Picked up a new book…one that I had heard about for quite some time now – ‘The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care’ by Sally Fallon Morell and Thomas Cowan. Sally Fallon Morell is best known from her affiliation with the Weston A. Price Foundation. Weston Price was a dentist in the early 20th century. He published a book that is still in print called ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’. It was originally published in 1945. It is also on my never-ending “must read” list. Dr. Price, in his years practicing as a dentist, kept finding it bizarre that Western civilization has rampant tooth decay and facial deformities resulting in crooked or crowded teeth, overbites, narrowed face and otherwise abnormal formation of the mouth. It was his belief (and mine) that Mother Nature intends for us to be developed perfectly, that it is not ‘normal’ to need correction for impaired vision, braces for crooked or too many teeth and any other resolution for some sort of developmental ailment.
From ‘Nourishing Traditions’….”[Dr. Price’s book] describes a series of unique investigations, which engaged the author’s attention and energies for over ten years.”. He traveled the world analyzing all different types of cultures of people who lived far from the affliction of Western society. He visited isolated Swiss villages, an island off the coast of Scotland, Eskimos, Native Indian tribes in Canada and the US, Aborigines in Australia, Maoris in New Zealand and even the Amazonian Indians and various tribes in Africa. He took photograph after photograph of these people. And you know what he found? Picture perfect, handsome faces with no tooth decay and no facial abnormalities….things that we are very used to in our society. Every junior high kid has braces, right? Most people need glasses at some point in their life, right?
The other most interesting thing that he discovered – and something I have read and heard from others who have visited indigenous tribal people living more closely to human’s natural state – is there were virtually no behavior issues in children. You did not hear the “normal” sound of a baby or child crying in the village. People were upbeat and happy. Nobody was arguing with their child or having a battle of wills. These parents did not read or need (or know about) books with advice on child rearing; things like tantrums, anger, whining and other destructive conduct simply do not exist. To quote my new favorite book again, “Price came to the conclusion that what his contemporaries referred to as ‘defects in moral character’ were not the result of poor parenting skills or bad genetics but poor nutrition.”.
Why are we so dumb? And STILL so dumb? This book was written in 1945, people. It’s not even a best seller. It doesn’t sell like all the unnecessary sleep training books or the crazy Babywise book (written by people who are estranged from their children, I might add). People still drive through McDonald’s and get a happy meal for their kids but then wonder why they “act up” in school the next day or have a bad night’s sleep. Right now, my baby girl is having a rough week…she is very fussy. My baby is not normally fussy. I am trying desperately to figure out what she might have eaten that is causing this behavior. Or maybe what *I* have eaten that may be in my milk affecting her.
One of the biggest discoveries that, to me, is so basically revealing is the fact that there were some tribes of people who ended up adopting the “white man’s” diet due to coming in contact with traders or missionaries and they had abandoned their traditional diet. In those people, Dr. Price found tooth decay, infections and other degenerative conditions…..again, things that we, in the US, are used to and would accept to be ‘normal’. The children that were then born to these particular people who had switched diets also had crooked teeth, narrowed faces and reduced immunity to disease. Sound familiar? I wore braces for two and a half years and my teeth are still jacked up. I started wearing glasses in fourth grade! And I’m almost legally blind at age 32. The “white man’s” diet consisted of processed foods, sugar, refined grains, canned foods, pasteurized milk etc. Again, sound familiar?
The paragraph I have loved the most so far in only reading the introduction to this lovely book is this in describing these isolated people Dr. Price studied:
“The children never brushed their teeth – in fact, their teeth were often covered with green slime – but Price found that only about one percent of the teeth had any decay at all. The children went barefoot in frigid streams during weather that forced Dr. Price and his wife to wear heavy wool coats; nevertheless, childhood illnesses were virtually nonexistent, and the village had never known a single case of tuberculosis.”
In studying all of these peoples, he found that they did not all eat the same thing. The people that lived near the ocean ate a lot of fish and other things found in water. The people in Switzerland ate a lot of dairy. The people living off the coast of Scotland consumed no dairy products. Most of the African people kept cattle herds and ate almost all meat; virtually no plant foods. “The foods that allow people of every race and every climate to be healthy are nutrient-dense natural foods – meat with its fat and especially organ meats, whole unprocessed milk products from grass-fed animals, fish, shellfish, insects, whole grains, tubers, vegetables and fruit – NOT newfangled concoctions made with white sugar, refined flour, processed milk and rancid, chemically altered vegetable oils – not puddings, fruit juice, sugar water and condensed milk.”.
I think that pretty much sums it up. I’m sure I will find inspiration for further posts while diving into this book ☺ The Weston A. Price foundation has a website and a Facebook page. Good stuff, people. Good stuff. I have become such a psychotic ingredient reader now and it’s truly amazing the amount of absolute fake shit that is in the majority of food at our grocery stores. Unbelievable. I have zero trust in the ‘esteemed’ FDA because who are they considering when they allow this stuff to be, not only sold, but CONSUMED in our country? Do your research, folks. We are so far from where we should be nutritionally, it’s honestly truly frightening.