Friday, February 25, 2011

Chapter 2: The Progressive Decline of Modern Civilization

Continuing my review of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price...

Price opens this second chapter with the admission that humanity is declining, rather than improving its health. He quotes Alexis Carrel from his book L'Homme, cet inconnu (Man, the Unknown):
Medicine is far from having decreased human sufferings as much as it endeavors to make us believe. Indeed, the number of deaths from infectious diseases has greatly diminished. But we still must die in a much larger proportion from degenerative diseases.
Where we see this clearly is average life spans. Up until very recently, they have been increasing in the Western world. But this increase has come at tremendous costs - as people age they are not as healthy as people used to be - this raises tremendous quality of life issues. Degenerative diseases allow the host to live a long time, but get progressively worse. Do we have disease-free, healthy old people around?

Price talks about cavities being a "strikingly modern" disease. From what I understand, so is cancer, heart attacks, MS, MD, diabetes, ADD, ADHD and so many other problems. It begs the question: why? What has caused these many problems with the human body to become so prevalent in the past century? Price asserts in his book that it is a nutritional problem.

He contradicts the understood wisdom of the experts of his time that the unique facial form and development of a particular group of people comes only from their environment and changes only over a long period of time. He writes:
It is important to keep this viewpoint in mind as the succeeding chapters are read, for they contain descriptions of many changes in physical form that have occurred routinely in the various racial groups, even during the first generation after the parents have adopted the foods of modern civilization.p13
So which is it? Does appearance change over long periods of time, or can it change in one generation, based on nutrition? In my own life I have seen clearly the effects that a modern diet has on the Asian. Having lived in Korea for 10 years, I am very familiar with the structure of their bones and faces as they are in their native country. I am equally familiar with the changes that take place in the second generation Korean Canadians or Americans - they look distinct and I can tell if they are native or foreign-born almost without exception upon the first glance. The pictures in Price's book are exceptional evidence of the changes that he noted and prove beyond a doubt the truth in what he writes.

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