From a conversation recorded in Jan 2016 by Hilda Labrada Gore. Sally Fallon, the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation explains the importance of eating nutrient-dense food to maintain health. Good nutrition is critical for wellness and avoiding chronic and acute disease. This episode sheds light on the purpose behind the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Wise Traditions podcast.
The Weston A. Price Foundation is, first and foremost, an educational foundation. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” People need this information; it is life-saving information. There is so much misinformation out there, so we set up the foundation to counter the misinformation and to provide people with accurate, understandable, and practical information about how to implement a really healthy diet.
What we are trying to communicate is, first and foremost, the findings of Dr. Weston Price, who studied traditional cultures all over the world. They all had different diets in their particulars, but there were some underlying principles or characteristics and the key one is this principle of nutrient density. All of these diets, whether it was an Arctic or the Swiss or Irish or South Seas, had very high levels of vitamins and minerals, and particularly what we call the three fat-soluble activators vitamins A, D, and K. These were very high in these diets and particularly high in the foods that they considered important for fertility and healthy babies.
Where do we find these vitamins A, D, and K? We find them in the very foods we’re being told not to eat today – they’re in butter, they’re in egg yolks, they’re in animal fats, they’re in organ meats, they’re in certain types of seafood, especially when the butter and egg yolks and fats and organ meats come from animals eating green grass. This is our core message, that these foods need to be in the diet, they’re not villains, they’re not bad for you; they’re good for you and they are the very foods we need for health. The foods that people are avoiding today, that they think they shouldn’t eat, are the foods that we really do need to eat.
The people giving us this misinformation are doctors and the scientific community, who are people that we should be able to trust. I think 60 or 70 years ago, we could trust them. Doctors told people to eat liver, they told mothers to eat cod liver oil, they were very suspicious of these new fats, like margarine, and told people to use butter. People working for the government basically said, “Americans have a good diet. It’s the best diet that any culture has ever had. We have plenty of food, people are healthy, we’ve taken care of the infant mortality,” and the feeling was that Americans had a good diet. Unfortunately, there was an evil empire coming along, and this was the edible oil industry which had figured out how to imitate the natural fats and oils that people had always eaten by making margarine spreads, vegetable oils, shortening. These were very cheap to make and there was a lot of profit in them. Through their propaganda and through their influence, people started getting the message that these were the types of fats and oils we should be using and not the natural animal fats that we had always eaten.
This was under the guise of new and improved, cleaner, more modern. The early advertisements and promotions for Crisco were flagrant. They would say if you use Crisco instead of lard, you were more modern, more enlightened, your house smelled cleaner, and your children would grow up with better characters than if you used lard. They created the impression that lard was vulgar, that poor people used lard, and people whose kids got in trouble used lard. If you used Crisco, you were a good person. It was insidious and these tactics are still used today. It’s slightly switched today to if you use these things too you’re sexier whereas before it would be you had a bit of character. They’ve changed slightly, but it’s the same technique.
This group influenced the scientific and medical community. They had so much money from these products and they realized that it was no good them getting up and saying, “This is better for you.” It had to be people that Americans trusted, so they got the men in the white coats with the stethoscopes around their necks to do this for them. They influenced universities in the research that they do, they got hold of the nutrition journals. If you open up the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, look at all the sponsors in the front and you’ll see Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s. They very much influence what is even published in the journals.
We found that out with Mary Enig, when she tried to challenge this industry and said these trans fats are really bad for you. They were vicious with her; but they did admit to her, “We control the journals.” Mary Enig is the co-author of my book, Nourishing Traditions, and really the co-founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Once we finished our book, we felt that this was not enough. You needed the constant evaluation of the studies and the media and the propaganda to keep people informed, and that’s what we do in our Journal; we try to keep people up with the headlines. There might be a headline that comes out saying, “If You Eat Meat, You’re Going To Get More Cancer,” and we try to show the flaws in that research, present the other side. In the next Journal, we will address whatever particular issues have been in the media in the previous three months.
In our mission statement, we say we like to show the scientific validation of traditional food ways. There is plenty of science to support what we’re saying, but it doesn’t get to the media. It’s just the sensational things, the studies with the big agenda, that get into the media, but there’s plenty of good science going on; it just has no voice. We like to think of ourselves as a voice for this good science.
Just to give an example, we’re really big on vitamin A. The establishment tells us that vitamin A is toxic, that you shouldn’t eat liver, but vitamin A is actually critical for many things. There’s been a lot of research in the last 10 years on the need for vitamin A for fetal development. For example, the number of kidney cells that you end up with is based on the vitamin A status of the mother when she’s carrying you. The more kidney cells you have, the healthier your kidneys are going to be and that’s all based on vitamin A. The doctors are telling moms not to take vitamin A when they are pregnant because they say it’s toxic and here we have this huge problem with kidney disease and a lot of it has to do with the formation in the womb. That’s just one example of some research that is ongoing that nobody hears about but we talk about in the journal.
We are an educational foundation, but people learn in different ways. Some people like to read, some people like to hear things, some people like videos, so we’re trying to do every type of media to educate people. The podcast is a very important part of what we want to do. We really need to broaden our reach beyond the people who just like to read the scientific articles. Even in the Journal, the first part of the Journal might be tough going for some people because we try to put the science there, but the back part of the Journal is much more practical and easy. We have cooking, we have a great series on technology, we have a series on raw milk; we try to reach people at whatever level they are at.
We really encourage people to be members of the Western A. Price Foundation. As a member, first and foremost, you support the work we do. It’s only $40 a year, $25 for the students and seniors, and you get this beautiful Journal four times a year. You get on our email list and get our announcements and so forth, you get our shopping guide every year, which is updated yearly, and you just keep in contact with the Weston A. Price community.
We have videos on our website, and we’re planning to do more, but right now we have a few on the website and they’re completely free to the public. In fact, our whole website is free to the public and all the activities of our chapter leaders is free to the public. We really don’t want to exclude anyone because they wouldn’t be able to afford it. There are primers and you can watch a video on how to make broth or the beginning of understanding the Weston Price Foundation principles, and we’re actually planning a whole series of three-minute videos on our main principles. Our website is https://www.westonaprice.org/.