that civilized folk tend to avoid–organ meats, glands, blood, marrow and particularly the adrenal glands–and a variety of grains, tubers, vegetables and fruits that were available. African cattle-keeping tribes like the Masai consumed no plant foods at all–just meat, blood and milk. South Seas islanders and the Maori of New Zealand ate seafood of every sort–fish, shark, octopus, shellfish, sea worms–along with pork meat and fat, and a variety of plant foods including coconut, manioc and fruit. Whenever these isolated peoples could obtain sea foods they did so–even Indian tribes living high in the Andes.
These groups put a high value on fish roe which was available in dried form in the most remote Andean villages. Insects were another common food, in all regions except the Arctic. The foods that allow people of every race and every climate to be healthy are whole natural foods–meat with its fat, organ meats, whole milk products, fish, insects, whole grains, tubers, vegetables and fruit–not newfangled concoctions made with white sugar, refined flour and rancid and chemically altered vegetable oils.
Price took samples of native foods home with him to Cleveland and studied them in his laboratory. He found that these diets contained at least four times the minerals and water soluble vitamins–vitamin C and B complex–as the American diet of his day. Price would undoubtedly find a greater discrepancy in the 1990s due to continual depletion of our soils through industrial farming practices. What’s more, among traditional populations, grains and tubers were prepared in ways that increased vitamin content and made minerals
more available–soaking, fermenting, sprouting
and sour leavening.
It was when Price analyzed the fat soluble vitamins that he got a real surprise. The diets of healthy native groups contained at least ten times more vitamin A and vitamin D than the American diet of his day! These vitamins are found only in animal fats–butter, lard, egg yolks, fish oils and foods with fat-rich cellular membranes like liver and other organ meats, fish eggs and shell fish.
Price referred to the fat soluble vitamins as “catalysts” or “activators” upon which the assimilation of all the other nutrients depended–protein, minerals and vitamins. In other words, without the dietary factors found in animal fats, all the other nutrients largely go to waste.
Price also discovered another fat soluble vitamin that was a more powerful catalyst for nutrient absorption than vitamins A and D. He called it “Activator X” (now believed to be vitamin K2). All the healthy groups Price studied had the X Factor in their diets. It could be found in certain special foods which these people considered sacred–cod liver oil, fish eggs, organ meats and the deep yellow Spring and Fall butter from cows eating rapidly growing green grass. When the snows melted and the cows could go up to the rich pastures above their village, the Swiss placed a bowl of such butter on the church altar and lit a wick in it. The Masai set fire to yellow fields so that new grass could grow for their cows. Hunter-gatherers always ate the organ meats of the game they killed–often raw. Liver was held to be sacred by many African tribes. Eskimos and many Indian tribes put a very high value on fish eggs.
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