Friday, November 18, 2011

Chapter 11: Isolated and Modernized Torres Strait Islanders

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


This headline is a phrase that stuck out for me in this chapter - more than a phrase it seems it has become a mantra... It might need a bit of work to fully understand it, though. By modern, it is meant that the traditional ways of the ancestors have been ignored in favor of processes developed for mass production. Food is an interesting label to apply to these items... they might better be referred to as poisons. And commerce, which we think we know... is so pervasive now that to the vast majority of people it seems to be the only way to exist. Commerce is the buying and selling of goods - it is not an exchange of goods of equal value, but an invention of the rich and powerful to make themselves richer and more powerful. Commerce is what the U.S. Congress regulates - and yet everywhere commerce has usurped individual rights and made many dependent upon handouts. In short, this phrase, "modern foods of commerce", has a deep, dark meaning that Weston A. Price discovered.

Throughout the book, the photographic evidence of the effects of these poisons is presented. What struck me in this chapter, was the captions that went with those proofs. Figure 65 has this caption:
The contrast between the primitive and modernized natives in facial and dental arch form is as striking here as elsewhere. These young natives were born to parents who had adopted our modern foods of commerce. Note the narrowed faces and dental arches with pinched nostrils and crowding of the teeth. Their magnificent heredity could not protect them. p.176 (my underlining)
And figure 62 shows a group of native school children contrasted with white school children on Thursday Island:
Note the beautifully proportioned faces of the natives, and the pinched nostrils and marked disturbance in proportions of the faces of the whites. The dental arches of the natives are broad, while many of the whites have very crowded teeth. The parents and children of the natives used native foods while the parents and children of the whites used the modern imported foods of commerce. p.171 (my underlining)
It seems to me that it is as if the captions for this chapter could have constituted the meaning of the whole chapter, apart from the statistics. The caption for figure 67 reads:
As everywhere these whites prefer the modernized foods and pay the penalty in rampant tooth decay. They are in pathetic contrast with the superb unspoiled natives. They are within reach of some of the best foods to be found anywhere in the world and yet do not use them; a typical characteristic of modern whites. p.178
It is as if there are no breaks between the chapters, such similar information, data, evidence, and conclusions are found. Chapter 11 aptly follows chapter 10, as Price continues his connection with modern foods and tooth decay: "The result of our examination indicates that dental caries on these islands shows an incidence which has an apparent direct relationship to the length of time government stores have been established there."(p.169) So why don't the natives just not buy food from these government stores? They were forced to buy food there.

Now it is true that they were not forced to eat the food they purchased at the government stores, but who buys food in order to let it go to waste? No, these people were forced by the government system to use their labor and resources to trade for credit at the government stores for the government supplied food - even though the people had all the food they needed around them. Modern governments are little more than complex businesses which seek to oppress their people under the guise of helping them. But it was always thus... rare indeed has been the leader who cared about the commoner. One of the differences in our day is that the commoners have little desire to be unenslaved. They are content with entertainment and chemical dependencies to see them through. It is true that most people have had a huge shift in their standard of living... but at what cost to their freedom?

In speaking of a particular island (Murray Island), Price writes that "the natives of this island are conscious of the superior food of their locality and wish that their people were not required to purchase food from the government store." (p.173) How many of us could look at our surroundings and be able to wish the same?

No comments: