Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Dietary Maze

Oh goodness---the dietary maze is enough to make my head crack open some days! I have gone down many nutritional paths over the years, but I am thrilled to find one that makes sense. What I have learned is that a healthy traditional diet really can be different from place to place, person to person, but that there are principles common to every traditional foodway, principles that make sense. The Experts care about The Science. But what is logical? What feels right? It takes a lot of experimenting, hands-on, with a lot of observation of the results to get to this point (the more intellectual I become about it, the less sure I am--and I am very prone to intellectualizing things.) I can point people in the right direction, but I can't do that work for anyone else (very Zen, that, what with the finger pointing at the Moon and all . . .)

Honestly, this just gets murkier, if it's about finding Science or Experts to clarify it. Everyone has an interest in a particular belief (and this leads to Agendas.) I just want to feel well and have my family feel well, and then maybe to help some others do the same. What I love about Weston Price's info is that it is what real people experienced in a whole way--no isolated result from a study about one nutrient in an extracted form. It is old info that can't really be repeated because those groups that were protected by geographical isolation are now eating junk forced on them from outside (what Weston Price called "the displacing foods of modern commerce".) And now they are just as sick as we are. There are other nutritional anthropologists from around his time who said the same thing. You can investigate the archives of the Weston A. Price Foundation and Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (and there are sites such as this where you can find references and links to the work of many others)

Modern "science" is going to damn this "old" stuff however it can, by saying it's not repeatable (that's true by definition) or "unscientific" (not if you have really looked into it--Weston Price was the head of research for the ADA in his day!) But Price described accurately what humans need to live healthfully and we stopped listening. Human needs haven't changed in eighty years (or maybe we have gotten NEEDIER!) so why wouldn't his teachings be applicable? I don't see how nutritional science of this sort could be outdated in ten years. That applies to the faddish studies, but not to this sort of true epidemiology.

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