Weston A. Price Foundation: shills and quacks

I've been seeing flyers around lately for a upcoming lecture in D.C. by Weston A. Price Foundation president Sally Fallon. Today I got spam from them about it, which prompts me to post a bit about these shills and quacks.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is one of the primary groups responsible for spreading some of the FUD that you may have heard about soy products. Their interest (both philosophical and financial) is in promoting dairy consumption, specifically raw milk. They make claims about supporting "traditional diets", which would be fine - except that the use of dairy products is fairly new in the 200,000 years history of the human species, dating only to the neolithic revolution of about 10,000 years ago; and of course dairy consumption was just about unknown in many areas of the world where lactose intolerance is common. In fact, Price himself wasn't such an advocate of dairy.

They advocate a diet high in saturated fat, which according to our best scientific knowledge is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. WAPF simply denies that such a link exists, sort of like how tobacco companies simply denied the link between smoking and lung cancer.

On the soy front, they point to studies where animals were injected with extracts of soy protein and got sick, and ignore studies where humans ate traditional soy foods and improved their health. (It is true, though, that overconsumption of processed soy foods is not healthy. Choose tempeh over TVP.)

There's a good series of articles about WAPF at vegsource.com, and a critique of their FUD about vegetarianism at energygrid.com.

Of course, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and they do have a good point about the prevalence of processed food in the standard Western diet. Apart from that, though, it's mostly nonsense.

Aug 2011 update: after three years of comments -- some insightful, some ridiculous -- I've gotten tired of rebutting the same old WAPF propaganda over and over, so I'm closing comments on this post. A final comment here, and a related post here.

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Comments

As far as soy products go,

As far as soy products go, if we are going to truly consent to traditional diets, we can't forget that Asian populations are the ones who have traditionally consumed soy. For the sake of this argument, let's put aside whether or not it was fermented. Asians are, by now in our evolution, adapted to a diet that contains soy. Other ethnicities simply are not. Some ethnicities are not able to tolerate milk, but some absolutely need dairy to thrive because that is how their ancestors evolved and the conditions under which they progressed. If you are a white American, a black American, a Hispanic American (or European) then you will simply not be able to tolerate soy very well, certainly not in large quantities. Wouldn't it be best to research and discover what your own ancestors consumed (i.e. Scots and oats, Swiss and dairy, etc.) and follow that as closely as possible?

However, there is something to be said for soy as Asians consume it, regardless of what your racial/ethnic history is. Soy milk is not a traditional Asian food, and the same applies to most of the soy foods we consume in America.

If you do believe that soy is a sacred food we should consume, that's fine, I can accept that. But the way it is processed and denatured and put into just about everything you buy at the grocery store is an assault of your sacred food. Just as those of us who consider raw dairy from happy cows to be a sacred food that is assaulted by the pasteurization and homogenization processes. I know many vegetarians who do not eat meat for philosophical or religious reasons, and I respect their concern for life; it is inspirational even. But I personally keep my own livestock and I know that my animals are healthy and happy. We do not eat them, we enjoy the gifts they give, raw milk and pastured eggs. It would be cruel to our cows to refuse to milk; I remember weaning my own children, and how painful it was to be bursting with milk and no one to give it to. If we didn't milk the cows, they would suffer. If we didn't use the eggs that our free range chickens give us, the chickens would not be any better off for keeping them to themselves. You do not have to eat meat to keep livestock from suffering. We have never culled any of our chickens, and the hens are older than most (in commercial operations they only live for about a year and then they are no longer meeting the cost/benefit of what it costs to feed them) but even though they are "old" they are supplying us with a fertile, organic nitrogen-rich manure for our garden and they supply us with eggs. We don't eat the fertilized eggs, we let the hens hatch out new babies. Our entire farm operation is in perfect harmony with our vegetarian friends' ideals, and for that they are also able to partake of our farm with a free conscious. Cows are, at this point in our history, so domesticated that if they are not cared for by humans, they will die a very graphic and painful death, usually by starvation but likely also by being hunted by another predator. You can leave a horse out in the wild, and it will go feral and survive just fine. A cow cannot do that. Cows need humans. Perhaps that is a tragedy of our neolithic transition, but it is what it is. If you value life and the life of this species you will understand that they need to be cared for by people. It can be done in an ethical way. I had read of a 90 year old man who had a 30 year old cow and they were both still living together very happily, the cow supplying him with his daily milk and him caring for a cow who lived longer than most.

Anyway, that's my argument, I hope it has been respectful to everyone here. Thank you for taking the time to listen to a differing viewpoint.

Price Fixing

Wow. Thanks for this blog! Reading through these posts has been really eye opening. The believers in WAPF are a lot like right wing Christian fundamentalists! What's really creepy is this seeming desire to dissuade people from living the compassionate lifestyle that a well planned vegan diet provides, all the while touting concern for animals.

Their views certainly espouse the commonly claimed as 'biblical' idea that animals are only here to serve us, so get over any recognition that slavery is slavery, and accept that might really does equal right! And do they truly believe that it is sustainable to raise all the grass fed beef and other animal products they think people need, or do they really only care about themselves?

The only way we can maintain the level of consumption of animal products currently in demand in the world (and what a nightmare it is to know that increasing affluence in China and India is only going to increase that demand to horrific levels)is to factory farm it!

And the 'must be afraid of death' put-down is such a desperate argument against the vegan's desire to decrease his or her ecological footprint in the world, help limit animal suffering and enjoy GOOD health... it suggests that the real denial in the room is that of those WaPF believers who claim no need to differentiate between life and death! These necessarily interwoven realities, are certainly NOT the same if you're the one struggling to stay alive, and that awareness is the inspiration for many perfectly healthy vegans aspiring to live more lightly on the planet to approach both life and death with conscientious awareness of the power of their food choices over not just their own lives, but the lives of so many others.

There is no time to waste for serious environmentalists.The real organic wave of the future, building now, is the move away from dependence on not only oil, but on animal agribusiness in all it's polluting forms. There are farmers in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, and more recently in North America, promoting stock-free growing practises which, for one thing, exclude the incredibly wasteful consumption of precious water that livestock raising demands. http://www.goveganic.net/

Re: You're kidding yourself

Keith is a crank who claims that her two years of veganism harmed her health -- but then stuck with it for eighteen more. More discussion of this waste of paper here.

I've been vegan for over two decades myself. In that time I've earned a fourth degree black-belt in a fairly hard style of karate. I can break concrete blocks with my bare hands. I'm no athletic champion, but I can keep up with my peers at the dojo. I'll put my general health up against that of an average meat-eater any day.

If she ate poorly enough to damage her health, it's not because she was a vegan.

Of course, it's entirely possible to eat a calorically-rich but nutritionally poor vegan diet -- beer and potato chips are vegan, after all. And unfortunately, many people with eating disorders attempt to hide them behind veganism -- "oh, I can't eat that, I'm vegan."

Her health argument is a load of ballocks.

Her sustainability argument is more anti-industrial-agriculture than anti-vegetarian, not understanding that sustainable small-scale agriculture does not necessitate slaughtering sentient beings. People were vegetarian 2,500 years ago, in the time of Socrates and the Buddha. Heck, Steve Brill has written a whole cookbook based on foraged plant foods

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

Vegans

I hope you do realise that unless you eat all organic fruits and vegetables, being vegan is not as ethical as you think it is. Think of all the pesticides used in the produce today. Also soy and palm oil are extracted from many parts of Latin America, where indigenous people are removed off their land from corporations selling palm oil and soy. The amazon is continuously destroyed to get soy. The Traditional use of soy from many wise cultures eg Japan was fermented soy to eliminate toxins naturally found in the bean eg Tamari.

more soy nonsense

I choose organic whenever I can.

If you're concerned about pesticides, stop or reduce your use of animal products; animal tissues concentrate the pesticide residues from their feed.

Most soy goes for animal feed. If you're concerned about soy monoculture, stop or reduce your use of animal products.

And your assertion about fermented soy is simply wrong. Neither tofu nor edamame is fermented, and these are traditional foods long enjoyed by people in Japan and China, on the order of several dozen pounds per year per capita.

You need to stop getting your nutritional information from the Weston A. Price Foundation -- it's like getting your information about psychology from Scientologists.

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

sorry your wrong

The bible says that man has dominion over all animals and that animals are for man's use. It won't be until the millenium that we will not need animals for optimal health. When Jesus talks of the "Salt of the Earth" he is referring to his covenant people who strive to keep God's commandments. It also refers to a lands of flowing with milk and honey as being good.

The salt Jesus refers to is of course a natural toxin free salt like: celtic, himalayan crystal, or Redmond real salt

The milk and honey much be raw because that's all there was then.

He also feed 5000 with fish and bread. Fish is meat.

Weston Price isn't about eating lots of meat anyway. It's about getting the Fat soluble vitamins A,D, and K. These are no good without saturated fat. It's about eating very little sugar. These deplete your mineral supplies in the body. Mostly avoiding processed sugars, flours, and salts. I've adopted this diet and I went from feeling like a 85 year old to a teenager.

Next time you have your blood tested. Have your doctor test your vitamin D. You might be surprised. My whole family had theirs tested and every single one of them were vitamin D deficient even though my husband and son spend a lot of time going on all day hikes without sun screen on many times. Cholesterol is necessary for your skin to convert sunshine to Vitamin D.

Vegetarianism

While vegetarians and vegans are well meaning, caring people it is important to note that of the populations that are naturally, primarily vegetarian, none of them pass up available meat or milk products entirely. Even Buddhist monks encourage younger monks to eat some meat, some times. Tibetans would not be able to withstand the weather up on the Himalayan plateau without copious amounts of yak butter tea. And they eat yak meat -they just have the Muslim butchers slaughter the yaks.

So populations which have evolved foodways over time is one thing: populations claiming 'truth' via 'mental theory' is quite another.

I have never known anyone eating a reasonable diet, even out of a large grocery store, to be malnourished. I have known more than a few vegetarians who nearly killed themselves from eating in accordance with Silly Mental Ideas.

Edamame (which are the younger soy pods) have less antinutrients than soybeans and other soy products. Moderate comsumption is quite safe. No established human populations lived with soy as a mainstay of the diet. All traditional populations fermented soy. NOBODY here making "positive" soy health claims has cited any of the research against soy, particularly absent from those posts is the increasing amount of research which shows soy to be VERY harmful to children. Let me ask you: do you think a product that is so harmful to children is somehow totally safe for repeated adult consumption?

I'm all for a balanced discussion. I'm all for people making their own choices. And for every vegetable-crusading nutball I have but one reply:

Every time you breathe, you kill something.
You aren't going to live without killing something.

Taking the life of something that feeds you, with respect, is making-sacred the interconnection of all life, very much the province of enlightened human living!

And every time I get spammed by PETA and hit up by the Carrot Crusaders - every time you tell me how 'bad' I am for not doing it your way I go out and have a steak. If you are so nasty to people who don't share your views, why would anyone want to join your Team of Nastiness?

Re: Vegetarianism

You comments about Buddhist monks encouraging the eating of meat are inaccurate. Various sects of Buddhism take different stances on the issue -- I address that as part of a work in progress here.

I have never personally known a vegetarian who has harmed themself by failing to eat a nutritious diet, though of course it is possible to eat an unhealthy diet based on vegetable food -- beer and potato chips are, after all, vegetarian. I have personally known many people who greatly harmed their health by overconsumption of animal foods, though of course it is possible to eat an healthy diet containing small amounts of them.

As for soy, the claim that it is harmful for children appears to be nothing but more fearmongering from the dairy industry. The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines say,

In humans, very limited data to date suggest that soy phytoestrogens have a low affinity for human postnatal estrogen receptors and low potency in bioassays...Although studied by numerous investigators in various species, there is no conclusive evidence from animal, adult human, or infant populations that dietary soy isoflavones may adversely affect human development, reproduction, or endocrine function.

Part of the problem here is an unspoken assumption that flesh and dairy foods have the be replaced in the diet by some high protein source, and that soy should fill that role and be heavily consumed. Nonsense. Since there's no need for flesh foods in the diet, there's no need to replace them. Our dietary protien needs are easily met -- if you are eating enough calories and eating a variety of food, you are getting enough protein. Of course soy is not a mainstay of traditional diets -- grains are the mainstay. Rice, corn, barley, wheat...in the West, we say "our daily bread", while the Chinese characters for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are "morning rice", "afternoon rice", and "evening rice".

But that's not the big issue here. The real issue is the ethical one.

The assertion that "Taking the life of something that feeds you, with respect, is making-sacred the interconnection of all life, very much the province of enlightened human living!", is, to put it bluntly, a steaming pile of bullshit. If I slaughtered and ate your mother, but did it with "respect" and said some prayers before and after, would that be enlightened behavior?

The fact is that there is no way to kill unnecessarily and also with respect.

Inflicting suffering for one's own pleasure -- which is, in the end, the only reason you are still eating meat -- is not enlightened behavior. Killing a conscious, sentient being, one capable of having a self-experience, when easy alternatives exist, is not enlightened behavior.

Our fellow vertebrates are such beings. But we have the option to take our nutrition from plants and fungi, organisms that we know do not have nervous systems or the ability to experience consciousness or suffering.

Death, itself, is not the issue. It's just the cessation of some interesting chemical reactions; after all, a bacterium is "alive". The issue is the capability to have an internal experience, consciousness, subjectivity: what Regan calls being "the subject of a life", what (some) Buddhists call "sentience", or to experience what philosophers call "qualia". To claim that only humans have this property is unscientific, nothing but anthropocentrism applied to ethics.

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

eat humans not good

I think your comment about eating someone's mother is a little too much. Personally, I don't think killing a human being and killing a pig or a cow is the same. This is what your comment implies. I like the idea of avoiding unnecessary suffering, but I don't think you can say what is necessary and what is unnecessary for everyone. People have to make their own decisions and they may reach conclusions that are different than yours. You've made yourself judge and jury for the human race, it seems. Maybe try to lighten up a little...

I think killing sentient beings is a little too much

I think your comment about eating someone's mother is a little too much.

I think killing sentient beings is a little too much.

If killing is okay if it is respectful, then why is it not okay to kill human if it's done with "respect"? If all it takes is the proper mental attitude or some prayers or some magical mumbo-jumbo to make it acceptable to kill non-human animals, why doesn't this transfer to the naked ape?

You say that you "don't think killing a human being and killing a pig or a cow is the same." All right: why? What relevant property is possessed by all human beings but is possessed by no nonhuman animals that justifies the unlimited slaughter of the later?

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

what about...

what about sentient beings that kill other sentient beings? you should begin your crusade amoungst the lions, tigers, bears, and fishes. All are sentient beings that sustain themselves on other sentient beings. It is the circle of life, get over it or get out of the way

Re: what about

Nonsense.

Chimpanzees engage in organized violence -- war -- on each other. Does this somehow justify humans engaging in war as "the circle of life"?

When I had two dogs, the bigger one would often nose the smaller one -- his own mother! -- to eat the food I'd put down for her. Does this someone justify humans stealing from each other? Will you follow my dog's example and steal from your mother, and tell her it's "the circle of life"?

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

Superior?

Does the fact that you are intellectual superior to a mentally retarded child mean that you can eat him?

Does the fact that you and I are ethically superior to some Wall Street corporate criminal scumbag mean that we can eat him? Does the fact that a monk who has renounced all worldly pleasures might be considered ethically superior to either of us mean that he can eat us?

If we are "superior" to other animals -- and that's certainly a highly debatable point, but let's stipulate it for now -- that puts on us an obligation, not a license. As Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz wrote of his vegetarianism while he was in Dachau,

These creatures are smaller and more helpless than I am, but can you imagine a reasonable man of noble feelings who would like to base on such a difference a claim or right to abuse the weakness and the smallness of others? Don't you think that it is just the bigger, the stronger, the superior's duty to protect the weaker creatures instead of persecuting them, instead of killing them? "Noblesse oblige." I want to act in a noble way.

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

crazy people

If you believe that you have the ethical right to kill and eat mentally retarded children, or corporate criminals, then I don't think we have much basis for further discussion. Best wishes to you, and I hope your therapist is able to find a medication regimen that gets your brain chemistry on an even keel, before you go and do something rash that gets you locked up or killed.

If there are any sane people reading this, though, who are wondering about the "are we above or beside the other animals" question, I'll point out that the question of ranking is meaningless without a criterion, and furthermore is uninformative as to the ethics of killing non-human animals for our benefit.

If we mean to ask if non-human animals are superior to us in terms of ethical behavior, in the sense of whom we ought to emulate, then we end up with a mixed bag. Would you say that Nazis are "ethically superior" to bonobos? I doubt it. Would you say that lions -- a species known to commonly commit infanticide -- are "ethically superior" to Jains, who do their best to preserve all animals' lives? I doubt it.

Hierarchical thinking does not apply here. (Hierarchical thinking does not apply in most cases, but that's a tangential topic.)

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

omnivore = good

"Inflicting suffering for one's own pleasure -- which is, in the end, the only reason you are still eating meat -- is not enlightened behavior."
It is true that I eat meat for pleasure, it tastes good. That is not the only reason. Animal products are good for you. Grass fred beef and dairy provide you with: omega-3's (the best kind), CLA, and Medium chain triglycerides.
Saturated fat is NOT bad for you.
Dietary Cholesterol is NOT bad for you.
On average, people with high cholesterol live longer.
Whey is the best protein you can get (egg protein is second best).

Vegans can't get any of the better omega-3's, CLA's, dietary cholesterol, whey and/or egg protein.\

I don't have a list of sources (i wouldn't be able to fit them all). google this stuff if you don't believe me.

Consciousness

> But we have the option to take our nutrition from plants and fungi, organisms that we know do not have nervous systems or the ability to experience consciousness or suffering.

That is incomplete. In my own experiences as a mystic, Plants and Minerals are mostly certainly conscious. Just because most people are literally too spiritually ignorant, immature, stupid, and/or undeveloped to understand the depth of what consciousness even is, in no way does this imply that Humans and Animals are the _only_ things conscious. In fact, the _whole_ universe is conscious. Spiritual maturing & evolution is about developing your own conscious to be able to understand greater and wider levels.

Diet is simply a _reflection_ of the level of truth you understand and are able to live. Some yogis are able to live thousands of years without eating. Other will find themselves they will get extremely sick unless they eat meat. The "right" answer is doing the best in the present situtation based on what you know, and what your body is capable of, not clinging to one person's ideology or dogma of what they think is right for them and everybody else.

Michaelangelo

mysticism and nonsense

If you think that your experiences as a "mystic" show that plants and rocks are conscious in the same way that you and I and my dog and a cow are, and if you believe that there are some people out there who live thousands of years without eating, then you understand neither mysticism nor science.

If you want to use the word "consciousness" in a weird way such that the whole universe is conscious, fine; there may even be some mythopoetic, metaphorical truth to the statement. But to make ethical decisions based on that, is as wrong-headed as to say, "You and I are one, right? So, no problem if I use your credit cards!"

Your body is capable if living without eating the flesh of other animals. That's biological truth. But if you have some delusional belief that it's spiritually "necessary" to eat meat, then of course you will feel ill if you cease.

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

I have eaten organic soy and

I have eaten organic soy and a vegetarian diet for 10 years. I have good health. I don't care what other people eat. Sometimes I stop eating legumes and eat mostly seeds, veggies, fruit, nuts and grains. I just want the freedom to eat what I want, and wish meat-eaters would stop saying vegetarians are unhealthy and so on. I could eat meat, and I'd look the same. Meat-eaters just love to attack vegetarians. My family thinks my diet is crazy, yet they're all overweight. My father just had heart-bypass surgery. I take supplements, but I'd take supplements even if I ate animal foods.

re: PETA

Dear Anonymous, re: PETA - What does PETA have to do with this discussion? PETA's whole mission is to relieve animal suffering and exploitation and not to force you to eat a certain way. Have a nice day!

Darth Chaos is a kook

You know Darth, I would expect you to say such nutfuckery, considering you're one of those nutfuck 9/11 twoofers. You actually believe CSPI advocated trans fats? I read that article, loonwaffle, and they didn't advocate trans fats. Just another example of a nutball 9/11 twoofer who doesn't get anything right. Plus in all of your obesity twoof ramblings, it seems that the only ones you attack as "Food Nazis" are Jews, and you actually have the gall to compare these Jews to Nazis. Fuck you, you anti-semitic America-hate trash.

Did any of you ... even read

Did any of you ... even read WA Price's book? I have it and it makes me sick to see what we have done to ourselves today. Dr. Price found many primitive diets that the native people stuck too gave them incredible health and virtually no dental problems. When they switched to "WHITE MAN'S FOOD" he noted that poor health deformities and a lot of dental problems!

READ HIS BOOK!

"On the soy front, they

"On the soy front, they point to studies where animals were injected with extracts of soy protein and got sick, and ignore studies where humans ate traditional soy foods and improved their health. (It is true, though, that overconsumption of processed soy foods is not healthy. Choose tempeh over TVP.)"

Thats not true, they say soy is ok when fermented. Asian people have known for a long time to ferment soy before consumption. Sally Fallon agrees with you, I heard it when undergroundwellness interviewed her. Your arguing against nothing.

Common goal

The WAPF advocates animals raised on open pasture from small, local farms. Thier followers, along with vegetarians and vegans, are such a minority. You would think they could band together to expose the big business meat and dairy industry for what they are - cruel and completely unhealthy.

As a follower of weston a. price, and a former raw food vegan, I see both sides. I do. I feel better when I eat meat and dairy, and I completely understand when people are vegan for years and years and feel great. Does evolution have nothing to do with it? Some cultures are vegetarian, and have been for thousands of years. Others live off of whale blubber and meat and have gotten along great.

Lets all love each other and band together for the common goal of compassion and promotion for a whole-food diet.

Your blog is the most

Your blog is the most balanced...our approach should be "Live & let live". I come from people who ate traditional diets - I have found improvement since I have been consuming raw milk, making my own products & learning about fermented foods which increase their nutritional value. This is what WAPF has been about for me a balanced diet & eating in a way I'm familiar with & getting the most from.

Thank you Tom !

Tom, thank you very much for all the excellent comments you've provided. I've been disgusted for years seeing too many caring, thoughtful people having been conditioned by the WAPF's anti-soy, anti-vegetarian agenda. Especially since many of these folks did not know of the true WAPF pro-meat/dairy agenda. Thankfully people are beginning to find out who they really are, that they are behind the vast majority of all the anti-soy/vegan fearmongering that we've seen over the past decade, and that they are just basically another arm of the meat/dairy industries. Whether it's derived from factory farms or family farms, it's all derived from the exploitation and intentional killing of another being against their will, and it all is part of the industry as a whole.
Also, concerning the plant comments above, go out to your garden and pluck an ear of corn, a tomato, a pepper, some broccoli, etc, and watch how the plant is still quite able to continue to live it's full, natural lifespan. Now go out to a field and, if you can catch them naturally, pluck the arm, leg, etc, off of a cow, chicken, pig, bird, etc, and watch what happens as they stumble in agony and then bleed to death.

Pah-lease!!!!!!

There is a huge difference in cruelty to animals and treating them humanely when we eat them. Do you truly think that the generations past in the History of the World would starve to death when there were animals that they could eat? God gave us some animals to eat, just as he gave us water to drink, plants to eat, and Sunshine.
He did not, however intend for us to disrespect them, torture them, nor disregard quality of life. Your "plucking of legs and arms" example simply does not fly, and quite frankly I think you are a fool. And by the way,...soy that is not fermented is very bad for you. Do the scientific research before you condemn someone of conspiracy.

Thankfully, people are starting to figure out who the Weston Price Foundation really is. On the contrary to what your opinion is, many more people are open and listening than ever before.

quack

Ok you are the quack for real. They don't support the big business of beef and dairy. They support the local farmers who acually care about our health. We eat greens as well but are a little smarter in our food choices by eating meat and dairy. Go fuck yourself. Thanks and have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL

This post is hilarious...are you for real with the pluck an animal limb? That is the most stupid analogy I have heard in a loooong time. Are you for real that soy is not a chaching! product? That most of it is GMO? I think the soy is getting to your brain, lol.
If that is your political and/or religious belief then fine, say that. Stop trying to shove it on others as if veganism is a healthy diet - anyone who can research and have a discussion with a good MD, nutritionist or alternative practitioner will know otherwise.
I feel very sorry for people like you that get sucked into it - the people I know who have been suckered have had lost souls...sad. Fortunately, many have come to their senses and gone back to good health as an omnivore. I hope you wake up before it is too late.

I had never heard of WAPF

I had never heard of WAPF before I received a pamphlet in the mail from my brother-in-law. He is studying to be a chiropractor and he and his wife have taken it on themselves to enlighten the rest of the family about what they are studying. I usually listen politely to what they have to say and make my own choices. I have always leaned towards vegetarianism. I am not a vegetarian, but I have seen how much my sister has benefited from a vegan diet and have drastically cut the amount of dairy and meat that I consume. I am sure that one day I will take the plunge and become vegan myself. In any case, my vegetarian leanings and consumption of soy products have made my brother and sister in law completely crazy. It is so bad that they will not talk to me because I offended them by not cutting soy from my diet. When my baby was born at a healthy 9 1/2 pounds, they told me that she was so big that she was headed to the Jerry Springer show and it was because I ate soy products when I was pregnant. They are so zealous in their belief that we should eat meat and dairy that they started feeding meat to their own child when he was less than 6 months old ("we eat it, why shouldn't he?"). When my mother in law's cholesterol topped 300 and her doctor wanted to put her on statins, they convinced her to instead eat more eggs, bacon and cheese at every meal! Of course, she took their advise, I think she was afraid to insult them. Now she carries around baggies of cubed pork and cheese for her snacks. She won't even go back to her doctor to get her cholesterol checked since she started her new "diet".

Bottom line, to me, WAPF seems to be a cult to me and extremely dangerous. It reminds me of Scientology whose members shun family who do not adhere to the beliefs and promote dangerous medical treatments. There is no scientific evidence supporting their beliefs, I completely believe that it is a tool of the meat and dairy industry.

You write: "They advocate

You write:

"They advocate a diet high in saturated fat, which according to our best scientific knowledge is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. WAPF simply denies that such a link exists, sort of like how tobacco companies simply denied the link between smoking and lung cancer."

This is simply false (not to mention poor grammar) and disqualifies your blog from serious consideration. The WAPF devotes pages to detailed critiques of the argument that saturated fat is linked to heart disease or stroke. They cite study after study, and engage in minute analysis of facts. They may very well be wrong, but they are not "simply denying" the link--they purport to disprove it. That being the case, your obligation, if you wish to respond to them, is to respond to their specific points. Have they misprepresented the various studies they cite? Given only one-sided accounts of them? The fact that you say something blatantly false, and do not bother giving a shred of meaningful information, leads me to suspect you don't have much to offer in this discussion.

How about true nutrition?

I am amazed that throughout this entire list that everyone misses one of the most critical points to be made: The fact of the poor nutrition of processed foods. Food giants have engineered processed foods to perform more like drugs than food by skilled manipulation of fat, salt and sugar. They could care less about nutrition and that is why 2/3 of adults in this country are overweight or obese. They eat junk and the body calls for more nutrients to digest the junk. They eat more junk and.... you get the picture. Lots of empty calories.

Pure foods free of GMOs, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other synthetic poisons are vital to our bodies. When we ingest poisons the body uses nutrients to isolate those poisons. Often the metabolites from those poisons are more toxic than the originals substance.

What the Weston A. Price Foundation advocates a return to whole UNPROCESSED foods and “the foods of your ancestors”. They are what our bodies have adapted to. Obviously some foods aren’t readily available so we must substitute. But when you substitute you need to use foods similar in content. In any case, they must be nutrient rich. For any of you who don’t know any better, “nutrients” are not synonymous with “calories”. Fats and protein from grass fed animals will provide a wealth of nutrients beside just the fat and protein. Quality fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts are also vital to good health. Want to know the appropriate ratios of what to eat? Google “Luise Light” and learn her story of dismay as the FDA nutritionist charged with creating the food pyramid.

For those of you citing WAPF followers as “quacks”: I am a Weston Price Chapter leader. I have researched many of their claims and have yet to find legitimate evidence contrary to their claims. I suggest you won’t be able to either.

For those who refuse to consume “land based” animals: Who are you to draw the line between different living things (ie; fish and fowl?) If your personal convictions lead you to avoid meats then fine. Don’t indict everyone else.

For the soy advocates: It is nonsensical to believe that you will get any objective information from the industry. Research is sponsored by those with money. The ones with money and interest are big agribusiness. If a study indicates that their products are less than what they market them as, you will never see that study. That’s why studies on GMOs performed by the industry are 100% favorable and 90% of those performed by independent sources seriously question the safety of GMOs. (Take out the studies by the tainted FDA and that will be nearly 100%.)

Mr. Swiss - Re: “The idea that unfermented soy is poisonous is simply nonsense, as is your attempt to label vegetable oils as "new" or "plastic" – Do you know how modern oils are made? Enjoy the hexane (a known carcinogen) with your next dose of yummy modern oil. Clearly it is a toxin. Also, my small farm is humane, soon to be certified as such. The typical small farmer is MUCH more caring of his animals that the industrial megafarms. To argue otherwise shows you haven't been on many.

"personal convictions"

If your personal convictions lead you to avoid meats then fine. Don’t indict everyone else.

Rubbish.

"If your personal convictions lead you to avoid stealing then fine. Don’t indict everyone else."

"If your personal convictions lead you to avoid torture then fine. Don’t indict everyone else."

Ethics is not a matter of "personal convictions", it is a matter of disciplined critical thinking. Disciplined critical thinking reveals that 1) consumption of animal products is not necessary for human health; 2) production of any flesh foods causes suffering and death to sentient beings, and production of dairy and eggs causes suffering on all but the tiniest scales; therefore 3) animal products should not be consumed.

As for your claims about nutrition, I have already stated "they do have a good point about the prevalence of processed food in the standard Western diet." It's right there in my original post, so no one has "missed" it.

And pressed vegetable oils -- which every health authority recommends -- do not contain hexane; so the idea that one should cook with lard because vegetable oils are "toxic" or "plastic" is just bullshit.

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

vegetable seed based oils

Tom,

Vegetable seed based oils are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids which are precursors to inflammatory eicosanoids.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eicosanoid

I would avoid them like the plague.

Olive oil (largely monounsaturated) and coconut oil (over 90% saturated) are good choices.

Vegetarians can get *some* omega-3 fatty acids from purslane, flax, and hemp seed, but unfortunately, the conversion of ALA to EPA is inefficient at best (any hopes of getting much DHA in the diet is meager...) Purslane actually contains *some* EPA, which is remarkable. It's very tasty, too. I love it in a salad.

I'm sorry to also point out that there isn't any conclusive evidence linking saturated fat to heart disease, only accepted belief. There is a world of difference between the two.

See this link for a information and discussion on the matter:
http://tiny.cc/freetheanimal

Kind regards,

Future Primitive

Vegetable seed based oils

Vegetable seed based oils are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids which are precursors to inflammatory eicosanoids.

Some eicosanoids are anti-inflammatory. I refer you to this article in Circulation, which states:

In human studies, higher plasma levels of omega-6 PUFAs, mainly AA, were associated with decreased plasma levels of serum proinflammatory markers, particularly interleukin-6 and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, and increased levels of antiinflammatory markers, particularly transforming growth factor-β.18 When healthy volunteers were given {approx}7 times the usual intake of AA (ie, 1.5 g/d) in a 7-week controlled feeding study, no effects on platelet aggregation, bleeding times, the balance of vasoactive metabolites, serum lipid levels, or immune response were observed.5–8 Likewise, in a recent study from Japan, AA supplementation (840 mg/d for 4 weeks) had no effect on any metabolic parameter or platelet function.19 Consistent with this, in observational studies, higher omega-6 PUFA consumption was associated with unaltered or lower levels of inflammatory markers.20

Diets high in LA can increase the ex vivo susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidation,21 and oxidized LDL can promote vascular inflammation.22 Therefore, oxidized LDL may play some role in the etiology of CHD.23 However, the extent of LDL oxidation at higher LA intakes (5% to 15% of energy) has not been established, and its clinical relevance is in question owing to the general failure of antioxidant treatments to mitigate CHD risk in most randomized trials.24 At present, little direct evidence supports a net proinflammatory, proatherogenic effect of LA in humans.22,25,2

...

Aggregate data from randomized trials, case-control and cohort studies, and long-term animal feeding experiments indicate that the consumption of at least 5% to 10% of energy from omega-6 PUFAs reduces the risk of CHD relative to lower intakes. The data also suggest that higher intakes appear to be safe and may be even more beneficial (as part of a low–saturated-fat, low-cholesterol diet).

While adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids is most likely beneficial, it seems like that any "harmful" effect of omega-6 comes from crowding out omega-3s.

There's a good article on vegetarians and omega 3s from the VRG here: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2001sep/2001sepomega3.htm

I'm sorry to also point out that there isn't any conclusive evidence linking saturated fat to heart disease, only accepted belief. There is a world of difference between the two.

The link between animal product intake and heart disease has been shown again and again. How much of that is specifically due to saturated fat may be open to question, but its rather like asking whether the carbon moxide, the nicotine, or the radioactive polonium and leadin cigarette smoke is more deadly: like a diet rich in animal products, cigarette smoking has been firmly established to be detrimental to human health.

But the evidence is clear that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats reduced the risk of heart disease:

"The associations suggest that replacing SFAs with PUFAs rather than MUFAs or carbohydrates prevents CHD over a wide range of intakes." -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19211817?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez....

"Regarding the type of fat, cross-sectional data suggest that saturated fat adversely affects vascular function whereas polyunsaturated fat (mainly linoleic acid (18 : 2n-6) and n-3 PUFA) are beneficial." -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19243668?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez....

"Compelling evidence from metabolic studies, prospective cohort studies, and clinical trials in the past several decades indicates that at least 3 dietary strategies are effective in preventing CHD: substitute nonhydrogenated unsaturated fats for saturated and trans-fats; increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from fish, fish oil supplements, or plant sources; and consume a diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains and low in refined grain products. However, simply lowering the percentage of energy from total fat in the diet is unlikely to improve lipid profile or reduce CHD incidence. Many issues remain unsettled, including the optimal amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the optimal balance between omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, the amount and sources of protein, and the effects of individual phytochemicals, antioxidant vitamins, and minerals." -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12444864?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSys...$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed

"Higher levels of saturated fat and lower levels of polyunsaturated fats were each associated with a higher risk of CHD in elderly men, and these associations were partly explained by their effects on blood lipids and biomarkers of inflammation." -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19105853?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez....

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

Interested in more Weston A Price info

Hi there,
I just recently started paying more attention to the WAPF/Nourishing Traditions diet, but as a former vegan, am very slow and skeptical to take a complete plunge. You said that you have researched many of his claims and have yet to find evidence to the contrary. Could you please give me a direction to look into for the info you have come across? I am still concerned that switching to such a high fat/saturated fat diet (from dairy and animal protein) would be artery clogging/ gut clogging, mucous forming, bad breath producing and weight gaining. These are my main concerns. Also, that it would mess with my hormones and cause me to grow facial hair (I'm a woman). Also, I tend to focus on the yogic traditions that believe meat is too heavy and can wreak a lot of havoc on the body. Can you offer me any advice or resources to debunk my concerns.

Thanks for your time and efforts.

What is nonsensical is

What is nonsensical is thinking that it is possible to eat your ancestors' food today. The truth is that it is very difficult to get meat or dairy that come from natural animals that haven't been shot up with antibiotics and hormones or fed unnatural diets of grain. All of these practices alter the nutritional value of the meat and are harmful to our health.

Insane PPL

You people are insane, all legumes are toxic if eaten raw. I once ate lightly cooked soy beans and got terribly ill. THAT'S TOXICITY. But cooked soy beans are healthy.

Rude Mr. Tom:

To "Shmeep" (who wrote back to Tom's very RUDE comments). Thank you for your original posting. I too attempted full veganism for 1.5 years in my mid twenties. No animal products of any kind. Mostly I followed the writings and diet plans of Dr. Ornish or that other guy, Dr. McDougall.

I had never felt more sickly and "out of sorts" than when I was eating in this manner, as I avoided everything that was not recommended on their vegan/super low fat checklist. I had adopted this diet for animal rights/ethical reasons, but for the well publicized "health" reasons as well (I took the latter to be the added bonus of superior HEALTH and vitality that would result from avoiding all animal/artery clogging fats!).

But I quickly realized that my health was simply going downhill after several months of eating this way. My energy levels crashed. I exercised but never seemed to have enough energy to keep up with the daily routines and I was always hungry. My total cholesterol level went down to 120 and my doctor was wondering what I was up to. I told him that I was simply avoiding any and all animal products.

One day, after a very long bike ride, I became very dizzy from what seemed to be complete and total exhaustion. My highschool friend, who is a pediatrician and was visiting that day, kept asking "what's wrong with you?". Almost a year and a half into my vegan existence, I was thin but totally out of energy. I was always in a type of perpetual brain-fog and could never think clearly.

My friend, concerned at what she was seeing and knowing that I was subsiting on tomatoes, carrots, boiled greens and starchy vegetables or boiled beans, told me "enough already". She went into the kitchen and scrambled up an egg with a small pat of butter. (I was the only vegan in the household, so there WERE animal products, like eggs in the fridge!)

She put the plate down in front of me and said to me, "please just eat this". I told her that I hadn't eaten anything from an animal in well over a year and she told me in an ironic tone, "yes, and I can see the wonders it is doing for your health". The cooked egg sat there for a couple minutes and then I said to myself, 'what the heck'. Within a couple minutes of eating it, I felt much better and the dizzy spell went away.

The next day, I ate a piece of fish that had been cooked up by my aunt, that was as fresh as can be. We lived in a seaside town in Greece and the fresh fish was always available. After eating the fish with a wonderful cucumber side salad, I noted again how much better I was starting to feel after eating this type of food. It was on this second day that I decided to never look back on my attempt at veganism.

Once I reintroduced some animal proteins in the form of some fish and dairy products (mostly pastured eggs and the occasional batch of raw milk) things just immediately turned back around. My energy came right back. Coincidence? Who knows.

In the many years that have transpired since returning to a more omnivore type of diet, I've never felt better and my health is perfectly fine. No more fatigue or those really scary dizzy spells. I have energy to maintain my exercise routine and to chase after 3 very active little kids. My total cholesterol has since bumped up to the 170s but I don't have an irrational fear anymore of these numbers either. Yes, I admit to having read the Good Calories/Bad Calories book. Cholesterol is something our bodies and our brains actually NEED.

I have come to terms with returning to the consumption of meat products by visiting and purchasing only from the biodynamic and sustainable local farmers in my area. I will not purchase any factory farmed, grocery store type of fare.

I've read the writings on both sides of this issue [and all the stuff in between] and have come to my own conclusions. I know what works for me and feel everyone needs to be free to make their own choices: good or bad. The guy who was tongue-lashed (above) by you, Mr. Tom RUDErson, knows what works for him and put forth a very thought provoking post. Tom, you too, know what works for you, but as another writer mentioned higher up in the postings, unless you, TOM, can stop yourself from breathing (and subsequently killing off thousands of tiny microbes) then you have to realize too that all life revolves around the constant cycle of life and death that takes place on this planet all the time.

People don't need to be bullied about the way Tom likes to do on this blog. I believe he will not get far in his ultimate goal of saving the animals from their terrible suffering using his ugly bully tactics and harsh/offensive language. He could go a long way by looking into the ethics behind the more humane farming practices of the smaller family farms, because it is a far better living existence for these animals. People are never going to stop eating meat. It goes back to the days of the cave man.

I read this entire page here today and am pretty horrified at the disrespectful approach Mr. Tom takes toward the meat-eating readers of his blog. He seems full of hate, venom, and dispair.

Good luck Tom, no one is standing in the way of your veganism or vegetarianism, but your mean spirited approach and hateful tactics in your writings gives vegetarians a bad name.

So get your butcher knife sharpened and ready, Tom, and start slicing and dicing my latest post here. For someone who purports to be such a humane pacifist, you sure are one scary dude (who talks about killing people and grabbing their organs to put into coolers etc...) You are guilty of the same hateful and murderous thoughts you assign to all the people out there who eat meat (something that has been taking place for millenia, as you know).

I too attempted full

I too attempted full veganism for 1.5 years in my mid twenties. No animal products of any kind. Mostly I followed the writings and diet plans of Dr. Ornish or that other guy, Dr. McDougall.

The Ornish and McDougall diets are both very low fat diets. The Ornish plan is meant to reverse heart disease, while the McDougall plan is meant as a short-term weight loss diet.

Neither is representative of all vegan diets, and I would not necessarily recommend such a very low fat diet for a healthy active younger person.

But rather than understand "hey, I'm not feeling well on a very low fat diet, maybe I should eat some nuts or avocado or something," you confused very low fat with vegan and jumped to the scientifically unsustainable conclusion that you needed some flesh foods in your diet.

You are just providing more evidence for my contention: if you feel poorly while eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, it's because you're doing it wrong.

As for your contention that "all life revolves around the constant cycle of life and death that takes place on this planet all the time", that no more justifies killing cows or pigs or chickens for our pleasure than it would justify killing humans. Or would you let Jeffrey Dahmer off the the hook if he said "hey, cycle of life and death, deal with it"?

Of course, it seems that rather than consider that question, you'll dismiss me as "rude". Never mind that I'm actually hosting this blog out of my own pocket and allowing you and all these other doofuses to post on my nickel. It's funny, I don't go post on the blogs of people who advocate flesh foods, but somehow people like you feel so threatened by me advocating a vegan diet that you need to come post on mine.

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org

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