Weston A. Price Foundation

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The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) was formed in 1999 and based on the research of Dr. Weston A. Price. [1] WAPF was founded by Sally Fallon Morell and nutritionist Mary G. Enig, PhD as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to "restoring nutrient-dense foods to the American diet through education, research and activism."[2]

Overview

According to WAPF it is dedicated to "restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet... (and) supporting particular movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, biodynamic agriculture organic farming and grass/pasture fed cattle, cattle feeding, community-supported agriculture, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Goals include establishment of universal access to raw milk. The organization actively lobbies on issues such as the government U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary guidelines and school lunch programs. [3]

Criticism

Goals and Recommendations

The WAPF advocates consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol from "traditional foods."[4] According to its website, WAPF "is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants."[5]

Goals include disseminating the research and dietary advice of dentist and nutritional researcher Weston A. Price, "whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. Dr. Price's research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats."[5] His 1939 book, Nutritional and Physical Degeneration, describes the fieldwork he did in the 1920s and 1930s.[6]

Diet claims

WAPF recommendations include the consumption of unprocessed or minimally processed foods, organic foods and a diet heavy in saturated fats. Dietary recommendations include: animal and dairy fats, olive oil, cod liver oil, organic fruits and vegetables, raw dairy products, soured or fermented dairy and vegetables (such as sauerkraut), soaked or soured whole grains and bone stocks. [7] According to WAPF, "These "nutrient-rich traditional fats have nourished healthy population groups for thousands of years":

"Saturated fats, such as butter, meat fats, coconut oil and palm oil, tend to be solid at room temperature. According to conventional nutritional dogma, these traditional fats are to blame for most of our modern diseases--heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, malfunction of cell membranes and even nervous disorders like multiple sclerosis. However, many scientific studies indicate that it is processed liquid vegetable oil--which is laden with free radicals formed during processing--and artificially hardened vegetable oil--called trans fat--that are the culprits in these modern conditions, not natural saturated fats. ...Contrary to the accepted view, which is not scientifically based, saturated fats do not clog arteries or cause heart disease. In fact, the preferred food for the heart is saturated fat; and saturated fats lower a substance called Lp(a), which is a very accurate marker for proneness to heart disease. Saturated fats play many important roles in the body chemistry. They strengthen the immune system and are involved in inter-cellular communication, which means they protect us against cancer. They help the receptors on our cell membranes work properly, including receptors for insulin, thereby protecting us against diabetes. The lungs cannot function without saturated fats, which is why children given butter and full-fat milk have much less asthma than children given reduced-fat milk and margarine. Saturated fats are also involved in kidney function and hormone production. Saturated fats are required for the nervous system to function properly, and over half the fat in the brain is saturated. Saturated fats also help suppress inflammation. Finally, saturated animal fats carry the vital fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2, which we we need in large amounts to be healthy."

Furthermore, according to WAPF "Modern research completely validates the findings of Dr. Price." [8] According to WAPF:

Dr. Price was a "nutrition pioneer ...whose studies of isolated non-industrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. Dr. Price's research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats." [9]"

The research of Dr. Weston A. Price

Weston A. Price (1870-1948) was a Cleveland dentist and whose work Nutritional and Physical Degeneration chronicles his journeys in the 1920s and 1930s to document 14 traditional cultures. His original intent was to study the dental hygiene in native populations (including tribal Africans, Pacific Islanders, Eskimos, North and South American Indians, and Australian Aborigines). Later, Dr. Price shifted his focus to dietary differences and deficiencies between traditional native diets and what was at that time a new “western” diet of refined, processed foods.

However, according to critics like physician and nutrition author Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Price made important critical observations regarding dangers of sugar and other processed foods, but conducted short visits, while jumping to simplistic conclusions based on the state of their teeth. According to Fuhrman, he ignored life expectancy, infant mortality, high rate of infection and many other confounding variables and did not grasp the complexity of multi-factorial causation.[10]

Health of indigenous meat-eaters

Price devotees documented the health of meat-eating indigenous groups. Later research with regard to one of these groups, the Inuit Greenlanders, reveals the worst longevity statistics in North America, according to Fuhrman. A careful literature search reveals multiple studies documenting an earlier death in these people as a result of their low consumption of fresh produce and their high consumption of meat. Past (20 years) and present legitimate research on their health reveal that they die on the average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer than the general population of Canada. Similar statistics are available about the Maasai in Kenya. They consume a diet rich in wild hunted meats and have the worst life expectancy in the modern world today. Maasai women have a life expectancy of 45 years, and men only live 42 years. Furthermore, the data is damaging even if you bring up statistics from 20 or more years ago, when good data was collected. Adult mortality figures on the Kenyan Maasai, show that they have a fifty percent chance of dying before the age of 59 and rarely live past 60.[11]

However, the studies Fuhrman cites with regard to the Greenland and Baffin Inuit -- Iburg KM, Brønnum-Hansen H and Bjerregaard P, "Health expectancy in Greenland," Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2001, 29(1):5-12; and Choinière R., "Mortality among the Baffin Inuit in the mid-80s," Arctic Medical Research, 1992, 51(2):87-93 (abstract) -- make no mention of diet.[12][13] Price's research demonstrates that a change to a "modern processed diet" by many indigenous groups completely altered their general health.[14] Studies of longevity without information about diet cannot disprove theories about health in relation to diet.

Of the two references Fuhrman cites with regard to the Kenyan Maasai, one is a defunct link. The other, the World Health Organization's profile of Kenya, links to a "Nutrition Landscape" that also makes no mention of diet, but instead profiles average weights, rates of anemia, vitamin A deficiency (an overall lack of food can lead to this deficiency, but because preformed vitamin A (retinol) is abundant in some animal-derived foods but not plant-derived foods, and because "the vitamin A activity of provitamin A carotenoids" in plant-derived foods "is half the vitamin A activity when using µg retinol equivalents . . . a larger amount of provitamin A carotenoids, and therefore darkly colored, carotene-rich fruits and vegetables, is needed to meet the vitamin A requirement"[15]), urinary iodine concentration, etc. The WHO site does not break down this nutrition information into subpopulations such as the Maasai.[16]

Comparison of Diets

A diet of wild meats and natural vegetation, without exposure to modern processed foods may offer a better health outcome than predominately overly processed foods, according to Fuhrman, but, he says, "we don't purchase a car by comparing it to a junkyard wreck." He claims that a higher percentage of vegetables, legumes, fruit, raw nuts and seeds (and much less animal products) offers a profound longevity advantage due to a broad spectrum of life-extending photochemical nutrients.[17]

The Weston A. Price Foundation does not advocate eating a preponderance of animal products. In fact, it claims that, "[a]s a cleansing diet, vegetarianism is sometimes a good choice" but that "there is no one diet that will work for every person" and that "vegan diets are not suitable for all people due to inadequate cholesterol production in the liver. . . . Though it appears that some people do well on little or no meat and remain healthy as lacto-vegetarians or lacto-ovo-vegetarians, the reason for this is because these diets are healthier for those people, not because they're healthier in general. However, a total absence of animal products, whether meat, fish, insects, eggs, butter or dairy, is to be avoided."[18]

Meat-adaptive genes

Studies of chimpanzees published long after Price's death show that, unlike chimpanzees and all direct human ancestors, early hominids' "dietary shift to increased regular consumption of fatty animal tissues in the course of hominid evolution was mediated by selection for 'meat-adaptive' genes. This selection conferred resistance to disease risks associated with meat eating [and] also increased life expectancy."[19]

Soy bashing

The Weston A. Price Foundation seeks to ban infant soy formula, and advocates a meat diet. They believe one can only achieve optimum nutrition through the consumption of meat. Board of Director's member Kaayla Daniel has released a book titled: 'The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food'.[20]

Soy based infant formula

Much of Sally Fallon and Mary Enig’s criticism is generated from reports on the use of soy infant formulas. In 1998, K.O. Klein of the Department of Clinical Science at the A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, reported that soy-based infant formulas had been used for over 60 years. Such formulas had in fact, been fed to millions of infants worldwide and studied in controlled research. According to Dr. Klein, medical literature provides “no evidence of endocrine effects in humans from infant consumption of modern soy-based formulas. Growth is normal and no changes in timing of puberty or in fertility rates have been reported in humans who consumed soy formula as infants.” In 1994, The Journal of Pediatrics conducted an earlier study that came to a similar conclusion. With no supporting evidence, Ms. Fallon and Ms. Enig state that learning disabilities among male children have reached epidemic proportions and that soy infant feeding, which began in the 1970s, “cannot be ignored as a probable cause for these tragic developments.” Yet, they list no citations to back up this claim.

They go on to add that 1% of all girls show signs of puberty before the age of three and quote a 1997 report in the Journal of Pediatrics. (A report that made no mention of soy). They also made the claim that Asians have lower rates of osteoporosis than Westerners. However, not because of soy consumption but because their diet provides plenty of vitamin D from shrimp and seafood and plenty of calcium from bone broths. Again, no references are provided. Furthermore, they claim that high rates of osteoporosis in western society are attributed to the substitution of soy oil for butter and advocate butter as a traditional source of vitamin D which helps to build strong bones. However, butter only provides about 56 units of vitamin D. Shrimp provides about 152 units of vitamin D per 100 gram serving (virtually insignificant according to the latest reports vitamin D requirements). In fact, skin exposure to sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D. Even sunlight-deprived women who consume a diet that provides 600 IU of daily vitiman D, have been found to be lacking in this essential nutrient. [21], [22]

Tragedy and Hype of Soy by Sally Fallon & Mary Enig

The litany of dangers of soy products, according to this article by Fallon and Enig, is nearly endless. Tofu, "shrinks brains and causes Alzheimer’s". Soy products promote rather than prevent cancer. Soy contains “anti-nutrients” and is full of toxins. The pro-soy publicity of the past few years is nothing but “propaganda.” Soy formula, amounts to “birth control pills for babies.” They conclude that “Soy is not hemlock,” but "more insidious than hemlock.” According to their article, the "soy industry knows soy is poisonous, and lie(s) to the public to sell more soy.” It is in fact “the next asbestos.” They predict huge lawsuits with “thousands and thousands of legal briefs.” Those predicted to be held legally responsible for deliberately manipulating the public to make money “include merchants, manufacturers, scientists, publicists, bureaucrats, former bond financiers, food writers, vitamin companies, and retail stores.” In fact, the complete adequacy of vegetarian diets is now so thoroughly proven and documented, that even the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has acknowledged it's legitimacy:

“Well planned vegetarian diets can meet dietary recommendations for essential nutrients.”

Statements that vegetarians risk severe mineral deficiencies provide no supporting documentation, including a ridiculous assessment that “zinc deficiency can cause a ‘spacey’ feeling that some vegetarians may mistake for the ‘high’ of spiritual enlightenment.” A baseless, totally unsupported claim. In fact, infants breast-fed by vegetarian mothers have all these advantages and more. Milk from vegetarian mothers has the added advantage of containing fewer residues from pesticides and other toxins. Yet, anti-soy crusader Sally Fallon evidently prefers an infant be fed cow’s milk formula rather than breast milk, if the mother is vegetarian:

“breast milk is best IF the mother has consumed a …diet…rich in animal proteins and fat throughout her pregnancy and continues to do so while nursing her child.”[23]

While the anti-soy crusaders claim, based on this single isolated study, that soy causes a decrease in cognitive function, students at Bay Point School in Miami, Florida have had a very different experience. Bay Point is an alternative, year round residential public school for students 13 to 18. Most have been sent there by the courts after committing offenses with typically low academic achievement. The school’s culinary arts program challenges them to try veganism for a month. Achievements have been stunning with students reporting boosts in both grades and their energy. According to Willie Williams, who was first skeptical of tofu:

“I came in here with a 1.6 (grade-point average). That’s not even a passing grade. At this point I’ve got a 3.4.” I’m considering doing this for a long time, just make it a constant thing.”

He plays both basketball and football and soon noticed an improvement both in the classroom and on the court and field. Kovanic Capron, 17, saw his grade point average improve from 3.1 to 3.9. Not a single one of the students enrolled in the program scored below 85 on the final exam. According to the students, the diet had them devouring the competition in school sports. According to Gabriel Saintvil, 18:

“I used to get tired when I ran laps or lifted weights. Now I get endurance and keep on doing it.” [24]

Health & environmental studies

The China Study

The China Study culminated a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. The survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan is widely thought to be the most comprehensive study on nutrition and related diseases to date. The project produced over 8,000 statistically significant associations between diet and disease. The findings indicated that the consumers of the most animal-based foods suffered the most chronic diseases while those with the most plant based diets avoided these diseases and were the healthiest. Chronic diseases included heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Also studied were the effects of diet in reducing or reversing the risks of chronic disease. The study also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities and irresponsible scientists. [25] According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell, "we're basically a vegetarian species, should be eating a wide variety of plant foods and minimizing animal foods." [26], [27]

Dairy products

On the question of osteoporosis, Dr. Campbell replied: "The Chinese study found an average daily calcium intake of 544 mg. (almost none from animal products) and there was basically no osteoporosis in China." In the US there is an average calcium intake of 1,143 mg per day (mostly from dairy) and osteoporosis is a major health issue. Calves have fours stomachs and double their body weight in 47 days as opposed to the 180 days it takes for a human baby to double it's weight. Cows' milk is also 15% protein (as opposed to the 5% protein content of mother's breast milk). Much of the rationale for the belief in milk as an ideal food was based on turn of the 20th century research done on rats. However, the mother's milk of rats is 49% protein and baby rats double their weight in four days. Yet, another example of erroneous data derived from animal testing. [28]

The focus of published reports on dairy consumption are infections, colic, intestinal bleeding, anemia, allergies and more serious issues of diabetes and viral infections of bovine leukemia, an AIDS like virus. Common childrens issues include ear infections, tonsil infections, bed wetting and asthma. Adult issues include heart disease, arthritis, respiratory distress, osteoporosis, leukemia, lymphoma and cancer. Overall health issues include milk contamination by pus cells and chemicals such as pesticides. [29] Most cows' milk contains toxins such as herbicides, pesticides and dioxins and up to 52 powerful antibiotics; blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses. Both organic and non-organic milk contain fat, cholesteral and various allergens as well as 59 active hormones. This includes the powerful Growth Factor One (IGF-1) which has been identified in the rapid growth cancer. [30] It has been positively documented and affirmed that dairy consumption leads to clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes and exposure to contaminants. [31], [32] Research has demonstrated a calcium wash or a loss of calcium and other critical minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron from the blood stream as a direct result of dairy consumption starting at 24 ounces per day. [33] Low animal protein diets create a positive calcium balance, whereas high animal protein diets create a negative balance resulting in bone density loss. While many have turned to low fat dairy products, these products contain higher concentrations of protein. Low fat and particularly non-fat dairy products have actually been shown to increase osteoporosis, kidney problems and some cancers. [34]

See also meat & dairy industry, sections 5 & 6 on Independent reports & animal products & health issues.

Summary

The futility of citing one study after another, using science or logic will not alter the minds and agendas of those profiting from the appeal of a meat-based diet. However, as shown with the Atkins diet, [35]the uninformed are always susceptible. The dangerous habits of Americans or Europeans who eat only about 5 percent of their caloric intake from fresh produce and the majority of calories from processed foods, does not logically deduce an animal protein centered diet. [36]

Membership

In 2010, its membership numbered 13,000 and was growing at an annual rate of 10%. [37] It has over than 450 in the United States as well as international chapters in Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Pakistan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and various other countries. [38]

Publications

The WAPF publishes a quarterly journal called Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts and an annual shopping guide which lists products made from organic, non-Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)s prepared using traditional and artisan methods.

Support & funding

The main sources of support are the dues and contributions of its members. The Foundation does not receive funding from the government or the food processing and agribusiness industries. It does accept sponsorships, exhibitors and advertising from small companies by invitation, whose products are in line with WAPF principles.[39], [40] Sponsors include grass-fed meat and wild fish producers, as well as health product companies.[41]

Board

  • Sally Fallon Morell - Founder, President and Treasurer. She is self described as a "a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. She is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats." She is President and owner of NewTrends Publishing as well as editor and publisher of Nourishing Traditions, The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD. Her latest book, Eat Fat Lose Fat (Penguin, Hudson Street Press), is co-authored with Mary Enig and was published in December of 2004.

Honorary board

Contact

URL: http://www.westonaprice.org

Articles & sources

Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. About, Weston A. Price Foundation, accessed November 31, 2010
  2. Sally Fallon, Mary Enig, Bill Sanda Comments to the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, January 2004
  3. Sally Fallon, Mary Enig PhD., Bill Sanda Comments on the Report of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, September 27, 2004
  4. Confused about fats?, WAPF, accessed December 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 Weston A. Price Foundation, About the Foundation, organizational website, accessed November 26, 2011
  6. Weston A. Price, DDS, Nutritional and Physical Degeneration, 8th ed. (La Mesa, California: The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc., 2008), ISBN 0916764206, ISBN 9780916764203
  7. WAPF Dietary Guidelines, WAPF, accessed December 2010
  8. The Many Roles of Saturated Fat, Know Your Fats Introduction, WAPF, accessed December 2010
  9. About, WAPF, accessed November 31, 2010.
  10. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. The Misinformation of Barry Groves and Weston Price, Disease Proof, April 24, 2006
  11. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. The Misinformation of Barry Groves and Weston Price, Disease Proof, April 24, 2006
  12. Kim Moesgaard Iburg, Henrik Brønnum-Hansen and Peter Bjerregaard, Health expectancy in Greenland, Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2001, 29(1):5-12
  13. R. Choinière, "Mortality among the Baffin Inuit in the mid-80s" (abstract), Arctic Medical Research, 1992, 51(2):87-93
  14. Weston A. Price, DDS, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (La Mesa, California: The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc., 2008), 8th ed.
  15. Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, Chapter 4, Vitamin A, Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc, National Academy of Sciences Report, 2001
  16. World Health Organization, http://apps.who.int/nutrition/landscape/report.aspx?iso=ken Country Profile: Kenya: Nutrition Landscape], United Nations health authority website, accessed November 26, 2011
  17. Joel Furhman M.D. The Misinformation of Barry Groves and Weston Price, Disease Proof, April 24, 2006
  18. Stephen Byrnes, PhD, RNCP, Myths & Truths About Vegetarianism, originally published in the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, July 2000, revised January 2002, republished on the Weston A. Price Foundation website, December 30, 2002
  19. CE Finch and CB Stanford, "Meat-adaptive genes and the evolution of slower aging in humans" abstract, The Quarterly Review of Biology (Chicago:University of Chicago, March 2004), Vol. 79, No. 1, full article pp. 3-50
  20. About the Foundation, WAPF, accessed December 2010
  21. Journal of Internal Medicine 247: 260-68, 2000
  22. Robert Cohen Soy Misrepresented: The Joy of Soy and the Disinformation Campaign, Snyder Health.com, accessed December 2010
  23. Sally Fallon & Mary Enig, PhDSoy Alert: Tragedy and Hype: The Third International Soy Symposium, First published in Nexus Magazine, Volume 7, Number 3, April-May, 2000
  24. John Robbins What About Soy?, John Robbins Blog, April 19th, 2010
  25. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell II About, The China Study, 2005
  26. Jane Brody, Grand Prix of Epidemiology, New York Times, May 1990
  27. T. Colin Campbell, PhD Correcting Nutritional Fictions from the New York Times, Vegsource.com, 2003
  28. Gene Franks Milk Sucks, or Bossie's Revenge Pure Water Gazette, Sept 1991
  29. Robert M. Kradjian, MD The Milk Letter: A Message to My Patients, American Fitness Professionals Association, accessed September 2009
  30. Dave Rietz Dangers of Milk and Dairy Products: The Facts, Rense.com, July 2002
  31. E. Koop Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, National Library of Medicine, 88-50210, 1988
  32. Melvyn R. Werbach Nutritional Influences on Illness: A Source book of Clinical Research, December 1990, ISBN 0879835311
  33. Report of the Task Force on the Assessment of the Scientific Evidence Relating to Infant-Feeding Practices and Infant Health. Pediatrics, 74:579; 1984.
  34. Mark J. Occhipinti, MS, PhD Does Milk Really Do The Body Good? Calcium and Protein: A Mixture For Disaster, American Fitness Professionals & Associates, accessed January 2009
  35. Jeanne S. McVey Lawyers for Diet Giant Concede in Court that Diet May Be Dangerous; Attorneys Attempt to Quash Release of Potentially Damaging Documents, Studies on Atkins Diet Safety, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, News & Media Center, March 2005
  36. Joel Furhman M.D. The Misinformation of Barry Groves and Weston Price, Disease Proof, April 24, 2006
  37. Jane Black The Great Divide Who Says Good Nutrition Means Animal Fats? Weston A. Price., The Washington Post, August 2008
  38. Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, Vol.9 No. 2 (Summer 2008), pp 98-107
  39. The Weston A. Price Foundation - Funding
  40. The Weston A. Price Foundation - 2007 Conference Sponsorships
  41. The Weston A. Price Foundation, WAPF, accessed December 2010
  42. Directors, Weston A. Price Foundation, accessed November 2010
  43. Directors, Weston A. Price Foundation, accessed November 31, 2010.

External articles