper present in the diet of each group are shown by the height of the columns beneath the rats. Clinically it will be seen that there is a marked difference in the physical development Qf these rats. Several rats of the same age were in each cage. The feeding was started after weaning at about twenty-three days of age. The rat at the left was on the entire grain product. It was fully developed. The rats in this cage reproduced normally at three months of age. The rats in this first cage had very mild dispositions and could be picked up by the ear or tail without danger of their biting. The rats represented by the one in the center cage using white flour were markedly undersized. Their hair came out in large patches and they had very ugly dispositions, so ugly that they threatened to spring through the cage wall at us when we came to look at them. These rats had tooth decay and they were not able to reproduce. The rats in the next cage (illustrated by the rat to the right) which were on the bran and middlings mixture did not show tooth decay, but were considerably undersized, and they lacked energy. The flour and middlings for the rats in cages two and three were purchased from the miller and hence were not freshly ground. The wheat given to the first group was obtained whole and ground while fresh in a hand mill. It is of interest that notwithstanding the great increase in ash, calcium, phosphorus, iron and copper present in the foods of the last group, the rats did not mature normally, as did those in the first group. This may have been due in large part to the fact that the material was not freshly ground, and as a result they could not obtain a normal vitamin content from the embryo of the grain due to its oxidation. This is further indicated by the fact that the rats in this group did not reproduce, probably due in considerable part to a lack of vitamins B and E which were lost by oxidation of the embryo or germ fat.
There is a misapprehension with regard to the possibility that humans may obtain enough of the vitamin D group of activators from our modern plant foods or from sunshine. This is due to the belief viosterol or similar products by other names, derived by exposing ergosterol to ultraviolet light, offer all of the nutritional factors involved in the vitamin D group. I have emphasized that there are known to be at least eight D factors that have been definitely isolated and twelve that have been reported as partially isolated.
Coffin has recently reported relative to the lack of vitamin D in common foods as follows: (5)
1. A representative list of common foods was carefully tested, by approved technique, for their vitamin D content.
2. With the remote possibility of egg yolks, butter, cream, liver and fish it is manifestly impossible to obtain any amount of vitamin D worthy of mention from common foods.
3. Vegetables do not contain vitamin D.
It will be noted that vitamin D, which the human does not readily synthesize in adequate amounts, must be provided by foods of animal tissues or animal products. As yet I have not found a single group of primitive racial stock which was building and maintaining excellent bodies by living entirely on plant foods. I have found in many parts of the world most devout representatives of modern ethical systems advocating the restriction of foods to the vegetable products. In every instance where the groups involved had been long under this teaching, I found evidence of degeneration in the form of dental caries, and in the new generation in the form of abnormal dental arches to an extent very much higher than in the primitive groups who were not under this influence.
...Another illustration of the wisdom of the native Indians of that far north country came to me through two prospectors whom we rescued and brought out with us just before the fall freeze-up. They had gone into the district, which at that time was still uncharted and unsurveyed, to prospect for precious metals and radium. They were both doctors of engineering and science, and had been sent with very elaborate equipment from one of the large national mining corporations. Owing to the inaccessibility of the region, they adopted a plan for reaching it quickly. They had flown across the two ranges of mountains from Alaska and when they arrived at the inside range, i.e., the Rocky Mountain Range, they found the altitude so high that their plane could not fly over the range, and, as a result, they were brought down on a little lake outside. The plane then returned but was unable to reach the outside world because of shortage of fuel. The pilot had to leave it on a waterway and trudge over the mountains to civilization. The two prospectors undertook to carry their equipment and provisions over the Rocky Mountain Range into the interior district where they were to prospect. They found the distance across the plateau to be about one hundred miles and the elevation ranging up to nine thousand feet. While they had provisions and equipment to stay two years they found it would take all of this time to carry their provisions and instruments across this plateau. They accordingly abandoned everything, and rather than remain in the country with very uncertain facilities and prospects for obtaining food and shelter, made a forced march to the Liard River with the hope that some expedition might be in that territory. One of the men told me the following tragic story. While they were crossing the high plateau he nearly went blind with so violent a pain in his eyes that he feared he would go insane. It was not snow blindness, for they were equipped with glasses. It was xeropthalmia, due to lack of vitamin A. One day he almost ran into a mother grizzly bear and her two cubs. Fortunately, they did not attack him but moved off. He sat down on a stone and wept in despair of ever seeing his family again. As he sat there holding his throbbing head, he heard a voice and looked up. It was an old Indian who had been tracking that grizzly bear. He recognized this prospector's plight and while neither could understand the language of the other, the Indian after making an examination of his eyes, took him by the hand and led him to a stream that was coursing its way down the mountain. Here as the prospector sat waiting the Indian built a trap of stones across the stream. He then went upstream and waded down splashing as he came and thus drove the trout into the trap. He threw the fish out on the bank and told the prospector to eat the flesh of the head and the tissues back of the eyes, including the eyes, with the result that in a few hours his pain had largely subsided. In one day his sight was rapidly returning, and in two days his eyes were nearly normal. He told me with profound emotion and gratitude that that Indian had certainly saved his life.
Now modern science knows that one of the richest sources of vitamin A in the entire animal body is that of the tissues back of the eyes including the retina of the eye.
... Under the stress of the industrial depression the family dietary of the children shown in Fig. 97 was very deficient. They were brought to a mission where we fed them one reinforced meal at noon for six days a week. The home meals were not changed nor the home care of the teeth. The preliminary studies of each child included complete x-rays of all of the teeth, a chemical analysis of the saliva, a careful plotting of the position, size and depth of all cavities, a record of the height, and weight, and a record of school grades, including grades in deportment. These checks were repeated every four to six weeks for the period of the test, usually three to five months. It is important to note that the home nutrition which had been responsible for the tooth decay was exceedingly low in body building and repairing material, while temporarily satisfying the appetite. It usually consisted of highly sweetened strong coffee and white bread, vegetable fat, pancakes made of white flour and eaten with syrup, and doughnuts fried in vegetable fat.
The nutrition provided these children in this one meal included the following foods. About four ounces of tomato juice or orange juice and a teaspoonful of a mixture of equal parts of a very high vitamin natural cod liver oil and an especially high vitamin butter was given at the beginning of the meal. They then received a bowl containing approximately a pint of a very rich vegetable and meat stew, made largely from bone marrow and fine cuts of tender meat: the meat was usually broiled separately to retain its juice and then chopped very fine and added to the bone marrow meat soup which always contained finely chopped vegetables and plenty of very yellow carrots; for the next course they had cooked fruit, with very little sweetening, and rolls made from freshly ground whole wheat, which were spread with the high-vitamin butter. The wheat for the rolls was ground fresh every day in a motor driven coffee mill. Each child was also given two glasses of fresh whole milk. The menu was varied from day to day by substituting for the meat stew, fish chowder or organs of animals. From time to time, there was placed in a two quart jar a helping similar to that eaten by the children. This was brought to my laboratory for chemical analysis, which analysis showed that these meals provided approximately 1.48 grams of calcium and 1.28 grams of phosphorus in a single helping of each course. Since many of the children doubled up on the course, their intake of these minerals was much higher. I have shown in the preceding chapter that the accepted figures for the requirements of the body for calcium and phosphorus are 0.68 grams of calcium and 1.32 grams of phosphorus. It is obvious that this one meal a day plus the other two meals at home provided a real factor of safety. Clinically this program completely controlled the dental caries of each member of the group.
The chemical analysis of the saliva (1, 2) revealed a marked improvement which progressively increased. At the beginning of the test the average for the group showed a very low factor of safety, so low that we should expect tooth decay to be active. In six weeks the average changed to a condition which we should expect would be accompanied by a cessation of tooth decay. The saliva factor of safety continued to improve for five months at which time the special program was discontinued for the summer.
Several incidents of special interest occurred. Two different teachers came to me to inquire what had been done to make a particular child change from one of the poorest in the class in capacity to learn to one of the best. Dental caries is only one of the many expressions of our modern deficient nutritions.
Have a great week! :)