Health and Nutrition in Isolated Traditional Societies
In the 1930's, Dr. Weston Price wrote a classic book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, about isolated populations living on native diets, and compared them to the disastrous effects of the processed foods and commercial farming of modern civilization. It is a book you should all read because it will keep you from going astray in a sea of misinformation. It is distributed by the Price Pottenger Foundation. Dr. Price was distressed by seeing so much decay in people's teeth, and children being born with crooked and crowded teeth, and he didn't believe we were meant to be this way. He was interested in seeing for himself if there were people in the world who didn't have this problem, and he had the brilliant idea of travelling to areas of the world who had had no contact with modern civilization.
SWISS ALPS He first went to an isolated village in the Swiss Alps. You could only get to it by a foot path which was not large enough for a wheeled cart. The only foods in the village were grown there. Their diet consisted mainly of very rich dairy foods, rye which they grew themselves, a few vegetables, and a small amount of meat. He examined children in this village, and was absolutely amazed to find that most children had no tooth decay; they all had absolutely straight teeth and no dental occlusions. They were all very handsome with very broad faces, wide nostrils and sturdy bodies. Their athletes ate special rich cream during athletic events. They considered butter a life-giving spirit, a sacred food. The people in this village were very spiritual and were known for their strength and beauty. Price was able to compare this village with a village just a few miles away into which a road had been built several years before. The shops were already full of white bread, jam, white flour, condensed milk and chocolate. He found one out of every three teeth of these villagers was decayed, and children born to people who had already switched to these foods had crowded and crooked teeth and narrow faces.
SCOTLAND Next he went to a very isolated island off the coast of Scotland. These people had no dairy products. Their diet consisted mainly of seafood, oats which they grew, and oat cakes, shell fish, fish and fish broth. Once again, he found very little tooth decay and the people's faces were broad and handsome, there was no crowding of the teeth, they had wide nostrils, a broad chest and were strong and sturdy.
ESKIMOS Next he went to visit the Eskimos. Eskimos are known to be sturdy and strong on their native diet. Eskimos ate a lot of sea food, much of which they fermented. They used whale and seal oil. These are not marine oils; they are animal fats. He found no tooth decay and their teeth were uniformly straight and without cavities. When the Eskimos were exposed to the so-called civilized foods in towns where ships came and set up stores, they immediately began to experience rampant tooth decay and the onset of infectious and chronic disease. But the most striking thing he found was that children born to parents who had adopted this diet had what he called altered germ plasm. In other words, they did not reach their full genetic potential. Their faces were not as broad as those of their ancestors, their nostrils were narrower and their teeth were crowded.
NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS Dr. Price also studied Indians living in Canada and the Seminole Indians in the Florida Everglades, both of whom lived mostly on game. Once again the people were very sturdy and handsome, did not suffer from degenerative disease or even infectious disease.
SOUTH PACIFIC He spent several years in the Pacific, around Polynesia and New Zealand, where he found people who were isolated from civilization, living on their native foods, and once again, he found the same thing, no dental decay, and beautiful facial and dental structure. The people lived on roots, sea food, and crab. When ships came to the islands and people were exposed to the devitalized foods of commerce, there immediately occurred rampant tooth decay, and children born to parents who had adopted these foods had altered facial structure, thin faces and crowded and crooked teeth, and these children were much more susceptible to disease.
ABORIGINES He studied the Aboriginal women who had an extremely high fat diet from animal sources, eating almost anything that comes their way including insects and kangaroos. They were strong and healthy with beautiful teeth. When they were exposed to modern foods, there was rampant tooth decay, and in the next generation, the children had crowded teeth. So the food was affecting the genetics.
SOUTH AMERICAN INDIANS Finally, he went to South America in the Andes. These people ate a variety of plant foods, small animals and fish eggs. The people were strong with good facial structure and good dental structure. After the people adapted to civilized foods, the children born to them had crowded teeth and narrower faces. He studied Amazonian Indians who lived mostly on animal foods with a few plant foods and fish. Again when they were exposed to civilized foods, there was lots of tooth decay, and crowded and crooked teeth in the next generation.
AFRICAN TRIBES He found the same thing in Africa. He found seven tribes with absolutely no tooth decay. These tribes kept cattle and ate milk, meat and blood. When they adopted the western diet there was tremendous suffering because there were no dentists in these communities. The children born had altered facial structure with narrowed nasal passages and sinus cavities. This leaves less room for all the glands, the ears, the eyes, and there is a squeezing of everything in the head.