Most people have never heard of Dr. Weston A. Price and his nutritional discoveries as published in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. There is good reason for this lack of awareness. His work has been buried and ignored, not because it was wrong, rather because it would have altered how we approach health. Our current system of symptom management and profit would not exist.
Dr. Price was a reputable dentist in the early part of the 20th century. He became concerned as he noticed an increase in dental problems. Not just an increase in cavities, but also gum disease, ill-fitting teeth, narrowing of the jaws, sinus and facial structure and an overall decrease in health. He believed that nutrition played a role in disease.
Rather than look at the population around him and consider what they all had in common, other than a lack of health, Dr. Price took a different approach. He decided to search for and locate cultures that had not been exposed to modern foods. He then documented their health, their life-style, and most important, their diets. He set out in the 1930’s and travelled the globe searching for health.
Dr. Price made some rather startling observations. He found not only extraordinarily healthy individuals, but very healthy tribes and populations. He discovered much more than he could have hoped for. Often, the entire community was healthy. He spent much time living with them, taking pictures, documenting and performing physical exams, and experiencing their lives.
Possibly the most important of Dr. Price’s discoveries is that every culture consumed a diet of whole foods native to their environment and consistent over multiple generations. Of particular note is that when he began his journey he was expecting to find a vegan or vegetarian diet optimal. In the end he had to admit that it was not the case. Food from a parent with eyes was often considered a sacred food. These “sacred foods” will be expanded upon in a later article.
Considering the findings of Dr. Price, he can be considered one of the fathers of Metabolic Typing®. What needs to be considered is that humans populated every nook and cranny of the globe. Ancestral diets for indigenous populations existed all over the world in different geo-graphical locations and climates. From this perspective, you can consider each culture in each geographical region had its own Paleolithic Diet.In a sense, Metabolic Typing® is the only true Paleo Diet as it accounts for geographical diversity and genetic bio-chemical individuality. So the next time someone says that they have gone Paleo…ask…..”which Paleo?”