Controversy is Exciting! Facts are Boring

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Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot more controversy in the blog world. Most of this controversy seems to center around grains and whether we should eat them or not. I’m sure this is an age old controversy it just seems more volatile lately.

Personally, I don’t really care whether another person chooses to eat grains or not. I care about the choices my family makes and I care about the fact that the Standard America Diet is killing people. This is the diet that is promoted by the government, politicians, doctors, the media and just about everyone.  Those of us who have chosen a different path that will lead to actual health should be shouting it to the roof tops and not fighting amongst ourselves. Grains, no grains, who cares? Some people eat them some people don’t. Some do well on them, some don’t.

As mentioned, I care about the choices my family makes. We believe that a diet as close to natural is the way to go. Not foods that are a chemical based nightmare.  We attempt to follow the Dietary Guidelines of the Weston A. Price Foundation. The Weston A. Price Foundation exists to share the teachings of Weston A. Price, DDS. 

Just The Facts

For the past several weeks, I’ve been reading chapter by chapter and sharing things I find interesting in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Price.  I have to say, this isn’t a super ‘hot’ topic (and doesn’t bring readers like controversy does). And I’m sure many people do not even bother reading these ‘book club’ posts. I lamented a few days on that but have decided that this book is too important not to share. Facts may be boring but the writings of Dr. Price are not boring. He is wonderful at descriptions and setting the scene.

More importantly, if we are going to say we follow the guidelines of Weston A. Price than we had better be positive what Dr. Price was sharing. We had better be able to answer with little hesitation exactly what he did in his journeys. People are dying, folks. Our nation’s children are getting sicker and sicker. Many of these issues can be traced back to the nation’s mainstream diet. This has to stop. We need to be the ones to share a better way.

And for the record, Dr. Price did find plenty of cultures that consumed  (properly prepared) grains and some that did not. How’s that for a bit of controversy? Or are those facts?

Without further ado, Chapters 7 & 8 of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

Chapter 7 Isolated and Modernized Melanesians

Dr. Price ended up disappointed in this journey. He had expected (hoped) to find these native people existing wholly on plant foods.

“He told me further that they require food from the sea at least every three months, even to this day. This was a matter of keen interest, and at the same time disappointment since one of the purposes of the expedition to the South Seas was to find, if possible, plants or fruits which together, without the use of animal products, were capable of providing all of the requirements of the body for growth and for maintenance of good health and a high state of physical efficiency.”

In addition to sea foods they also consumed wild pigs that had been imported to the island.

Repeating what Dr. Price found when other cultures had access to modern foods, these native people also showed considerable deterioration with access to modern foods.

“No differences in extent of tooth decay due to ancestry were disclosed. The incidence of dental caries at the points of contact with imported foods was 30.1 per cent of teeth examined as compared with 0.42 for the more isolated
groups living on the native foods of land and sea.    The physical changes which were found associated with the use of the imported foods included the loss of immunity to dental caries in practically all of the individuals who had displaced their native foods very largely with the modern foods. Dental caries was much worse, however, in the growing children and motherhood group due to the special demands of these individuals.

I find it particularly disturbing that Dr. Price noted that the children and child bearing women were even more negatively affected by these modern foods than others. This was in the 1930’s.  I suspect this would be the case in todays time too. Only possibly even more drastic since our modern foods have continued to evolve into a chemical disaster.

Another thing I found totally interesting in this chapter is the native people’s use of coconut oil. Wearing very little clothing, they rubbed coconut oil over their bodies to help with preventing injury from the tropical sun and it also aided in shedding the rain when heavy downfalls occurred. But the limited clothing was determined to be not proper and rules were made that the native people were to cover themselves. The new clothing cut down on the application of coconut oil which had also been a source of nutrition in addition to sun block and rain shed. This had detrimental results for many.

And the final straw… “In the succeeding generations after the parents had adopted  the modern foods, there occurred distinct change in facial form and shape of the dental arches.” 

Chapter 8 Isolated and Modernized Polynesians

 This chapter starts out with the not so good results. Many in the areas Dr. Price visited were having their health ravaged by tuberculosis. These people also had a high incidence of dental issues. And these people were relying almost completely on modern foods. In fact, in several areas the primitive people were shifting from native foods to modern foods. 

“Much imported food is used. Like on the Marquesas Islands, it was difficult to find large numbers of individuals living entirely on the native foods. Those that were found had complete immunity to dental caries. For the natives living in part on trade foods, chiefly white flour, sugar and canned goods, 31.9 per cent of the teeth were found to be attacked by tooth decay.”

Dr. Price did continue his journeys looking for the native people and studying them. He met the Tonga’s which sound to be quite the warriors. He also traveled to the Hawaiian Islands (this would be prior to statehood).  I loved this excerpt about a fermented food found there.

“While the preparation of foods on the various Pacific Islands has many common factors, all natives using the
underground oven of hot stones for cooking, the Hawaiian Islands present one unique difference in the method of preparation of their taro. They cook the root as do all the other tribes, but having done so they dry the taro, powder it and mix it with water and allow it to ferment for several hours, usually twenty-four or more. This preparation called “poi” becomes slightly tart by the process of fermentation and has the consistency of heavy strap molasses or a very heavy cream. It is eaten by rolling it up on one or two fingers and sucking it from them. It accordingly offers no resistance to the process of mastication. In the districts where the natives are living on native foods the incidence of dental caries was only 2 per cent of the teeth, whereas among those natives who are living in large part on the imported foods, chiefly white flour and sweetened goods, 37.3 per cent of the teeth had been attacked by tooth decay.”

For the Polynesan people tooth decay ranged anywhere from .6% for the isolated groups to 33.4 percent for the modernized groups. This was also a group that relied on sea products both fish and hard shelled. The isolated people still had their normal facial and dental arches characteristic of their race while the modernized people show huge changes in succeeding generations.

Final Thoughts

Another interesting couple of chapters.  One thing that really sticks out to me is the fact that in Chapter 7 Dr. Price thought he would find a vegetarian society. Not only thought he would, hoped he would.  So far he has yet to discover any society that didn’t consume animal products at least on occasion.

Another thing interesting, actually disturbing, is how severely affected the children and child bearing women were by the addition of modern foods.  I am continually struck by how important diet is for these two groups.

Get an additional entry in my Giveaway for an Amazon Gift Card. Share this post on facebook, twitter or other social media. Leave a comment on the Giveaway post with your share.  Don’t leave your comment for the giveaway on this post, it must be on the original post to count.  Do leave a comment on this post, telling me your thoughts on Chapters 7 & 8. Are you as affected by the deterioration of the children as I am?

Book Club Entries

Photo’s: Bread is mine, Coconut, crab

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