The Weston Price Foundation is committed to bringing people back to the healthy diet of years gone by. Dr. Weston A Price was a highly esteemed scientist who practiced dentistry in Cleveland. In the 1920's, Dr. Price began to notice an increasing number of problems in the teeth and overall health of his younger patients. More and more of them came in with dental cavities, narrow dental arches, and crooked teeth, as well as a host of other health problems - problems that previous generations were largely free of. Puzzled by this phenomenon, Dr. Price speculated that these problems were related to dietary changes appearing in the United States at the time. In order to test whether this was true or not, Dr. Price decided to study isolated, non-industrialized indigenous peoples who had managed to avoid contact with Western civilization and maintain their traditional diets. Dr. Price hoped to determine whether the overall health of people who had never eated refined, "civilized foods" was significantly different from that of modern Americans.
Over the next decade, Dr. Price and his wife traveled every summer to a new point on the globe in search of isolated cultures which had maintained their traditional diets. Dr. Price visited such diverse peoples as South Pacific islanders, African tribes, American Indians, Eskimos, isolated Swiss villagers in high mountain valleys, Australian Aborigines, fishing peoples of Ireland, and many others. Dr. Price carefully surveyed the condition of each group's teeth. He was stunned at their astonishing level of dental and overall physical health, even finding several groups who didn't have a single dental cavity. (And many of these people did not brush their teeth!)
Excellent dental health was just the first of many revelations for Dr. Price. The groups who maintained their traditional diets not only had good and straight teeth but often had perfect, string-of-pearls teeth. Generation after generation, these peoples had never known crowded teeth, overbites, underbites or problem wisdom teeth, much less decaying teeth and toothache. In contrast to what he saw in the United States, they also enjoyed an almost complete lack of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and osteoporosis. What's more, Dr. Price noted that these peoples also exhibited an extraordinary level of overall physical development in their bones and muscles. Their faces were wide, dental arches broad, and skeletons sturdy, thick, and strong.
Price commented that there was an integrity about their development such that the men of a tribe looked like brothers whether they were related or not, and the women looked like sisters. As far back as he could look, the ancestral record of skulls and bones showed that these remarkable characteristics of robust health were the natural condition of these groups.
When Dr. Price visited neighboring traditional peoples who had recently incorporated what he called "the displacing foods of modern commerce" such as white flour, sugar, jams, jellies, cookies, condensed milk, canned vegetables, margarine, vegetable oils, and other refined foods, a different picture emerged. Not only did these peoples suffer from rampant tooth decay and increased health problems, but subsequent generations of children born with this new diet looked different. Their teeth were crooked. Their faces were narrower. Their entire skeletal structure was altered in ways that diverged from ancestral record. Over many years, visiting over a dozen locations around the globe, Dr. Price saw the same patterns over and over.
Why should this matter to you and me? The changes Dr. Price observed in the people exposed to Western foods were startlingly like those he was seeing in American children back in his Cleveland clinic. Dr. Price's research challenges us to rethink what true health is, and what constitutes "health food."
Although the diets of these indigenous groups varied widely, they each shared very important commonalites: they ate liberally of animal proteins and fats, including seafood, organ meats, fish eggs and raw dairy products; they prized animal fats as essential to vibrant health and successful reproduction; they included lacto-fermented foods like kefir and cultured vegetables; seed, nuts and grains were soaked, sprouted, fermented, or leavened to remove harmful anti-nutrients and to increase digestibility and nutritional value; and of course they ate foods in their natural, unrefined state. In addition, a significant percentage of their diets consisted of raw foods, from both animal and plant sources.
Traditional diets contained at least four times the calcium and other minerals and TEN times the fat soluble vitamins from animal fats as the American diet. In fact, these peoples attained their extraordinary health with diets that would be labeled as dangerous or full of excessive fats by both conventional and alternative dietary wisdom today. Yet the health crisis we are experiencing today in this country has not been solved by low-fat diets or strict vegetarianism. It is time to leave behind the confusing dietary opinions of our era and return to the foods that have nourished healthy generations for millennia.
What is at stake is not just your health and that of your children, but the very future of humanity. In studies, animals given a deficient diet not only declined in health, and not only gave birth to compromised young, but infertility rose after just one generation, and reproduction ceased after three to four. After three generations on processed, refined foods, infertility among people in the US is now at an all time high! (Over 30% today, from under 5% in 1930.) We must wake up to the long-term consequences of our actions, and soon!