Weston A. Price was a dentist and medical researcher born in 1870. During his career, he became increasingly curious as to the causes of diseases that were endemic to Western cultures in the early 1900s, and beyond . For example, dental caries (cavities) and tuberculosis were less prevalent in non-Western cultures. After he retired, he and his wife travelled the world to investigate other cultures and how they lived. It quickly became apparent that nutrition had something to do with all of this.
Dr. Price performed nutritional studies across diverse cultures which included Native Americans, Polynesians, Pygmies, Aborigines, among others. He meticulously documented his findings and incorporated them into a book called “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.”
Being a dentist, he was especially focused on diseases of the mouth which included cavaties, crooked teeth, malformed dental arches, infections, etc. The timing of his research was most fortunate in that in some instances he was able to witness roads being built into towns which brought in products of trade with the West which included things such as white flour, white sugar and refined vegetable oils. In this way, he was witness to villages living on their traditional diets and then watched the shift towards a more industrialized diet of commercially-processed foods.
What he witnessed and meticulously documented and photographed was that when a culture abandoned their indigenous diet that had been molded and shaped through centuries of survival in favor of industrialized food products, rates of disease shot upwards. Cavities became common. Crooked teeth resulted. Infections increased. A lowered resistance to disease became apparent.
He concluded that Western methods of commercially preparing and storing foods stripped away vitamins and minerals necessary to prevent these diseases.
Dr. Price is well-known for his research on the fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K (especially K2). He found that these vitamins were especially protective and required for proper human development. He noted that these indigenous diets contained much more of these vitamins than Western diets do and they get them from optimal, highly bioavailable sources.
On the rear cover of the 8th Edition, 23rd Printing of his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, it reads:
“For nearly 10 years, Weston Price and his wife traveled around the world in search of the secret to health. Instead of looking at people afflicted with disease symptoms, this highly-respected dentist and dental researcher chose to focus on healthy individuals, and challenged himself to understand how they achieved such amazing health. Dr. Price traveled to hundreds of cities in a total of 14 different countries in his search to find healthy people. He investigated some of the most remote areas in the world. He observed perfect dental arches, minimal tooth decay, high immunity to tuberculosis and overall excellent health in those groups of people who ate their indigenous foods. He found when these people were introduced to modernized foods, such as white flour, white sugar, refined vegetable oils and canned goods, signs of degeneration quickly became evident. Dental caries, deformed jaw structures, crooked teeth, arthritis and a low immunity to tuberculosis became rampant amongst them. Dr. Price documented this ancestral wisdom – including hundreds of photos – in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.”
To read a variety of book reviews, click here: Link. The book can also be purchased there (no affiliation).
His legacy lives on through the Weston A. Price Foundation which was co-founded by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is dedicated to “restoring nutrient-dense foods to the American diet through education, research and activism.” Having passed away in 1948, Dr. Price does not have input on how the organization is run, but they try their best to incorporate his research and findings while incorporating the latest nutritional research. The Weston A. Price Foundation website can be found here: Link.
To read an article on the principles of traditional diets based on Dr. Price’s research, click here: Link.