Dr. Price began his travels to remote parts of the world in 1931. The first place he visited was Lötschental [pronunciation], a very remote valley in Swizerland.
I feel deeply blessed to have participated in the eighth annual tour of Switzerland this summer led by Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader Judith Mudrak. In July of 2014, I caputred Lötschental very similarly to how Dr. Weston A. Price did in 1931. His photograph above has been shared by permission from the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation who holds the copyright. As a group we hiked for several hours in the valley. For 10 years now, I have been teaching about Dr. Price’s travels to Lötschental and the surrounding areas based on what he wrote in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It was extremely moving for me to literally walk in his footsteps. Dr. Price found that those on a traditional diet in this valley had less than 1% tooth decay. He also found that every single child and adult he examined had no dental deformities. Not only were all of their teeth straight, the adults had all of their wisdom teeth. All of that is hard to imagine today in modern times when we see orthodontics as prevalent as they are. Keep reading to find out their secret! Below is one of many photographs I took when we visited Lötschental. In the children’s book The Adventures of Andrew Price that I am co-creating with Mohammad Naser, he illustrates Lötschental as seen below. Click on the illustration to see a larger view. Our main character, Andrew Price, the fictitious great, great grandson of Dr. Weston Andrew Price shares the following about what Dr. Price discovered there:
It was a special time in history when Dr. Price set out on his travels in 1931. There were groups of people in the world who still lived without modern appliances such as a refrigerator! They ate what we’ll refer to as a traditional diet. They didn’t eat food from cans, boxes or packages made in factories. Airplanes and cameras had been invented so he could visit these people and take photographs of them.
The reason that my great, great uncle wanted to visit these people was because more and more of the children he saw in his dental office in Cleveland, Ohio had cavities and crooked teeth. What is a cavity? It is a word no one wants to hear when they go to the dentist’s office. A cavity is a hole in the tooth than can grow deeper and bigger over time. He wanted to help people prevent cavities, as well as crooked teeth. So he hopped on a plane with his wife and flew to Lötschental, Switzerland where he had heard that children and their parents had beautiful teeth and were in good health. I had to practice saying Lötschental saying many times before this presentation! Dr. Price planned to find out what they were eating in this valley, far from other people. Let’s follow in his footsteps and take and adventure. Are you ready?
Once Dr. Price arrived and received permission, he lined up all the children and adults in order to examine their teeth. “Open wide!” He discovered they had almost no cavitities. Also, every single child and adult in the village had straight teeth and wide, round faces. You may not believe this: the children never brushed their teeth. They had never even seen a tooth brush. Many of the children’s teeth were covered with green slime. I know, ewwww, but they had almost no cavities! Some of the children played in really cold streams barefoot. You know what? The children were still in good health!
The people who lived in the villages made all of their own food in the valley. They didn’t have any supermarkets like we do! The only food that was brought in from the outside was salt carried in by foot. The number one food in their diet was raw milk, which came straight from their cows and goats without doing anything to it. They loved raw milk, raw cheese, raw cream and raw butter.
They also made a very thick sourdough rye bread from carefully prepared grains. They had meat about once a week. They ate the whole animal. They also ate some vegetables during the summer. A typical lunch for the children was a thick slice of rye bread and a thick slice of Swiss cheese. They especially loved the butter that came from the cows when they first started to eat grass in the spring. It was orange not yellow! They thought that this butter was very important for growing children like us. I always say that everything is better with butter.
While in Switzerland, Dr. Price not only visited Lötschental, which you see here, he also visited Swiss villages that had access to stores by road. These stores sold foods made from white sugar and white flour. They also sold pastries, jams and jellies, canned condensed milk, canned foods and vegetables oils. These were not the same foods that the healthy people in Lötschental ate. What do you think happened to the those who ate the store-bought foods?
Did you guess? Many of them had cavities! Also, if the store had been there long enough, the children born to the parents who were eating that store food had crooked teeth. Their teeth were coming in overlapping, crowded and twisted. Their faces were more narrow than those of the children Dr. Price had seen in Lötschental. They were shaped more like an oval than a circle. So, what my great, great uncle learned is that those who ate traditional foods had enough room in their mouths for straight teeth to come in and had almost no cavities.
I will add, beyond what Andrew Price shares, that those who ate foods made with white sugar and white flour, as well as the other “displacing foods of modern commerce” as Dr. Price described them, consistently had cavities. Within one generation, dental deformities developed because of the narrowing of their faces. This was true time and again in every place Dr. Price visited, whether he observed the natives on the coast of Scotland, Eskimos in Alaska and Canada, the native Americans in the Florida Everglades, South Sea Islanders, Aborigines in Australia, Maoris in New Zealand, Peruvian and Amazonian Indians or tribesmen in Africa. They ate a wide variety of different diets but, as long as they ate their traditional diet, they exhibited health and wholeness in mind, body, spirit and emotions. As Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions, and President of the Weston A. Price Foundation explains in her PowerPoint on traditional diets:
“The teeth tell the tale! When the teeth are straight, it’s a sign that the rest of the body was properly constructed, with good bone structure, good musculature, keen eyesight and hearing, optimal function of all the organs, optimistic attitude and a well functioning mind. And when the teeth are straight and the facial structure broad, the pelvic opening is round, allowing for easy childbirth.
But when the teeth are crooked, it is a sign that there will be compromises in the rest of the body as well. When the face is narrow and the teeth crowded, there is less room for the important glands in the head—the pituitary, the pineal and the hypothalamus, the master gland. The hypothalamus is the seat of impulse control—and what is the defining characteristic of our young people today? Lack of impulse control!
When the teeth are crowded, the nasal passages are likely more narrow so there’s more susceptibility to infection. The ear tubes are more narrow so problems in this area are more likely.
Crooked teeth often goes with poor posture and underdeveloped muscles. The plumbing and the wiring of the body-house will be compromised as well. There will be less surface area in the lungs, fewer cells in the kidneys. The security system of your house—your immune system—will not be able to keep out all intruders.
In addition to physical problems caused by poor diet, mental and emotional problems also appear. We actually have receptors for feel-good chemicals in our brains and these receptors can’t work without the nutrients found in foods like seafood, animal fats and organ meats.
Finally, when the face is narrow, the pelvic opening is oval and childbirth becomes much more difficult, even life threatening. We should not blame the doctors for all the C-section births they are doing today—these operations are necessary because otherwise the babies cannot get through the narrow opening of the pelvis.”
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