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Organ Sausages: General Characteristics, Thawing Tips & Storage

We get a lot of questions about our wildly popular organ sausages, so we thought we would compile a special blog post to answer the most frequently asked questions. We hope you find this information helpful in choosing the perfect selection for you and your family.

describe the imageOrgan Sausages

-Liverwurst (Ingredients: beef, beef liver, beef kidneys, beef heart, water, sea salt, onion powder, white pepper, coriander, marjoram, allspice)

-Head Cheese (Ingredients: beef, beef heart, beef tongue, water, sea salt, onion powder, white pepper, coriander)

-Raw Uncooked Beef Braunschweiger (Ingredients: beef, beef liver, water, sea salt, onion powder, raw honey, white pepper, coriander, marjoram, allspice)

-Fully Cooked Beef Braunschweiger (Ingredients: beef, beef liver, water, sea salt, onion powder, white pepper, coriander, marjoram, allspice)

-Chicken Braunschweiger (Ingredients: beef, chicken liver, sea salt, onion powder, raw honey, white pepper, coriander, marjoram, allspice)

General Characteristics

Head Cheese and Braunschweiger will be milder in taste compared to Liverwurst. Liverwurst has the strongest flavor of all our organ sausages due to the kidneys being a vital ingredient. Weston A. Price members have made our Liverwurst the best selling organ sausage at the annual conference. Overall, it is our best selling organ sausage as well. It is the most diverse in the kinds of organs (liver, kidneys and heart); due to this diversity, Braunschweiger actually contains more liver. 

We personally love the Raw Braunschweiger. Because the Braunschweiger is raw, we are able to easily mix it with ground beef. This is particularly useful if you are new to incorporating organ meats into a diet. It has a consistency similar to bread dough. Once thawed, the Raw Braunschweiger will be quite soft as compared to the firmer, fully cooked sausages. 

Head cheese does not contain cheese! Historically, versions have varied greatly by region and culture; our Head Cheese is a simple cold beef sausage which contains heart and tongue.

Color variances are normal for all organ sausages- the outside of the product is typically darker and the inside lighter in color. We do not use any dyes in our products. 

Thawing Tips

You may notice purge or the water that is released every time you freeze and thaw meat. We use none of the phosphorus and dairy binders that the commercial sausage makers use to cover up this issue, so some customers are surprised to find a red liquid upon thawing. Although not the most visually appealing, this is a natural occurrence and no cause for concern.

The Liverwurst will show the most purge as it is richest in the organ meats compared to the Braunschweiger that will have just a bit, and the Head Cheese that rarely has noticeable purge.

The Chicken Braunschweiger is softer than the beef organ sausages. When slicing, we prefer to only partially thaw the Chicken Braunschweiger. We have found this allows for easier slicing of this organ sausage variety.

With the exception of the Raw Braunschweiger, the organ sausages are fully cooked and ready to be thawed and enjoyed. Slower thawing in the refrigerator will produce less purge as compared to faster thawing on the counter at room temperature.

organsausages

Storage

Once thawed, the organ sausages will last about a week in the refrigerator as we do not add preservatives or nitrates. If you like, the organ sausages may be partially thawed, portioned and refrozen. We use this method ourselves.

For some customers, organ meats recall flavors they haven't tasted since their childhood; for others, this is an entirely new experience. The palate may take time to adjust to the richness of organ meats. Many customers have commented that pairing the organ sausages with mustard or cheese, drizzling slices with olive oil or even chopping into chunks and using as a salad topping helped make this new flavor more familiar and enjoyable.

While most customers simply thaw and enjoy our cooked organ sausages, you may also enjoy some tried and true recipes including LiverloafUlster Fry, and Beef Bacon Braunschweiger Sliders.

Do you have a favorite organ sausage? Do you have any recipes or advice for someone trying organ sausages for the first time? Feel free to share your comments.

'Tis the Season for Bones and Broth

What can you do to prevent cold and flu this winter?

Beef marrow stock MEDIUM resized 600

One of the most nutrient-dense products we carry is our beef bone broth. Made with our grass-fed marrow bones, this is a recipe that has been nourishing cultures for generations. For the last 12 years, we have use the tried and true recipe from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions cookbook. 

Bone broth remains a diet staple for the Weston A. Price Foundation. We have customers suffering with everything from chronic fatigue to cancer, who call in asking for broth at their doctor's request. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, bone broth is the perfect elixir to add to soups, roasts, or add some herbs and sip it straight. 

We offer three convenient sizes of bone broth:

- 14 ounces/1.75 cups

- 2.4 pounds/4.8 cups 

- 5 pounds/10 cups

Our bone broth ships frozen. For storage, the broth may be thawed and separated into smaller containers. Some customers will thaw the broth and pour it into ice cube trays. The best storage option would depend on how quickly you intend to use the broth. We recommend storing in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and the freezer for long-term storage.

Want to make your own bone broth?

marrow bones 1290

We sell the marrow bones that are perfect for your homemade stocks and broth. Bone marrow is available in three convenience sizes: 

- Small bones (4-6 bones/1 pound average)

- Medium bones (2-3 bones/1.2 pound average)

- Large bones (1-2 bones/1.75 pound average)

Also great for homemade stocks and broth: 

- Oxtail

- Knuckle Bone Cartilage

We recommend the medium marrow bones containing 2-3 bones, which seems to be the favorite for homemade bone broth. Here are some of our favorite beef and chicken broth recipes for you to try: 

Food Lovers' Primal Palate Bone Broth

The Domestic Man's Bone Broth

- Holistic Squid's Chicken Broth

Read more about bone marrow and bone broth:

Broth is Beautiful 

7 Grassfed Foods that Can Really Improve Your Natural Functions

How Bone Broth Supports Your Adrenals, Bones and Teeth

Bone Marrow: Delicious, Nutritious and Underappreciated

We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to share your comments with us.

The “Super-Nutrient” in Your Slow Cooker

By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet

Happy New YearIt’s the time of year for merriment. And for most people, holiday indulgences can leave you feeling sluggish and dull as you ring in the New Year.

But it’s not just holiday overindulgences that tax our liver and leave us feeling low. Every day we’re exposed to a barrage of assaults from the air we breathe, the water we drink and the chemicals we come into contact with.

Our modern world a toxic soup and we can’t help but bathe in it.

And while many people choose to more “drastic” measures (like a multi-day juice fast) to help counteract the damage, there’s a more practical way to lighten your liver’s burden and cleanse away occasional culinary sins and environmental toxins…

Drink bone broth!

The Non-Essential Nutrient That’s Essential for DetoxifyingBroth

Bone broth is rich in a wide variety of nutrients, including the amino acid glycine. Glycine is the simplest of all amino acids and is considered “non-essential.” That means that it can be produced by the body.

But when it comes to detoxification, glycine is absolutely essential. In fact, without enough glycine, your liver’s ability to do its job comes to a slow grind.

You see, glycine is one of several starting compounds needed to make the body’s most powerful antioxidant and detoxifying agent: glutathione.

The Most Miraculous Anti-Aging Substance (Your Doctor Hasn’t Heard Of)

Glutathione is made up of just three amino acids bonded together – glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid. And while glutathione is a very small and simple molecule, its function in the body is extremely diverse… and unquestionably vital.

It’s so important that more than 89,000 medical articles have been written about it!

The first way that glutathione works its healing magic is by recharging the other antioxidants in your body. These include vitamin C, vitamin E and lipoic acid. Without glutathione, free radicals would overwhelm your antioxidant defenses and cause rapid physical deterioration.

But this amazing substance is also an essential part of your liver’s ability to detoxify the blood.

Here’s how it happens…

Glutathione: Your Body’s Crucial Cleanser

First, the blood is filtered by the liver. Think of this as the deep cleaning phase. Toxins and other unwanted chemical junk are removed from the blood and converted into water-soluble chemicals (called conjugates). These conjugates are then reduced to smaller fragments, which can then be more easily neutralized and excreted.  

The next step is called phase II detoxification. This is where enzymes and antioxidants – including glutathione – step in to neutralize the metabolic debris and free radicals that were gathered or generated in the first phase.

Day in and day out, your body performs these complex housekeeping tasks. But this internal “maid service” does not come without a cost – each and every time the body cleanses compounds from the blood, glutathione and other vital nutrients are depleted.

And the more toxins you are exposed to, or the longer the exposure, the more costly this “housekeeping” becomes from a nutritional standpoint.

This is exactly why you need to…

Detox Weekly… Not Yearly

Humans are in contact with more toxins today than ever before in history. From radiation to the tens of thousands of chemicals we’re exposed to in our food, water and air – your health depends on being able to continuously and efficiently detoxify.

The best way to achieve this is to provide your body with a constant supply of the nutrients that facilitate internal cleansing – including glycine.

And making bone broth is the best and easiest way to incorporate the glutathione-boosting benefits of glycine into your diet.

Here are some quick tips to get the most:

Cook Slow & Low: Longer cooking times at lower temperatures help to ensure maximum extraction of glycine and other important nutrients in bones. To make bone broth simply add 4-5 large bones to a slow cooker and fill three-quarters full with water (you can add salt, seasonings, onions and vegetables, if you wish). Make sure you have enough water in the pot and cook for 24 hours on low to create a nutrient-dense broth.

Add Parts: Marrow bones are the standard for making bone broth, but you can get more glycine if you add parts like chicken feet.

Consider the Fat: If you make a bone broth predominantly from beef bones, the fat will be saturated. However chicken parts will produce more omega-6 fats. For this reason, you should consider scraping (if it’s cold) or ladling the fat from top of bone broth made from chicken.

Make Gelatin Cubes: If you won’t be using or consuming all of your nutrient-rich bone broth within four to seven days, simply spoon or pour the amount you want to store into ice cube trays and freeze. Then pop out the cubes and store them in a zip-top bag for quick individual use. They can be added to soups, stews and sauces or just gently heated for a soothing, cleansing drink.

To lighten your liver’s load, you should also avoid processed foods and chemicals, limit your alcohol consumption and engage in regular exercise. But for the toxins that inevitably make their way into your body, boosting glutathione and other key nutrients goes a long way to protecting your health. And consuming glycine-rich bone broth is one of the best ways to do that.

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Ed Note: Do you want to learn more about boosting your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier? Check out Kelley’s comprehensive series The Food Cure where you’ll learn the 4 supplements and 13 foods you should be eating every day to maximize your body’s production of this miracle substance!

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REFERENCES

1.    N.R. Gotthoffer. Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine.
2.    De Rosa SC, Zaretsky MD, Dubs JG, Roederer M, Anderson M, Green A, Mitra D, Watanabe N, Nakamura H, Tjioe I, Deresinski SC, Moore WA, Ela SW, Parks D, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA. N-acetylcysteine replenishes glutathione in HIV infection. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000 Oct;30(10):915-29
3.    Nuttall S, Martin U, Sinclair A, Kendall M. 1998. Glutathione: in sickness and in health. The Lancet 351(9103):645-646
4.    Fidelus R.K., Tsan M.F. Glutathione and lymphocyte activation: a function of aging and auto-immune disease. Immunology. 1987 61:503-508.
5.    Wellner V.P., Anderson M.E., Puri R.N., Jensen G.L., Meister A. (1982) Radioprotection by glutathione ester: transport of glutathione ester in human lymphoid cells and fibroblasts. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 81, 4732

How to Feed Your “Forgotten Organ” for Better Health


By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet

There is an organ that is as important to your health as your heart, liver and lungs. But you’ve probably never heard of it.

This “forgotten organ” plays a wide number of vital roles in your body. It synthesizes vitamins. It helps to regulate your hormones. It disarms carcinogens. It breaks down toxins. It even helps to kill invading pathogens.

And that’s not nearly all. It also impacts the way your body extracts calories from food. It affects your mood. And it plays a vital role in training your immune system to prevent everything from colds and flu… to cancer.

The bad news is that most of us are assaulting this organ on a daily basis. We damage it with the foods we eat, the products we use, and sometimes with the medicines we take.
So, what is this mysterious organ? It’s your microflora!

What You Can’t See Can Help You

Your microflora is also known as your microbiome. It is the collection of bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in your gut, on your skin, in your lungs, as well as in your mouth, your ears, and even your eyes.

According to Dr. Curtis Huttenhower, who leads the microbial research lab at Harvard, the average adult has around 100 trillion microbial cells that live in and on their body. This is more than ten times the number of human cells in the body!

But that’s not all. These cells have about 100 times as many genes as you do. “So not only are we outnumbered,” says Huttenhower. “We're outgunned.” The bottom line is that the genetic material in your body is only about 1 percent human. The remaining 99 percent is microbial!

And these microbes are not just “hitching a ride.” You have a symbiotic relationship with them. You give them a place to live. And they help to keep you alive. You literally could not survive without them.

In fact, the research continues to mount on how these “probiotic” organisms promote health and help to prevent disease:

  • Digestion & Nutrient Assimilation: The microbes in your digestive tract synthesize vitamin B-12 and vitamin K. They also help to digest the food you eat.
  • Autism: Autistic children often suffer from bowel conditions and have high levels of “bad” bacteria, called Clostridia, in their gut. Probiotics crowd out Clostridia and promote the growth of “friendly” bacteria instead.
  • Autoimmune Disease: Early research shows that several autoimmune diseases – such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes – may have roots in microflora imbalances.
  • Obesity & Belly Fat: Certain bacteria promote the storage of fat. However, studies also show that certain beneficial bacteria help to reduce body fat – especially dangerous belly fat.
  • Depression & Anxiety: Research shows that our microbiome alters brain neurochemistry. Probiotics have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
  • Eczema & Allergies: Studies show that probiotics may also help alleviate eczema and a wide variety of allergies by modulating the immune system.

With so many benefits, it’s not surprising that so many people are popping probiotic pills to help their friendly bacteria flourish. But there is a better (and cheaper!) way: fermented foods.

Fermented FoSaurkrautods for Your Forgotten Organ

Even if you make it a point to top your grass-fed beef hot dog with a healthy helping of sauerkraut… and eat a neatly packaged “made with active cultures” yogurt on a regular basis, chances are you’re not getting the probiotic benefits you’re looking for.
And the reason lies in the processing.

Today, I’ll share with you 11 probiotic superfoods… plus, how to choose the right ones to get the most bacterial bang for your buck.  

Fermented Vegetables: Sauerkraut, Kimchi and Pickles

Most commercially available fermented vegetables are made with vinegar. But natural fermentation relies on Lactobacillus bacteria (particularly L. acidophilus) to turn crisp cabbage into tart sauerkraut and bland cucumbers into sour pickles.

As fermentation occurs, these good bacteria produce and excrete lactic acid, which in turn preserves the vegetable. And guess what – lactic acid has a role in preserving our health too.
In the intestines, lactic acid promotes a slightly acidic pH. This inhibits the growth of certain undesirable bacteria. It also helps to enhance the absorption of protein and minerals, including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and manganese.

What’s more, certain strains of Lactobacillus act as natural antibiotics. They help to fight off  bacteria such as Streptococcus (strep), Staphylococcus (staph), Salmonella, Clostridium botulinum, and E. coli – as well as viruses, including polio, HIV, and herpes.

Traditional German sauerkraut, brine pickles, and Korean kimchi are three probiotic foods that bring healthy bacteria into your gastrointestinal tract. But be sure to choose those in the refrigerated section and made without vinegar (Bubbies is a brand that creates traditional fermented foods). Better yet, look to your local Weston A. Price chapter for sources of fermented foods in your area or pick up a book on pickling and make your own for pennies.

Fermented Soy: Miso, Tempeh and Natto

If you eat legumes, fermented soy products are another great way to get more healthy bacteria into your gut. Stir a spoonful of miso into hot water for a probiotic broth, sauté tempeh in coconut oil and enjoy with vegetables or on salads. Or mix natto with kimchi or sautéed veggies. Be sure to choose organic fermented soy products to avoid GMOs, pesticides and other chemicals. Look for these foods in the refrigerated section of your grocer.  

Cultured Dairy: Yogurt, Kefir and Raw-Milk Cheeses

Yogurt, kefir and many raw-milk cheeses (including Parmigiano Reggiano, cheddars and Goudas) contain some of the live bacteria that helped transform them from milk to cheese. Blue cheeses, soft cheeses (like Brie) and cave-aged cheese are even richer in beneficial microorganisms. Look for aged and raw cheeses offered by US Wellness Meats, and raw kefir and yogurt from your local organic farmer.  

Fermented Beverages: Kvass and Kombucha

Fermented beverages including kvass (typically from beets and sometimes from grain) and kombucha (made by fermenting sweetened tea), make delicious additions to your diet. You’ve probably noticed kombucha popping up on grocery shelves everywhere. But it’s easy (and a lot cheaper) to make your own. All you need is a scoby (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), some sweetened tea and about two weeks. These healthy beverages are a fun way to get more flora into your diet.

When it comes to keeping your forgotten organ fed, keep this in mind: frequency matters. It’s not enough to eat fermented foods once in a while. To get the benefits, be sure to include at least one serving of living fermented foods daily.

In addition to enjoying more naturally fermented probiotic foods, be sure to avoid flora-killers including antibiotics (from medication and from conventionally-raised meats), pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, chlorine and fluoride (from tap water), excess alcohol consumption, anti-bacterial products, artificial sweeteners as well as processed foods and sugars.

 

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ED NOTE: Do you love rich, buttery desserts… but not the grain or sugar? Then check out Kelley’s one-of-a-kind program called Guilt-Free Desserts. You won’t believe just how easy it can be to make extraordinary dessert creations that are as healthy as they are delicious!

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REFERENCES
1.    Han Y, Kim B, Ban J, et al. A randomized trial of Lactobacillus plantarum CJLP133 for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2012 Nov;23(7):667-73.
2.    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC Home Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)
3.    Pharmacy Times; Antibiotics, Probiotics, and Microflora; Ross Pelton, R.Ph., Ph.D., C.C.N.; 2005
4.    "European Journal of Gastroentology and Hepatology"; The Intestinal Lesion of Autistic Spectrum Disorder; J.R. Jass; August 2005
5.    Javier A. Bravo, Paul Forsythe, Marianne V. Chew, Emily Escaravage, Hélène M. Savignac, Timothy G. Dinan, John Bienenstock, John F. Cryan. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011
6.     Bercik P, Park AJ, Sinclair D, Khoshdel A, Lu J, Huang X, Deng Y, Blennerhassett PA, Fahnestock M, Moine D, Berger B, Huizinga JD, Kunze W, McLean PG, Bergonzelli GE, Collins SM, Verdu EF. The anxiolytic effect of Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 involves vagal pathways for gut-brain communication. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2011 Dec;23(12):1132-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2011.01796.x. Epub 2011 Oct 11.
7.    Bravo JA, Forsythe P, Chew MV, Escaravage E, Savignac HM, Dinan TG, Bienenstock J, Cryan JF. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 20;108(38):16050-5. Epub 2011 Aug 29.
8.    Holzapfel WH, Haberer P, Snel J, Schillinger U Huis in't Veld JH. Overview of gut flora and probiotics. Int J Food Microbiol 1998 ; 41:85-101.  
9.    Vandenbergh PA. Lactic acid bacteria, their metabolic products and interference with microbial growth. FEMS Microbiol Rev 1993;12 : 221-38.   
10.    Orrhage K, Sillerstrom E, Gustafsson JA, Nord CE, Rafter J. Binding of mutagenic heterocyclic amines by intestinal and lactic acid bacteria . Mutat Res 1994;311:239-48.
11.    Ouwehand A, Vesterlund S. Health aspects of probiotics. IDrugs 2003;6 : 573-80.  
12.    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organizations 2002. Guidelines for the evaluation of probiotics in food. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organizations. Working Group Report (online).   Back to cited text no. 75    

13th Annual Weston A. Price Conference

Another successful Weston A. Price Conference is in the books. We had a great time in beautiful Santa Clara, CA. Thank you to all who stopped by our booth to meet us, learn about US Wellness Meats, pick up some samples, and purchase some of our grass-fed selections.

 Why we love the WAPF Conference:

 image- We get to meet the customers we talk to on a daily basis, and also introduce US Wellness Meats to those who haven't heard of us! Being an online company, our only interaction with our customers is over the phone. It’s always a pleasure meeting everyone at the conference. Some faces we recognize from past years and some are new. We are so appreciative of everyone’s support and patronage throughout the years. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our loyal customers.

- We get to see our blogger and wholesale friends! Thank you to all of our Price and Paleo friends who stopped by our booth. This year there were a few new faces. We were so pleased to meet Stan Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue. Stan is also our November featured chef. We also saw some familiar faces: Hayley and Bill from Food Lovers Primal Palate, Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo, Diane from Balanced Bites, Laura from Ancestralize Me, Caitlin from Grass Fed Girl, and many more. Some of our wholesale customers stopped by to say hello as well. Thank you to Dr. Roger Trubey from The Old Country Store and our friends from Dealer.com. It was also great to see Chaffin Family Orchards and our Vital Choice family. We enjoyed talking to each and every one of you.

- We get to provide samples of some of our grass-fed, nutrient-dense products! Every year we take a variety of products for sampling, this year was no different. We distributed samples of some of our best selling snack selections: beef snack sticks, jerky, and pemmican. We also sampled some nutrient-dense organ meats that are favorites at every conference we attend: beef liverwurst, braunschweiger, and head cheese

blogpost

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by to see us. What a wonderful gathering of like-minded people interested in food, nutrition, behavior and health. We are already looking forward to seeing everyone again next year in Atlanta for the 14th Annual Weston A. Price Conference.

What products would you like to see us sampling next year? Leave us a comment and you could win a prize package that includes some of our WAPF favorites. 

Prize Package (valued at $115):

- Liverwurst    

- Head Cheese            

- Braunschweiger                    

- Chicken Braunschweiger      

- Sugar-Free Beef Franks        

- Beef Snack Sticks

- Plain and Spicy Beef Jerky

- Honey/Cherry Free Pemmican Pail

Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, November 26th. Thank you for your participation! 

The American Paradox (Why You Should Eat Lard!)

By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet

I have a confession to make: I’m a recovering vegetarian.

I didn’t shun meat for ethical reasons… although I do believe that all animals should be treated respectfully and humanely (even the ones we are raising for food). The reason I shunned meat is because I once believed that animal foods were unhealthy. I believed that they contributed to chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

But despite my belief that a vegetarian diet was healthy… my body disagreed. I felt poorly. I was frequently sick. My hair lacked luster and my skin was dull. My mood and energy were almost always low. And while I wasn’t overweight, I did carry excess body fat.

In addition to fearing meat, I also feared fat. I used small amounts of olive oil or (gasp!) vegetable oil. But most of the time, I opted for “low-fat” products. Grain had a place at nearly every meal – whether it was bread, pasta, oats or rice.

The diet I was eating was not the one that humans evolved to eat. And my health, appearance and mental outlook suffered for it.

Around ten years ago, I began to learn the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy ones. I learned that much of what we have been told about nutrition and disease was a big fat lie. And I learned that the diet most humans do best on is the one that our genetic ancestors consumed, before the dawn of modern agriculture.

I soon shifted to a more primal diet. I began by adding fish, then poultry, then beef and pork. I also eliminated vegetable oils and grains. Everything started to change. My energy levels increased. My body became leaner and more responsive to workouts. And my skin started to glow again.

As I tossed out the canola oil and soy burgers, I replaced them with grass-fed beef and traditional healthy fats… including lard.

Wait a minute, you might say. For decades we’ve been told that animal fat is bad for our health. And lard is the worst of all. The very word “lard” conjures up clogged arteries and a big backside.

Those connotations are unfortunate, because lard is a healthy fat. In fact, it is one of the healthiest fats you can use for cooking. So what makes lard healthy? And why is it good for cooking?

What Lard and the Mediterranean Diet and Have in Common

Olive OilThe Mediterranean diet has long been praised for its health benefits. And you might also know that this way of eating relies heavily on a type of fat called monounsaturated fat (MUFA). Research shows that monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) can help to:
•    Balance blood sugar
•    Boost HDL (or good) cholesterol
•    Protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation
•    Reduce belly fat
•    Reduce levels of CRP – a key marker of inflammation

We most commonly associate monounsaturated fat with olive oil and avocados. But this is also the primary fat found in lard. Monounsaturated fat accounts for 48 percent of lard’s composition.

Surprising, right?

What may be even more surprising is that many traditional Mediterranean diets – contrary to popular belief – are also high in saturated fat (which comprises 41 percent of lard).
Sally Fallon and Mary Enig explore this in a piece entitled: "The Mediterranean Diet: Pasta or Pastrami?"

"Consider the description of food in Sardinia [in Recipes of All Nations, published in 1935]. Grains are certainly a part of their diet, consumed as bread, pasta or polenta, but in most interesting ways. "One of their favorite ways of cooking macaroni is to cook it in either lamb or pork fat . . . with small pieces of either lamb or pork, chopped tomatoes, chopped garlic and curd, mixed with a little water and salt and moistened with a little game stock, if this is obtainable."

Gnocchi is flavored with saffron and "served with a tomato sauce, or with gravy and cheesemade from ewe's milk."

Polenta is enhanced with "chopped salt pork, small pieces of sausages and grated cheese."

A dish called La Favata is made with "pieces of salt pork, cut in large chunks, ham bone, special homemade sausages, a handful of dried beans, wild fennel, and other herbs and a little water."

Despite the widely held belief that Mediterranean diets derive their fat primarily from plant sources, historical records and traditional recipes tell a different story. They recount a culture with robust health and strong hearts. And it was a culture that prized and savored animal fats.

The American Paradox: Can Saturated Fat Reduce Heart Disease?

So what about the idea that saturated fat causes heart disease?

It’s just not true.

HeartIn fact, a growing body of research shows that saturated fats have been wrongly accused of causing cardiovascular disease.

A review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluated data from 21 different studies. These studies involved more than 350,000 people. And the results? The researchers found "no significant evidence" that eating more saturated fat increased the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Another study published in the same journal found that saturated fat actually prevents the progression of coronary artery disease in women with metabolic syndrome. The researchers coined this phenomenon “The American Paradox”.

Multiple studies of Pacific Island populations who get as much as 60 percent of their total calories from saturated fat also show that cardiovascular disease is nearly non-existent.

Dr. Jeff Volek is a university professor and leading researcher. His extensive research shows that a high healthy-fat, low-carbohydrate diet confers significant health benefits. Dr. Volek also notes that, “Multiple recent reports find no association between dietary saturated fat intakes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).”

For decades, millions of people – at the urging of physicians and the fatally-flawed USDA pyramid – have avoided saturated fats for fear of disease. Lard has been especially vilified (even half the fat in lard is monounsaturated).

Instead, we have substituted polyunsaturated fats – like soy, corn, safflower, canola and other “vegetable” oils – much to our own demise.

Death by Vegetable Oil

While “vegetable oils” have been promoted as the healthy alternative, the truth is that these fats that are destructive to your health. A high intake of vegetable and seed oil is associated with inflammatory diseases including:

•    Cardiovascular disease
•    Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
•    Obesity
•    Irritable bowel syndrome
•    Macular degeneration
•    Rheumatoid arthritis
•    Asthma
•    Cancer
•    Psychiatric disorders
•    Autoimmune diseases

The reason? Vegetable oils cause free radical damage and inflammation. These are two primary contributors to chronic disease.

Cooking Up Chronic Disease

Because of their weak structure, vegetable oils break down readily (go rancid) simply when exposed to light and oxygen. Adding heat further damages their delicate structure. This generates more free radicals and dangerous compounds called lipid oxidation products (LOPs).

LOPs cause oxidative damage in tissues, cells and genes. They also cause cholesterol to oxidize and become “sticky.” This is a major risk factors for heart disease!

And that’s not all. By attacking cells and tissues, LOPs have also been found to promote cancer, macular degeneration, IBD, asthma, Parkinson's disease, kidney damage, preeclampsia and more.

But saturated fats are different. They are resistant to rancidity and oxidation. And they remain stable under heat.

Choosing Stable Fats for Superior Health

So, toss your vegetable oils and any packaged foods (including salad dressings, crackers, sauces, mayonnaises) that contain “vegetable oils” such as canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil and vegetable shortening.

LardFor sautéing, stir-frying, pan searing, baking or other cooking methods, opt for fats with a high ratio of saturated fats – like lard, tallow, ghee and coconut oil.

And when choosing lard – or any animal-derived fat – be sure that it is pasture-raised without hormones or antibiotics, such as the products offered by US Wellness Meats.

 

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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the Founder and Editor of Healing Gourmet – the leading provider of organic, sustainable recipes and meal plans for health and weight loss. Be sure to grab Eating Clean & Saving Green: Your Guide to Organic Foods on a Budget and Eat Your Way Into Shape: Flip Your Body’s Fat Blasting Switch and Melt 12 Pounds in 2 Weeks (includes a delicious 7 day meal plan!). Claim your free copies here...
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REFERENCES

1.    "Canadian Medical Association Journal"; Adding Monounsaturated Fatty Acids to a Dietary Portfolio of Cholesterol-lowering Foods in Hypercholesterolemia; DJ Jenkins, et al.; December 2010.
2.    "Lipids"; Dietary Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Are Protective Against Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors; LG Gillingham, et al.; March 2011.
3.    "Public Health Nutrition"; Mediterranean Diet and Metabolic Syndrome: The Evidence; N Babio, et al.; September 2009.
4.    Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM (March 2010). "Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 91 (3): 535–46. DOI:10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725. PMC 2824152. PMID 20071648.
5.    Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;91(3):502-9. Epub 2010 Jan 20.
6.    Kuipers RS, de Graaf DJ, Luxwolda MF, Muskiet MH, Dijck-Brouwer DA, Muskiet FA. Saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease. Neth J Med. 2011 Sep;69(9):372-8.
7.    J Bruce German and Cora J Dillard. Saturated fats: what dietary intake? Am J Clin Nutr 2004 80: 3 550-559
8.    Jeff S Volek and Cassandra E Forsythe. The case for not restricting saturated fat on a low carbohydrate diet. Nutrition & Metabolism 2005, 2:21 doi:10.1186/1743-7075-2-21
9.    Arora SK, McFarlane SI: The case for low carbohydrate diets in diabetes management.Nutr Metab (Lond) 2005, 2:16.
10.    Volek JS, Sharman MJ, Forsythe CE: Modification of lipoproteins by very low-carbohydrate diets. J Nutr 2005, 135:1339-1342.
11.    German JB, Dillard CJ: Saturated fats: what dietary intake? Am J Clin Nutr 2004, 80:550-559.
12.    Ravnskov U: The questionable role of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in cardiovascular disease. J Clin Epidemiol 1998, 51:443-460.
13.    Trumbo P, Schlicker S, Yates AA, Poos M: Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein and amino acids. J Am Diet Assoc 2002, 102:1621-1630.
14.    Grundy SM: Influence of stearic acid on cholesterol metabolism relative to other long-chain fatty acids. Am J Clin Nutr 1994, 60:986S-990S. PubMed Abstract OpenURL
15.    French MA, Sundram K, Clandinin MT: Cholesterolaemic effect of palmitic acid in relation to other dietary fatty acids. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2002, 11 Suppl 7:S401-S407.
16.    Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB, Herrington DM: Dietary fats, carbohydrate, and progression of coronary atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2004, 80:1175-1184.
17.    Knopp RH, Retzlaff BM: Saturated fat prevents coronary artery disease? An American paradox. Am J Clin Nutr 2004, 80:1102-1103.
18.    Katan MB, Zock PL, Mensink RP: Dietary oils, serum lipoproteins, and coronary heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 1995, 61:1368S-1373S. PubMed Abstract OpenURL
19.    Berglund L, Oliver EH, Fontanez N, Holleran S, Matthews K, Roheim PS, Ginsberg HN, Ramakrishnan R, Lefevre M: HDL-subpopulation patterns in response to reductions in dietary total and saturated fat intakes in healthy subjects.Am J Clin Nutr 1999, 70:992-1000.
20.    Hays JH, DiSabatino A, Gorman RT, Vincent S, Stillabower ME: Effect of a high saturated fat and no-starch diet on serum lipid subfractions in patients with documented atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.Mayo Clin Proc 2003, 78:1331-1336.
21.    Seshadri P, Iqbal N, Stern L, Williams M, Chicano KL, Daily DA, McGrory J, Gracely EJ, Rader DJ, Samaha FF: A randomized study comparing the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet and a conventional diet on lipoprotein subfractions and C-reactive protein levels in patients with severe obesity. Am J Med 2004, 117:398-405.
22.    Mylonas C, Kouretas D. Lipid peroxidation and tissue damage. In Vivo. 1999 May-Jun;13(3):295-309.
23.    H Esterbauer .Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of lipid-oxidation products. Am J Clin Nutr 1993 57: 5 779S-785S
24.    Knopp RH, Retzlaff BM: Saturated fat prevents coronary artery disease? An American paradox. Am J Clin Nutr 2004, 80:1102-1103.  
25.    Katan MB, Zock PL, Mensink RP: Dietary oils, serum lipoproteins, and coronary heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 1995, 61:1368S-1373S.
26.    Berglund L, Oliver EH, Fontanez N, Holleran S, Matthews K, Roheim PS, Ginsberg HN, Ramakrishnan R, Lefevre M: HDL-subpopulation patterns in response to reductions in dietary total and saturated fat intakes in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1999, 70:992-1000.  
27.    Hays JH, DiSabatino A, Gorman RT, Vincent S, Stillabower ME: Effect of a high saturated fat and no-starch diet on serum lipid subfractions in patients with documented atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Mayo Clin Proc 2003, 78:1331-1336.
28.    Seshadri P, Iqbal N, Stern L, Williams M, Chicano KL, Daily DA, McGrory J, Gracely EJ, Rader DJ, Samaha FF: A randomized study comparing the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet and a conventional diet on lipoprotein subfractions and C-reactive protein levels in patients with severe obesity. Am J Med 2004, 117:398-405.  
29.    Hibbeln, J. Nieminen, L. et al. Supplement: n–3 Fatty Acids: Recommendations for Therapeutics and Prevention. Healthy intakes of n−3 and n−6 fatty acids: estimations considering worldwide diversity Am J Clin Nutr June 2006 83: 6 S1483-1493S
30.    Bill Lands. How is tissue fatty acid composition maintained? Seminar to the Polyunsaturated Lipid Function Special Interest Group Wednesday February 12, 2003
31.    Addis PB. Occurrence of lipid oxidation products in foods. Food Chem Toxicol. 1986 Oct-Nov;24(10-11):1021-30.
32.    Kubow S. Lipid oxidation products in food and atherogenesis. Nutr Rev. 1993 Feb;51(2):33-40.
33.    Spiteller G. The relation of lipid peroxidation processes with atherogenesis: a new theory on atherogenesis. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005 Nov;49(11):999-1013.
34.    Kaunitz H, Dayrit CS. Coconut oil consumption and coronary heart disease. Philippine Journal of Internal Medicine, 1992;30:165-171.
35.    Barry Groves, PhD.  Second Opinions: Exposing Dietary Misinformation: The Cholesterol Myth.

Paleo, Primal, and Price

The question has arisen recently on various blogs about whether the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price are compatible with the Paleo and Primal movements. A similar question has been raised as to whether the Weston A. Price Foundation and its members are hostile to the Paleo and Primal movements.

I have studied Dr. Price’s work for years, so much so that my copy of his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, has literally fallen apart. I have been a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation for years. I have followed a Weston A. Price style diet for over six years. I have read and studied almost every article on the vast website of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I have designed my cookbooks to be completely compatible with the teachings of Dr. Price. I have strongly advocated the Weston A. Price style of eating on my blog, and still do.

Though I am a member, I do not speak for the Weston A. Price Foundation. Nobody speaks for the Foundation except its officers, officially designated spokespeople, and board members. I speak for myself.

I consider the teachings of Dr. Price to be compatible with a number of Paleo and Primal diets.

I support, respect, and admire the Paleo and Primal movements.

We have so much in common. We are all looking for an alternative to the horrible modern diet which has destroyed the health of so many people. We all reject modern processed foods in favor of real food, food that humans have thrived on for uncounted years. We are all trying to base our diets on the wisdom of our ancestors. So many of us have had amazing health benefits from following the food wisdom of our ancestors. We are natural allies. We should unite politically to protect our access to real food. We should support, encourage, share what we know, and learn from each other. And many of us have been doing exactly that.

The Many Diets of Doctor Price

As many of us know, Dr. Price traveled the world for ten years, visiting and studying various peoples who were eating the traditional diets of their ancestors. Each one of these traditional people had relatives who were eating a modern diet in a nearby town or city, so Dr. Price was able to compare the teeth and health of those who ate traditional food to those who ate modern food. Dr. Price found that the people eating their traditional diets had perfect teeth, despite having no dental care, and were free of the modern chronic diseases that cripple and kill so many people in modern cultures, both then and today. In other words, they had no cancer, no heart disease, no birth defects, not arthritis, no asthma, no allergies, no tuberculosis, none of the modern chronic diseases. They were so much healthier than we are, in so many ways. Yet, the relatives of those people, if they made the terrible mistake of eating modern foods, lost their teeth, and suffered from all of the chronic modern diseases, unlike their cousins who ate like their ancestors.

No two of the diets studied by Dr. Price were alike. There were peoples who ate traditionally prepared grains and dairy, along with meat and vegetables. There were peoples who ate meat, dairy, and vegetables, but no grains. There were peoples who ate only the animals they hunted, and ate no dairy, grains, or vegetables. Most of these peoples ate wild seafood, but some had no access to it. All of these peoples were healthy and free of chronic disease, with perfect teeth. And they had essentially no modern medical care, and no dentistry. So we know for a fact that all of these ancestral diets worked wonderfully for human beings.

Yet, all of these diets had something in common. They all ate meat, and they all consumed large amounts of animal fat, and/or fish fat. They all fermented various foods, a process that both preserved foods and increased the nutritional value. They all had sacred foods, foods that they valued above all others. These sacred foods were rich in animal or fish fat, including such items as organ meats, fish eggs, and butter. None of these peoples ate modern processed foods, even the kinds that were available in the 1930s.

So you can follow the research results of Dr. Price, and eat or avoid a wide variety of foods. You do not have to eat grains. You do not have to eat dairy. As long as you eat real, unmodified food, and eat plenty of natural animal fat, and avoid modern processed foods, you are on the path. You can also add in traditionally prepared grains and/or dairy, and still be on the path. It depends on how you respond to various foods, what you can get, how much work you are willing to put into it, and the condition of your body. The choice is yours, and I respect your right to make it.

The Many Diets of Paleo and Primal

There is no single Paleo or Primal diet. There are dozens of variations. Some allow some dairy and/or grains. Some do not. These diets are constantly evolving and changing as more is learned, a healthy and vital process that is great for the movement. Yet, all of these diets seek to eat the foods that our ancestors thrived on, and look to the wisdom of our ancestors in choosing food. Many of them seek to eat foods similar to those eaten before the advent of agriculture. No one knows for sure what Paleolithic people ate. We can make some pretty good guesses, based on what people without agriculture or herds have eaten in recorded history, and based on what some of the peoples studied by Dr. Price ate. Some of the details of what we do know are surprising. For example, some people who had no dairy animals ate animal milk. They did so by killing female animals, and eating the milk they found in the body. They would also kill young animals, such as bison calves, and eat the milk they found in the digestive system of the animal. We know that the Native Americans did this, and there is no reason to believe that any people who lived by hunting did not do the same. My point is that ancestral eating covers a huge range of foods.

I have spent a huge amount of time lurking on various Paleo and Primal blogs, and reading a huge number of articles. It is clear to me that no one in the movement actually wants to dig in the earth for bugs, or grab a spear and hunt for mammoth. The focus is on eating the foods of our ancestors, the foods we have eaten for a very long time, the foods that our bodies are accustomed to, the foods that we thrive on. That is a wonderful goal, and I share it.

What Does the Weston A. Price Foundation Actually Do about Paleo and Primal?

I am speaking only from my own observations, as I do not speak for the Weston A. Price Foundation. As I see it, the view of WAPF has changed with the evolvement and change of the Paleo and Primal movements.

The initial book by Dr. Cordain advocated a low-fat diet, which was totally opposed to the teachings of Dr. Price, and the book was not well received for that reason, and others. But many in the Paleo and Primal movements understand the value of traditional animal fats, and even Dr. Cordain has backed off that position. One of the things I love about these movements is the willingness to learn and change as more is discovered. And these changes in position have had an impact.

I think it is the most recent actions of WAPF that are most relevant to the issue. In March 2012, my friend Sarah Pope, a member of the board of the Weston A. Price Foundation, attended the PaleoFX12 convention is Austin, Texas, as a representative of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Sarah took part in a panel discussion, had a wonderful time, and had her picture taken with some Paleo leaders, such as Robb Wolf and Nora Gedgaudas. She wrote two positive blog posts about the conference, and mentioned how the Paleo movement “has much in common with the nutritional principles of Dr. Price.” It is clear that the hand of friendship was extended and accepted. And that is exactly the way it should be.

The Paleo, Primal, and Price Movements Are Already Learning from each Other

Anyone who reads a number of Paleo blogs knows that many Paleo people like the teachings of Dr. Price and WAPF, and have adopted some of the traditional methods of food preparation taught by WAPF. In fact, I have seen a great deal of praise for Price and WAPF methods on many Primal blogs and forums. Conversely, many Price followers have learned from the Primal and Paleo communities and changed their diets. I have three good friends who have followed a WAPF diet for years. They have experienced great health benefits, but have had some bad problems at times. All three of my friends have modified their diets by adopting some Paleo principles, including avoiding grains, and have had wonderful results with their customized “Price-Paleo” diets.

I myself have adopted some Paleo and Primal ideas in what I eat, and the results have been great!

All of us are individuals, we are all different, and what works for some may not work for all. But friendship between the Paleo, Primal, and Price movements benefits all of us.

I am grateful for the Weston A. Price Foundation, whose priceless knowledge enabled me to save my life and restore my health. And I am grateful to the Paleo and Primal movements, which have inspired so many people to reject SAD and adopt ancestral eating, and has taught me some valuable lessons.

Article compliments of Stanley Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue. For more informative posts, check out the Tender Grassfed Meat website. 

12th Annual Wise Traditions Conference!

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For the 6th consecutive year we have traveled to the Wise Traditions Conference of the Weston A. Price Foundation. This year the conference was held in “The Lone Star” state. It didn’t take long for Dallas to win our hearts over with the ideal weather, a warm welcome, and so many friendly faces.

The event began with the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund “Kick Up Your Heels” Thursday night dinner and organ sausage cookoff where we ate like queens! Every year we look forward to the Wise Traditions Conference for many reasons; one of which is the amazing food. This year was no exception! Our flavorful coulotte steak was the main course Thursday night where it was chargrilled to perfection and topped off with fresh herbs and apple cider vinaigrette. We also enjoyed an avacado and cucumber salad, jalapeno biscuits, cornbread, succotash and warm apple cobbler with custom made ice cream. Afterwards we had the pleasure of listening to some of our favorite keynote speakers: Sally Fallon Morell, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Michael Schmidt, and Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride. The night ended with everyone taking a spin on the dance floor with the fiddling Quebe Sisters Band.

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Friday morning kicked off the Real Food movement where we set up a US Wellness Meats booth and distributed samples of pemmican, beef jerky, snack sticks, head cheesebraunschweiger and liverwurst. As if that wasn’t enough we had another surprise in store. We treated everyone by cooking up some of our favorites including the ny strip steak, ribeye and sugar free beef franks. Among the wide selection of products we take to the conference, the liverwurst and braunschweiger are favorites every year. This year was no different. Our pemmican was a hit as well. Everyone that stopped by was more than willing to try every product available for sampling.

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The next few days continued much in the same way with distributing samples, selling products, talking to our loyal customers and meeting new customers. It was so wonderful to be in attendance at an event that brought together such a wide array of people who are just as passionate about food as we are. We very much enjoyed seeing each and every one of our valued customers, friends and bloggers.

We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone that took the time to stop by our booth, try some samples and chat with us! We look forward to seeing you all again at the 13th Annual Wise Traditions Conference next year in sunny Santa Clara, California.

untitled2 resized 600(Left to right): Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Chaffin Family Orchards, John Moody of Whole Life Buying Club and family, Liz of Cave Girl Eats and Laura of Ancestralize Me, and Randy, Carla, Dave, and Todd of Vital Choice

For more highlights of our trip visit us on Facebook and Twitter. What was your favorite part of the Wise Traditions Conference? What products would you like to see us bring for sampling next year? 

 

A Beautiful Life

I sit pondering this post after a morning of intense frustration. I’ve missed a flight, been bumped from standby, and nearly suffered a severed limb due to a rogue airport cart. The world seems a constant stream of frustration.
liz, cave girl eats
And yet I feel blessed. I have a loving family and a spectacular husband who serves our country’s Air Force.  I have a goofy, devoted dog who loves me unconditionally. I have a beautiful life.
liz, dog, cave girl eats
I haven’t always been so quick to recall what I’m grateful for in moments of irritation. But there’s been a change of late – a fundamental alteration to the way I live my life. The catalyst for this change? Re-thinking my relationship with food.

Simple, no?  Yet a concept that eluded me for twenty-five years. While giving thanks for the spread at each Thanksgiving was a given, I realized that I’d been giving thanks without considering the deeper meaning of nourishment.

Lacking that understanding meant I was simply giving thanks for the calories that are plentiful in this country. It never occurred to me that eating compassionately, with an eye for ancestral wisdom, was truly a way to live every moment gratefully; to give thanks for the natural provisions that allow us to thrive; to express gratitude-in-advance for the health such nourishment provides; and to do my part to care for the earth itself.

I now understand that there’s a difference between pasture-raised meats and “conventional” or “factory farmed” meats, both for our own health and for the environment. Pastured animals enrich the soil. Their meat provides cancer-fighting Conjugated Linoleic Acid. It supplies us with highly bio-available iron and vitamin B12 without the baggage of hormone treatments or antibiotic regimens (administered to treat conditions arising exclusively of biologically inappropriate feedlot practices). They contain the appropriate balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. They are, in every way, health-promoting.

One does not have to be a vegan to refuse to participate in the horrors of factory farming; and as a natural omnivore, one can play a small part in revolutionizing the way food is produced and the way our precious topsoil is tended. It’s quiet, yet profound activism.

One also doesn’t have to be wealthy to eat appropriately-raised meats (although, as my little family found, it may be necessary to relinquish cable television and the daily Starbucks).

As I’m apt to consider the metaphysical, I like to know that the soul of the animal I’m  eating was a nourished soul, raised on pasture, helping to build topsoil in a bio-dynamic environment. The same cannot be said of the products of Mass Agribusiness so omni-present in our food supply today. Heavily processed grains and soy products, “patented” corn (most of which is fed to animals, though their natural diet would be gleaned from pasture) and GMO foods are ubiquitous, yet can be avoided with some extra effort.

I accept my heritage as an omnivore, but I hold the responsibility of realizing that – as the organic activist Alice Waters has said – food itself is a privilege. The delicate balance of Nature – from the health of the soil to the life of the plant and animal – must be observed to maintain our long-term access to that privilege. The word for this is sustainability.
farmers market, cave girl eats
Expressing gratitude is done in both deliberate moments – say, the blessing given at the dinner table – and in the commitment to daily actions of appreciative living. As I learn more about the ideals of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the “Primal” and “Paleo” movements, I realize that the commitment to eating humanely raised, pastured meats, supporting conscientious farmers, and attempting to nourish myself with those precious, valuable, health-promoting foods is the best way to live my life with gratitude.

Now, if I could only catch the next flight out, my life would be complete.
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cave girl eatsLiz will become certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in October, 2011. She discovered the Paleo, Primal, and Weston A. Price nutritional ideals in 2010 and has never looked back. She serves as the Nutrition Advisor for Steve's Original, a 501 (c)(3) whose proceeds provide athletic training and mentorship to at-risk youth. Liz also writes a column for Paleo Magazine and writes about her adventures at CaveGirlEats.com. Tweeting @CaveGirlEats.

WAP on Whole Foods

The information below is from Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

                                                   Weston A Price, WAP

Dear Members,

The Weston A. Price Foundation has issued the following press release about the "Health Starts Here" low-fat, mostly vegetarian marketing program at Whole Foods Markets.

Please feel free to distribute this press release to your local media.  In addition, you can contact Whole Foods at customer.questions@wholefoods.com to share your experiences with low-fat versus traditional high-fat diets.

Sincerely,
Sally Fallon Morell, President

WHOLE FOODS PROMOTES MILITANT VEGETARIAN AGENDA
Has the Upscale Market Outlived Its Usefulness?

WASHINGTON, DC. February 3, 2010:  Whole Foods Markets has launched a nationwide "Health Starts Here" marketing scheme that endorses a low-fat, vegetarian diet, with promises that the diet will "improve health easily and naturally." The plan promotes the books and private business ventures of Joel Fuhrman, MD, and Rip Esselstyn, both of whom worked with Whole Foods to formulate the new guidelines. Customers now receive a pamphlet urging them to adopt a low-fat, plant-based diet and to cut back or completely eliminate animal foods.  Many Whole Foods stores no longer sell books advocating consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products.

The plan will feature new Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) labels for foods in the store; the index is designed to make plant foods to appear "nutrient dense" by favoring various phytonutrients in plants and ignoring many vitamins and minerals essential to health. "Whole Foods has stacked the deck against animal foods by choosing ANDI parameters that do not include a host of key nutrients, such as vitamins A, D and K, DHA, EPA arachidonic acid, taurine, iodine, biotin, pantothenic acid, and vital minerals like sodium, chloride, potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, copper, manganese, boron, molybdenum and chromium," says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. "Many of the phytochemicals that Fuhrman includes in the index he developed for Whole Foods play no essential role in the body and may even be harmful."

"Animal foods like meat, liver, butter, whole milk and eggs contain ten to one hundred times more vitamins and minerals than plant foods," says Fallon Morell. "Plant foods add variety and interest to the human diet but in most circumstances do not qualify as 'nutrient-dense' foods."

"For years before becoming deathly ill, I followed the dietary suggestions in the Whole Foods plan," said Kathryne Pirtle, author of Performance without Pain. "I ate large amounts of organic salads, vegetables and fruits, lots of whole grains, only a little meat and no animal fat. I had chronic pain for twenty-five years on this diet, then acid reflux, then a serious inflammation in my spine followed by chronic diarrhea. Without switching to nutrient-dense animal foods, including eggs, butter and whole dairy products, not only would I have lost my national career as a performing artist, I would have died at forty-five years old! I am not alone in this story of ill health from a low-fat, plant-based diet, which does not supply a person with enough nutrients to be healthy and can be very damaging to the intestinal tract."

"Consumers can send a message about Whole Foods' misinformed scheme by voting with their feet," says Fallon Morell.  "Most major grocery store chains now carry basic organic staples and a larger array of organic fruits and vegetables than Whole Foods markets. And citizens should purchase seasonal produce and their meat, eggs and dairy products directly from farmers engaged in non-toxic and grass-based farming. It's not appropriate for Whole Foods to promote a scheme that has no scientific basis and that bulldozes their customers towards the higher profit items in their stores." The local chapters of the Weston A. Price Foundation help consumers connect with farmers raising animal foods in humane, healthy and ecologically friendly fashion.

"The growing emphasis on plant-based diets deficient in animal protein also serves to promote soy foods as both meat and dairy substitutes," says Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food.   "Soy is not only one of the top eight allergens but has been linked in more than sixty years of studies to malnutrition, digestive distress, thyroid dysfunction, reproductive disorders including infertility, and even cancer, especially breast cancer."

"Low-fat patients are my most unhealthy patients," says John P. Salerno, MD, a board certified family physician from New York City. "The reason we are spiraling into diabetes and obesity is because of the low-fat concept developed by the U.S government decades ago. Low-fat diets have a low nutrient base, and phytonutrients in vegetables cannot be properly absorbed without fat."

Fallon Morell cites recent studies from Europe showing that low-fat diets promote weight gain in both children and adults, and also contribute to infertility. A meta-analysis published January, 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no significant evidence that saturated fat consumption is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

"Whole Foods CEO John Mackay has stated that eating animal fats amounts to an addiction. But in fact, animal fats are essential for good health," says Fallon Morell. "The nutrients in animal fats, such as vitamins A, D and K, arachidonic acid, DHA, choline, cholesterol and saturated fat, are critical for brain function. In the misguided war against cholesterol and saturated fat, we have created an epidemic of learning disorders in the young and mental decline in the elderly."

"Perhaps the vegetarian diet has affected the thinking powers of Whole Foods management," says Fallon Morell. "It's time for the stockholders to insist on leadership devoted to increasing customer base, not promoting a personal vegetarian agenda."

Comments about the Whole Foods Health Starts Here scheme can be emailed to
customer.questions@wholefoods.com.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a 501C3 nutrition education foundation with the mission of disseminating accurate, science-based information on diet and health. Named after nutrition pioneer Weston A. Price, DDS, author of the book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the Washington, DC-based Foundation publishes a quarterly journal for over 12,000 members, supports 400 local chapters worldwide and hosts a yearly conference. The Foundation headquarters phone number is (202) 363-4394, westonaprice.org, info@westonaprice.org.

CONTACT
Kimberly Hartke, Publicist, the Weston A. Price Foundation
703-860-2711, 703-675-5557 press@westonaprice.org

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