Sunday, September 10, 2006

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price; review of the book by Sally Fallon; another review, this one by Nels Stemm for Lew Rockwell -- includes a review of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig

From Sally Fallon's review:
More than sixty years ago, a Cleveland dentist named Weston A. Price decided to embark on a series of unique investigations that would engage his attention and energies for the next ten years. Possessed of an inquiring mind and a spiritual nature, Price was disturbed by what he found when he looked into the mouths of his patients. Rarely did an examination of an adult client reveal anything but rampant decay, often accompanied by serious problems elsewhere in the body such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, intestinal complaints and chronic fatigue. (They called it neurasthenia in Price's day.) But it was the dentition of younger patients that gave him most cause for concern. He observed that crowded, crooked teeth were becoming more and more common, along with what Price called "facial deformities"--overbites, narrowed faces, underdevelopment of the nose, lack of well-defined cheekbones and pinched nostrils. Such children invariably suffered from one or more complaints that sound all too familiar to mothers of the 1990s: frequent infections, allergies, anemia, asthma, poor vision, lack of coordination, fatigue and behavioral problems. Price did not believe that such "physical degeneration" was God's plan for mankind. He was rather inclined to believe that the creator intended physical perfection for all human beings, and that children should grow up free of ailments.

Price's bewilderment gave way to a unique idea. He would travel to various isolated parts of the earth where the inhabitants had no contact with "civilization" to study their health and physical development. His investigations took him to isolated Swiss villages and a windswept island off the coast of Scotland. He studied traditional Eskimos, Indian tribes in Canada and the Florida Everglades, Southsea islanders, Aborigines in Australia, Maoris in New Zealand, Peruvian and Amazonian Indians and tribesmen in Africa. These investigations occurred at a time when there still existed remote pockets of humanity untouched by modern inventions; but when one modern invention, the camera, allowed Price to make a permanent record of the people he studied. The photographs Price took, the descriptions of what he found and his startling conclusions are preserved in a book considered a masterpiece by many nutrition researchers who followed in Price's footsteps: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Yet this compendium of ancestral wisdom is all but unknown to today's medical community and modern parents.
Might the (seemingly) generally poor eye condition of Asians have something to do with their diet? Or is it due more to the amount of time spent in front of the television or computer? (I posted an article that speculated that it was due to children over-using their eyes at one distance [short distance] and not varying the "looking" distance enough, hence causing undue strain.)

(Thanks to Donna at CFN. She also recommends Touch the Earth: A Self-Portrait of Indian Existence)

Articles by Sally Fallon: on food enzymes, The Great Con-ola
Empower Yourself: pt 1, 2, 3
Where there is no doctor (download the text; this plus other downloads)
Where there is no dentist (download the text; pdf)

The Paleolithic Diet
Paleodiet;;; The Healing Crow; introduction to the paleolithic diet (I don't know about the historical and sociological claims behind the diet--or the health claims for that matter. Still, one can see though why it is touted by certain neo-tribalists.)

Robert Newman, A History of Oil video

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your clever comments on this book!
I wonder what do you think about some remaining controversy on this book, which is described here:
"Nutrition and Physical Degeneration"
shorter link:
Perhaps you could please post your expert opinion there for other readers.