These words were spoken by Pauline, a young Kenyan professional, following our presentation to her organization. She spoke these words over lunch. How appropriate, since our presentation focused on nutrition, right?
Yes, my Kenyan speaking tour has begun. On behalf of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), I have been sent here, along with a fellow speaker, Mary, a nurse, and our trip coordinator, Deb. What I love about this tour is that we are not telling Kenyans that they should follow a certain diet (or our U.S. diet, God forbid). We are recommending that they return to the foods of their ancestors, foods that have nourished their people for millennia.
It’s a beautiful thing to see the WAPF principles resonate with people, as they think about what foods they currently enjoy that were staples of their traditional diet. (“Uji,” for example, is a fermented porridge that many still eat for breakfast.) They also have been given food for thought as we examine food trends, and take a close look at food-like substances that mimic what is best but are poor substitutes. (Margarines and oils, for example, look like the real deal---butter and animal fats---but are so manipulated, our bodies can’t process them well.)
It’s exciting to be in Kenya, for one, because I’ve never been here before. And there are novel experiences at every turn. Earlier today, I put my arm around a giraffe. (Pictures to corroborate the story to come…) Secondly, it’s thrilling because Dr. Weston Price himself came to Kenya, almost a century ago, on his research expedition. In Kenya and its surrounding environs, he met with 14 different tribes, with over 100 members each. In those groups where the traditional diet was still being eaten, not a single tribe member showed any signs of cavities, chronic disease, or ill health. They were vibrant, strong, fertile people. In contrast, those who had begun to eat a westernized diet (a diet with refined flour, sugar, vegetable oils, and other processed foods) showed signs of tooth decay, crowding, and poor health.
The teeth are telling, Dr. Price said. And people group after people group, picture after picture, and exam after exam confirmed his theory. What was true in the 1930s is true now. What we eat has a profound effect on our health and the teeth are simple indicators of what’s happening on the inside of our bodies. To preserve our health, all of us---Kenyans, Americans, and peoples around the world---need to choose food that fuels and strengthens us rather than food that zaps and depletes us. Our bodies benefit from nourishing food that has been revered and enjoyed for generations. Such good food can have a powerful impact on our general health, and even our outlook on life. It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? No wonder our talks are resonating. May they continue to do so!