wise traditions

A taste of Peru: the tension between old and new

A taste of Peru: the tension between old and new

Supermarkets selling sodas and processed foods are blocks away from the open-air markets with “mamitas” selling the produce from their gardens by the roadside. Monsanto and Bayer have reached the Sacred Valley and are persuading farmers to replace their natural varied corn crops with their one variety of corn (from genetically-modified seeds). Mining is generating incomes for small towns, but simultaneously polluting their drinking and irrigation water. Villagers are fighting back, but their voices aren’t always heard. As you can see, there are multiple threats to the health of the people and the land of Peru. 

Why do normal people question vaccines?

Children ask questions about everything under the sun. Reporters ask questions to get their story. Scientists ask questions to understand a matter. I am a normal person who is  kicking off this post with a couple of questions. Why is there a taboo around questioning vaccines? Why can’t normal people question them without being labeled “wackos” or “anti-vaxxers?” I suggest that all of us should feel free to question vaccines, and here’s why.

  • If we care about the food we ingest, we should care about everything we put into our bodies.
  • If we want to know the list of ingredients in the food we are eating, we should want to know what ingredients are in a vaccination.
  • If we are skeptical of conventional health care, we should question the motives of pharmaceutical companies that are lobbying for mandatory vaccinations for children and adults, nationwide.
  • If we believe in food freedom (that we should be allowed to eat what we want to eat), we should also embrace health freedom (that we have the right to accept or reject any medical procedure).

As a young mom, I remember wondering if I should follow the vaccine schedule for my children. I had no logical reason to question vaccinations at all, really, because I didn’t know much about vaccine side effects or ingredients or anything. There was just a little question in the back of my mind, a kind of check in my gut about them. I suppose I was hesitant about them because of the fact that I had always been a girl with a natural bent. I figured my body could handle itself, without too much interference. I preferred to let a fever run its course. I would avoid over-the-counter remedies for a mild cold or aches and pains. I chose completely natural childbirth for each of my babies (no pain-killing drugs, no medical interventions).

So while I wasn’t super informed about vaccinations, I wondered about the benefit/risk ratio. But I didn’t wonder for long. I went ahead and had my children all vaccinated on time because I knew that in Washington DC, in order to attend public school, they had to have all of the vaccinations, according to the CDC schedule.

I didn’t think much more about it for some time. My inclination to keep things natural, health-wise, eventually led me to become a member, and then a chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). I liked their natural bent! They espouse Hippocrates' motto "Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food."

However, when I came across something in the WAPF literature about vaccinations, I scratched my head about it, because I thought that WAPF was a nutrition group, focused on food, farming, and the healing arts. A stance on vaccinations (and an individual’s right to reject them) seemed an unnecessarily polarizing position to take. Why would WAPF go out on a limb when they could safely advocate for wholesome food and sustainable farming practices, without rocking the status quo?

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Over time, the answer started to dawn on me. WAPF is a group that’s willing to ask questions about conventional health protocol. Of course their willingness to ask about food sources, food quality, and the like would translate to other things we put into our bodies. It struck me that it is normal, and even healthy, to ask questions to safeguard my health and the health of my family. So I began to dig around and ask a few questions, myself.

  • Why are premature babies given the same dose of vaccines as full-term babies? (Shouldn’t the dosage be adjusted for weight?)
  • What ingredients are in the vaccines and are any toxic or apt to cause adverse reactions?
  • Why do babies get a hepB vaccine the day they are born (when it is a vaccine intended to prevent a disease that is sexually communicated)?
  • Is there room for a conversation about spacing out the heavy vaccination schedule that requires up to 24 doses before a child reaches 5 years of age?
  • Why is it so difficult to get a medical or religious exemption in most states?
  • Why are children denied a public education when unvaccinated, if education is a constitutional right?
  • If vaccines are safe and effective, why was the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act established in 1986, setting up a vaccine injury compensation program (that to date has doled out over 3..8 billion dollars to families of vaccine-injured children and adults)?
  • Why has the CDC not done a controlled study, comparing the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children?
  • Why was the CDC accused of covering up study results that indicated a link between vaccinations and autism among African-American boys?
  • If vaccines do not cause autism, as the CDC claims, where are the studies that disprove the link?
  • And a related question: if vaccines don’t cause autism, why do so many parents of autistic children insist that they do?
  • What does the evidence around us suggest?
  • What links are there between vaccinations and other injuries and illnesses?
  • Why are vaccines pushed at every turn (in grocery stores, corner drug stores, etc.)? And who stands to gain from this push?

Do you have questions of your own? Great! That means you're normal. Keep digging until you find answers that satisfy your curiosity. And check out these podcast episodes to learn something beyond what the mainstream media reports:

#16 Vaccines: what’s all the fuss about? (part 1) -  w/ producer Leslie Manookian of “The Greater Good”

#17 Vaccines: what's all the fuss about? (part 2) 

#54 Vaxxed: Producer's commentary - w/ Del Bigtree of “Vaxxed,” the movie that focuses on the CDC whistleblower

#64 The vaccine industry & your rights - w/ attorney Alan Phillips

#72 Fighting for health freedom – a group of people in West Virginia are fighting for the right to vaccine exemptions

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*** Hilda Labrada Gore is the producer and host of the Wise Traditions podcast found on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, tunein, YouTube and at westonaprice.org. She lives in DC with her husband and children, their cat, Mia, and their dog, Summer.

THE "super" raw food: lacto-ferments

Ferments are everywhere these days! Go to any farmers market  and you will see booths selling everything from pickles to kimchi. People are starting to brew their own kombucha and pickle their carrots, turnips, and beets. Why are these foods suddenly trendy, when they have been a part of traditional diets around the globe for hundreds and thousands of years? Once again, science is backing up the wisdom of the past. There has been a shift in understanding about our bodies. Where once it was thought that the gut was sterile, science now points to it being a veritable wonderland of microbes and bacteria. Our health depends on maintaining a proper balance of intestinal flora. And lacto-fermented foods are a wonderful source of enzymes and good bacteria! This knowledge has sent people rushing back to eating fermented foods, since fermentation not only preserves the food, but also improves its nutritional content and the bio-availability of its nutrients.

Take cabbage, for example. It is a source of vitamin C. When it is fermented and turned into sauerkraut, the level of vitamin C is tenfold higher. It's been found that just 2 ounces of home-fermented sauerkraut has more probiotics than a bottle of 100-count probiotic capsules!

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This is why Sally Fallon Morell, the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, calls lacto-ferments the SUPER raw food! Across the board, fermentation enhances the very life of the food. It pre-digests the food, in a manner of speaking, and increases vitamin levels. Anti-nutrients are neutralized or partially neutralized. Minerals are released. Ferments boost the immune system, protect against disease, and aid digestion. In sum, it is a beautiful, marvelous process that works with nature to preserve not only the food, but also our health!

For all of these reasons, including lacto-fermented foods is principle #5 of the Wise Traditions diet. Listen to Sally expound on the benefits of (and the traditions behind) these foods here, in the episode Principle #5 Lacto-fermented Foods.

Highlights include:

–    how lacto-fermented foods are nearly universal in traditional diets –    the two types of fermentation –    how sauerkraut is made –    the role of salt in the fermentation process –    how fermentation may have come about –    the wisdom of traditional cultures and the scientific reasons behind fermentation –    what specific fermented foods are enjoyed in various parts of the world –    just why Sally considers ferments “super” raw foods –    the story of one woman with IBS and how fermented food helped her –    how to tell the difference between fermented foods and those simply steeped in vinegar –    how fermentation can boost levels of vitamin C, minerals, B vitamins –    how lacto-fermented drinks are also a good source of enzymes and bacteria (and serves as an alternative to soft drinks and alcoholic beverages) –    how these foods inoculate the gut, in essence, with good bacteria needed to resist disease –    how these foods are protective against cancer –    how the fermented foods shore up the “biofilm” that lines the intestinal tract –    how to eat the right balance of fermented food –    how these foods replace enzymes lost during cooking and help with the digestion of fat

You will certainly want to begin including some of these foods in your diet, once you understand how beneficial (and delicious) they are! You may even be inspired to try your own hand at preparing them--becoming an alchemist in your own kitchen! Whatever you do, here's to relishing this SUPER raw food!

*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and the host of the Wise Traditions podcast (found on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google play, and at westonaprice.org). She is also the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation. Get to know Hilda and her approach to health by visiting her website chispainc.com.