Before The Primal Blueprint, before the Paleo Diet, before South Beach and Weight Watchers, there was just food, and people were healthy, in good shape, and had less illness than we seem to incur nowadays. Our food is dead, and today’s guest on Off the Grid Radio, Sally Fallon Morrell, the author of two books, Eat Fat Lose Fat and Nourishing Traditions, discusses with host Bill Heid the consequences of the American diet of dead food and why we’re seeing so much illness, disease, obesity, and lowered fertility rates amongst the population.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: June 22, 2012
Bill: And welcome everybody. Today we do have some better ideas to bust you out of the control grid. We’ve got our friend and local food advocate, Andy Sokolovich. Andy, welcome. He’s in the studio with me. He works here at Solutions from Science. Welcome, Andy.
Andy: Hey, good morning Bill. Thanks for having me on.
Bill: And we also have the co-founder of the Weston A. Price Organization, the author of Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and of course her classic book, Nourishing Traditions. Our guest is also a chef, a homemaker, nutritionist and activist or maybe a rabble-rouser—a little bit—Sally Fallon Morrell. Sally, welcome.
Sally: Thank you. Thanks for having me. Just one little correction there because people will get me on this—I am not a nutritionist.
Bill: Okay, what would you describe yourself as?
Sally: I describe myself as a nutrition researcher.
Bill: Oh, okay. So nutritionist—I would consider myself a nutritionist, only because I’m just interested in nutrition but maybe I need a government designation to say that I’m a nutritionist. I should take some classes. That would make me one.
Sally: I’ve had people try to catch me on that. They’ll say, “You’re a nutritionist.” I always have to say, “No, I’m not a nutritionist.” So just FYI.
Bill: So I’ll call myself something different too.
Bill: A student of nutrition…
Sally: Yes, right.
Bill: …is what I’ll call myself and I think Andy would call himself the same thing. We’re both in the same boat. Well anyway…
Sally: Nutrition activist is another thing you can say.
Bill: Yeah, and we’re all researchers, kind of, since we’re all kind of looking for a better world and a little…
Sally: Everyone’s looking for answers so…
Bill: Answers and a little better paradigm.
Bill: And you’ve certainly spent a lot of time, Sally, in a quest. Someone handed you kind of a baton here maybe or you took this baton up. Talk a little bit about how you got started—your own personal life—I think there is a story here, how you got started with this whole thing.
Sally: Well, going way back, I’ve always loved to cook and I cooked for the world’s most demanding audience—my four growing children—so I think that’s the number one thing that distinguishes me from other people who write nutrition books. I’ve actually really done a lot of cooking. I also think that some of these books are written by guys who have never cooked and they just get some dietician to do their recipes at the back of the book.
Bill: Sure, sure.
Sally: But the real defining moment for me was in the early ‘70s when I read Dr. Weston Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, and that book really resonated with me because I was already cooking in this way, in a sense. I always used butter and cream and eggs and loved pate and rich foods like that—pate and cream cheese. So I just kept on cooking this way. I added some other things that are based on the book like cod liver oil and raised my children on this diet and I can tell you that the diet works. My children were all very healthy and they’re high functioning adults now and we just didn’t have anything that we even needed to take them to the doctor for when they were growing up. That’s the goal is superbly healthy children. So anyway, when my youngest was five and went off to kindergarten, I had more time and I got the idea of writing a cookbook where I could showcase my own recipes but also make the message of Dr. Price available to far more people than who knew about it.
Bill: And so talk a little bit about him too, Sally. What motivated him? He went around the world and he was looking for kind of what made people tick in different cultures, what they ate—talk about his motivation and his work.
Sally: Well, Dr. Price is a dentist—quite a prominent dentist in his day—and he wanted to answer the question “What is a healthy diet? What is a type of diet that will support superb physical health, including complete freedom from cavities and freedom from dental deformities?” In other words, “What kind of diet would ensure that all children were born with wide faces and wide dental palate?” And he traveled all over the world and found 14 groups that were superbly healthy, that had little or no cavities, everybody in the culture had naturally straight teeth and they were superbly robust and healthy and most importantly—they had healthy children, generation after generation. So all of these diets were very different.
Obviously, the Eskimo diet is different from the South Sea diet, but he found some underlying characteristics—basically four main, underlying characteristics. One was that there were no processed and devitalized foods. Two—all of these cultures had animal foods in the diet. Three—they were particularly rich in vitamins and minerals and especially the three vitamins that we get from the very foods we’re told not to eat—organ meats, animal fats, butter, egg yolks, fish eggs, fish liver oils like cod liver oil. And the fourth was they practiced special diets for pregnant women and the spacing of children to ensure that each child got the full nutritional benefits. Now we founded the Weston A. Price Foundation in 1999 and we added seven other characteristics based on our own research so we now have a list of eleven underlying, fundamental characteristics of traditional diets.
Bill: And they all have kind of these common things.
Sally: Yes, you find these in every single traditional diet—almost without exception—all over the world. So one of them, for example, is that all traditional diets had salt. You just can’t survive without salt. Another one is that all traditional diets had fermented foods in them—lacto fermented foods. Another one is that all traditional diets were very careful in the way they prepared grains and seeds and legumes. They prepared them by a kind of fermentation process. But we really focus on the third one of Dr. Price, the very high levels of these fat soluble vitamin—A, D and K—ten times more than the American diet of his day. These are what are so horribly lacking in our modern diet today and the only way to get them is to eat these rich foods—the very foods our government is telling us not to eat. So we need to have the courage and the wisdom to break away from the diet dictocrats and their deadly dietary advice.
Bill: Sure. What’s interesting is my dad who is 80– he abides by what my daughter Stephanie calls “the bacon grease diet.” That is just a bunch of eggs and a bunch of bacon grease and it’s just a bunch of foods that you would never think of.
Sally: Well, it’s a good diet, yeah.
Bill: He likes to have a little brandy at night but I’m just saying it seems to have worked. Sally, he’s never really been to the doctor his whole life.
Sally: Yeah, well bacon grease is a wonderful fat. It’s loaded with vitamin D and the eggs, especially if they’re from pastured chickens, are just like a perfect food. I like to talk about the five Bs. My five Bs are bacon, butter, beef, bread—the sourdough bread of course, and blue cheese.
Bill: Sure, sure, yeah. What’s interesting is he wouldn’t see himself as partaking in this scientific diet, right?
Bill: But he’s doing some amazing things. I’ll just take you back a little bit. In the 80s I worked a little bit with Dr. Barry Sears and we were doing some research together and kind of working a little bit—he was doing, primarily, the research—and I was trying to make it available to athletes. In other words, all these people, Sally, were carb-loading before they went into basketball and other sports and Barry and I… I took his books—and at that point I didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to just call researchers and doctors and talk to them like ordinary human beings—and so I did. I said, “Why are so many athletes doing this, Dr. Sears?” And he said, “They shouldn’t be because if you use oils you get this tremendous cascading of hormones…” and he went on to talk about econosoids and so forth. It’s just such an amazing thing. You don’t have to carb-load and athletes have been stuck in that rut for such a long time. What’s interesting is you’re finding the same thing from a whole different… You’ve come to it from a different avenue and not just in athletic health but in health of children, I think, especially.
Sally: Yes, children in particular need animal fats to grow up normally—to have normal connections in their brains. We have a kind of genocide going on here right now where mothers are being told to basically starve their children of the things they need to grow normally.
Bill: That’s very much the case. Years ago Thomas Kuhn wrote this book, The Structure of Scientific Revolution, and I try to encourage people to read that book because what the high priests of any society prescribed for their underlings just changes from era and epoch to era and epoch. I remember people said you shouldn’t have eggs because of cholesterol and then we had margarine—we had all these different things to replace this. I lived through that. You lived through that. We saw the campaigns up close and personal. Some people who want to have…
Sally: Right. Oh, it’s still going on, with a vengeance.
Bill: Oh yeah. Some people have this… I think, during medieval times, when high priests said something, they had kind of the fear of hell over you and I think our high priests—our scientific and medical high priests—sort of have the same thing. Well, you’re not going to go to hell but in a materialist world it’s the next best thing—you’re going to die if you eat these eggs. I’m saying my dad, grandparents—they ignored all of that, maybe because they were from the wrong side of the tracks or whatever, but it helped them out by ignoring what was the current zeitgeist.
Sally: Absolutely. Well, you just go in the opposite direction, really.
Bill: Whatever they say, do the opposite thing?
Bill: Yeah. Another little thing that I think I’d like your comment on—we live here along the Mississippi River and not too far from us, in Clinton Iowa, is an Archer Daniels Midland plant where they process 400,000 or 500,000 bushels of corn every day and make high fructose corn syrup. And then I’m looking in the Drudge Report this morning, Sally, and I see we’re shocked and amazed that everyone is fat.
Bill: What’s going on with that? In all of our… We don’t work like we used to but kids are just chubby now—everywhere you go.
Sally: Oh, I think it’s several things. First of all I think it’s a lack of animal fats because you need animal fats and the vitamins in animal fats to support thyroid function and we have these kids with very sluggish thyroids, very slow metabolism. Certainly the high fructose corn syrup is a big contributor because the fructose in high fructose corn syrup is not like the fructose the body needs to get energy from. It can only do two things with it. It can put it in triglycerides in the blood or it can put it in fats in the body. But the third thing—and this one is not as well recognized—but it’s the MSG in the food. All processed food contains MSG. If you are working in a laboratory and want to study obesity in rats, rats will not get obese unless you feed them MSG. You can do a literature search for MSG induced obesity and you’ll find all sorts of studies where they induce obesity in rats by feeding them MSG. So the industry cannot deny that MSG is a factor in what’s making people fat.
Bill: Yeah, there are a lot of things at work here but there are a lot of things people can do just to make sure that that’s not the case with our own kids—to kind of get off this control grid mindset of eating what everybody sort of makes you do. How would we switch around the current food triangle? What’s your food triangle? What’s the Weston Price food triangle or square or whatever?
Sally: Well, we did something else. We published a… Because everybody needs different levels of nutrients. Someone like myself, who suffered from hypoglycemia—I need a lot of fat with my food—and other people might not be able to digest all that fat. So the amount of fat people eat varies anywhere from 30 to 80% of calories and it is ridiculous for the government to try to put everyone into the same mould—into the same box—as far as how much fat you eat. Some people gain weight when they eat lots of carbs and some people don’t have any problem with carbs. So we came up with four food groups—first of all, it’s animal food group– so it’s meat, eggs, dairy, fish. You need some animal foods every day. Second group is grains, nuts and legumes. Third group is fruits and vegetables. And then our fourth group is healthy fats and oils. We’ve written this up in a really neat 100-page booklet with recipes, called Healthy For Life—very colorful, full color booklet. You can get that from our website if you want or just call our office.
Bill: What’s your website again? Make sure everybody knows what it is so they can get that book.
Sally: It’s WestonAPrice.org.
Bill: Okay, cool. So go through this a little bit. We’ve talked a little bit about… You need these. The problem though—Andy and I sitting here, we agree—but finding your meat if you’re buying meat from traditional… This is farmland, Sally. I grew up working on farms so I can tell you how meat gets to the locker and it’s not always something digestible for the human mind—to mix metaphors a little bit there—because there are a lot of things that go on with animals, as you know.
Sally: Well, there are lots of farmers who are doing it right, doing it conscientiously, raising their animals on grass, killing them humanely and not running them through these big factories. The question is how to find them and we have set up a whole system exactly for people to do this. It’s called the Local Chapter System of the Weston A. Price Foundation. We have about 550 chapters worldwide—way over 400 in the United States—so there is bound to be a chapter near you. If you go to WestonAPrice.org and click on “Find Local Chapter”—and that takes a minute or two to load because the list is so long—but then you can go to Iowa or Kansas or wherever you may be and find your nearest local chapter. I guarantee you, in making the effort to buy a portion of your food directly from a farmer you’ll make a lot of wonderful friends and get to know likeminded people.
Bill: Sure, it’s a lot of fun. We have a few of those folks that do live around here and it is good and healthy to make those connections. So another reason to go check the website out—just to find some local… Andy, here it looks like there is somebody in Dixon—Vicki McConnell—in Dixon. I just found somebody—it took me two seconds to look somebody up—and found some likeminded people here.
Sally: Yes, good.
Andy: Sally, this is Andy and I just want to say first of all, thank you for all that you do.
Sally: Well, you’re welcome.
Andy: I know in my endeavors to educate people on healthy eating and what’s good and what’s bad, I’ve used a lot of your material to add to my hopper, for my arsenal. Explain to me just one thing—how do you correctly educate somebody on the appropriate way to eat, the healthiest way to eat? Because I find it to be very, very difficult for somebody like my mother, for instance—54—she’s kind of hard-headed and I grew up in a generation that had the biggest container of Country Crock in the fridge at all times. Now, since I started educating myself—I guess it’s been about 12 years now—I really decided to eat healthy. But what do you do? What is your approach?
Sally: Well first of all you can’t change someone if they’re not ready. Food is a very sensitive subject. So the first thing you do is set a good example in just eating real food and then you have to kind of wait until the person is ready. But one thing we’ve done at the Weston A. Price Foundation is we’ve developed educational materials. For example, we have a little flier called “Why Butter is Better.” It’s just a little trifold and you can kind of leave that on the table or something. We have a 24 page little booklet on our dietary guidelines and we sell that for $1.00.
Andy: Yeah, I’m a personal trainer as well—sorry to cut you off there, Sally—but a lot of times I do have clients that come in and they want all sorts of fitness advice between cardio and strength training and I always tell them that “You’re body is based on your diet.” That’s the fuel. That’s the fuel that moves you. I do try to educate them and teach them a different way of eating but I think between getting somebody in the shape they want to be in physically—through cardio and strength training—getting them to eat correctly has been by far the hardest thing that I’ve ever actually had to do.
Sally: Yeah. Well, if you become a member—so I’ll put a little plug for membership in now—membership to the Weston A. Price Foundation, it’s $40.00 a year, $25.00 for seniors and students, and you get four journals a year. But in your membership packet you’ll get one of each of our fliers and brochure and then you can order more if you want—if you want to give these to your clients. The first ones come free with your membership and you can get a look at all of them and see which ones you think you would like to be giving out. We have one on cancer, for example. We have one on cholesterol. We have one on cod liver oil. We have one on the dangers of soy foods—we haven’t touched on that one yet. So I would really encourage both of you and your listeners to become members and get familiar with our material because we really do have some wonderful teaching tools.
Bill: I’m going to sign up.
Bill: I’m going to sign up as soon as the show is over here.
Andy: The dangers of soy could probably be a show in itself, I’m sure.
Bill: Yeah, that would be another show. Let’s talk a little bit about… I know we touched on grains. Let’s talk a little bit again because we’ve had some other guests, Sally, that have traveled around the world and sort of looked into indigenous tribes and what makes them tick—why they’re able to avoid a lot of medical care and living a very simple life and in some cases in very remote conditions. One of the things that I see that’s interesting, that kind of runs in—again, we have lines of convergence here and the light bulb goes on whenever I see different people coming up with the same conclusions with a little different methodology—so what’s interesting to me about grains is… One of the gals that I’m talking about that’s been on this show before—no matter where she goes she finds people making a fermented mash out of whatever grains that particular region can grow and in some cases it’s kind of freaky but it’s always this probiotic soup that people make out of it and it really does… You’re building bugs, right?
Sally: I’d like to talk to her because that’s exactly right. It’s a myth that Paleolithic people didn’t eat grains but they prepared them with great care and very often… There were two basic ways. One was this sort of sour, fermented porridge. It was soured and cooked and kind of ground up. Very often they let the bran float to the surface and they got rid of that. They didn’t think that was fit to eat. But the grain formed a substrate for good bacteria to grow and created these very high levels of vitamins and frees up the minerals and so forth. The other thing they did with the grains is to make beverages—very sour, lacto fermented beers—and they are definitely an acquired taste, I can tell you.
Andy: Sally, I am a home brewer. I do brew my own beer so I am very familiar with the sour style of beers and it is hard on the palate sometimes but once you get used to it you love it.
Sally: But it’s extremely healthy. It is very healthy.
Andy: Extremely healthy.
Bill: So that’s something in common and I think… Do you have any pamphlets on that?
Sally: We really don’t and perhaps we should but there is certainly information about it in our 24 page dietary guidelines, for sure. The big source for that, of course, is Nourishing Traditions—my cookbook.
Bill: Yeah, which is great. We’re going to carry that in our bookstore and also that’s available on your website. Where is your website? It’s…
Sally: It’s NewTrendsPublishing.com.
Bill: Okay, NewTrendsPublishing.com. We’ll carry it. I’m sure you can get it at Amazon as well. Let’s talk about fruits because I’m diabetic and I tend to avoid too many carbs unless there is a lot of fiber associated with my fruits. How do you eat…? What’s the best way to eat fruits?
Sally: Okay, well very few people ask me this question so it’s a good one. Once again, it kind of depends on the fruit. Now the tropical fruits are great fruits because they are full of enzymes that help you digest meat. There was one of the tribes Dr. Price studied in the Amazon basin never ate meat unless they could eat bananas with the meat. It was kind of interesting. So these are good fruits. They tend to be very sweet however so you would want to eat them with foods that have plenty of fat so you don’t get the blood sugar spike. The high pectin fruits like peaches, plums, apples, pears—very often people do a lot better on these fruits if they’re cooked because the pectin can be very irritating to the gastrointestinal tract. Cooked with some homemade ice cream or some whipped cream—that’s my way of eating those types of fruits.
Bill: That sounds like a great way to eat those things.
Sally: Berries—most people can do the berries without any problems, without cooking them. Once again, much better for you if you eat them with whipped cream.
Bill: Sure, okay. And then we touched on it again but let’s go back and talk about the fourth one, which is healthy fats and oils and I think that’s a subject where you’re breaking a lot of ground here, Sally. You’re getting people interested because we see that the diets of our parents and grandparents may have been superior to ours so we are taking a look back at traditional diets. So let’s talk about the oils they were using.
Sally: It’s very interesting about butter. Americans historically ate more butter than any culture in the world, except possibly the Swiss. Travelers from Europe to America in the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s remarked on how much butter Americans eat—we put butter on everything. We had a lot of butter here. We were a dairying culture. Americans were tall and handsome and had good teeth and were relatively healthy when they did eat all that butter. That’s the number one fat. We had a lot of pork fat in our diet and pork fat is a great fat—bacon fat or lard—great source of vitamin D—and the fat on our meat, of course. The fat in full fat cheese and the fat in egg yolks and another wonderful fat is coconut oil, which had a reputation for being healthy for you until the edible oil– I don’t want to call them edible oil—the industrial oils started demonizing coconut oil because it competed with them.
Bill: Sure, remember they were telling you when you went to the movies and had some popcorn with coconut oil on it, you were going to– I remember this like it was yesterday—you were going to die before the movie was over. You wouldn’t know what the conclusion of the movie would be because…
Sally: That campaign against coconut oil is a really obscene example of the power of advertising over the truth and so you got rid of a good, healthy oil that protects us against all kinds of medical problems and substituted partially hydrogenated soybean oil in the popcorn and now you have something that is truly carcinogenic and causes heart disease.
Andy: And I think the other problem, Sally, is you try to teach people—especially with coconut oil—but then when they go to the grocery store and they try to heed your warning and buy the coconut oil and take your advice they’re smacked in the wallet because it’s $5.00 or $6.00 for a small jar.
Bill: But good food is expensive. Sally, how do people find the right…? Don’t you have like a…? Did I find something on your website too, it was like where you’ve done a little due diligence on some vendors and you’ve got kind of a list of people that you’ve approved and gone through?
Sally: Yeah, that’s not on our website. That is our shopping guide that every member gets every year and you can also just order them. They’re just $1.00.
Bill: That might be really $1.00 well spent.
Sally: Yeah, absolutely. And we have pages for meats. We have seafood. We have butter. We have cream. We name brand names and provide phone numbers of people who can ship these products to you.
Bill: Okay, so we’ve talked about some of these things. I think it’s a good point. We’re about halfway through this interview and you’ve talked about sort of malicious campaigns. Let’s go back to 1945. This is a good segue into this raw milk thing. Let’s go back to this little town of Crossroads USA—a place that I like to take the family occasionally, just to vacation—because it’s beautiful there, Sally. The people are friendly and it’s kind of like up in Minnesota. Everybody is tall and strong. The women are strong. How does that go? What’s he say? “The women are strong and the kids—they’re IQs are all above average.”
Sally: Yeah, this little town of Crossroads is very much like Lake Wobegone because the town does not exist and yet in 1945, in a magazine called “Coronet Magazine,” there was this big, inflammatory article about the town of Crossroads and how a third of the people died from undulant fever they got from raw milk. And this created a huge panic about raw milk. The whole article was made up. It was a complete lie. There was no town called Crossroads. Then the article was repeated a couple years later in the Reader’s Digest. That began the campaign—the real campaign—to get rid of raw milk in this country and the lies persist to this day. CDC just put out this big report saying that you’re much more likely to get sick from raw milk and die from raw milk and it’s just absolutely not true. They’re really spinning lies here.
Bill: Here is some news. Again, this is… I went to Google News and typed in “raw milk” and 14 hours ago we have a story, a mother whose two year old has been hospitalized for 28 days after drinking raw milk, recommends not giving children milk that hasn’t been pasteurized. So they have another spokesperson on their side that’s…
Sally: Well, let me tell you what happened recently in California. There were about five people—raw milk drinkers—who got the virulent type of E. coli. And so they quarantined the raw milk for many weeks. They tested the milk. They tested the farm. They tested the manure on the farm. They didn’t find any of this E. coli anywhere on the farm. In talking to one of the people… And the owner of the dairy, Mark McAfee, has tried to find out how many cases of E. coli are there per year in California. It turns out he found out just by accident from one of the inspectors, there is about 700 cases a year in California. Now 3% of the population drinks raw milk so you would expect over a five-year period or a ten-year period to be about 200 cases of raw milk drinkers getting this E. coli—just statistical odds. There have been five in ten years. So this suggests that raw milk is actually protective against this virulent type of E. coli. But instead, when somebody who does drink raw milk comes down with this, they always blame it on the raw milk without testing, without any proof.
Bill: Yeah, and I think that the CDC really… It seems like it’s more than just there is neutrality here. It seems like this is a war…
Sally: Oh, it’s hostility, yeah.
Bill: This is a hostile war going on. Who would ever have thought that raw milk would have lined the sides up in such a way that it has? You were at Harvard not too long ago—Harvard Law School—I watched a little bit of your presentation and I was fascinated. You did a great job there…
Sally: Thank you.
Bill: …presenting the case for raw milk. Let’s talk a little bit about how did you feel that went?
Sally: I thought it went all right. The only thing I was disappointed in, I think in a real debate you should let each speaker systematically rebut the other speakers and we were never allowed to do that. I had all sorts of things I wanted to say about the other speakers. But one of the things I brought up in my remarks was the fact that we now have about six studies out of Europe showing that raw milk is highly protective against asthma, allergies and skin problems. Asthma is a life threatening condition. It kills about 1,500 people per year. Raw milk has killed no one as far back as we can go in the scientific literature. We can’t find one evidence of a death from raw milk. But asthma kills over 1,000 people every year so it’s a life threatening condition. And yet people who are in charge of public health in this country, who should be thrilled to find something that treats asthma, that cures asthma, that protects against asthma and has no side effects is out there and instead they are demonizing that product.
Bill: Yeah, they are. Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits of it. Some of our listeners know these things. Some of them don’t. You went through and you made a fine presentation. Can we…? I know maybe you don’t have that in front of you. Can we kind of scoot through that a little bit and give people reasons why raw milk can be very beneficial?
Sally: Well, the main thing to understand about raw milk is that all of the nutrients in raw milk have an enzyme that ensures that the nutrients are completely absorbed and these enzymes are destroyed by pasteurization. So you go from something that is really easy to digest, that all the nutrients are completely absorbed and also that creates the immune system that will build the immune system—it’s designed to build the immune system… Once you pasteurize, it’s like a spell has been put over the milk. It’s much harder to digest. The nutrients are not completely absorbed and it is like an attack on the immune system because the body thinks that these warped and distorted, heated proteins are foreign. So you go from a really healthy food to a food that we know from the scientific literature is not healthy at all.
Bill: One of the things that we talked about—before you go on—one of the things we talked about a lot in training was heating proteins and the crosslinking of proteins that goes on when you do that. In other words, too much heat—this is true in any… It’s inherent in the molecule. If you heat it up, some bad things happen.
Andy: Yeah, it changes it.
Bill: It changes the molecule, yeah.
Sally: It’s certainly true for milk proteins. They are extremely fragile and highly damaged by heat. Now proteins in meat are very tight, twisted proteins and they actually are easier to digest with light cooking. They kind of untwist a little bit.
Bill: But the lactoferrins in milk, they’re saying, they are much more fragile than a meat protein and so they need different treatment or no treatment.
Sally: Exactly. And the thing is we have the technology to get clean, raw milk to anybody in this country who wants it and needs it. We know how to test. We know how to keep the milk clean and sanitary from the teat to the bulk tank to the bottle. And yet, instead we use our technology to deaden the milk and make it a harmful product for us.
Bill: What do you think happened? Again, I grew up, when I was young, and I milked cows for a number of farmers and in this area, every half mile you could go and find a small operation. You could find someone—really we didn’t even have that many parlors at that time—everybody kind of had a stanchion barn and everyone kind of stooped down and milked the cows and it was just a common thing. As I grew up, after I got married, these farms all disappeared and the only ones that existed—actually, one of… a close friend and a good producer of milk, one of my friends—was the only guy in the whole county standing with a sizable herd. In our lifetime we saw this.
Sally: Yeah, well it’s because of the ridiculously low price that the pasteurization system gives to the farmer. The farmer today gets about $1.00 a gallon for his milk. It’s the same price he got in World War II. He is losing money every time he milks the cows because it costs him more to produce the milk than he gets for it. If he could sell raw milk he could get a decent wage for the milk—he could get anywhere from $5 to $15 a gallon.
Bill: So if we open these markets up then you have a chance to encourage more of that.
Sally: You have a chance to bring back… Yeah. In fact, the small farms are coming back because of the huge demand for raw milk. We reckon there is anywhere from 10-15 million raw milk drinkers in the country now. It’s the fastest growing demand there is. So small farms are coming back and they are, of course, viewed very hostilely by the state departments of agriculture and the health departments. We found the Legal Defense Fund exactly to defend these small farmers.
Bill: I was noticing also in your presentation, I remember reading years ago—I think it was GK Chesterton—that said that we’re rearing men without chests. I think that that’s true. We have kind of cowards in a lot of positions and…
Sally: Vince Lombardi said, “I never met an athlete who wasn’t a huge milk drinker.”
Sally: And of course these were farm boys drinking raw milk.
Bill: Yeah, so Chesterton and Lombardi and they both… And then I saw your presentation and I saw the raw milk versus no raw milk testicle size…
Sally: Right, right.
Bill: …and I thought, “That is really interesting.” I don’t want to jump to too many conclusions over a small study like that but I found that even interesting among what could end up just being a testosterone production in people. We have low sperm counts in the US and we have that kind of a declining fertility and I’m wondering if there is… Maybe it’s speculation. Maybe you have some research on that but what’s the story there?
Sally: Yeah, pasteurized milk does lead to a decline in fertility. In early studies with rats when they fed them pasteurized milk, after about two generations they became infertile. They could restore the fertility in some rats by going back to unpasteurized milk. The photograph I showed in my talk was a study—not published—but it was done in Canada where they fed one calf on raw milk and one calf on pasteurized milk. I think it’s kind of interesting that one of the criticisms of milk is it’s coming from a female cow and she produces estrogen and there is estrogen in the milk and so forth. But the cow on raw milk had very large testicles and the cow on pasteurized milk– they were about a third smaller.
Bill: I found that very interesting and of course you could probably… There is a lot of jokes there to be told but that’s…
Sally: Well, I showed it to kind of be funny but it’s not funny because we have a huge problem with infertility in this country and it’s only going to get worse until we go back to real food and one of those real foods is raw milk. Fortunately we have millions of people who are listening and drinking raw milk.
Bill: So with this idea, it takes us to yet another– almost a philosophical—issue in a way. Who owns children? Who owns…? Do we own the right to eat what we want? If the government can tell us what to eat, where are the brakes to that? If someone can say, “You can’t eat this. You can’t drink this. You can’t do this” where in the world are the brakes?
Sally: Well you know, it’s a real medieval concept that somebody else owns your children. The lord of the manor owns your children or the head of the plantation or the church owns your children or the government—the Roman government—owns your children. The belief that our children are ours to bring up in our own way and to have their own life, their own destiny—that is an improvement. That is forward evolution in human society. I certainly hope we don’t go backwards on that.
Bill: Let me get your comment. Maybe both you guys can comment on it. This is almost… It’s a religious perspective. Where does law come from? If everybody gets to make up… Does the law only come from governments? My personal beliefs tend to be, Sally– that law comes from God. That’s what assigns children to parents very early on and so you can’t tweak with that any more than you can tweak with the good diet, without wacky, unpredictable, tyrannical results.
Sally: A lot of suffering, yes.
Bill: A lot of suffering if we start wandering and going our own way. So here is the thing that I’m thinking about. We think that we were under this horrible tyranny when King George III was ruling over us but people could pretty much drink whatever they wanted, eat whatever the wanted…
Sally: Well no one figured out how to… Well, they did actually. In some places the way they controlled people was taking away salt.
Bill: They could do that, yeah. But now today what you’ve got… So it seems like we’re freer but in some ways what a Democratic Republic tends to do is create a reactionary… Let’s pretend somebody died from something in 1769. You didn’t get this immediacy of a call to bureaucratic, to legislative action that you do in this system that we have now. If something happens to someone there is a Congressional committee formed within 48 hours, new laws within 72. That did not happen, even under what were tyrannical periods in Rome. It didn’t happen that way.
Sally: The laws are there, waiting in the wings for the event that they can use to pass the law.
Bill: And it just keeps ratcheting up. So every time there is a crisis—and you had mentioned earlier, Sally—there was a crisis where someone might have gotten sick. In the case of Crossroads nobody got sick but let’s say somebody gets sick. Somebody is going to inevitably get sick. Do we need this huge, sweeping pendulum that has to go 180 degrees the other way, restricting everybody for everything because somebody went to the hospital for something?
Sally: Right, exactly. Exactly.
Bill: So what’s your prescription? How do we get out of this mess?
Sally: Well, drink raw milk so you think clearly. You take your cod liver oil. Eat butter. We have people who can’t think today because they’re not eating the right fats and the right food.
Andy: I think you hit the nail on the head right there, Sally. People don’t think for themselves. I know my family, I kind of elected myself Commander in Chief so I make those decisions for my family and I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that my children grow up healthy. I think a lot of people have a misconception that eating this way takes away from the flavor of foods but I find it to be the complete opposite.
Sally: Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yeah.
Andy: The amount of flavors you get from coconut oil and all these great, wholesome foods. People think they need to go to the grocery store and buy those MSG steak flavoring packets and everything and just throw that on there because that’s what makes it taste good.
Sally: It’s kind of food pornography—I call that.
Andy: It’s a digital age and the way we market food, it’s a lot different than… We don’t purchase food anymore based on our taste buds. We purchase food based on what it looks like in an ad or whatever discount percentage is slapped to it in something you get via email. But yeah, so what we kind of are going to do, in our home, I was an eleven-year veteran in the Air Force. I just recently separated this past November and we moved back here and we are going to start homesteading. So we’ve got some chickens and some ducks coming and eventually we’re going to have a cow to produce our own milk.
Sally: Good. That’s what I like to hear. I think a lot of people have done that just to ensure that they and their families have good food.
Andy: And I think that’s the only… So we’re not invested in a 401K. We’re investing in a cow.
Sally: Very good.
Bill: You’ll save a lot of money in medical insurance just by…
Andy: It all comes together. It’s just one of those things where people always want to stick their money somewhere where they think it’s going to make them millions but really, if you’re not around to spend it, what good is it?
Sally: That’s exactly right, and if you’re not healthy and pain-free, what good is it? Yeah.
Bill: So as we kind of wind down a little bit, Sally, is there anything that is on your mind for the next six months? What are you working on? What’s the latest at Weston A. Price?
Sally: Well, this year we started these regional conferences so they are a little bit smaller scale than our annual, main conference and with a big focus on children’s health. Also a track we call “Wise Entrepreneurs”—how to start a business that you can be proud of and enjoy and it provides healthy food for people. So we’ll have people who have done just that, speaking at these conferences. So the first one is in St. Louis. That’s in May. Then we have one in September in Buffalo New York. And our main conference is in California this year, in Santa Clara. That’s a really big deal with over 30-40 speakers, lots of exhibitors. And all that information is on our website. So that’s really what we’re focusing on this year—adding more conferences, getting this message to more and more people.
Andy: So Sally, if we live in a state where say I don’t want to drive down a dark alley, knock on a door three times and grab my milk, drop $5.00 and run away—who do I…?
Bill: Which you do now. I’m just kidding. It’s only a joke.
Andy: That’s only a joke. But what do I do if I’m a raw milk lover and I want to help the raw milk movement? Who do I call? My Congressman?
Sally: I would become a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation and you will get state specific announcements of what’s going on in your state. There is a lot going on in Missouri right now. Although raw milk is legal to sell in Missouri the Department of Agriculture is really going after small farmers. And check out the Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund website—that’s FarmToConsumer.org. That’s another good place to look. But yeah, become a member and get the updates on what’s going on. The second thing I would recommend is find out who your local chapter leader is from the website and they can tell you what’s going on as well.
Andy: All right, very good. Thank you.
Bill: Okay, Sally. And again, the books that you have are…
Sally: All right. Well this has been a great pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Bill: Thanks so much, Sally. We really appreciate your time and the work—as Andy said—the work you’re doing means a lot to all of us. So thanks to everybody for tuning in. We know your time’s important. Thank you.