Thursday, June 3, 2010

More thoughts about nutrition, health and well-being

I would like to thank the several readers who sent me a link to the book of Dr. Weston Price, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. You can read the book - which I highly recommend - online if you follow the link. I am now at the chapter before last. This is the first time I heard of Dr. Price's research, and I must say his findings are striking, not to mention highly convincing. The facts speak for themselves.

For those who are unfamiliar with Dr. Price, he was a researcher in the 1930's who traveled all over the world and collected data on how the contact with modern civilization and modern food impacted the primitive cultures who were exposed to it for the first time. Dr. Price was a dentist and originally his research focused on the condition of teeth, but it soon becomes very clear that teeth problems are just the tip of the iceberg when we come to deal with trouble brought on by the de-vitalized nutrition of modern age.

Even though his research was conducted such a long time ago, I believe it is still and probably even more relevant today. When I think of why his conclusions weren't highly publicized and the entire approach to nutrition wasn't revolutionized, the only reason I can come up with is that they are so inconvenient to many people. Dr. Price offers no easy solutions, but clearly states that it takes a great strength of character to give up the food that is bad for us.

This strength of character is something that the establishment thinks we lack. They view us as a complace nt herd. When I was a student, our professors clearly told us that most people don't have the willpower to change their lives and improve their health. Therefore, we were to focus on the easy, temporary solutions, not the truly effective ones.

Furthermore, the food manufacturers clearly don't want us to put too much thought into what we eat. It's far too easy for them to toss a handful of vitamins and minerals into junk food like sugared cereal, and market it as health food. It is especially maddening to think that many of the junkiest foods out there are marketed towards children and parents of young children - and many parents don't hesitate to give their children highly sweetened and processed foods, thinking they are healthy because some synthetic vitamins are thrown in.

And if it comes to dentists, how many dentists really give their patients long-term nutritional advice that could be beneficial for them? Are they really interested in preventing teeth problems if it would mean less work for them? The majority of dental services in Israel are private, and people pay hefty sums for each visit. I know for a fact some of them outright sabotage their patients' health in order to ensure further visits. The assistants working with them are fired if any qualms are raised against such practices.

This week surely could be called a Food and Nutrition Week on this blog! I appreciate all who have joined me in the discussion. I enjoyed and benefited from reading your comments. Thank you!


Persuaded said...

Anna, I can't wait to check out that link! seriously! My daughter and I recently went on a raw food fast, and the difference in our well being after only a few days was truly remarkable. Although I wouldn't recommend a raw diet for long term eating, I am on a quest to make some permanent changes and (possibly drastically) improve our diet. Have you watched Food Inc, by any chance? It's pretty much about American agriculture and how large industries have affected the way our food is produced and marketed. Mainly about America, but sadly, we seem determined to push our bad habits on the rest of the world (sorry about that♥) so you'd probably find relevance even to the foods in your markets and restaurants.
Now, I'm off to read that link!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Diane, I think you'll love the book especially as a homeschooling mother. I learned SO much about nutrition customs of different traditions, and also about history and geography!

Anonymous said...

After reading Sally Fallon's book, and a good deal from the Weston Price foundation, I also read a book called, "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. His approach to diet focuses on maximizing disease prevention (beginning with weight loss for those who need to lose weight) and promoting the body's optimal functioning. Anna, if you ever have the opportunity to read and review a book by Dr. Fuhrman (he has several,) I would love to see your opinion!
Thanks for the book reviews on "Nourishing Traditions." I appreciated seeing your opinion, especially because you have dietetic training and are a fellow nursing mother!
-Mrs. C.

Robin said...

Hi, Anna. I too have read Dr. Price's book online. It is extremely eye-opening and really made me think more about what I am putting into my and my family's mouths. I really think that the food industry is politically motivated, and the medical associations are really only focused on trying to help people when they become sick, rather than helping them to stay well. It sounds like possibly they are even on the other side!

Anonymous said...

I second the recommendation for Food Inc., and also The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. I'm trying to follow three simple rules in our food choices, and it's been good for our health, our teeth, and our budget:
1. Read the ingredients. If they existed 100 years ago, it's fine. If they are unpronounceable, it's not.
2. Opt for minimum packaging. Individually wrapped prunes??? Seriously??? America is crazy. I also second the above apology for our exportation of crazy onto the rest of the world.
3. For meat, know how it was raised - can you look it in the eye, or does the thought of the animal's life make you weep? Local, free-range meat is much more expensive, so we eat a lot less meat, and feel good about what we do eat and the fact that our money is supporting a humane operation and not Perdue or other grotesque CAFO-style operation.
Food politics and local eating seem to be getting a lot of attention right now, at least in the US, and it's my hope that sustainable nutrition will become more mainstream, and that the Coke and Doritos will fade away.

fallenstar80 said...

I bookmarked it to read later. It is sadly comforting to know I am not alone in my quest for better nutrition and health for my family.

Lee Anne said...

Hello Anna,

I am really looking forward to reading Dr. Price's book! I have followed a high raw, vegan diet for a few years (off and on) and it is truly an eye-opening experiment for one's body, but as it doesn't incorporate a natural source of B12, I still eat meats.

I have recently heard of Dr. Max Gerson's revolutionary cancer-curing research, and I feel you would be interested in reading up on him. He was a German Jewish doctor in the 1930s who discovered that a raw vegan diet could cure almost any "incurable" disease, including most cancers. During WWII, his family relocated to the U.S. and they attempted to open curing hospitals here, but alas, the pharmaceutical businesses did not find his methods profitable and he was unable to open a hospital in the U.S. After he was poisoned for the 2nd and successful time, his daughter carried on his work here and she opened a hospital down in Baja California, near Tiajuana. So, it is a fascinating study into nutrition as well.

Thank you for your thoughts!

Lee Anne

Amanda said...

"Individually wrapped prunes??? Seriously??? America is crazy. I also second the above apology for our exportation of crazy onto the rest of the world."

Haha, this made me laugh, I thought the same thing when I saw those individually wrapped prunes advertised! And yes, sorry for our exportation of crazy onto the rest of the world (that is my new favorite line by the way).

We've also been slowly moving to a more natural diet of whole foods. Basically I try to avoid the middle of the grocery store where all the processed junk is. It's hard though to change 25 years of bad habits! My family ate horribly when I was a kid so I never learned to like vegetables until I was an adult. Right now we're loosely following some of the principles in The Maker's Diet by Jordin Rubin and that has been helpful. It's really helped my son's digestion! We're also fortunate to live in the country and we get fresh raw goat's milk from our neighbors this year. Hopefully next year we'll have our own goats to milk! Soon we'll be arranging to buy fresh eggs and beef from our neighbors too so that should be a step further in the right direction.

Gombojav Tribe said...

I just finished blogging about food and nutrition, basically my philosophy about healthy eating. Here's the link if you're interested: