Tribal Nutrition & Modern Disease


Weston Price is very famous in our field for having performed ground breaking research in 1930s by traveling to different remote countries all over the world and proved how modern food destroys peoples teeth and health in general. In 1939, he published the landmark and epic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, detailing his global travels studying the diets and nutrition of various cultures both contemporary and remote and forms the core of this course.

SOME of the primitive races have avoided certain of the life problems faced by modernized groups  and the methods and knowledge used by the primitive peoples are available to assist modernized  individuals in solving their problems, if they but only look. Many primitive races have made habitual use of certain preventive measures in meeting crucial life problems.

Dr. Barry Sears of the Zone Diet fame, made a study of an ancient tribe in Mexico still extant, that in the mid-2oth century, had no cancer, no obesity, and no chronic diseases of the civilized world. Today is has those diseases, and he traced down the culprit, not to sugar, white bread or white flour, but COOKING OIL. They adopted the use of commercial cooking oil to make their tortillas and chronic disease became rampant in the village!

For nearly 10 years, Weston Price and his wife traveled around the world in search of the secret to health. Instead of looking at people afflicted with disease symptoms, this highly-respected dentist and dental researcher chose to focus instead on healthy individuals, and challenged himself to understand how they achieved such amazing health in spite of an apparent primitive diet. Price and wife traveled to hundreds of cities in a total of 14 different countries in his search to find healthy people but was also discovering ground breaking anthropological research. He investigated some of the most remote areas in the world. He observed perfect dental arches, minimal tooth decay, high immunity to tuberculosis, normal facial and dental development, and overall excellent health in those groups of people who ate their indigenous foods. He found when these people were introduced to modernized foods, such as white flour, white sugar, refined vegetable oils and canned goods, signs of degeneration quickly became quite evident. Dental caries, deformed jaw structures, crooked teeth, arthritis and a low immunity to tuberculosis became rampant among them. 

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Dr. Price documented this ancestral wisdom including hundreds of photos in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the core of this Course. The book concludes that aspects of a modern Western diet (particularly flour, sugar, and modern processed vegetable fats) cause nutritional deficiencies that are root cause of many dental issues and health problems. Further, the dental issues he observed include the proper  (and improper) development of the facial structure (to avoid overcrowding of the teeth) in addition to dental caries. This work it the outset received mixed reviews, however today continues to be cited by proponents of many different observations, including dental and nutritional theories germain to natural medicine.

The widely held model of orthodontics, which considers developmental problems in the jaws and head to be genetic in origin, is here proven wrong. Dentisits are wedded to the genetic model, orthodontists dealing with crowded teeth end up treating the condition with tooth extraction or dental implants in a majority of the cases. Nutrition is ignored as a developmental cause in young children. The changes in facial structure that we observe in our children today is an extremely serious matter. It has been well documented and Nobel prizes have been awarded to researchers that have established the relationship between proper form and development, nutrition, and proper physical functioning of the body.

Unfortunately the trends in cosmetic facial and body enhancement procedures make one believe that all can be bought with money and surgery, but a word of caution: avoid implantation of objects or removal of organs as they interfere with normal and natural processes of the body, mind and soul. Great research has demonstrated that cells communicate with one another via a form of light and surgery tends to disrupt these light pathways, also called meridians or chi pathways."

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2005/Spring 2006.