Part 2: Cultural Differences


Friends and Rivlas 

Friends and Rivlas 

A. Push Press

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Behind Neck push Press

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B. 8 minute AMRAP:

10 DB Push Press (45/30)

10 V-Ups

Part 2: Cultural Differences

In nutrition there is a common quote that, “One man’s food is another man’s poison”. In some cultures, there is literally no fruit eaten, ever. In fact, if they did eat fruit it would make them very sick. In other cultures, fruit is a true staple, and without it the member’s health would rapidly decline. Your ancestry, blood type and metabolic rate are important factors in determining what foods will help you thrive and what foods to outright avoid.

Weston Price did some amazing research on this subject some 90 years ago. I want to cliff’s notes some of his findings to give you an idea of this concept of different cultures thriving on different diets.

Weston Price was a dentist who began noticing the modern diet was ruining the teeth of the western societies in America, Europe, and Australia. His mission was to seek out different peoples who were isolated from modern food, that is, they ate a traditional diet of foods that were available in close proximity to them. Price used tooth decay as a parameter for how effective these native diets were. His idea was that if the teeth were healthy, the body was too. What he found was quite astonishing.

*All the data taken by price occurred in the 1930’s

The Swiss People of Loetschental Valley

-no jails, dentists or doctors because there was no need for them

-men known for their size and strength and often chosen for the famous Vatican Guard

-children and adults ate rye bread, cheese and milk. Meat eaten once per week.Heavy creams were also eaten regularly

-little or no incidence of tooth decay

The  Gaelic People of the Isle of Lewis

-Price marveled at both the physical strength and the character of these people

-diet consisted of fish (crabs, lobster, clams, cod, organs and eggs) and oat products and some barley. Most meals were accompanied with oat cakes and oat porridge.

-little or no incidence of tooth decay

The Eskimos

-Price travelled extensively over the state of Alaska to dozens of different Eskimo populations. What he found was a mix of native diets and modern diets amongst the differing tribes, sometimes within the same tribe. A strict native diet yielded 3% or less tooth decay, a hybrid diet was around 10-15%, and a modern diet was always over 25%.

-both children and adults had the skills to spear large salmon as well as seals

-seal oil was a major part of the diet, even being used to dip the salmon in before storing. Seal oil is one of the richest food sources of Vitamin A available

-fish eggs were special and saved for the Eskimo children. Eskimo infants at that time were reported to rarely cry, even during teething

-Eskimos also ate nuts, berries, large game and kelp

 

The Maori of New Zealand

-known for excellent physiques and intelligence. Scientists once called them, “The most physically perfect race on the face of the earth.”

-prized shellfish as the staple of their diet.  Also ate kelp, grub roots, and fish

-less than 2% tooth decay in isolated tribes, 30-50% in tribes who had modernized

- Price found that they had the least tooth decay of any group he studied

The Torres Strait Islanders

-islands located north of Australia

-very gifted swimmers with the ability to ensnare sharks while in the water with them as a cowboy does with a bull

-ate seafood (shellfish, smaller fish, shark) as their staple. The fertile islands also provided taro, bananas, papaya and plums

-government brought stores to various islands that consisted of modern food and clothing. Here is a breakdown of when the stores arrived and how much tooth decay ensued:

Badu Island: 23 years with stores, 20% tooth decay

York Island: 3 years with stores, 12% tooth decay

Darnely Island: less than a year with stores, 6% tooth decay

Murray Island: less than a year with stores,  0.7% tooth decay (this group was anti-government and rejected these stores despite their existence of their land)

The Peruvian Indians of the Andes Mountains

-very physically strong, able to carry 300lbs of materials on their back

-diet consisted primarily of fish. Also ate fowl, vegetables, fruits and in particular the yucca root was very prized to them

-less than 3% incidence of dental cavities

Price had some interesting discoveries in each place he visited. He visited twelve regions, but his findings were the same everywhere.  Most importantly he discovered that people who ate their native diet were a model of health. Healthy in body, mind, and spirit. The incidence of traditional “white man” diseases were non-existent. Price could barely find a cavity in any man, women or child eating a native diet. On the other hand, the places he visited that had access to modern foods and drinks or had just begun this access told a different story. First, when roads were built tooth decay ensued. If a trader or outsider came with a store of modern foods, tooth decay ensued. Second, if a villager left the isolated area for a couple of years and returned home, he would show signs of tooth decay.  But, if he returned to his native diet, the tooth decay subsided. On the Gaelic islands, one isolated group with no modern influence had no cavities while another group 100 miles away and genetically similar with modern influence had a 50% incidence of cavities. The correlation between a native, isolated diet and no tooth decay and a modern diet with high tooth decay was conclusive.

There will be more commentary regarding the findings and information presented above, but what we can gather at first glance is that many diets can work for long term health. As long as the diet is clean and devoid of modern creations, pristine health can be achieved. The evidence is clear that pure, unaltered foods allow human beings to thrive. The secret is not so much of what is in the diet, but what is left out.

 

References

Price, Weston A. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Paul Hober Inc.Medical Book Department of Harper & Brothers New York London. Copyright, 1939.