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Letter From The Editor: Weston A. Price

Many a raw milk story includes a statement or two from the Weston A. Price Foundation.   Raw milk advocates look to the foundation group to call the shots, often at the state level, and always nationally.

I should acknowledge at the outset that there is more going on at the the foundation than its raw milk campaign.  Founded in 1999, this $1 million or so a year membership-based organization has a lot going on.

Every year legislators in a handful of states will skirmish over changes in raw milk laws.   Usually when it’s all over not much has changed in the crazy quilt of state law governing what happens with raw milk.  Wisconsin was this year’s big example, a big dust-up ending in a veto that means nothing changes.

Its never good, especially when you are membership-based organization, to put your troops through the same battles year after year with precious little change.  It wears your people down, and makes it much harder to get them to re-enlist the following year.

I think I have found the foundation’s problem.  It’s right here in their own goal statement, saying they are for the “establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk.’

That amounts to the “we win, you lose” strategy.  Fine if you can make it work, but it wears your own side down if you cannot.   My advice for the foundation people is to adopt a new goal based on the bungee jumping strategy.

Hey, it you are tall enough and old enough and willing to sign all the various release forms, and if the company has sufficient proof of insurance and recent OSHA inspections–go for it!

Bungee jumping is not legal because its advocates went to their state capitols saying: “This is safe and everyone should be able to do it.”  No, they said: “Bungee jumping is dangerous and definitely not for everyone.”

The foundation is going to have to figure out some of the details on its own.  Bungee jumpers typically are not throwing their kids off bridges, but raw milk advocates seem to resist making it an adult drink.

The Foundation will just have to work that out.  Dropping that universal access goal is key.  I am not even going to charge for providing this valuable advice.

I thought as long as I was looking at the foundation’s raw milk goal, I’d pass on a little more about the organization.  It’s worth noting that it’s the second foundation named for dentist Weston A. Price.

Price died in 1948 at age 78.  The first foundation named for him was created in the early 1950s, and today goes by the name of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.  While Price was known for his studies of the teeth and diets of native people around the world, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger Jr., through experiments on some 900-house cats, is the one who came to conclusions about eating raw meat and raw milk.

Today’s Weston A. Price Foundation “is organized and will be operated for charitable and educational purposes including to disseminate nutrition research and to promote education, research and activism in the field of nutrition and food production.”

In its publicly available filings with the IRS, the foundation is getting around half million dollars a year in membership dues, and earns income from other donations and by putting on conferences.  These include an annual raw milk symposium and big annual conference.

The foundation says “it supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.”

And, the foundation’s tag line is “for wise traditions in food, farming, and the healing arts.”  I am not sure if they came up with that before or after reading those 900 cat autopsies.

© Food Safety News
  • Ken

    Do they say anything about how they want milk certifed? All of the small farms I’m aware of selling raw milk do so primarily because the profit margin is much higher than selling to a commercial dairy. If they were to implement a test and hold procedure it will probably be less profitable than selling to the dairy, given the number of pathogens they’d need to test for based on proven outbreaks associated with raw milk

  • Doc Mudd

    * “for wise traditions in food, farming, and the healing arts.”*
    Founded in 1999, how much genuine “tradition” can the WAPF cite? They have built a solid reputation, however…one that is anything but “wise”.
    WAPF can claim credit for ambitiously foisting ludicrous raw milk fables on gullible people (as a means of soliciting monetary donations from them), to the detriment of public health and risking the personal health of their groupies & benefactors.

  • Carol

    Wow. I don’t think I have ever left a comment on anything I have read on the Internet before, but this article and the comments so far are incredibly biased. I don’t recommend raw milk to everyone, but I would never recommend homogenized, pasteurized, (not to mention hormone-laden) grain-fed milk to anyone…not if you like your arteries. I have drunk grass-fed organic raw milk daily as an adult for a few years now. I can’t remember the last time I had even a sniffle, but it certainly wasn’t this year or last year. Yes, I happen to know the farmer from whose cows it comes, and his focus is on building healthy balanced soil, not making the most money. I think it is very important to know one’s source. Do your own research, but just remember, if your mind is already closed, you will only find answers that are in line with a fear-based, critical, (and often brainwashed) closed mind. Gosh, how did humans survive all those years before pasteurization?Pasteurization, BTW, simply allows the big dairies to get away with shoddy cleanliness practices…so enjoy your pasteurized cow poop with your milk.

  • Alan

    Just saw a PBS special on Mongolia moderated by Julia Roberts. The nomadic Mongolians, young and old, had teeth as white and beautiful as Julia Roberts. Their main diet? Raw mare’s milk. Just like the obersvations that Weston Price made over half a century ago.

  • Doc Mudd

    Julia Roberts and the WAPF — geniuses for hire!
    Lord, save us from the charlatans.

  • Alan

    Doc Mudd is getting desperate; he’s calling names.

  • Doc Mudd

    The calm, discerning folks at ActivistCash.com distill the famous attributes of the Weston A. Price Foundation accurately enough:
    “Named after Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who studied the oral hygiene of pre-industrial and tribal populations in the early 90s, the Weston A. Price Foundation advocates a host of unproven, counterintuitive, and sometimes dangerous dietary practices. Among the foundation’s dubious dietary recommendations are increasing intake of highly saturated fats like palm oil, ingesting “detoxifying clay,” drinking unpasteurized, raw milk, and an abstinence-only attitude about soy beans…Not surprisingly, the foundation’s leaders have also lead the unfounded fight against high fructose corn syrup. In a 2003 essay by Linda “Mother Linda” Forristal MTA (as in Master of Tourism Administration) published by the foundation falsely implied that high fructose corn syrup contains a significantly greater quality of fructose than table sugar.”
    The dubious ‘credentials’ of WAPF operatives are transparent in the ludicrous positions they defend, even if their ulterior motives are too murky to transmit the light of day.

  • grateful mom

    The WAPF diet and foundation isn’t perfect….but they have my vote. Our youngest child was born with a number of mysterious ailments and was in general just small, sickly and missed just about every developmental milestone. Thanks to the WAPF is she is a robust on-track vivacious and talented 7 year old. It also made my husbands gout and diabetis go away [not allowed to say cured]. I would not buy raw milk from someone who I did not trust but I also no longer buy pasturized milk.
    If you want to regain your health take a look at their basic principles –whole unprocessed foods as close to a healthy source as possible.

  • Alan

    I don’t know who ActivistCash is and I don’t care. Explain those perfect teeth in Mongolia Doc. Mudd.
    Grateful Mom’s comments bring up something that “Big Dairy” had better take note of. If you go on and on about how contamintated unpasteurized milk is and the raw milk people go on and on about how bad ultrapasteurized is, the less informed consumer isn’t going to know who to believe. They’ll just stop drinking milk altogether and the raw milk people will never drink pasteurized milk anyway.
    If your case against raw milk is strong, then your best strategy is to let people drink it to their hearts content, get sick and then realize pasteurized is the only way to go.
    But I think they know that won’t be the case. People wont’ get sick; they’ll love raw milk and big dairy will be out customers. That’s what the Doc Mudd’s are worried about. They’re using FDA and state departments of ag as proxies to control. Oh and using fear to control.

  • Doc Mudd

    No sensible person can imagine “big dairy” (your derogatory label) being overly concerned about raw milk usurping market share – that is an asinine projection on Alan’s part.
    Conscientious commercial dairy producers are (and should be) gravely concerned about reports of poisonings resulting from the consumption of unpasteurized milk ultimately condemning the safety and wholesomeness of quality mainstream dairy products. The entire dairy industry will inevitably be tarred with the wide brush of perceived ‘filth, greed and contagion’ rightly associated with reckless ‘raw milk’ commerce. This is precisely the lucid realization that animated Wisconsin’s governor Doyle recently to veto ill-conceived raw milk legislation in his state.
    Perception is reality with modern consumers – and they cannot reasonably be expected to discern the difference between safe, high quality commercial product and sketchy, dangerous black market contraband. In the real world, the customer is always right…but it has become the hallmark of vocal hobby farm advocates to never consider public safety or welfare of the ordinary consumer; they focus exclusively on grubby profits for the theatrically quaint producer/merchandizer. This is the distinction of consequence. This should be the concern of “big dairy”, as you term it.

  • Alan

    “Big Dairy” is not derogatory, just fact. When DFA and Dean Foods control over 50% of the U.S. milk market through vertical contracts, that’s just plain big. Sorry if you think that’s derogatory.
    Look at organics. Started very small decades ago and now it’s really big (oops, don’t want to be derogatory.) A smart strategy would be to kill something while it’s relatively small, not wait until it takes off.
    Drink a glass of raw milk and then a glass of ultrapasteurized bacteria and even Doc Mudd would be able to figure out what “big dairy” has to worry about.

  • Doc Mudd

    Hmmm…old Doc Mudd has never aspired to become a pretentious food snob, and it has been years since having to drink a dipper of bacteria-laden raw milk (rest assured, I’ve consumed more than my share when there was no practical alternative, and was grateful to have it). It is much, much more recently that old Doc Mudd has taste-tested the newfangled ultrapasteurized bacteria-laden ‘certified organic’ milk (ultrapasteurization is an ultramodern technology adopted by certified organic and other niche dairy producers in an attempt to attain acceptable shelf life for overly bacteria-laden retail products)…and Doc cannot recommend either when good, sanitary commercial dairy products are so readily and affordably available. Heck, good common milk is cheaper than soft drinks!
    There is nothing, absolutely nothing quite as wholesome and refreshing as a tall, cold glass of fresh Grade A pasteurized, homogenized, vitamin D fortified milk. Not even raw milk warm from the cow and certainly not the skanky ultrapasteurized organic stuff. In fact, this discussion is making me hungry – I’m going to the refrigerator right now and pour a tumbler of ice cold milk. Maybe have some cookies with it (if no one is looking I might even dunk the cookies). Ah, life is good if only you can fend off uber-aggressive alarmist fools who clamor to worry you over such silly nonsense as imagined raw milk woo!

  • @Doc Mudd: It is true that the Weston A. Price Foundation is an active source of nutritional information, run by a combination of quacks and shills for the boutique animal foods industry. I’ve filled a lot of pixels debunking some of their claims. These are people who claim that eating soy foods will turn children gay, that you should feed you baby raw liver, that unpasteurized milk is perfectly safe, and so on. Their website encourages homeopathy, which tells you all you need to know about their credibility on science. [ Further info: http://unreasonable.org/node/1642 ]
    On the other hand, ActivistCash.com is a product of the “Center for Consumer Freedom”, an organization of Pure Concentrated Evil set up by lobbyist Richard Berman and funded by Philip Morris, Monsanto, and Cargill. According to SourceWatch,
    “The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) (formerly called the “Guest Choice Network (GCN)”) is a front group for the restaurant, alcohol, tobacco and other industries. It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling them “the Nanny Culture — the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, anti-meat activists, and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.'”
    …[CCF’s] advisory board is comprised mainly of representatives from the restaurant, meat and alcoholic beverage industries.”
    [ Further info:http://unreasonable.org/node/3388 ]
    WAPF is (mostly) merely ignorant and irrational; CCF is actively evil, seeking to profit from industries that they know full well are destructive.
    Raw or pasteurized, milk is a great food for calves, but a pretty lousy one for adult humans. It’s ecologically inefficient and produced by the mistreatment of sentient animals. Eat you veggies instead.

  • Victoria

    WAPF is one of the only organizations that seems to espouse common sense when it comes to the connection between natural, minimally processed whole foods and health. Unfortunately many people today can’t seem to think for themselves anymore as illustrated by some of the stupid comments on this board.
    Hmmm, let’s see, for aeons of time peoples all over the world ate meat, natural animal fats, raw dairy, properly prepared grains, fresh and fermented vegetables and fruits and didn’t suffer from the degenerative diseases modern people have today. They were also a hell of a lot stronger and robust than people are today. Bacterial diseases killed them but not degenerative ones. Could it be that maybe those traditional fat laden diets full of meat and dairy, fermented foods and whole vegetables and fruits were actually very healthy? All one has to do is think critically on the issue. If those foods were so deadly to us, the human family would have become extinct before the 20th century.
    WAPF also talks about another important thing that some may find offensive – which is too bad for them because it’s the truth. Keep eating what the food industry and government tell you to. Keep believing the dietary nonsense the medical and dietary industries keep telling you. You won’t last too long and neither will your children. We already have a major issue with people in western nations these days unable to reproduce and the problem is growing. We have children who now have what were once only though if as adult diseases and it is all from the crap foods we eat which include foods people have been duped into believing are health foods like soy and lowfat dairy. Those of us who do eat the WAPF way know what all of this means: The natural selection of the wise.