What's with the emphasis on meats/fat in Traditional Foods? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-19-2010, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to know...I've done the MDC Traditional Foods diet before and was shocked at the emphasis on meats/fats over veggies and fruit.
I thought that veggies and fruits (fresh, organic, and local) were the epitome of nutrient dense foods (esp greens). I've read here in the stickies that veggies and fruit are included but they are at the very least, under-emphasized.

I was also thinking about the whole-planet implicatons if such a Traditional Diet, heavy in animal products, is considered to be the pinnacle of human health. I mean, we can't possibly feed everyone on the planet such high amounts of animal products, can we? What about the environmental implications? I mean, wouldn't it be better for the planet, for everyone in general, if we focused on getting better quality produce for people first w/ meats and animal products second? Everyone has heard the quotes of it taking so much more "energy" to get food from animals vs. growing plants, etc. I just keep thinking, what kind of future would we have if we all ate such high amounts of animal products, how is that sustainable?

Personally, I'm all for local, organic, grass fed, free range (etc.) meats and animal products, I just don't feel that it's responsible or even healthy to make that the cornerstone of our diets. I think the focus should be on plant foods first and foremost with some animal products on the side.

It just seems to me that most of the threads here in TF have to do with milk, meat, butter, and eggs. So why the big emphasis on animal products? And I'm certainly not trying to start a war, I'm just an ordinary mom trying to feed my family healthy foods and hope to contribute to the general health of the world and planet. I'm curious to hear some MDC mama thoughts on this topic

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Old 02-19-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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The largest base of knowledge on TF eating is from Weston Price, a dentist who traveled the world in the 1930s looking for healthy populations and recording their diets and taking some fascinating pictures of their teeth and faces. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is a fascinating read. Even if you are not ready to read the whole book, the pictures are truely worth 1000 words (each!).
He analyzed the diets of different healthy populations and compared them to the diets of their genetic counterparts eating modern, processed diets and found that the traditional diets were very high in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
The healthiest populations he found, if I recall correctly, actually ate lots of sea foods.
Vitamins A, D, and K2 are only available from animal sources. Beta-carotene is listed as vitamin A, but it is only a pre-cursor. At best, it is converted to true vitamin A (retinol) at around 25%. We make vitamin D from sun exposure, but this is highly dependent on latitude and duration of exposure.

Animal foods have gotten a bad rap in the last few decades, but pastured meats are actually very efficient sources of food/energy for us. Cow, sheep, goats, and chickens can all thrive on land that is not necessarily great for growing crops. When you start trying to eat locally, it becomes very obvious, very quickly, what things are truely sustainable. I can easily find milk, eggs, and meats locally and have been able to in 3 different states in 3 rather different areas of the country. We no longer eat wheat, but I'd be darned if I could find any local wheat to eat. It is a myth that large monoculture farms are more efficient and more sustainable than small, polyculture farms that necessarily include animals.

In addition to Price's book on nutrition, I would recommend anything by Joel Salatin to learn more about farming and why animals are actually not as bad for the environment as wheat or soy or corn or other monoculture foods.

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Old 02-19-2010, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with you about large scale monoculture and how that's been shown to be detrimental. Rotating crops, crop covers, nitrogen fixers, all that. I have read lots of Weston Price stuff, even adopting the TF diet for about 6 months or so. I've also read lots of criticism against him. There are studies to show just about anything regarding human nutrition. I mean the Eskimons eat mostly meat, Some groups of Asians eat mostly produce w/small amounts of animal products, etc. I think it's fair to say that humans have survived and even thrived on a variety of traditional diets. Humans are very flexible and adaptable and that's been the key to our survival. And I'm aware of certain nutrients and vitamins that can only be found in animal products, and that's why I do believe in eating some animal products. But I just don't get the "mostly animal products" and the under-emphasis on plant foods.

This blog post I read on Peaceful Sedition (one of the many blogs I read) really made sense to me and I feel this is mostly in line with what I think. I especially agree with the cost factor of humane, pastured, organic (ie optimal) animal products. This is one of the main reasons I cannot get my head wrapped around it. I can find a wide variety of optimal produce but cannot find any (except pastured eggs, very humane, know the farmer, he loves his hens, and organic (not raw or local) milk and butter).

that's all I have time for now, gotta run (to do my modern foraging for foods )

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Old 02-19-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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For me, the emphasis on meat and animals products is a pretty simple one. Melinda made great points, on which I simplify further... Animals CONCENTRATE the nutrients found in plant matter and therefore you end up with nutrient DENSE food. And I'm not just talking vitamin and minerals, I'm talking FAT and PROTEIN. I'm sure you've come across the literature that not all folks do well with a lot of carbohydrates. I'm one of those. If I were to try and get all of the nutrients I needed from fruit and veg that I can get in a much smaller amount of animal products, I would be pretty dang unhealthy. In my case, animal products are more cost effective. Been there, done that, burnt the vegetarian t-shirt. Like it was said before, a cow or goat can turn scrub land into an awful lot of very healthy food... With NO energy input. You just put it out there and it eats whatever is there. Think of all the typical third world pictures in your head where babies are starving to death on tiny amounts of rice and corn, and think instead if they had tiny amounts of butter or eggs. And there you have it.

The cost factor behind healthy animal products is only the way it is because there aren't enough people aware of the benefits, so there isn't enough support for the small farmers. I myself am a small farmer, and its not always easy to find buyers in my area. Community outreach, education, and going the extra mile to support your small farmers would go a long way to making healthy meat and dairy, as well as veggies, more accessible.

The impact on the Earth... Heck no, the world could not be supported by animal products done the "conventional" way. That's what all of the speculation and horror stories are based off of. I'm on the verge of a rant about how factory agriculture screwed it up for everyone by cornering the market, but I am trying to contain myself. The nature world in an intricate web that includes both animals and plants, one not being able to live without the other. A good healthy farm mirrors the natural world, having the animals and plants cooperate to make a healthier whole. And this results in a LOT of productivity. Yes, smaller healthier farms could support the world's need for healthy animal products and make the world a better place for it. But it will never happen if people continue to be so disconnected from the sources of their food.

ETA: You are right that there are a lot of different ratios of plant foods to animal foods present in traditional diets all over the world. But the key to getting the most out of your plants foods is to have the healthy animal foods, namely fats, to help your body put all the pieces together. If the animal foods weren't there, everything else wouldn't amount to much, as far as health goes. That seems like a good enough reason to put such a large emphasis on meat and dairy, even if they only make up a small portion of the diet. Secondly, while I'm sure there is a diverse group of people here at MDC, maybe we just talk the way we do because a large portion of us ARE those types that come from a back ground traditionally heavy on the animal products? Just a thought, anyway.
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:39 PM
 
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i've been thinking a lot of the same things as you, OP. I am trying to incorporate more animal fat in my diet, but keeping the same or more amount of veggies. I think that there are people who feel at their best eating vegan, like my friend with severe dairy issues, while others feel best with at least some animal product. My ultimate goal is to nourish my body the best way I can figure out. And I feel best eating very omnivorously.

But I think that with the traditional diets that Price detailed, the sheer volume of food is much less than what most people eat on the SAD, trying to keep some level of nutrition in their bodies. So it would be easier to feed the masses the NT way because we won't need to eat so much.

Come ponder with me about food!
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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I think that some people can do well eating mostly animal products. But definitely not all of them. There are many kinds of traditional diets. I think each person needs to find what works best for them. I think one common thread will be to reduce sugar and eliminate fake foods, but a lot of people will need to eat produce or grain as much as they eat meat. Also I don't fully believe the dental connection. DH has almost perfect teeth and an awesome palate. His mom has terrible teeth and his grandma has had dentures for almost 30 years. He was born here and grew up eating SAD. They're from south america and ate a traditional diet. Same thing with me and my brother. I think it is possible that a high protein diet during pregnancy helps (my mom scarfed down the protein) because my brother and I have much healthier mouths than our parents despite being raised on SAD. Although the SAD when we were growing up had a lot fewer fake foods.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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One more point, after reading the blog link you included, and this having to do with cost and feasibility...

If plant based foods are the key to overcoming the high cost of healthy meats and dairy, and we are worried that low income people would be better off going for the plant based foods... Did anyone stop to think about the exorbitant cost of organic plant based foods? Even beans and rice. Heaven forbid we start talking variety, like greens and fruit. If the misconception that grains and vegetables/fruits are the ultimate food to eat for health and affordability, how many people are going to be horking down conventionally grown, chemical, pesticide and herbicide laden produce, irradiated and gassed, then shipped from thousands of miles away? That thought is equally frightening. And when it comes down to bottom dollar, and organic spinach is $6 a pound, and organic ground beef is $6 a pound, which am I going to choose for my family based on what will fill us up and benefit our health more, I'll go for the meat. Of course there has to be balance... If I have $12, I'll get both. But if we are talking about how to help the low-income find a healthier way of eating, education on what actually IS healthy is going to be the most important thing. Eating within a certain standard of extremes, on either end of the spectrum, is never going to be cost effective if you are going for the highest quality(high $$$) foods. But a sensible combination of high quality food, constructed to get the most out of every bit of food you put in your mouth(which WAPF preaches big time), is definitely going to be cost effective because it leads to optimal health.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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Although I do think on a long term scale everyone should eat a healthy and wholesome diet, I think focusing on the people who have a hard time affording even the SAD is the wrong approach. If middle income America got wholesale behind the wholesome food movement there would be more competition in wholesome food supply, and this would bring the cost down for everyone, opening wholesome food up to a broader audience. And once you establish a diet of wholesome real food, fake food starts to really taste, well fake. And the demand for that will plummet. I think fake food is sort of like cigarettes in that a person can derive some degree of enjoyment from consuming fake foods, especially at first. But there gets to a point where the enjoyment is lost, and then there is just dependence. Once a person can get clean again, the fake food reveals it's true chemical flavor.

As an interesting side note, as it is is Girl Scout Cookie season, I have several boxes of cookies in the house. (DH still enjoys his fake foods.) I bought two boxes for me - Samoas. They taste terrible. I used to love these! Same thing is happening to my beloved See's marzipans. They don't taste as fake, but they don't taste as good as I remember.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that different bodies require things, and one person's lamb chop is another's chickpea spread.
After a quick search around the web, it seems this is a very hotly debated topic! There is so much information out there, most of them contradict one another. Namely, Dr. Campbell The China Study, Dr. Fuhrman vs Weston Price and the more TFers.
I've been reading studies about the sustainability of a meat-based diet vs plant based diet.

I mean, personally I followed the TF diet for about 7 months. I felt good at the beginning then after a while my hives flared like crazy (I have dermographism), and I just felt like crap. I felt so full of all the animals I'd been eating and just toxic. I personally wondered to myself "Could I physically kill an animal and eat it's parts?". The answer was no, not even a chicken. I have killed fish and eaten them before, and I could take eggs from the hens, but mammals or birds? The answer was no.

I am in an exploratory phase again , searching for that delicate balance of foods the fuels me and my family best. I really like solid science to back me up and honestly I haven't found that yet for a largely meat-based diet. I don't feel that a vegan diet is on par with optimum health either though, mainly because of the B-12 thing. I do think that mostly plants w/some meat/animal products occasionally works though (Michael Pollan style.

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Old 02-19-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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Another reason that pastured, organic, local, etc meat and produce cost more than industrially-produced meat is that the CAFOs and agribusiness plantations receive vast government subsidies. It is actually much more costly in terms of energy, food, fertilizer, equipment, etc to produce meat in a CAFO and grains and vegetables in a monoculture than either on a polyculture farm, but the resulting products are cheaper because our government subsidizes them. Take away the subsidies and the cost of industrially-produced food would be even higher than foods from low-input biodynamic farms. We as a nation have invested in making food artificially cheap, and now we think that's all that food SHOULD cost. I am willing to pay more out of our limited household budget for sustainable, local, organic foods not only because it is better for my family's health, but because I prefer to give my money to individuals whom I know to help support their families and their farms, instead of to multinational corporations so they can fund the export of our f***ed-up system to the rest of the world.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another reason that pastured, organic, local, etc meat and produce cost more than industrially-produced meat is that the CAFOs and agribusiness plantations receive vast government subsidies. It is actually much more costly in terms of energy, food, fertilizer, equipment, etc to produce meat in a CAFO and grains and vegetables in a monoculture than either on a polyculture farm, but the resulting products are cheaper because our government subsidizes them. Take away the subsidies and the cost of industrially-produced food would be even higher than foods from low-input biodynamic farms. We as a nation have invested in making food artificially cheap, and now we think that's all that food SHOULD cost. I am willing to pay more out of our limited household budget for sustainable, local, organic foods not only because it is better for my family's health, but because I prefer to give my money to individuals whom I know to help support their families and their farms, instead of to multinational corporations so they can fund the export of our f***ed-up system to the rest of the world.
I def. agree with you. I know why organic foods cost more. In fact, everything we consume has been cheapened by the modern machine. Most people don't know the true cost of things.

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Old 02-19-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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I think that there are a lot of different ways of eating TF, and most definitely a lot of us don't eat as high percentages of meat as many represent here.

Personally, we eat a lot of veggies, plenty of properly prepared grain, bone broth several times a week, eggs 2-3 times a week (less out of season, more in season), a little cream and milk each week, lots of butter, and meat or chicken perhaps 2-3 times a week. (this would constitute 1 small chicken, 1-2 pounds of ground beef, or 1-2 pounds of stew beef (or lamb ground or stew, etc), stretched over several days.)

I do acnowledge that even this is far more meat than is sustainable for everyone to eat. My DP and I have talked a lot about this, that there is no way that the majority of the world could eat the amount of meat that many TFers do.

My thoughts on that are twofold:
It would be possible for much of the world to eat enough high quality dairy (most likely primarily goat, with cow where suited, and other mammals where suited.) and eggs, with very occasional meat and bones. For instance, when the chicken is too old to lay, it goes in the stock pot. Not, a chicken every friday for dinner. Even in many cities, this would be possible. Goats do well on a small amount of land, and with lots of kitchen veggie scraps, as do chickens. Some cities are designed that yards for this would be possible way, other cities could have lots of community gardens, and places to keep a couple chickens, and a goat. Do I think this will happen/happen easily that everyone will have access to this? realistically, no. but it is definitely a worthy goal, to try to make it accessible.
Also, I think the reason that so many TFers need such a high portion of meat in their diet is that their digestive systems have been ruined by SAD crap. they can't properly digest grains and vegetables to get lots of nutrients from them, and so they require a large portion of their diet to be more nutrient dense and easily digestible meat. There may be some people who naturally do better on that type of diet anyways, however I suspect those numbers are drastically larger due to multi-generational damage from bad food.

However I do think that is is vital to consume a good amount of pastured/grassfed meat and dairy and eggs and seafood. I think that if you consume enough dairy and eggs, it is possible to be a healthy vegetarian, if your dairy is full fat and you eat plenty of dairy and eggs, however I don't think it is ideal.

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Old 02-19-2010, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Magelet, a very thoughtful post and thought provoking indeed.

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Old 02-19-2010, 08:30 PM
 
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There are studies to show just about anything regarding human nutrition. I mean the Eskimons eat mostly meat, Some groups of Asians eat mostly produce w/small amounts of animal products, etc. I think it's fair to say that humans have survived and even thrived on a variety of traditional diets. Humans are very flexible and adaptable and that's been the key to our survival.
The key thing about Price's studies is that he did not find healthy people eating diets without animal foods. He looked but didn't find them. I think that individuals may do better with more or less of any particular food or nutrient, but Price was not able to find healthy populations who were able to maintain themselves without meat, dairy, blood, fish, eggs, etc.
Of course you can find studies that say just about anything, but I'm not sure that IMO you can find a study that examines healthy populations of people with known dietary histories that says otherwise. Are you aware of studies that examine healthy long-term, multigenerational consumption of mainly vegetables/grains?


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I can find a wide variety of optimal produce but cannot find any (except pastured eggs, very humane, know the farmer, he loves his hens, and organic (not raw or local) milk and butter).
In what way is your produce "optimal"? Is is organic - certified by the USDA or some other *trustworthy* group? Is it nutrient dense? Is it local?
In my experience, it is far easier to find local eggs, meat, and dairy products - all nutrient dense - raised without chemicals, on family farms in polyculture than it is to find most fruits and veggies or grains.
We do eat a fair amount of veggies which are fairly easy to find from local farms, and we do supplement our diets with limited *exotic* fruits such as oranges (a rare treat) and avocados (have these quite a bit - worth the price and the transportation to me).

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Old 02-19-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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There are very few completely vegetarian groups in the world, other than modern ethical vegetarians. The tribes WAP observed did consume animal products and the healthiest tribes he found ate a combination of meat and grain without going too far to either extreme.

http://www.westonaprice.org/Out-of-A...an-Tribes.html
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The key thing about Price's studies is that he did not find healthy people eating diets without animal foods. He looked but didn't find them. I think that individuals may do better with more or less of any particular food or nutrient, but Price was not able to find healthy populations who were able to maintain themselves without meat, dairy, blood, fish, eggs, etc.
Of course you can find studies that say just about anything, but I'm not sure that IMO you can find a study that examines healthy populations of people with known dietary histories that says otherwise. Are you aware of studies that examine healthy long-term, multigenerational consumption of mainly vegetables/grains?

I'm not talking about strictly vegetarian groups but groups whose main focus was plants as opposed to animal products. There are many groups who are Plant-based, NOT completely vegetarian, namely Med and Asian.
What about Okinawans? I'm sure we've all heard of that.
Here is something I found just real quick.
I mean, there a lots of studies that show that humans can thrive and survive on a variety of diets. Price is not the end all and be all in my book. I'm not about to get into an internet research contest either. So,





In what way is your produce "optimal"? Is is organic - certified by the USDA or some other *trustworthy* group? Is it nutrient dense? Is it local?
In my experience, it is far easier to find local eggs, meat, and dairy products - all nutrient dense - raised without chemicals, on family farms in polyculture than it is to find most fruits and veggies or grains.
We do eat a fair amount of veggies which are fairly easy to find from local farms, and we do supplement our diets with limited *exotic* fruits such as oranges (a rare treat) and avocados (have these quite a bit - worth the price and the transportation to me).

Melinda
I was using optimal in reference to organic and as local as possible. And IME it's been easier to find local and/or organic produce than it has been to find the same "optimal" animal products.

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Old 02-19-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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On a more practical note, you might see an emphasis on meat and dairy in TF forums simply because they're more problematic/niche/illegal/tricky to source and use. A lot of TFers were already somewhat into food and nutrition before going TF, so they know how to prepare and find good veggies and fruits - whereas learning where to get raw milk and how to use it might be more of an alien concept. So you'd see 10 threads about raw milk or eating liver or making bone broth, and only one or two about veggies. It's a learning curve thing. Plus, given that everybody already knows veggies are healthy, it's a less hot topic than "saturated fat is OK". You know?

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Old 02-19-2010, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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On a more practical note, you might see an emphasis on meat and dairy in TF forums simply because they're more problematic/niche/illegal/tricky to source and use. A lot of TFers were already somewhat into food and nutrition before going TF, so they know how to prepare and find good veggies and fruits - whereas learning where to get raw milk and how to use it might be more of an alien concept. So you'd see 10 threads about raw milk or eating liver or making bone broth, and only one or two about veggies. It's a learning curve thing. Plus, given that everybody already knows veggies are healthy, it's a less hot topic than "saturated fat is OK". You know?
Yeah, I think you're right. It's just a little disconcerting, all the conflicting information out there. It's like night and day, going from the Vegetarian Forum to TF

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Old 02-20-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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Also, I think the reason that so many TFers need such a high portion of meat in their diet is that their digestive systems have been ruined by SAD crap. they can't properly digest grains and vegetables to get lots of nutrients from them, and so they require a large portion of their diet to be more nutrient dense and easily digestible meat. There may be some people who naturally do better on that type of diet anyways, however I suspect those numbers are drastically larger due to multi-generational damage from bad food.


I'm in that boat. I eat a lot of meat - it is the focus of most of my meals. But I can't eat: dairy, eggs, grains (though I do cheat and have whole grains sometimes, with repercussions the following day), 4 types of nuts, about 10 types of fruits, 3 types of beans, about 8 types of veggies, and then throw in a few spices, too. Interestingly enough, I also cannot tolerate CAFO meat - I must eat pastured/free range/wild caught meats and fish. I need the dense nutrition and calories provided by meat because there are few non-meat sources that my body can digest. I ended up moving towards a traditional foods diet because I was desperate to find a way to heal myself and stop feeling terrible all of the time... and I get the impression that a lot of other people who end up eating a traditional foods diet come to it for similar reasons.

Do I wish I didn't have to eat so much meat? Absolutely. Do I have to if I want to feel decent and be able to function? Unfortunately, yes.

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On a more practical note, you might see an emphasis on meat and dairy in TF forums simply because they're more problematic/niche/illegal/tricky to source and use. A lot of TFers were already somewhat into food and nutrition before going TF, so they know how to prepare and find good veggies and fruits - whereas learning where to get raw milk and how to use it might be more of an alien concept. So you'd see 10 threads about raw milk or eating liver or making bone broth, and only one or two about veggies. It's a learning curve thing. Plus, given that everybody already knows veggies are healthy, it's a less hot topic than "saturated fat is OK". You know?


This, too... it probably seems so much more meat heavy when in the TF forum than most of us actually are on a daily basis. I can discuss making oatmeal for my husband for breakfast anywhere and nobody will bat an eye. Yeah, I soak it... which is different from your typical health-concious person, but not in any kind of radical way. I posted on Facebook not that long ago that I was enjoying liver for breakfast and I got a handful of grossed-out type comments. Eating liver *is* a radical change for even most healthy eaters in America. The differences in meat and dairy are greater than the differences in grain, fruit and veggie when you're comparing traditional foods to other folks who pay attention to nutrition and the food that they eat.

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Old 02-20-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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If middle income America got wholesale behind the wholesome food movement there would be more competition in wholesome food supply, and this would bring the cost down for everyone, opening wholesome food up to a broader audience.
I think this is a different issue altogether than the true viability of the planet with a human population that requires meat for health. What you've brought up is economic and since economics is based on fiction, and thereby can and does change according to the whims of the 'all-seeing eye', positing the realistic availibility of foods to the worlds human population on such economic manoevering is specious at best.

And this notwithstanding the obvious issues with the utter mismanagement of the world's fertile regions and livestock, wild game, wild fish, etc...

What we need to know is not whether or not competition (economic fiction) will drive prices artificially down from the true cost of their worth (as in the subsidies already mentioned), but whether or not we as intelligent beings can circumvent the fictitious economy in order to adequately provide for ourselves and one another.

It is always an odd position to take that asks, "Can I continue to live as I do and also experience this necessary change?" Well, the answer is no. If you do the same as always, you can only have the same as always. So, if you are committed to true cost food sustainibility, you probably cannot reasonably live in a NYC condo, work a high-paying, low value output job, rush through your life depositing your money and children in whathever container is most 'efficient' and then expect to come home to a little house on the prairie, pastured, properly aged meat-based meal on the table.

That's a harsh reality, but there it is. Meat as a main source of nourishment is not sustainable if we keep doing things the way we are doing them. That much is self evident I think. But the system is useless and broken and was never designed to actually nourish anyone, so it doesn't and never will. This system will keep the starving starving and the 'overnourished' unhealthy.

Then it's not just the system, but both the individuals who become aware of it and then choose to live with it anyway and those that remain ignorant that contribute in their own lives and the lives of others to the perpetuation of it.

Committing to the reality of sustainable food, shelter, community, and life on this planet is a whole-life affair and not just a whole-food shopping trip with a list that seems on the outside to be politically correct or conforms to some 'Now, you CAN have it both ways!" mentality.

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On a more practical note, you might see an emphasis on meat and dairy in TF forums simply because they're more problematic/niche/illegal/tricky to source and use. A lot of TFers were already somewhat into food and nutrition before going TF, so they know how to prepare and find good veggies and fruits - whereas learning where to get raw milk and how to use it might be more of an alien concept. So you'd see 10 threads about raw milk or eating liver or making bone broth, and only one or two about veggies. It's a learning curve thing. Plus, given that everybody already knows veggies are healthy, it's a less hot topic than "saturated fat is OK". You know?
This certainly accounts for the lob-sidedness as well.

I don't think there are any tf'ers who don't think vegetables and fruits are necessary. Otoh, I think a pp already addressed this, but a goat is so much more efficient at extracting nutrients from lichen and wild rose than I am, and that's what we have here, so it is a way more efficient and sustainable way of gaining nutrients than plowing up the soil and trying to make things grow here against the realities of this climate.

I think personal connection with one's food, as in milking a goat and making compost to shower on soil, slaughtering one's chickens and fixing their roosts when they need it, is essential to committing to a traditional food diet, even though that seems impossible for many.

I think that the degree to which this matters to you will determine the priority you set on it, and I'm not judging anyone's choices here at all; I think it is obvious that we act according to our priorities, even if we don't consider them ideal or even right in the present.

Sometimes a life change takes a lot of work and planning, sweat and time, which is something that western society has little to no concept of, ime. Waiting while planning is not something many of us do extraordinarily well relative to even a few generations ago when there was not such a global accessibility of things. My great grandmother didn't order artesian water from Fiji and receive it the next day in Hungary. I think we forget sometimes how different things really are and how far off-kilter our expectations and actions have become, so that we feel a sense of entitlement that fuels the systems that in this case perpetuate starvation of both those with no food and those with lots of 'food-like-products'.

True traditional food doesn't come in a styrofoam package or flashy box in an aisle, even though that's the best many of us can or are willing to do at the point many of us come here asking about where to find food supplies, including meat.

I don't mean to offend, but I took liberties in this thread because it seems like the level and tone of discussion here presently could handle it. If that's not the case and I've misread, please do forgive my passionate exhortation. This is something I put a lot of time and effort into understanding on a global scale as well as the microcosmic scale of my family life, so I was eager to join in.


Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 02-21-2010, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Preggie, I enjoyed reading your thoughtful post. I agree that the issues at hand are much larger than even we might realize. I just watched Food, Inc. last night after avoiding it for so long because I knew the effect it would have on me. That and I've had the stomach flu for 2.5 days so I didn't want to eat anyways. That is a must watch video (instant on Netflix right now) for anyone interested in this thread at all. A lot to think about!

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Old 02-21-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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OP, my input isn't nearly as thoughtful as that of the other responders, but it's something that's been fascinating to me. Over in the Dental forum, there's a sticky called Curing Cavities with Nutrition. Part of Price's hypothesis was that more minerals and a lot more fat soluble vitamins were necessary for good dental health--and if you change the diet, you can heal cavities. He did that routinely in his time, apparently, and quite a few people in that thread and in other general threads in Dental have had that experience, which I found fascinating.

There's a well-written blog that pulls in other data sources to round out Price's work, I enjoy reading it and I appreciate that it's well-cited.

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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One more reason that meat is sometimes emphasized quite a bit in this forum is due to a subset of the TF population, the sickies. Some people with significant, chronic health issues have found that a lot of meat consumption has been helpful for their healing process. A couple years ago when I was near the start of my journey, that was very true for me. As I get healthier, it is losing its importance, but this forum has a sub-population of people trying to recover from tricky health problems and the high-meat (often low-grain) diet is one common pattern for such people.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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One more reason that meat is sometimes emphasized quite a bit in this forum is due to a subset of the TF population, the sickies. Some people with significant, chronic health issues have found that a lot of meat consumption has been helpful for their healing process. A couple years ago when I was near the start of my journey, that was very true for me. As I get healthier, it is losing its importance, but this forum has a sub-population of people trying to recover from tricky health problems and the high-meat (often low-grain) diet is one common pattern for such people.


That is certainly our case! I can't BELIEVE the health improvements I've seen by upping fat and meat in our diets, and cutting out things like gluten/dairy/soy/corn.

I agree w/ the pps who mention that the emphasis on fat and meat may be largely in part b/c veggies are typically thought of as healthy (and there are TONS of great recipes and ideas all over the place for those), where meat (esp red and organ) and fat is touted as being bad for you. (Tougher to find info on all of that stuff IMO.)

For me, it comes down to what feels best to my body and my family--what foods heal us and make us feel good. I was vegetarian for 12 years, and not in a sustainable way (supported processed soy and gmo corn w/ my purchases 100%). I think my vegetarian diet in part caused a lot of nutrient deficiencies and health problems that have led to my son having health issues as well. I think eating too many processed SAD foods was a HUGE part of it, but I did find that adding in meat (including grassfed beef and organ meats along w/ bone broths) made a HUGE improvement in our health and digestion.

Also, the way I choose to eat now, (largely locally raised grass fed/pastured animals, along w/ locally grown produce) is, IMO, MUCH more sustainable than my old vegetarian diet (and many *typical* veg*n diets that incorperate things like processed soy and corn products supporting Monsanto all the way. I realize there are veg*ns who focus on local foods as well, which I think is awesome--it's just not the majority--just as the majority of meat eaters are not really TF but eat lots of CAFO meat. Shifting the focus to local sources, to me, is more important in terms of ethics and sustainability...)

Maybe check out the book _The Vegetarian Myth_. I've read it has lots to do w/ the ethics and sustainability of all of these issues and may be helpful in your research on this topic!

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Old 02-21-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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Maybe check out the book _The Vegetarian Myth_. I've read it has lots to do w/ the ethics and sustainability of all of these issues and may be helpful in your research on this topic!

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Old 02-21-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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Agreeing once again.

I am on the other side now, coming to a place of actual health and vitality after three decades of chronic illness. I've been on the path of healing since 1998 when the last straw was discovering 2 hard, quarter-sized, immoveable lumps in my breasts.

So I emptied my house. Completely. I started over using what I then learned from Dr. Hulda Clark, building on my previous understandings of microbiology and my concurrent research into pathogens and synthetic chemicals.

The grocery store was like a mine field for me then and coincidentally, my college issued an immediate ban on all solvents (I was in an applied arts college), which was enormously helpful- no more breathing in turps, benzene and toluene, etc... for 10 hrs a day.

Then I went all whole food, no cans, no packages at all of anything, so I discovered the farmer's market. I was 21 at that time, btw. Then after a few years, I became interested in raw foods and we did that for a while and by that time I had my dp and two babies as well. The raw foods were an eight month detox and we all felt super great at a point but then became listless and tired all the time even though we were eating lots and lots of super foods and all whole foods and mostly organic- about 70%. We were eating a mixture of raw and pasteurized milk and cheese for protein as well as lots of soaked nuts and seeds. The raw diet incidentally reduced our meat consumption though, and when we all started feeling low, I suspected that right away.

So we added back in meats, but the meat at the market was CAFO, although I didn't know about that then. After I couldn't even stomach the smell of the meat anymore raw or cooked, I started to suspect there was something wrong with the meat. Around the same time, I had stopped buying chicken because the breasts were as big as turkeys' and I was concerned about that seeming unnatural. I had no farm knowledge at all then; my dp and I started calling it frankenchicken, not having any idea that this term was already in use amongst those in the food-know. We had both read Frankenstein and associated it.

Then I began to search out organic meat. We added it in after another while without during which time we all felt terrible and our babies had black moons under their eyes despite eating so much fruit and vegetable.

We started being okay with cooking more foods since we were again eating meat and cooked it, which reduced the time I spent in the kitchen. I loved raw, but it was time consuming, which is just as well for prepapring me for TF. Although I have the hang of it now and spend considerably less time because I usually have so many things on the go. Now it's more mental energy than physical, like the raw was.

So I became pg and birthed ds3 while in this transitional phase, still eating loads of veggies but also eating meat a few times each week and incidentally following many TF principles because I learned a lot about soaking and real oils and vinegars during our raw phase. I had a very hard time keeping on weight and was shaking all the time from hunger. I could eat all day, and still shake.

I still had all my endocrine problems during this whole time too.

Then we switched to eating only organic everything. And also began a traditional diet. We ate a pound of butter every day. A POUND! Dp lost ten pounds of weight in the first month while being terrified of putting on weight. I lost 15 lbs, but was still nursing and really not wanting to lose weight. To my surprise, losing that weight did not cause the hunger tremors I had before. Instead, I felt fine. Still chronically ill, but better.

Until about 6 months ago, I felt best eating meat three times a day and bone broth too. At breakfast, I ate eggs and red meat, lunch chicken or fish, and dinner a pile of red meat again. I ate lots of green veggies and little fruit.

Now, I am pg again, feel energetic, although I had morning sickness for the first time ever and ended up with a cold and yeast infection after five weeks of eating maybe once/day on a good day. I lost 12 lbs too. Very strange.

Anyway, I'm back on track, and eating lots and lots of liver seems to be what brought me back. My endocrine issues would not even be noticeable if it weren't for my experience in being able to recognise the symptoms. It is so mild that if it were all I ever experienced, I'd have no idea anything was wrong, and I am very sensitive.

I feel good for the first time in my whole life!!!

I am not eating as much meat as I did for a long time. Once or twice a day as long as I've had eggs is what I need now. I don't need to eat as much as I used to either, which is a weird change to experience during pg. Another thing that happened simultaneous to me becoming pg is that my joints tightened up so that my mucsle power doesn't pull them apart anymore. So I'm pg, eating less and have tighter joints than ever in my life.

And it's wonderful to be so huge in the belly already with an active little one in there and still be able to RUN! By this time in other pgs, I was in constant pain and walked as little as possible because my joints were so loose that they'd dislocate frequently just from standing. I have never been overweight either and have always taken advantage of times when I felt a bit better to go thorugh a massive body sculpting, which I didn't know was exacerbating my adrenal and thyroid insufficiency.

Anyway, we still eat lots of meat and fat and also lots of veggies, but it took about four years for us to find a balance of those that feels good for all of us. It's less meat than for a while, much more meat than before that, and for now just right. We don't buy any meat/poultry/fish from the grocery store though- ever. Or eggs.

I thought if I shared this, OP, it might make more sense why we emphasize meats and fats and not vegetables (even though we most certainly eat them), especially with as a couple of pps have mentioned, there are so many sickies on this forum.

Would it make sense now with this history to go back to a mainly vegetable diet? What would be the reason that my body wouldn't revert to the state of illness I was in if I did? Clearly the solution has been to change my diet back to what only two generations before me enjoyed. If this is what is needed by a human being- if this is our specialized diet- then what reasonable conclusion is there other than to eat accordingly?

If I were a panda, I'd eat bamboo, but I'm a human, so I eat meat, fat and vegetables and alittle grain in a certain proportion. The panda can't just switch to azalea flowers, and I can't just switch to veg*n eating or even just less meat than I need because then I'd have less than I need. And I'd be as sick as the panda eating azalea flowers.

The solution to the disappearing bamboo has never been to feed the panda corn, and that isn't the solution to the mismanagement of livestock and the earths fertile soils either, leading to human starvation and illness and large-scale devastation of the earth overall.

So the earth and its inhabitants are in peril. What can we do about this? Can we just go on doing what we're doing or start increasing substitution inputs? Can we just switch to organic CAFOs and monocropping? Can we just make everyone stop eating meat?

I think the solution is going to be a much more personal one, as in each person, and a redistribution of responsibility to the individual, where it always belonged.

Slaughtering my chickens and maybe goats this year will be both an experience of pain and also of gratitude. Certainly it isn't a question of suffering for me; everything that lives does so by the suffering of something/one else, and even if we don't like it, that's still the way it is (even if we eat veg*n we survive by the suffering of others). Eating not enough meat won't stop that, and neither will it fix the destruction of the earth. A radical change in the way we view ourselves on this earth will though, and that won't be possible if we're not even eating what we need to think clearly, let alone do the hard work that is no doubt ahead of us all. That and I do think we have a moral obligation to reduce suffering to the absolute minimal in endeavouring to survive/live, but I also think that cannot be achieved by eating less meat-- that's not even as effective as a band-aid. We have to change how we participate on this earth altogether, completely, a total overhaul.

Seriously, how much can we accomplish as the sickest, least primary/survival skilled, least connected to our true needs generations of human beings ever to live?

Okay. Off my soap box now.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 02-21-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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The solution to the disappearing bamboo has never been to feed the panda corn, and that isn't the solution to the mismanagement of livestock and the earths fertile soils either, leading to human starvation and illness and large-scale devastation of the earth overall.

So the earth and its inhabitants are in peril. What can we do about this? Can we just go on doing what we're doing or start increasing substitution inputs? Can we just switch to organic CAFOs and monocropping? Can we just make everyone stop eating meat?

I think the solution is going to be a much more personal one, as in each person, and a redistribution of responsibility to the individual, where it always belonged.
Preggie! Your whole post greatly moved me, and just really inspires me to continually strive for the most traditional, local, sustainable way of living I can (for the health of myself and my family and the world--amazing how what's really good for *us* is good for *everyone*). Just thought your post was fabulous!

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Old 02-21-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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I agree with the PP's about needing less meat as you regain health. I started out eating a ton of meat. We were lucky to find not too expensive organic pasteured beef, and chickens, and eggs. Now I eat far less meat, I eat a TON of veggies, some fruit, lots of pasteured eggs, and finally, finally after 3 years of this way of eating and a move, I found a source of fresh, raw milk from a pasteured cow (my kids actually met her today, and my ds (3 yo) said "Hi cow, thank you so much for your milk"). I only eat meat 1 *maybe* 2 times a day, the rest is eggs, milk, coconut oil, coconut milk, nuts, veggies, etc.

I really agree with the local part too. I am very thankful to be living somewhere where a good portion of what I eat comes from the community I live in. As the weather warms up, even more will, and I hope that we can have our own garden too.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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Preggie! Your whole post greatly moved me, and just really inspires me to continually strive for the most traditional, local, sustainable way of living I can (for the health of myself and my family and the world--amazing how what's really good for *us* is good for *everyone*). Just thought your post was fabulous!
Glad you liked it.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 02-21-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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I am very thankful to be living somewhere where a good portion of what I eat comes from the community I live in. As the weather warms up, even more will, and I hope that we can have our own garden too.
I know there are multiple moms on this forum who really have very limited or no access to farmer's markets, locally raised meat, etc. I feel soooo fortunate to have some great, pretty affordable, local options, and hope that the locavore movement continues growing so that more an more folks have access to fresh, local, sustainably produced foods. (I really think it will--the demand is out there and getting bigger! )

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