Tallow: unparalleled in its power to nourish and heal the skin.

Tallow Balm 42 v2

The following research has been conducted by Kenneth and Andrew Gardner, and is reprinted by permission. It also appears in a similar article on the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website.

It is a wise precaution not to apply substances to our skin that we would not eat.

We know that the skin is the largest organ of the body and readily absorbs much of what is applied to it, good and bad. That is why so many drugs can be administered through the use of transdermal patches. Therefore, it is an excellent principle and wise precaution not to apply substances to our skin that we would not readily take internally or, in a word, eat. It would be ideal if what we used on our skin were edible, and yet more, a whole food, in which case it would also have the potential of actually nourishing the skin and helping it to heal itself.

Concerns About Modern Skin Care Products

Modern, popular skin care lines contain a number of toxic ingredients including petrolatum, mineral oil, parabens, BHT, titanium dioxide, triethanolanmine [TEA], DMDM-hydantoin, methylisothaiazolinone, sodium hydroxide, polysorbate 80, polysorbate 80, Ceteareth-20, EDTA, phenoxyethanol, diazolidinyl urea, propylene glycol, and butylene glycol.

In his book Toxic Beauty, Samuel Epstein highlights the fact that many chemicals are found even in some popular “natural” brands found in health food stores. There is also undisclosed “fragrance”, almost certainly synthetic, and such fragrances have been documented to be carcinogenic and toxic in other ways, causing headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, coughing, vomiting, and skin irritation as well as nervous system and behavioral effects. There were also chemical preservatives such as sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. Sodium benzoate has many toxic effects on the body as outlined in its Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), and when combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), it forms benzene, a known carcinogen. Potassium sorbate is fundamentally non-toxic but can cause skin irritation per its MSDS. In any case, it seems that synthetic preservatives that inhibit the growth of micro-organisms would also generally not be beneficial to other living organisms such as humans.

As Sally Fallon Morell explains in the Oiling of America, “natural” products also contain certain vegetable oils that could be harmful: polyunsaturated oils like safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, soy, and canola. High heat is generally used in the production of these oils. Polyunsaturated oils are unstable, fragile, and susceptible to rancidity when subjected to heat, which causes the production of free radicals, associated with cell damage, aging, and disease. Certainly, we do not want to be applying products high in free radicals to our skin, causing the very types of problems we are trying to relieve or prevent. And polyunsaturates would not seem to be conducive to skin health, extrapolating from the fact that the modern excess consumption of these types of oils leads to a host of health problems.

Tallow Balm 37

What did people use for skin care before the introduction of man-made chemicals?

Tallow, amongst other ingredients food in nature. See this photo of a traditional tallow balm and this historic illustration of tallow production as published on the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website. A book of recipes and information for all facets of life, written by Dr. A.W. Chase, MD in 1866, lists ten formulations of salve, eight of which contain tallow, in addition to other natural ingredients.

Currently, there are virtually no skin care products available that are made with animal fats. Interestingly, they disappeared at the same time that animal fats in our diets did. Among the animal fats used for skin care, it appeared that the one used most overwhelmingly was indeed tallow. Tallow is the rendered fat of cows, sheep, and other ruminant animals such as deer. It is very solid and waxy at room temperature and can be kept for extended periods without the need for refrigeration. Rendering is the process of gently heating the interior fat tissue, called “suet”, causing the pure oils to melt away from the rest of the tissue. Tallow was usually mixed with various other substances directly from nature to form a spreadable skin balm. Further research shows that modern science supports this traditional use of tallow as a principal ingredient of skin care recipes.

No plant-based skin care ingredient or product can remotely compare to tallow in its power to nourish and heal the skin.

From biology, we know that the cell membrane is made up primarily of fatty acids, a double layer, to be exact. Saturated fats constitute at least 50 percent of the cell membrane. As Sally Fallon Morell explains in her book Nourishing Traditions, since saturated fats tend to be more solid than unsaturated fats at a given temperature, they help give the cell membrane its necessary stiffness and integrity for proper function. The monounsaturated fats, while not as “solid” as the saturated fats, are more so than the polyunsaturated fats which are also present in the cell membrane in their own proper proportion, although the modern diet leads to a disproportionate amount of the polyunsaturates. Healthy, “toned” skin cells with sufficient saturated and monounsaturated fats would undoubtedly make for healthy, toned skin. Interestingly, tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, with almost all of the rest being monounsaturated, so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology.

Another strong indication of tallow’s compatibility with our skin biology is its similarity to sebum, the oily, waxy matter that lubricates and waterproofs our skin. Indeed, the word “sebum” actually means “tallow” in Latin and began to be used in this biological sense around the year 1700. William D. James MD explains that the sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum, are found in greatest abundance on the face and scalp, but they are distributed over all of our skin except on the palms and soles. Cheung Russel’s research reveals that sebum is made up of lipids (fats) of which 41 percent are in the form of triglyderides, and the lipids of tallow are principally in the form of triglycerides, which is how fatty acids are usually configured in nature.

Tallow Balm 6

Tallow is compatible with our skin biology and is readily absorbed by the skin.

In regard to the compatibility of tallow with the biology of our skin, we should note that we are animals rather than plants, so the modern taboo against animal products in skin care products would seem unfounded and even illogical. In addition to containing very little saturated fats, plant products do not have the same levels of other nutrients needed for healthy skin. Tallow contains the abundant natural fat-soluble activators, vitamins A, D, and K, as well as vitamin E, which are found only in animal fats and which are all necessary for general health and for skin health.

You can make your own tallow balm, or purchase it from Vintage Tradition, one of our new sponsors who is offering a 10% discount for our community members until March 10, 2015. You’ll see the discount when you follow our referral link. The discount also extends to their deodorant.

Vintage Tradition

Beyond serving to moisturize and nourish our skin, Vintage Tradition’s tallow balm has proven to heal a variety of skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, cradle cap, baby acne, dry and chapped skin, rashes, and keratosis pilaris. See these testimonials.  In addition, read this testimonial and view the photographs from Taryn, a mother who healed her child’s eczema with tallow. I found her experience to be very compelling.

I have made some at home and it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. It wasn’t as smooth and silky or absorbable as the Vintage Tradition’s product. I have tried all of their different body balms, including the mild manly scent, and there wasn’t one I didn’t enjoy! I am choosing to use and recommend Vintage Tradition’s products because of the quality of the nourishing ingredients, the fact that their tallow balm is highly absorbable, effective and due to the ease that comes with having the product ready made.

 Quality Ingredients

There are no more than three of the highest quality ingredients available in Vintage Tradition’s tallow balm: 100% grass-fed tallow, extra virgin olive oil and high quality essential oils, for options that contain them.

  • Tallow - Vintage Tradition obtains their tallow from Larga Vista Ranch, Maytag Mountain Ranch, Music Meadows Ranch, James Ranch, and Sun Prairie Beef, all in Colorado, Alderspring Ranch in Idaho, Touchstone Angus in Wyoming, and other ranches where the cows are 100% grass-fed, which is important for the superior therapeutic value of their balm.
  • Olive Oil - They use olive oil supplied by Chaffin Family Orchards to the tallow to make it softer and more spreadable at room temperature. Pure tallow has a hard, waxy consistency; candles used to be made from tallow. They also add it because of its therapeutic qualities. Since ancient times, olive oil has been considered a healing salve for the skin due to its soothing, cleansing, moisturizing, and anti-cancer properties. We now know that these properties are, in part, a result of olive oil’s high levels of antioxidants, like vitamin E, carotenoids, and oleuropein.
  • Essential Oil - The essential oils used in their products have a long-standing tradition of being healing to the skin, and they are expertly blended to promote optimal skin health. They also give their balms a fresh, pleasant scent. They only use Young Living Oils, considered amongst the most pure and therapeutic essential oils, produced to the highest standards in the industry. They are steam-distilled from plants grown at the highest standards and are not adulterated, extended, synthesized, or distilled using chemicals or high temperatures and pressure.


Kenneth Gardner of Vintage Tradition has offered our community 4 free tallow balms to be shipped to 4 individuals within the United States. If you are chosen, you will have an opportunity to choose what scent you’d like, including completely unscented. Recipients will be chosen on March 7, 2015 at 8:00P Pacific.

Please answer this question below in the comments with no less than 5 sentences to enter the giveaway. Be sure to mention tallow balm in your response.

What skin care products you are currently using and why would you like to receive a tallow balm?

Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.


Filed under Healing Protocols, Nourishing Our Children, Nourishing Skin Care, Promotions

Vitamin C in Acerola Cherries


Rami Nagel author of Cure Tooth Decay explains that “dentist Royal Lee believed that vitamin C is the most important of the vitamins, and is the most difficult to get. It is oxidized so easily that it disappears in storage of citrus fruits and vegetables. Humans do not have the ability to make ascorbic acid and must obtain vitamin C from their diet. Vitamin C is thus considered an essential dietary component, it protects against damage caused by free radicals, and is essential for the body to have to make collagen—the flexible protein found in cartilage, tendons, bone, and skin.” According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, “the best protection against infectious disease is a healthy immune system, supported by adequate vitamin A and vitamin C. Well-nourished children easily recover from infectious disease and rarely suffer complications.”

Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms

Rami Nagel states that whole food vitamin C can efficiently reach and nourish all of the cells of our bodies, and therefore, contains numerous health benefits. Too little vitamin C can lead to symptoms of deficiency, which include:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding gums
  • Decreased ability to fight infection
  • Decreased wound-healing rate
  • Dry and splitting hair
  • Easy bruising
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism
  • Rough, dry, scaly skin
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Weakened tooth enamel

The Weston A Price Foundation writes the following about Vitamin C:

A water-soluble vitamin best known for its use in treatment of the common cold, it is also needed for a host of processes including tissue growth and repair, strength of capillary walls, lactation and adrenal gland function. It is vital for the formation of collagen, the body’s structural substance. It promotes healing of wounds and is a powerful antioxidant. Dr. Linus Pauling and others have promoted megadoses of Vitamin C for cancer while others have used large doses to treat schizophrenia and drug addiction. But megadoses of isolated ascorbic acid may lead to imbalances and deficiencies in vitamin P. New evidence suggests that vitamin C works synergistically with vitamin E. Hypoglycemics and individuals on a high-protein diet require more vitamin C as these conditions interfere with the metabolism of ascorbic acid. It is found in many fruits and vegetables and in certain animal organs. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat. Alcohol and many common drugs including aspirin and oral contraceptives may reduce vitamin C levels in the body.

The Weston A. Price Foundation also adds the following in their Guide to Superfoods about recommend forms of Vitamin C:

A berry rich in ascorbic acid, acerola provides vitamin C with numerous cofactors, including bioflavonoids and rutin, to optimize the body’s uptake and use of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C, the most important dietary antioxidant, was popularized by Linus Pauling who recommends taking pure ascorbic acid in amounts up to 15 grams a day for a variety of ailments. But large quantities of vitamin C may be harmful to the kidneys and can lead to deficiencies in bioflavonoids. Only small quantities of natural vitamin C in the form of acerola tablets can provide the same protection as large amounts of pure ascorbic acid, without the side effects.

A few months ago, I received Organic High Vitamin C Powder, along with numerous other products from a new website focused on Traditional Food that Ramiel Nagel has created. I like their products so much, I decided to become a referral partner.  Since then, Traditional Foods Market has become an official sponsor of our non-profit educational initiative.

Reasons I am excited about this particular brand of vitamin C

  • No malodextrin
  • Biodynamic Acerola cherries
  • Certified organic
  • No synthetic vitamin C
  • Their Acerola cherry is not freeze or spray dried which changes both the color, pH and vitamin C levels. Rather theirs is processed with a proprietary gentle low heat method.
  • Price per 1,000 mg of Vitamin C – $1.12, which is less than other brands
  • Most vitamin C supplements on the market are synthetic forms of vitamin C. Only a few companies sell true vitamin C that comes from berries. Camu Camu, Amala, and Acerola cherries are some of the few food sources that naturally contain very high amounts of naturally occurring vitamin C.
  • ¼ teaspoon of Organic High Vitamin C Powder contains as much vitamin C as four whole oranges, and without all that unnecessary fruit sugar. That equates to at least 250 mg of naturally occurring vitamin C per ¼ teaspoon.
  • No minimum order to ship within the United States for free!
  • We have 90 days to return the product if you aren’t satisfied!
  • I think it is absolutely delicious and am excited to have it available to us at a discounted price. The typical mark-up for a similar product would result in it being at least 40.00 to 50.00 a bottle.

Vitamin C in Food

Recommended Daily Intake, referred to as RDI is 75 to 90 mg

  • Organic High Vitamin C Powder – ¼ teaspoon = 250 mg
  • Guava – 1 fruit – 5 grams of sugar = 126 mg
  • Papaya – 1 cup cubed – 8 grams of sugar = 87 mg
  • Parsley – 1 cup raw = 80 mg
  • Kiwi – 1 medium – 7 grams of sugar = 70 mg
  • Orange – 1 large – 14 grams of sugar = 60 to 83 mg
  • Organic camu camu [depends on brand] – ¼ teaspoon = 60 mg
  • Kale – 1 cup = 53 mg
  • Red, yellow, green pepper – 1 ounce = 50 mg
  • Broccoli – ½ cup = 50 mg
  • Kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, cauliflower – ½ cup = 35 mg
  • Lemon – 1 regular = 31 mg
  • Strawberry – 4 medium – 4 grams of sugar = 28 mg
  • Potato – 1 whole = 20 mg
  • Milk – 4 cups 19 = mg
  • Persimmon – 1 fruit = 16 mg
  • Tomato – 1 medium = 15 mg
  • Raw sauerkraut – ¼ cup = 9 mg
  • Dried rose hips, sometimes recommended for vitamin C supplementation, often do not contain too much vitamin C unless freshly picked.


Rami Nagel, owner of Traditional Foods Market, has offered our community an exclusive giveaway opportunity. He is offering 4 people 1 bottle of the Organic High Vitamin C Powder.  Enter by answering the question below in the comments with at least 5 sentences. Please use the words vitamin c in your answer. I will randomly draw from qualified entries at 8:00P Pacific Time Sunday, February 22.

Here is a sample qualifying comment, which is how I would comment truthfully:

Before I starting consuming the Organic High Vitamin C Powder sold by Traditional Foods Market, I was not consistently getting the recommended daily intake for vitamin C. I was surprised to learn that parsley is so high in vitamin C. I do eat raw parsley most weeks, not a cup every single day. I also don’t eat an orange a day. I drink raw milk daily but, not necessarily 4 cups which only offers 19 mg in any case. When I saw this chart the first time, which will be published in Rami’s new book Cure Gum Disease, I was quite surprised to realize that I simply wasn’t getting that much vitamin C in my diet.

[Giveaway results: leahwh, Sonia Ponce, Michelle Brown, and Rashelle’s qualifying comments were randomly chosen.]

What foods are you currently eating the supplies you with vitamin C? Are you getting the RDI?

Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.
Photo Credit Top Tropicals with editing by Sandrine Love. Learn more about the plant that Acerola cherries comes from the Top Tropicals website.


Filed under Nourishing Our Children, Nutrient Dense Foods, Product Reviews

From Orange Cheese to Orange Eggs


Folks, we, as a movement, are changing lives. We have a number of allies and colleagues whose blogs, books and educational materials inspire others to eat and live in a way that truly nourishes them and their families. Kristen Michaelis of Food Renegade is one of Nourishing Our Children’s community members and a consistent supporter whose contributions we feel grateful for.

I have read the following review of her book Beautiful Babies published on Amazon several times and it continues to move me now! I also positively reviewed the book.

Orange Cheese Lover Says: This Changed My Life

April 1, 2013
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Beautiful Babies: Nutrition for Fertility, Pregnancy, Breast-feeding, and Baby’s First Foods (Paperback)

I’m not a foodie. I love processed foods. Orange cheese, McDonalds, tube cookie dough … what the heck is this book on my recommendations page? Why would I even order it? I’m not a Weston Price person or any of those organizations. (15 days ago I had never heard of Weston Price.) Heck, I didn’t even know what coconut oil was or what the difference between corn and canola oil was two weeks ago. Why would you want beef that was raised on grass when corn-fed beef doesn’t have that kind-of weird taste? And yes, chicken skin is so good, but it’s really bad. Now, I eat and sleep and breathe this stuff. I mean it. Amazon somehow figured I might like this. Probably when I was buying a yogurt maker or a Montessori teaching book. I buy nothing else with Organic, Slow Food, Grass-Fed, or the like in the title. It’s a little frightening how they could predict. Well, it arrived. I ordered it sort-of irresponsibly because I always feel a little guilty that I can’t breast feed. I opened it sitting on the stairs. My kids were yelling for things, but I was glued. Two weeks later we get eggs from a “speak-easy” shed where you leave money for a farmer in town (yes, me, those of you who know me!). The yolks are neon yellow and I feed them to my 5 mo old. We get pasture-raised butter and cream from Whole Foods (best we can do for now) and I have tons of frozen grass-raised meats in my freezer. My life has literally changed. I can never eat the same way again. (And again, readers, I am not one of those Prius-driving, Farmer’s Market-loving types, really!!!) I think so much of this is true and so much matters. It was an easy read and a brilliant introduction into what is no doubt the most important thing I can do for my children and family — feed them well. And it’s not hard at all.

Read more from our exchange in the aftermath of her review, here on Amazon.

Class Promotion

Kristien Michaelis has offered a 50% discount promotion on her Beautiful Babies online class with lifetime access.

I reviewed the class and her book and sincerely recommend both. Read my review.

Just use coupon code BEMINE at checkout. It is just offered for 2 days only – today is the last opportunity!

Have you had a life-changing moment like this one?

Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.


Filed under Book Reviews, Fertility, Nourishing Our Children

What Dr. Weston A. Price Discovered About Dietary Balance

balanced rocksBalance

I’ve read that a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand. Well … not exactly but, I wanted to illicit a smile from you before I start!

In Africa Dr. Weston A. Price went to areas where very few white men had been before. There, Price was able to compare three different diets practiced by the same racial group.


First, he looked at the diets of the cattle-herding people, the Samburu, Masai and related tribes. Their diet consisted of milk, meat and blood. A warrior at his prime would consume a gallon or more of milk per day. It was very rich milk that gave him the equivalent of three-quarters pound of butterfat per day—that’s three sticks of butter per day! He also got fat from the meat and the blood. Scientists have studied these people, by the way, and found that they have very low levels of cholesterol and no heart disease.

A typical Masai warrior was very, very tall – typically seven feet or more, and slender. Masai were known to be good runners with a lot of stamina.

They often set dry grass on fire so new green grass would grow up, fertilized by the ashes of the old grass. They understood that the milk and meat of their cows would be healthier if they ate green grass. Marriages took place during periods when the grass was green.


Other tribes, the hunter-gatherers, did not keep cattle but hunted game and fished. They also had a lot of plant foods in their diet, such as vegetables, fruit and grain. Their sacred food was liver, which they ate both raw and cooked.


The third group was agriculturists who did not keep animals and did not hunt, but grew corn, beans, squash, and so forth. Their diet was largely based on plant foods but they were not vegans because about 10 percent of their diet consisted of insects like termites – a very important food for them.


When Price compared the dental health of these three groups, he found that the first two groups had no cavities (these were the 7 tribes with 100 or more in each tribe). The agriculturists suffered from about 6 percent tooth decay. They were certainly healthier than the people he was seeing back in Cleveland but they did have a certain amount of tooth decay, and some of the elderly were toothless. They were also of shorter stature, with more weight on them, a little bit heavier, and not as robust as the other two groups.

Comparing the cattle-herding people with the hunters, Price came to the conclusion that the hunters with the mixed diet were the healthiest. They had better proportions and were stronger.

See this chart from our educational materials that outlines the following observations Dr. Price made.


  • Mostly Animal Foods
  • No Tooth Decay
  • Very Tall and Slender


  • Mixed Plant and Animal Foods
  • No Tooth Decay
  • Tall and Muscular


  • Mostly Plant Foods
  • Some Tooth Decay
  • Short and Chubby


So one of the conclusions of his African trip was that the optimal diet avoids the extreme of too much animal food or too much plant food – but has a balance somewhere in the middle.

Learn more from Nourishing Our Chidlren’s educational materials which are inspired by Sally Fallon Morell’s PowerPoint on Traditional Diets.

Does your experience match that of Dr. Price’s research? Do you feel best with a mix of both plant food and animal foods?

Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.


Filed under Dr. Price's Research

Got Real Milk? Chances Are, You Don’t

Got Milk?

The Got Milk Campaign

Got Milk?, stylized as got milk?, was a U.S. advertising campaign created in 1993 by the agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Board and later licensed for use by milk processors and dairy farmers. This long-running series of print ads features ethnically diverse celebrities, athletes and fictional characters sporting their own “milk mustache”. But what kind of milk are they promoting? And does that kind of milk really “do a body good”?

Pasteurized Milk

The kind of milk this highly decorated campaign endorses is pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized, homogenized conventional milk from cows in confinement fed a diet high in soy, grain, bakery waste, pesticide-laden citrus pulp and even pellets containing chicken manure. Pesticides, antibiotics, trans fats, estrogens and similar toxic substances can end up in the milk.

Pasteurization or ultra-pasteurization is a quick-heat process that destroys enzymes and immune factors, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Even worse, modern conventional milk has most of the nourishing butterfat removed, and nonfat dried milk – a source of carcinogens and dangerous oxidized cholesterol – added.

In animal studies, raw whole milk promotes healthy bone growth, normal organ formation and good disposition while pasteurized milk results in weak bones, calcification of the organs, high levels of stress and poor coping skills. Calves fed pasteurized milk do poorly, and many die before maturity.

Real Milk

The milk that the Got Milk? campaign endorses is not what we call real milk. So, what is real milk?

  • Real milk comes from old-fashioned cows that produce lots of butterfat, such as the Jersey and Guernsey.
  • Real milk comes from herds allowed to graze on green pasture.
  • Real milk is not pasteurized or homogenized.
  • Real milk is full-fat milk.
  • Real milk contains no additives.

Today’s milk is accused of causing everything from allergies to heart disease to cancer, but when Americans could buy real milk, these diseases were rare. In fact, a supply of high quality dairy products was considered vital to American security and the economic well-being of the nation.

Is raw milk safe?

Let’s look at raw milk safety in California, where Nourishing Our Children was based until late 2013 when I moved to Portland.  In 2010, there were two commercial raw milk dairies, which were and continue to be highly regulated and arguably over-regulated. The figures below were reported in our DVD produced in 2010, so they may be different now. The gist remains the same however.

  • Organic Pastures – Since 1999, there have been over 40 million servings of Organic Pastures raw milk, yet not one confirmed illness; in over 1,300 tests, there has not one proven illness and no pathogens found in the milk or milking area, or in any of the dairy cows being milked on the farm.
  • Claravale – In Claravale Farm’s 80-year history, no consumers of their milk have ever gotten sick from milk-borne pathogens and no pathogens have ever been detected in the milk.
  • Pasteurized Outbreaks– Since 1999, there have been several pasteurized milk products recalled in California and one publicized outbreak of illness due to pasteurized milk during the same period, an outbreak of Campylobacter that sickened 1,300 inmates in 11 state prisons |1|.

There are 2 new dairies in California licenced to sell raw milk commercially  that I am not yet familiar with: Schoch Dairy which is out of Monterey County and San Martin Milk Company, which also sells under the “Real Food Bay Area CSA” and “Real Food Raw Milk” labels, out of San Martin.

Still not convinced?

In California, raw milk must be labeled with the following Government Warning: “Raw, meaning un-pasteurized milk and raw milk dairy products, may contain disease-causing microorganisms.  Persons at highest risk of disease from these organisms include newborns and infants, the elderly, pregnant women, those taking corticosteroids, antibiotics or antacids and those having chronic illnesses or other conditions that weaken their immunity.”

Yet, there have been no proven outbreaks of human illness that have been reported from the consumption of commercially sold raw milk in California. Conversely there are repeated reports of illness caused by pathogens found in pasteurized milk and other foods.

Keep in mind that the human race existed long before Louis Pasteur proposed heat-treatment as a way to control micro-organisms. Our position is that those whose immune systems are weak or taxed are the ones who would benefit most from the vital nutrients found in raw milk.

  • High in vitamins -including B12 
  • All 22 essential amino acids
  • Natural enzymes – including lactase
  • Natural probiotics
  • Good fatty acids

The consumption of all foods, including milk, whether pasteurized or unpasteurized, inherently carries some degree of risk. Not all raw milk dairies have the same safety record as Organic Pastures and Claravale in California and people it is true that a few people have gotten ill from raw milk.  Yet based on figures reported by the Centers for Disease Control related to food borne disease outbreaks in the United States one can argue that pasteurized milk is safer than other foods and raw milk is actually safer than pasteurized milk |2| |3| |4|.  As such, we recommend it with confidence.

Learn more

Via our Amazon affiliation:

What is your experience of drinking raw milk?

1. http://www.campylobacterblog.com/2006/06/articles/campylobacter-watch/spoiled-milk-apparently-sickened-1300-inmates-at-11-prisons
2. MMWR Surveillance Summary November 10, 2006 / 55(SS10);1-34 
3. MMWR Surveillance Summary March 17, 2000 / 49(SS01);1-51
4. MMWR Surveillance Summary October 25, 1996 / 45(SS-5);1-55


Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.


Filed under Nourishing Our Children, Nutrient Dense Foods, Raw Milk

Folic Acid versus Folate

lentilsWhenever possible, it is best for pregnant women to meet the folate requirement from food.

What is the difference between folic acid and folate? Folic acid is the synthetic version of folate. As Cara Comini points out in her article on the topic, many in the medical community use the terms folate and folic acid interchangeably, but they enter the metabolic cycle in different ways, and natural folate is easier for the body to access than the synthetic version.

As we’ve previously published, we do not recommend prenatal vitamins in favor of a nutrient dense diet. The Weston A. Price Foundation teaches us more about folate in their article Vitamins for Fetal Development, which covers conception through birth.

Folate is probably the vitamin whose essential role in pregnancy is most widely known. It is necessary for the production of new DNA, and new DNA is needed for new cells. The growing life within the womb engages in constant cell division, and the mother must expand her blood supply with the production of new red blood cells as well—these activities demand a generous supply of folate. [1]

Adequate folate intake prevents neural tube defects, which are defects of the brain and spinal cord, and increases birth weight. It may also prevent spontaneous abortion, mental retardation and deformations of the mouth, face, and heart. [1]

The pregnancy RDA for folate is 600 micrograms (mcg) per day. This figure is based on the amount needed to prevent the folate concentration of the mother’s red blood cells from dropping during pregnancy and on urinary markers indicating the amount of folate being used. [2] It assumes that only half of the vitamin is absorbed from food, although this figure is just an average; the rate of folate absorption is dependent on zinc status.

Synthetic “folic acid” is a chemical that is not normally found in foods or the human body. It can be converted into usable forms of folate, but this conversion is limited to about 200 mcg per single dose in healthy volunteers; [3] it may be even more limited during long-term exposure or in certain people. Synthetic “folic acid” does not cross the placenta; folate crosses the placenta as the naturally occurring 5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate. [1] Since the synthetic supplements do prevent neural tube defects, pregnant women should use them if they are not going to eat folate-rich diets; whenever possible, however, it is best to meet the folate requirement from foods. Folate-rich foods include liver, legumes, and greens.

Cara Comini also points out in her article about how folic acid is making us sick:  “When people have the MTHFR gene mutation, they do not turn folic acid into folate. In addition, the folic acid plugs the receptor sites in cells with an unusable form for these people. With the unusable folic acid in the receptor cites, the body is prevented from being able to use the folate that they do consume through natural food.” MTHFR is not an acronym or abbreviation for a curse word but rather a gene mutation that is relatively common escpeically among people on the autistic spectrum. “When people have this gene mutation, they do not produce the amount of the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase needed to adequately convert folic acid into the form of folate that can enter the main folate metabolic cycle.”

I turn to the Weston A. Price Foundation for guidance on what we should eat.

Meeting the Daily Folate Requirement

The folate requirement for pregnancy can be met by one of any of the following [volume after cooking]:

Chicken liver: 3.7 ounces
Calf’s liver:  2.8 – 6.4 ounces
Beef liver:  8.2 ounces

See this article which references a number of ways to prepare organ meats.

Lentils:  1.7 cups
Other legumes:  2 to 3 cups
Spinach:  2.3 cups
Asparagus:  2.3 cups
Beets:  4.4 cups. See this article about beets.
Most greens:  3 to 6 cups

Also see their chart published with more folate and choline rich meals and snacks. They point out that folate from raw milk is accompanied by a protein that doubles its absorption. Absorption of folate from food in general is dependent on zinc status.

I highly recommend the book The Nourishing Traditions of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Thomas Cowan via our Amazon affiliation.

We’d love to read your questions or comments below!

Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.


[1] Tamura T, Picciano MF. Folate and human reproduction. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(5):993-1016.
[2] Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and its Panel on Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline and Subcommittee on Upper Reference Levels of Nutrients, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press (1998) pp. 196-305.
[3] Kelly P, McPartlin J, Goggins M, Weir DG, Scott JM. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;65(6):1790-5.


Filed under Pregnancy

The Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts


What does the Weston A. Price Logo represent?

The logo superimposes three faces over the map of the world.

Reading from left to right, the first face is the broad face of someone who was nurtured with a nutrient-dense traditional diet, as were the traditional peoples of Alaska, Australia and the Pacific region, over which the face is positioned.

The left-hand face is the past. The middle face is the narrow face of someone brought up on industrialized food. It represents the present. The face is positioned over North America where these foods originated. The deleterious effects of these industrialized foods were first described by Dr. Weston Price whose name indicates to us that this legacy is truly the “price of the west,” the price cultures pay for western modernization.

The face on the right is the goal, the future–once again broad faces that come from nourishing diets. The face is superimposed on Europe and Africa, the ancestral homelands of many Americans, and the traditions we re-embrace in order to restore nutrient-dense foods to American tables.

Why am I a member?

I have been a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation since 2004. Very soon after I was introduced to the book Nourishing Traditions, I joined the Foundation, not really knowing what it was all about, but wanting to learn more. When I joined, I never imaged that 10 years later I would be named to the Foundation’s Honorary Board of Directors. I never imagined that my association with the Weston A. Price Foundation would so fundatmentally change my life personally and professionally.

As many of your know, I founded the San Francisco Chapter in 2004 and now serve as a co-chapter leader in Portland. Nourishing Our Children, which I created in 2005, is an educational initiative of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Our educational materials are based on presentations given by Sally Fallon Morell. Many of those in a position of leadership feel like family to me. And like many families, there have been challenging moments of disagreement yet, I have chosen to stay connected to the Foundation because I wholeheartedly support their mission, which has become my mission.

The reason I continue to be a member, year after year, is because my membership supports:

  • The hosting and maintaining of a comprehensive website that I look toward for vital information almost daily.
  • Nearly 600 local chapters to help health-conscious consumers obtain nutrient-dense foods locally.
  • The Campaign for Real Milk established  to help folks locate raw milk and support the growing raw milk movement.
  • Soy Alert! a campaign to eliminate this toxic food from our diet.
  • Public outreach and education at over 100 events each year.
  • Laboratory research on fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrition topics.
  • Financial support to Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.
  • The annual Shopping Guide research and publication.
  • A registered nurse on call to answer baby questions.
  • Phone and email correspondence to answer countless inquiries that the Foundation receives.

Please join the Foundation for their end-of-the-year membership drive and receive bonus coupons.

Members receive:

  • The quarterly journal: Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts, a lively journal with cutting-edge articles on current scientific research, human diets, pasture-based agriculture, holistic therapies, legislative updates, legal issues, as well as sources of nutrient-dense foods.
  • The annual Shopping Guide, a thoroughly researched booklet that fits into your pocket or purse and ranks products in three categories: best, good and avoid. It includes meat, seafood, dairy, nuts, grains, fats and oils, sweeteners, soups, fruits and vegetables, snacks, bread and beverages.
  • Their informative brochures.
  • One copy each of their dietary guidelines booklet and their seven trifold brochures covering the topics butter, cholesterol, cancer, cod liver oil, soy, real milk and trans fats.
  • Discount tuition to their regional conferences and the Wise Traditions International Conference, considered one of the nation’s premier conference on diet and health.
  • Timely email information and action alerts.
  • If you become a member before the end of the year, you’ll receive over $100.00 worth of coupons to companies such as Radiant Life, Green Pasture Products, Vital Choice Seafood & Organics, and Pure Indian Foods. Read about all of the details of the end-of-the-year membership drive.

Free Membership Giveaway

As a gift to our blog readers, the Weston A. Price Foundation has offered me one free membership to give away, as well as the bonus coupons. If you are already a member, you can still receive another year of free membership. Let me know how the Foundation has positively impacted your life in at least 4 or 5 sentences in the comments below. I would also love to read why you currently are or would like to be a member. Recipient will randomly be chosen at the end of December 27.

What has the Weston A. Price Foundation meant to you?

Please note that we serve as an affiliate for Amazon, in addition to allied organizations and individuals whose products and/or serves we recommend. In some cases, we receive referral bonuses or commissions for our promotional efforts. This enables us to sustain our educational efforts.



Filed under Promotions