The diet dictocrats don’t want you to know that…
Your body needs old-fashioned animal fats
New-fangled polyunsaturated oils can be bad for you
Modern whole grain products can cause health problems
Traditional sauces promote digestion and assimilation
Modern food procession denatures our foods, but
Ancient preservation methods actually increase nutrients in fruits, nuts, vegetables, meats and milk products!
(Sally Fallon-Morell, Nourishing Traditions – The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats)
Until I was about 30 years old, I never really cooked. I loved great food, but I just didn’t really connect eating great food with my kitchen. I’m not sure why – my Mum was a very good cook. She still is. So, I had a great role model. Maybe I’m just a slow learner in that particular department.
Fast forward a good few years and, not only do I now love to cook, but over the last couple of years I’ve become convinced that my failure to question the source and quality of my food sources in my twenties and thirties has contributed to some of the niggly (and not so niggly) health stuff I have going on today. I’m trying to fix that.
Sally Fallon-Morell’s seminal cookbook on traditional eating, ‘Nourishing Traditions – The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats‘, was the first book that put me on this road to making more conscious decisions about the food I eat.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve been spending all my free time ‘attending’ some of the sessions on offer at the Future of Nutrition Online Conference. It’s been fascinating listening to some of the leading voices in the field of nutrition today – but, hearing Sally Fallon-Morell’s talk today, I was reminded of why she had become such a big influence on my approach to eating and nutrition.
If you’ve never heard of her, Sally is a disciple of Weston A. Price, a dentist from the late 1800s and early 1900s known primarily for his theories on the relationship between nutrition, dental health, and physical health. Called the “Charles Darwin of Nutrition,” Doctor Price traveled the world over studying healthy primitive populations and their diets. The compelling photographs contained in his book document the naturally beautiful facial structure and superb physiques of isolated groups consuming only whole, natural foods. Price noted that all of these diets contained a source of good quality animal fat, which provided numerous factors necessary for the full expression of our genetic potential and optimum health.
Sally Fallon-Morell applied the principles of this Price research when it came to the feeding of her own children. Essentially, an experiment. And, a successful one. She proved for herself that a diet rich in animal fats, and containing the protective factors in old-fashioned foods like cod liver oil, liver and eggs, make for happy, healthy children with a high immunity to illness.*
And, she is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
What has Sally Fallon-Morell taught me?
- I got rid of all the industrialised oils from my diet. That means I cook with coconut oil, butter, lard, tallow. I make my salad dressings from scratch. Always. No exceptions.
- I now make bone broth at least once a fortnight. I bung a whole lot of good quality bones in a stock pot with a glug of apple cider vinegar, some veggies and herbs, cover it with water and let it simmer away for a long time. I alternate between beef and chicken (can’t quite bring myself to make fish!) It’s nutrient dense and full of minerals. It has no preservatives.
- I try to eat ‘happy’ animal products – that is pasture raised, sustainably fished, free from hormones and other nasties.
- Raw dairy is not the same as the milk we buy from the supermarket. Pasteurisation kills everything – good and bad. Regular readers will know that LM can’t consume cow juice. His reaction is violent and almost immediate. But guess what. He can have raw milk. Sadly, it’s illegal in Australia.
- We’re eating more lacto-fermented foods. Probably not quite as often as we should, and I’m not quite as good at making my own as I could be. But, here in Australia we’ve found Life In a Jar and Kitsa’s Kitchen. They both make awesome live cultured foods. Hopefully, after I see Sandor Katz in action next month, I’ll become a guru of lacto-fermentation!
- Nose to tail eating is important. We still don’t eat as much offal as we should here at Casa TSL. But we eat a lot more than we used to. I am becoming quite proficient at hiding it in my Ragu Bolognese. I’m setting myself a personal goal to cook more organ meat…
So, you see – Sally has had quite a profound effect on both how I cook and how I eat. If you have an interest in nutrition and you have not yet picked up Sally Fallon-Morell’s first book, I can’t recommend it more highly.
*Thanks for your world-famous-in-New-Zealand chicken liver pate, Mum!