I Find Their Anti-Vegetarian Agenda Very Troubling

In a message dated 8/28/02 6:19:21 PM, TS writes:

Dear Rhio,

I find your website quite informative and have bookmarked it. I like your stance on just about everything. I am looking for insight, however, on Price Pottenger. Though I think they have some good points about modern food processing (made by others elsewhere too) I find their anti-vegetarian agenda very troubling. I also feel very uncomfortable about their promotion of saturated fat and their grossly unsubstantiated villification of the soybean.

I am curious: why would PP be included on your list of recommended sites?

Thanks,
TS

September 6, 2002

Dear TS,

It is nice to know that we can agree on so many things. Thank you for letting me know that my website has been of value to you, it means a lot to me.

Personally, I have not had a good experience with the Price-Pottenger Foundation. In my book, Hooked on Raw, I devoted an entire chapter to the research of Price and Pottenger because I think both those researchers were unimpeachably honest and trying to get at the truth. I went to the P-P Foundation and asked them for permission to quote from the Price and Pottenger works and they denied that request precisely because of my pro-vegetarian stance. I went ahead and put a synopsis of the research in my book anyway, but I had to re-word everything except for very brief quotes (which by law authors are allowed to use).

So I have even more reason to understand your confusion as to why I would have a link up to Price-Pottenger. But I do have my reasons. Read on.

In his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Weston Price recounts the results of his research which covered visiting approx. 14 different indigenous societies around the world, documenting their eating habits and foods, their dental caries and other health markers. The work was done utilizing photographs and keeping meticulous records. In this ground-breaking and under-valued book, Dr. Price proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that a natural, whole foods diet, such as indigenous peoples were traditionally eating, kept them healthy and with negligible to NO dental caries (cavities in the teeth are a significant marker for health status). I would recommend this book to anybody. It is astonishing!!

Now, here's wherein the problem lies. Dr. Price in his research, did not find a single indigenous society, in good health, that did not consume some form of animal product. That's why he and subsequently the foundation make that recommendation. As I outline in my book, I differ with his conclusion because

1) He was not looking specifically for a vegetarian society, and
2) Vegetarianism was not the primary focus of his research, and
3) Other researchers have found healthy vegetarian societies in Ecuador and other places.

So I believe that Dr. Price's research is not complete enough to reach the conclusion that he reached. But I do believe that he reached this (in my opinion) mistaken conclusion from evaluating the health of the societies that he had researched. Unfortunately there was not a vegetarian one among them in good health, but that may have been for other reasons, such as lack of sufficient or appropriate food availability.

So I take Dr. Price's research for the value that it gives. Even though he was brilliant, I remain convinced that he made a mistake on the anti-vegetarian stance. But this is not enough, in my view, to throw the rest of his research out.

I hope this answers your question,

With blessings and peace,

Rhio


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