I attended a conference put on by the Michigan chapters of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) and it exceeded my expectations in many ways.
The first thing I noticed about the speakers list was the number of these people who are at the very top of their game at an international level in their chosen field. The second thing I noticed was how few of these people are specifically WAPF people.
This told me two things. The local chapters of the WAPF are more interested in nutrition than in evangelism. The conference was likely to be informative, if nothing else.
I can only comment on the lectures I attended, but here goes…
Kathleen Rafter from WAPF West Michigan gave the introductory presentation, outlining the principles of nutrition as promoted by Weston A. Price. She summed up her introduction with a moving testimonial about her own experience, restoring health to her adopted child who entered her care severely malnourished and barely functional. The child is now in great mental and physical health and much of the skeletal malformation has addressed itself.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Price approach to nutrition, it is basically summed up in the notion that highly processed foods of all varieties are the major contributing factors in the deteriorating health of humanity. Price’s research into native cultures (back in the1930’s when many cultures still existed that had not adopted western eating habits) determined that a variety of factors contributed to the optimal health of these people. He was able to determine this by looking at subsequent generations of the same people as they were introduced to modern western “convenience” foods, (all coming under the general classification of “de-natured foods”) while maintaining their lifestyle in other ways. Those who adopted de-natured food suffered from the same maladies as we suffer in the west, those who remained with their native diets did not. Price was also able to observe skeletal differences, which suggests that the de-natured food was causing systemic damage at a fundamental level.
Some of Price’s observations include:
- Native lifestyles include a lot of physical activity.
- No grains or legumes are consumed by native cultures that have not been fermented, either by acid treatment or by bacterial means.
- All native diets include some animal products, largely from pastured animals raised in natural conditions foraging on a diverse range of foods in mineral-rich soil.
- Native diets contain between 30 to 80 percent saturated fat, mostly from animal sources.
On to the next lecture…
“Don’t put that in your Mouth:…”- Jeffrey M. Smith
Jeffrey Smith is the author of “Seed of Deception”, and “X-Files” type book that exposes the political graft and industrial corruption that have contributed to the massive use of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) in the food supply without sufficient testing to determine their safety. More startling is the notion that, when objectively tested, GMO’s are consistently determined to be harmful.
Jeffrey opened his presentation with alarmist facts and great stories, then he changed gears mid-presentation to sound science, or should I say, to what little sound science there is that has been conducted on GMO’s.
The Cornerstone of Jeffery’s talk was the work of Arpad Puszai, the scientist believed to be the best qualified in Europe to determine the safety of GMO’s, who was fired from his position of 34 years and issued with a gag order on his research when he reached the conclusion that GMO’s should not be in the food supply. The subsequent release of his research 7 months later sparked the 180-degree turn-around in the EU about GMO foods.
Jeffrey's conclusion was, somewhat surprisingly, that we really don’t know about the relative safety of GMO’s, but that what little evidence exists at all, suggests that they should not be in the food supply.
I was surprised to hear that, because much of his talk was centered around the negative results of the tests that have been carried out and the apparently clumsy method by which GMO’s are produced. I had expected a conclusion like “there are no safe GMO’s” or something to that effect. The more moderate conclusion gave him greater credence in my view. I purchases his second book, which is called “Genetic Roulette” and outlines the 63 major concerns about GMO’s that arise from sound scientific research. It is a dense volume containing many studies, but has executive summaries for politicians and policy
The next day started with a discussion about Heart Disease from Doctor Natasha Campbell McBride from the UK.
She firstly dispelled the “diet-heart hypothesis”, which postulated in the 50’s that saturated animal fat was the cause of heart disease.
She explained that arterial plaque is caused by systemic inflammation, which can be directly related to environmental pollutants, toxic skin products, lack of exercise, and de-natured food (specifically refined carbohydrate, lot-fed meat, pasteurized dairy, and added preservatives).
I found McBride easy to listen to and very easy to understand. Her arguments are authoritative and compelling. She explained, among other things, the difference between the cholesterols LDL and HDL. LDL is basically the cholesterol sent out of the liver to treat arterial inflammation, HDL is the same cholesterol after it has done its job, which is repackaged and returned to the liver for reprocessing. She referred to them as “Good Ambulance” and “Bad Ambulance” to highlight the insanity of the “conventional wisdom” surrounding cholesterol. Cholesterol inhibiting drugs such as statins actually impede the body in the healing process. High cholesterol is a symptom of inflammatory disease; it is not the cause of anything.
She presented the best argument I have heard to date for returning saturated animal fat to the diet and making exercise a high priority.
The next speaker was Dr Rich Olree from Hillside Michigan.
Dr Orlee is pioneering research into DNA and its association with the mineral elements of the periodic table.
Orlee relates mineral deficiencies to many common ailments, Iodine, Selenium Magnesium, Boron being the most important to have in good measure. Selenium is only really useful in the form of Selenomethianine. (I hope I spelt that right).
He cites Vitamin B12 as the link between metal and non-metal elements in the body. B12 is among the most precious resources the body has.
Orlee’s synthesis of the periodic chart with DNA is a work of pure genius. His ability to relate mineral imbalance to various cancers and other debilitating maladies is impressive, and his explanations are in terms familiar to anyone with high-school chemistry.
His manner is somewhat eccentric, but his findings are profound in their implications for the future of disease treatment.
Mark McAfee, a raw milk producer in California, was the next speaker I heard, his discussion was enlightening.
Mark is an interesting speaker and makes many good points in favor of his product, and in favor of re-naturing the food supply in general.
- Raw milk from a bio-diverse environment is pathogen free.
- Raw dairymen need to be vigilant in both their cleaning and their testing if they are to maintain a clean product.
- Raw milk from a clean, bio-diverse environment contains life-giving enzymes and bacterial inhibitors.
He asserts that Pasteurization makes dirty milk saleable.
- Pasteurized milk is never tested for pathogens.
- Pasteurization increases the histamine level in milk and denatures it significantly.
- Pasteurization destroys the bacterial inhibitors and enzymes present in milk, and reduces its vitamin levels.
The last presentation I heard was Pat Murphy, who presented his “Community Food Solution”.
I found Pat interesting, but less compelling in some ways. (I am sure there are many who will disagree with me about that, but I am very hard to please that way).
He combines Global Warming with Peak Oil and Population Explosion to present a doomsday scenario for the end of industrialized civilization.
The figures Pat presented appeared to be of the “Maximum impact, minimal substance” variety that is becoming commonplace in alternative movements of late.
Pat recounts Cuba’s 180 degree turn-around from an industrialized culture to an agrarian culture in the space of 10 years, when the Soviet Union collapsed, and left them without an oil supply. While the picture it paints is not rosy for industrialists, it offers real hope for humanity as a whole.
I like the direction Pat is going with his presentation, I agree with many of his premises, but I'd be more impressed if his data were more concrete.
I ran out of power in my laptop and in my i-pod during this presentation, so I don’t have much information to share.
All up, the convention was money well spent. The speakers were world-class, the food was high-end and great, and there were few logistical hitches.
Can’t ask for much more than that