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Mary G. Enig, PhD
Mary G. Enig, PhD
The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), co-founded in 1999 by Sally Fallon (Morell) and nutritionist Mary G. Enig (PhD), is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to "restoring nutrient-dense foods to the American diet through education, research and activism."
The foundation has been criticized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its advocacy of drinking raw milk and by Joel Fuhrman, MD for its advocacy of the health benefits of animal-based fats.
Price was a dentist from Cleveland, Ohio, whose 1939 book, Nutritional and Physical Degeneration, describes the fieldwork he did in the 1920s and 1930s among various world cultures, with the original goal of recording and studying the dental health and development of pre-industrial populations including tribal Africans and Pacific islanders, Inuit, North and South American natives, and Australian aborigines. The book contains numerous photographs of the people he studied, and includes comparison photographs of the teeth and facial structure of people who lived on their traditional diet and people who had adopted or grown up on industrialized food. In certain instances it was possible for Price to examine and photograph traditional and industrialized eaters from the same family.
The WAPF has seven board members and numerous honorary board members, most of whom have medical or nutritional qualifications. In 2010, its membership numbered 13,000 and was growing at an annual rate of 10%, according to The Washington Post.
The main sources of support for the Weston A. Price Foundation are the dues and contributions of its members. The Foundation does not receive funding from the government or the food processing and agribusiness industries. It does accept sponsorships, exhibitors and advertising from small companies by invitation, whose products are in line with WAPF principles. Current sponsors can be seen at the main page of the Foundation's website. The sponsors include grass-fed meat and wild fish producers, as well as health product companies.
The WAPF states it is dedicated to "restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet... [and] supporting particular movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, biodynamic and organic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported agriculture, honest and informative labelling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy in infant formulas. The organization actively lobbies in Washington DC on issues such as government USDA dietary guidelines definition and composition of school lunch programs."
The WAPF publishes a quarterly journal called Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts in addition to an annual shopping guide which lists products made from organic, non-GMO ingredients, and are prepared using traditional and artisan methods.
Sally Fallon Morell is the co-founder and president of The Weston A. Price Foundation. According to the WAPF, she received a B.A. in English from Stanford University and an M.A. in English from UCLA. She co-authored two cookbooks with WAPF co-founder Mary G. Enig:
The Foundation's recommendations include the consumption of unprocessed or minimally processed foods including: traditional fats (animal fats, dairy fats, olive oil, and cod liver oil, among others), organic fruits and vegetables, raw dairy products, soured or lacto-fermented dairy and vegetables (such as sauerkraut), whole grains (soaked or soured to neutralize their phytic acid), and bone stocks. The WAPF is known for its positive stance towards the consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol from traditional foods, its support of local food and farms, and its opposition to veganism and some aspects of vegetarianism.
The Weston A. Price Foundation is a lobbying group that seeks to ban infant soy formula, and advocates a nutrient-dense diet of whole foods, including animal fats. Board of Directors member Kaayla Daniel has released a book titled: 'The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food'.
The Weston A. Price Foundation is a major advocate for the consumption of unpasteurized milk, or raw milk, in the United States. One of its main goals is to remove health regulations that require the pasteurization of milk products so that raw milk can be legally purchased in all states. Supporters of this campaign believe the pasteurization process removes or destroys beneficial parts of raw milk, leading to a less healthy product that is associated with numerous diseases such as allergies, cancer, and heart disease.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration disagree with this assessment, noting that the pasteurization process "does not significantly change the nutritional value of milk" and that consumption of raw milk poses a "severe health risk". They also point out that prior to the widespread use of pasteurization, many diseases were commonly transmitted by raw milk, while they made up less than 1% of food and water contamination disease outbreaks by 2005 The director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration division of plant- and dairy-food safety, John Sheehan, called the organization's claims on the health benefits and safety of raw milk "false, devoid of scientific support, and misleading to consumers"
Established with the help of the Weston A. Price Foundation in July 2007, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund aims to help protect the rights of farmers to provide meat, eggs, raw dairy products, vegetables and other foods directly to consumers. This includes protecting consumers' "freedom of choice to consume raw milk," according to Pete Kennedy, president of the Fund. In the first year of its operation, the Fund raised over $350,000 and receives around three requests for assistance per week from farmers across the United States who are facing legal or bureaucratic challenges, or both in relation to sales of raw milk.
John Robbins has written a critique in which he reviews the history of the Weston Price Foundation and provides evidence that Weston Price had recommended a vegetarian and dairy diet to his own family members as the healthiest diet. The foundation has cited Price to the effect that he did not recommend a vegetarian diet. The anti-vegetarian and anti-soy views of the foundation have also been criticized as "myths" in several publications.
Joel Fuhrman has written a series of articles entitled "The truth about the Weston Price Foundation" in which he argues the Foundation is a purveyor of "nutritional myths", largely because they have failed to update their recommendations in light of contradictory evidence.