Monday, June 27, 2011

Chapter 8: Primitive and Modernized Polynesians

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

From page 105:

A trader ship was in port exchanging white flour and sugar for their copra.

They have largely ceased to depend on the sea for food.

Tooth decay was rampant.

All the Pacific islands that Price visited in this chapter could be considered paradises for their climates and available food. And yet the inhabitants were duped into trading something healthy and valuable (copra) for something worthless and poisonous (white flour and sugar).

The chapter is basically the same story of trader ships bringing disease and tooth decay wherever they stopped throughout the Pacific islands. The chapter ends with this:

The incidence of tooth decay varied from 0.6 percent for the most isolated groups to 33.4 percent for the modernized groups. Those individuals living in their native environment on their native foods have universally normal facial and dental arch form reproducing the characteristics of the race. Those living on the normal environment except for using the imported foods of white flour, sugar, sugar products, syrup, polished rice, and the like, have in the succeeding generations marked changed in facial and dental arch forms. p.116
What this says to me is that in order to fulfill genetic potential, that is to make use of all of the appropriate possibilities provided for us by our genetic makeup, nutrition must be perfect. (Assuming no poisoning has taken place.)

Lately, we have been trying to eat less and less and less refined foods, but it is so very hard in this society. Anywhere we travel, the food that is available is practically all refined. And at home as we eat, we're still drawn to the quick and easy. Potato chips are the latest craze in our home. I hate potato chips, but we've been eating a lot of them. At the same time, we have all the produce from the garden available to us, as well as flours from our grain mill and our pastured pork chicken and eggs - oh and our friends' raw goat milk. So my question is... we know what foods poison us, and cause us to be undernourished, and yet the draw is so strong. We've cut back on sugar to a great extent: any recipe is automatically cut by 50% and it tastes great to us. But what to do for the rest of that 50%? We eat a lot of honey - and some malted grains, which helps a lot, but coming up with recipes which don't use sugar is sometimes difficult. Our current dilemma is mousse. By definition it needs the sugar... maybe honey could work? Should we try it, or abandon all hope? 

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