Friday, December 04, 2009

Raw Milk, Part II

I previously reviewed studies on primitive Eskimo diets consisting of raw and fermented meats and fats. In direct contrast is the case study is of the Swiss of the isolated Loetschental Valley. Schmid writes that, "The completion of an eleven-mile tunnel shortly before Price's visit had made the valley easily accessible for the first time in history. The people lived as their forefathers lived." Price, again a dentist, "examined the teeth of all the children in the valley between the ages of seven and sixteen. Those still eating the primitive diet were nearly free of cavities—on the average, one tooth showing evidence of decay was found for every three children examined. All of the children had naturally straight teeth—there were no dental deformities. Many of the young adults Price examined had experienced a period of tooth decay that suddenly ceased. Of these, all had left the valley prior to this period and had spent a year or two in a more modernized part of Europe. Most had never had a decayed tooth before or since their return to their village. In fact, the teeth of many of those who had returned to the valley showed evidence of remineralization."

Superior teeth were not the only added benefit for the people of the Loetschental Valley. At the time of Price's visit to the valley, people of Switzerland were dying of tuberculosis more than any other disease. Yet in the valley, there was no evidence of TB, or any record of people having died from it "during the recorded history of the valley." (Schmid, p. 144)

Price was naturally curious about the people's diet and analyzed the foods they ate, specifically the cheese and butter. He found that they were "far higher in minerals and vitamins, particularly the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and Activator X [now believed to be Vitamin K2] than samples of commercial dairy products from the rest of Europe and North America.

The west's preference for dairy over raw and fermented meats finds a great exemplar in the Swiss of the Loetschental Valley. We like to drink milk, eat yogurt and cheese. Consuming these in their raw, unpasteurized, unhomogenized forms provides many of the nutrients and enzymes missing from our modern diet. Next, I will review some of the nutrients found in these foods that we're missing.

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