Sunday, 8 April 2012

Nourishing Traditions - a evening with Sally Fallon

I was so lucky recently to be able to attend a lecture held by Sally Fallon in New Zealand. We are such a small corner of the world but it's wonderful how we seem to recieve visits from authors and musicians from far and wide. I'm sure many of you already know Sally's Nourishing Traditions book well.

For those who don't you can find more information here. The underlying theme is based on the work of Weston. A. Price, a dentist who in the 1930's travelled the world looking at the dental and general health of isolated communities. What he found was astounding, Many of these people had both excellent dental health and general good health despite having little or no access to medical or dental treatment and certainly had never seen a toothbrush. He went on to study the diets of the communities and found many common threads between them. Many of these groups were not living on a plant based diet, they ate a lot of meat products and in some cases very little plant material. They used lacto-fermentation, raw dairy products and valued foods which were high in fats and nutrient dense. That is a very simple overview which differs wildly from the current general health recommendations yet these communities were a picture of health.

I find particular aspects of this diet theory fascinating.
- Eat animal products - something which has been vilified for years.
- Eat full fat raw dairy products ( this one is particularly interesting, many of the good enzymes and vitamins are removed with pasteurisation and the fats are needed for improved absorption.)
- Eat lacto fermented foods. - I do believe many of us experience health problems related to poor digestion, lacto fermentation which provides many enzymes and makes foods easier to digest makes sense to me to improve this.
- Bone broths - nutrient dense stocks which extract all the goodness from leftover meat bones. Full of calcium, iron, vitamins and minerals. I know someone who follows this diet and drinks a lot of these while pregnant and my goodness she just glowed and looked full of health.
- Cut the refined, over treated food. Yes, yes, yes! If our grandmothers wouldn't recognise it we shouldn't be eating it. A cocoa puff or a cherrio? what on earth did that start life as?

Things i find a little challenging
- The ammount of fats she recommends. Sally eats 4T of butter in her porridge each morning! and she recommends eating so much butter on bread that it is essentially sliced. No no this doesn't sit well with me and i think my stomach would be appalled.
- While the communities may have had good general health, life spans were still short so i feel there is still a bit more about this that isn't quite covered.

All in all though it is good to be challenged and look at things from a different perspective sometimes. And as a book geek, i was delighted to have my copy signed. I think you will be seeing a few more posts about fermenting and cooking to come.

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