Originally Posted by witchypants
BTW, I'm not trying to say that my sources are correct and yours aren't. Admitedly "Your Vegetarian Pregnancy' is NOT my favorite nutrition book. I think the thing with vitamin A is to read up on as much as you can then ultimately do what feels most right for you and your body. But that's just my $0.02!
WAPF stands for the Weston A Price Foundation, a group that's trying to make the nutritional findings of Weston A Price (who lived in the early 20th century, so he was long gone before the Foundation was established) accessible and interpret it for modern US life.
The basic finding of Price's work is that healthy groups of people, who were not consuming modern convenience foods (refined flour, sugar, etc) ate a TON more preformed fat soluble vitamins than most groups, and they had almost no dental decay, they had perfectly formed dental arches (instead of arched palates or overbites or crowded teeth) and their health, in general, was quite good (given oftentimes no access to emergency medical care, which is sometimes necessary).
The commonality he found between different groups of people, on different continents, was high vitamin A consumption (pre-formed, from animal products), dietary vitamin D consumption (in addition to more time spent in the sun) and another fat-soluble vitamin that he could measure in some limited ways, that seems to be vitamin K2, also found in animal fats (not in plants). These people also consumed a lot more minerals than us, but the difference in fat-soluble vitamins was 10x the current diet of the day (1930s US).
Price wrote a great book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, that I think is a great read (in terms of info, it's a bit hard to get through in places, and the language is somewhat archaic). It also has great pictures that show kids' faces become progressively narrower and more pinched the more pregnancies mom has, in societies that ate the modern low-nutrient foods, whereas this didn't happen in the groups that followed the high fat-soluble vitamin diet.
This is fundamental to Price's findings, and that's why the discussion develops, because particularly the vitamin A issue is in direct conflict to the conventional dietary advice given to pregnant women in the US, so it's a cause of some stress and it does take personal research into the topic.