Notes on Weston A. Price, Daniel Lieberman, and the poor dental health caused by modern foods

Just reading (listening) through Weston A. Price’s book for the first time. Despite having read *about* the work of Price endlessly, it is fascinating reading, and different than I had expected.
 
Very interesting also that his descriptive claims about proper development of the dental arch requiring traditional foods, is currently being popularized by Lieberman (Harvard) in his book, here:
 
http://www.amazon.com/The-Story-Human-Body-Evolution/dp/030774180X
 
In my opinion: in readability, breadth of information, and rigor, Lieberman’s book surpasses most Paleo books, while still being, in a certain sense, a Paleo book of high caliber–yet without a lot of the hype of The Paleo Movement (TM). Very highly recommended.
 
(For the record, Lieberman says that proper development of the dental arch requires vigorous chewing in the course of development–and that the large majority of problems related to the misalignment of teeth, wisdom tooth impaction, etc. are the result of overly processed food that does not require chewing. Price, in his own time, produces evidence for this idea, ad nauseum, though I do not believe that he attributes poor development of the dental arch to a lack of chewing.)
 
But I digress. I decided to post because I wanted to note some parallels between Price’s work and that of the current situation, namely, on Price’s regard for the dietitians of his day.
“The cook on the government boat was an aboriginal Australian from Northern Australia. He had been trained on a military craft as a dietitian. Nearly all his teeth were lost. It is of interest that while the native Aborigines had relatively perfect teeth, this man who was a trained dietitian for the whites had lost nearly all his teeth from tooth decay and pyorrhea.”

It seems that some things never change.

Later in the chapter, Price provides a synopsis:

“The rapid degeneration of the Australian Aborigines after the adoption of the government’s modern foods provides a demonstration that should be infinitely more convincing than animal experimentation. It should be a matter not only of concern but deep alarm that human beings can degenerate physically so rapidly by the use of a certain type of nutrition, particularly the dietary products used so generally by modern civilization.”

It is astonishing how systematic Price’s book is (when compared to Pollan’s claims about it–has Pollan read the book, and does he know how it was endorsed by the prominent academics of Price’s day?), and how many groups he studied. His method? Look at the “primitives” who lived by their traditional way of life, and look at those who lived on modern foods, and compare their health–with an special emphasis on dental health and facial development. That Price found the same pattern, systematically, repeated across populations, was astonishing to me. I am not sure to what degree Price’s findings can be generalized across other domains of health, or if the extent to which some have tried to generalize them is always legitimate, but the work sure does make for fascinating reading, and has much to teach us.

(You can find an online copy of Price’s book here: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200251h.html
If anyone is interested in a machine-read text-to-speech copy, send me an email: kevin(at)farmarian(dot)com )

[Note: I should note that while I am writing posts as a way of taking a break during my studies, I am unfortunately very tied up at the moment. When a break presents itself, perhaps later this year, I will respond to some of my threads. However, I hope that some of these observations may be of some interest.]

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