Dr. Weston A. Price was, in my opinion, the greatest nutritional researcher of all time. He spent ten years actually visiting healthy traditional peoples, studying and recording what they ate first hand, and comparing the health of people eating their traditional diet with their relatives who ate modern foods. He discovered that people eating the traditional diet of their ancestors were much healthier than their relatives who ate modern foods.
Dr. Price recorded his findings in a book entitled Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, published in 1939. The book is difficult for many people to read and understand, as are many academic works.
Somehow, the rumor is spreading on the Internet that Dr. Price was an advocate of eating only plant foods. This is simply not true, as Dr. Price addressed the issue directly in his book.
The Physical Degeneration
Dr. Price was a dentist, in Cleveland Ohio. He noticed that each generation of his patients was less healthy than their parents, with decayed teeth, badly formed and crowded mouths, and deformed arches in the mouth. Clearly, something was very wrong. Dr. Price noticed how the American diet was changing, with more and more processed factory foods being eaten. Dr. Price believed that this change in diet might be responsible for the physical degeneration he was observing. But, what should people eat to be healthy? One day, Dr. Price saw a photo of a “primitive” man, who was grinning. The man had superb, perfectly formed teeth, with no signs of decay. Dr. Price decided that the diets of the so called primitive peoples might have the answer.
The Plant Food Desire
It is true that Dr. Price, before he set out on his ten year journey, believed that he would find that the traditional healthy peoples would eat plant foods only. Dr. Price, a gentle and very spiritual man, disliked the killing of animals for food, and thought he would find that people could thrive on plants alone.
Dr. Price, however, was a true scientist, more interested in learning the truth than proving his theory.
The Animal Truth
Dr. Price found, contrary to his expectations, that animal foods were crucial to a good diet. He stated that he had never found a group which was building and maintaining excellent bodies by eating only plant foods. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, page 279.
There it is. All the peoples he found with excellent health from a traditional diet ate animal foods, especially the fats demonized in modern nutrition. This is described in detail in his book, where every healthy people he found ate plenty of animal foods, and animal fat.
And Dr. Price also commented on the plant food only groups of his day, noting that they all had signs of dental degeneration, if they had been on the diet for an extended time. He also noted that their children had deformed dental arches. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, page 279.
As we can see, there is nothing new about the belief that people should eat only plant foods, as Dr. Price did most of his research in the 1930’s.
Dr. Price found that we need animal foods to be healthy, good real foods, not the foods of industry.
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