What do you know about the Weston Price Foundation?
— Dennise O’Grady
Bay Head, NJ
Let’s start with the positive — they advocate for small farms, particularly the strengthening of farmer-to-consumer relationships.
Other than that, I view them as an extremist group that tends to border on silliness. That’s their logo, by the way, which, they explain, illustrates Western societies’ narrow-mindedness towards food.
An odd choice, since the “narrow vision” includes everything from Houston to Peruvian highlands to the Caribbean. Meanwhile, a lot of the nations in the “wide” circles have just as many problems with obesity, diabetes, and junk food consumption as the United States. I don’t get it.
Their core belief? Full-fat raw dairy, butter, red meat, and soaked grains are the answer to a healthy life, while plant-based diets are the root of all health problems.
I’ll let their writing speak for itself.
“According to an article in the Washington Post (“Don’t have a cow, Mom,” October 31, 2006) vegetarianism among teenagers is increasing. Vegetarian families eat a more varied diet, we are told, which includes such yummies as rutabaga and tofu. Not to worry, Mom, says the American Dietetic Association, “. . . a well-planned all-veggie diet for children and adolescents can be nutritionally sound. . . ” as long as teens consume soy beverages and cereals fortified with vitamin D and B12. The dietitians claim teens can get adequate calcium, iron, zinc and protein from vegetables, grains, fruit, and, of course, soy foods. No mention is made of vitamin A, so necessary for reproductive health, nor of the downside of all those soy foods. So, don’t have a cow, Mom. Just don’t expect to have any grandchildren.”
I must have missed all the headlines about vegetarian women being physically incapable of having children!
I have so many problems with that paragraph I don’t even know where to begin.
Firstly, vegetarianism does not necessarily translate into a high consumption of soy foods.
Additionally, the term “soy foods” is too broad. Adding nutrient-packed soy foods like tempeh or tofu to a dish is very different from eating two bags of processed soy chips every day.
As for vitamin A: we know that 12 micrograms of beta-carotene equal 1 microgram of Vitamin A. We also know that women need 700 micrograms of vitamin A a day.
Let’s do some math. A half cup of cooked sweet potato provides approximately 7,000 micrograms of beta carotene, which translates into roughly 580 micrograms of vitamin A (more than three quarters of a day’s worth).
If this woman were to then eat some carrots, an orange, aor a grapefruit that same day, they would easily meet their vitamin A requirement. So, where is the risk of deficiency?
“George Rene Francis of Sacramento, who turned 110 this year, enjoys “tons of milk, tons of eggs, lard on bread and salt pork sandwiches.” He avoids visits to the doctor but smokes cigars. He credits his virility to a combination of fresh camel’s milk, daily walks and plenty of meat—rabbit, lamb, chicken and wild animals, which he still hunts himself (www.telegraph.co.uk, August 24, 2007).”
This is what you call bad science. No, make that horrendous science. Using an anomaly as proof of something is ludicruous. It’s akin to a tobacco company using this news item to show that, hey, smoking is harmless!
“Today’s dietary gurus tell us that we must eat vegetables and fruit to obtain vitamins and minerals. Per Magnuson, an astute member from Sweden, points out that fruits and vegetables cannot compare in nutrient levels with animal foods, especially nutrient-dense animal foods like liver. Here’s what we came up with as a way of assessing the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables versus meat and liver. Note that every nutrient in red meat except for vitamin C surpasses those in apples and carrots, and every nutrient-including vitamin C-in beef liver occurs in exceedingly higher levels in beef liver compared to apple and carrots.”
What a riot! How can someone in the nutrition field expect to be taken seriously when they don’t take into account phytonutrients (which, by mere definition, are only available in plant foods)?
Good luck getting fiber from liver, too.
I also can’t comprehend how so-called “experts” don’t mention that one of the causes of hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity) is frequent consumption of liver!
“According to government and media health pundits, the top best 14 foods are:
- Tea (green or black)
This uninspiring list reflects the current establishment angels (anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids) and demons (saturated fats and animal foods).
Our list of the 14 best top foods, foods that supply vital nutrients including the fat-soluble vitamins, looks like this:
- Butter from grass-fed cows (preferably raw)
- Liver from grass-fed animals
- Eggs from grass-fed hens
- Cod liver oil
- Fish eggs
- Whole raw milk from grass-fed cows
- Bone broth
- Wild salmon
- Whole yogurt or kefir
- Beef from grass-fed steers
- Organic Beets
A diet containing only these foods will confer lifelong good health; a diet containing only the foods in the first list is the fast track to nutritional deficiencies.”
No one is saying people should limit themselves to the first fourteen items; rather, the recommendation is to include as many of them in your diet as you can. Making an argument based on erroneous pretenses is futile.
Again, illogical conclusions based on bad science. I rest my case.
UPDATE: Since this post went up, I have received many comments on other (non-related) postings from “anonymous” sources who, ever-so-coincidentally, suggest I take a look at the Weston Price Organization’s website for the “truth.”