This past week I had the great fortune of reading Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine by Ron Schmid, N.D., who is also the author of the Untold Story of Milk. This book is rock solid, perhaps the finest book I’ve read on the topic of nutrition. Schmid covers many things that Sally Fallon and others whom I highly respect cover in their books, but this nearly flawless book was originally published all the way back in 1987.
Schmid, a graduate of M.I.T., later became a Naturopathic Doctor and has taught at all of the nation’s Naturopathic medical schools. His professional emphasis, above all else, is proper nutrition based on the thoroughly proven philosophies of Weston A. Price, Francis Pottenger, Max Gerson, and other nutritional geniuses of the pre commercial-nutrition age. And with his wealth of knowledge and experience Schmid, like all supremely enlightened and spectacularly cool people, now milks cows.
Understandably, Schmid’s writing is very scientific and technical, which didn’t bother me in the slightest because I have plenty of background to follow along. Having said that, I highly recommend and fully endorse this book as a strong complement to Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions and Diana Schwarzbein’s The Schwarzbein Principle. What’s best about Schmid is his unbiased and honest writing. I learned this early on in The Untold Story of Milk, when Ron states openly that there is a risk of food-borne illness from consuming raw milk – just as there is from consuming any raw food. He is fair and lays out the whole picture instead of pouring on the propaganda from a bandwagon he happens to be riding on.
Anyways, I’m immensely grateful for having encountered this great work. Here are some quotes with brief discussion that I found to be particularly important and timely based on some of my recent topics:
“Quantities of fruit are not part of the diet we are genetically programmed to eat…[our ancestors] favored animals, seafood, and wild vegetables as dietary staples. Our physiological responses to food are simply not adapted to handling large quantities of fruit, especially tropical fruits and juices, and these foods in particular may contribute to the development of serious problems.”
*At the very least, as discussed last week, fruits are unlikely to be helpful in recovering from something that nearly all of us suffer from: several decades of overconsumption of sugar and the cumulative inheritance of sugar-metabolizing difficulty.
“Eating traditional foods consistently causes changes, among them a marked decrease in the desire for strong drink and foods with white flour and sugar. The reasons are physiological…”
*Here Schmid even underestimates the profound effect of proper nourishment on the disinterest in sugar. I Include alcohol and caffeine to the list of things no longer desired, which, along with refined sugar and grain, are craved and needed by the body only during hypoglycemic states brought on by lack of sleep, too many hours without food, overexertion physically, meals or snacks that lack both ample amounts of protein and fat, and/or, and this is what makes them addictive: consuming sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
“Recent research…[has] been provided…for how genetic material outside the nucleus of the fertilized egg may be directly affected by the mother’s nutrition. This non-nuclear genetic material is now known to reside in the mitochondria, the energy-making part of the cell. This research provides an explanation for Price’s observations, and indicates that the conventional thinking about nutrition in genetics has been erroneous.”
*This further solidifies Weston A. Price’s discovery that genetic flaws are caused by improper nutrition, and when “nature is obeyed” by eating an abundance of nutrient-dense foods that are cultivated in an optimal environment, humans produce radiantly healthy offspring generation after generation, without so much as a crooked tooth.
“Nature cures. This is the basis of lasting healing and lasting health…For nature to cure, one must understand what nature is – what is natural – and live by it.”
*Everything is natural by definition, but the human body is built to require certain elements in order to thrive. Without these elements, the human body does not thrive. This includes abundant amounts of fat soluble vitamins found in animal foods, minerals from bone broths, greens, and raw dairy products, enzymes from uncooked foods, exercise, sunlight, and so on.
Please check this great book out if you ever get a chance.
And FYI, Sally Fallon will be speaking at Sustainable Settings in Carbondale, CO on Saturday, August 18. Fallon is the primary facilitator of the growing raw dairy movement worldwide, and, like Schmid, is a strong advocate for “wise traditions” in agriculture and the amazing potential of traditional foods in the diet. Her presence in tiny Carbondale is truly a special occasion not to be missed!