If there was only one book you could read concerning nutrition, I would whole heartedly recommend Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price. The following is a review of this book. Please check out the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. http://www.ppnf.org/ They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the works of Dr. Weston Price, Dr. Francis Pottenger and other scholars of health.
The foods we choose to eat and the manner in which we prepare them directly determines our health and the health of our children and grandchildren. Nowadays, dietary advice shifts with the wind. Fad diets and even advice from our supposed experts in the field of nutrition, is often based on monetary gain. As a result we are often in a state of confusion, perplexed as to which recommendations to follow. No sooner do we become certain that "this is the right diet," then the opposite will be presented to us as fact. Everything is contradictory.
I have often wondered why animals in the wild, know just what to eat to keep themselves healthy and strong, yet modern humans seem to have no clue. Having basically severed our partnership with nature, we have lost our God-given intuitive knowledge.I am going to share with you some common sense ideas from the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price. Dr. Weston Price, who was a dentist, traveled around the world in the 1920s and 30s comparing the diets of remote indigenous groups to those who lived in the more civilized areas.
Because Dr. Price was a dentist, he focused much of his attention on facial and jaw structure. However, he also observed disease susceptibility in both groups. He took thousands of photos which compare the dental arches, dental decay and facial formations of those eating their pure native diets to those who had been introduced to the refined foods, such as white rice, white flour, refined sugar and pasteurized milk. The differences were dramatic and sometimes horrifying.In recent years we have been conditioned to believe that meat and other animal products are fatty and unhealthy and that this is what causes heart attacks. Weston Price shares with us, from first hand observation and research, that as long as the animals are fed their natural diets, then they will confer their immunity from disease to us. People often wonder if humans benefit from including at least some animal products in their diets. Here is an interesting quote from page 142. "Several of the tribes neighboring Ethiopia are agriculturists and grow corn, beans, millet, sweet potatoes, bananas, Kafir corn, and other grains, as their chief articles of food. Physically they are not as well built as either the tribes using dairy products liberally or those using fish from the fresh water lakes and streams. They have been dominated because they possess less courage and resourcefulness."
The book speaks of eating meats raw, at times, and especially the organ meats, to preserve their enzymes and other unidentified factors. Another controversial example of consuming raw foods would be using uncooked and un-homogenized milk for drinking and cheese making. I would have to agree that drinking un-pasteurized milk from factory raised cows would be a dangerous prospect. The animals are kept in very close quarters, fed grain instead of their natural diet of fresh grass and are given antibiotics and injected with hormones. Because they are being fed a food which is historically foreign to their bodies, their immune systems suffer and they acquire diseases easily. Again...they pass on their state of health to us. Cows which are allowed to graze in the fields and fed either no grain or a minimum of grain, are mostly healthy and free from disease. Unheated milk from certified farms rarely causes problems.
Homogenization breaks up the fat particles in the milk to a very fine size. It is suspected that this process makes it possible for the fat particles to go through the artery walls, which wouldn't naturally occur. Homogenization is primarily for convenience purposes so it could easily be done away with. Why do humans keep thinking we can improve on nature?
Many indigenous rural groups would not allow girls to marry until they received a diet consisting of special strengthening foods. Six months of increased nutrition was usually the minimum. These people, without degrees in chemistry, nutrition or biology, were instinctively aware of what foods pregnant women needed to produce sturdy, well formed offspring. Such foods as salmon eggs and organ meats were considered to be highly desirable.The author noticed that there were no doctors or dentists in the outlying areas where people consumed food that was locally available and unprocessed. There was also no need for jails because there were no criminals. Price includes photos of criminals which show the typical underdevelopment of their facial structure, which also correlated with their diets.It's simple.....those who lived in the remote areas away from processed food, were the happiest and the healthiest.
Dr. Price presented a very interesting observation. Not only did those who ate the modernized diets have malformed dental arches (not enough room for their teeth) but their chins were receding, their noses pinched, with sinuses affected and other abnormalities. It made sense to me that this is one reason we have so many mouth breathers and people with sinus problems. The shape of the whole skull is often determined by maternal nutrition and I would like to present a specific case from Price's book.Dr. Price paid particular attention to a sixteen year old boy who had Down's syndrome (or what they termed mongolism) and had been born to an older mother who was sickly at the time of his conception. Down's syndrome often occurs in children of mothers who are over 40 or to mothers experiencing reproductive exhaustion. Dr. Weston Price felt that perhaps the crowding of the pituitary gland caused by constrictive jaw structure, contributed to the underdeveloped sexual organs and mental capacities.Through surgery Dr. Price widened the boy's maxillary arch, which resulted in improvement of the mongoloid features and a definite increase in mental abilities. The boy wore an appliance in his mouth to keep the bones in place but when it subsequently became dislodged, he reverted and many of his previous abnormal characteristics returned.
I have only touched upon some of the valuable information in this book of over 500 pages and with 154 photos and illustrations. This monumental work is a must read for anyone who is concerned about their own health, the health of their families and the future of the whole human race. The information it contains is key to the survival of our species. We desperately need to return to a simpler way of life which includes families and communities producing their own foods. Of course in the cities this is not entirely possible, but we need to begin somewhere.
Support your local farmers and encourage them to produce their food in the most natural way possible. This will be a major step in taking back the control and safety of our food supply. We must begin now to avoid the restrictive laws (under the guise of protection) which are traveling towards us, down the road, at an ever increasing speed.