18 Jun Sally Fallon – MINDD Forum
Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, Bone Broths and Dietary Truths!
Continuing with our MINDD Forum inspired blog posts, this week we’re talking about all things Sally Fallon, Weston A. Price, traditional diets and much more. In fact I wish we could make this blog 10 pages long as there is so much invaluable information in this topic. Mind-blowing, eye-opening myth busters that we could talk about for much longer than just in a few paragraphs. But that’s why we offer you to come along to one of the For Life Retreats- learning more and be inspired for your own health.
If you have never heard of Sally Fallon Morell or her ground breaking book ‘Nourishing Traditions‘ you are lucky to be reading this blog and thus finding out more about this inspiring woman’s research and food philosophy.
Sally is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit organisation which aims to restore nutrient-dense foods to the western diet through education and research. She is a strong advocate for nutrition and one of the leading spokesperson to return to a nutrient dense diet including recent controversial foods such as raw milk, organ meat and animal fats.
As big fans of Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, we were beyond excited to hear what she had to share at the Forum.
A little more about Weston A Price, a dentist who published the book ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’ in 1939 based on his fieldwork studying native pre-industrialised cultures. This included the Inuit, Tribal Africans, South Pacific Islanders, Australian Aboriginals and Natives of North and South America. His original goal was to study their dental health and structures but Price realised that these cultures held the key to optimal health through their diets.
As Sally mentioned in her presentation, based on Price’s research, there was a great variety in those traditional diets. Some included no plant foods, some included grains, some didn’t have grains, some had dairy and some ate mainly raw foods, some had fruits and some didn’t.
So what were the underlying characteristics that all the traditional diets had in common??
The first thing Sally pointed out was that there were no refined or ‘denatured’ foods common in their diets- no white sugar, no white flour or corn syrup, no low fat and pasteurised milk and no hydrogenated fats.
This might not be such a big surprise to us. We all know that processed foods are not contributing to a healthy functioning body.
In her book Nourishing Traditions, Sally states that ‘although heart disease and cancer were rare at the turn of the century, today these two diseases strike with increasing frequency’. One big change has been the rapid rise in consumption of highly processed foods.
Animal Products and Vitamins
The next point of difference with all the native diets was that they all contained animal products!
Yes you read right! They all ate some form of meat- fish, shellfish, chicken, duck (including the organs, fat and skin), beef, sheep, goat (again with organ meats preferred), eggs, raw or cultured milk and milk products.
She went on to mention that one of the most important nutrients we receive from animal products are Vitamin B12, Vitamins A, D and K. Vitamins which are essential for countless processes in the body and nutrients which can be difficult if not impossible to be obtained on a plant based diet only.
Vitamin B12 deficiency, which Chris Kresser calls ‘a silent epidemic with serious consequences’, can lead to mental illness, cancer, alzheimers, obesity, cardiovascular disease, learning disorders, autism and many more. Recent studies show that about 40% of people between the ages of 26 to 83 are low in the B12 range.
Because these diets were extremely nutrient dense, traditional diets contained 4 times the calcium and other minerals, and 10 times the fat-soluble vitamins compared to the modern western diet.
Nutrient rich foods are disappearing, or already don’t exist anymore, in most households. Your children have eaten oysters ? Livers? Fish eggs? Kidneys? On a daily or at least weekly basis?
Yep, we didn’t think so. These foods are amongst the highest of zinc, Vitamin A and D. In case you didn’t know it yet but: There is NO vitamin A in plant foods. Zero. And in case you wondered what is it needed for: a well formed gut, healthy thyroid function, prevention of birth defects, calcium & protein absorption, immune system function and much much more to mention.
What about Vitamin D? This vitamin is responsible for healthy bones, reproduction, healthy skin, cell function, ‘feel good chemicals’, and insulin production.
Have you heard the myth that in order to get adequate Vitamin D all we need to do is to expose our face and hands to sunlight for 10 minutes every day?
Well, this is not quite right according to Sally. Our bodies actually make vitamin D out of cholesterol by the action of UV-B sunlight on the skin! UV-B is only available at mid-day during the summer months (except here in the subtropics in Byron Bay!).
Grass-fed butter contains Vitamin K2. This one you might have not heard of so far. Vitamin K2 is the animal form of Vitamin K.
It plays an important role in healthy bones, prevention of inflammation and calcification of the arteries, is vital for reproduction and helps with strong teeth and bones.
Where do we find it?
Egg yolk, pastured butter, chicken liver, sauerkraut, cod liver oil, pastured cheeses. Some cultures cooked some or most of their food but they always ate some of their animal foods raw- and this included raw milk and raw milk products, eggs, meats and fish.
High levels of friendly bacteria and enzymes were also included on a daily basis in the traditional diets.
Do we need to say more: Sauerkraut. But also other ferments such as Beet Kvass, Kefir, as well as raw dairy, raw honey, raw meat and fish.
No sessions of Sally Fallon would be complete without mentioning bone broths! All traditional cultures made use of bones, usually as bone broth. These elixirs supply calcium and other minerals in an easy form to assimilate, they help build healthy cartilage, they supply gelatin to help digestion and they heal an inflamed gut. If you haven’t heard it by now bone broths are THE food to include into your diet if you are trying to heal your gut. Try our recipe here!
Soaking grains & nuts?
Thankfully, more and more people are realising the need to soak their nuts and seeds. It makes them more digestible and the nutrients more available to your body. Nuts and seeds are coated with phytic acid and contain enzyme inhibitors- a natural protection of the plant in order not to be eaten by animals, us! And yes you guessed it, native cultures which did consume nuts, grains and seeds always soaked, spouted and/or fermented them to ensure easy digestion and maximum nutrient availability.
At For Life Retreats we warmly embrace Sally’s and Weston A Price’s views on diet and nutrition. Come along to one of our retreats or workshops to learn more.
We highly recommend you do your own research on Sally Fallon and check out the Weston A Price .