This past weekend I attended the Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Annual Conference in Santa Clara, California. If you aren’t familiar with the Weston A. Price Foundation, it is a not-for-profit which supports teaching people and organizations about traditional foods and preparation and how to safeguard traditional foods in our food supply. As a blogger who writes about real food, this organization is extremely valuable to me. As you saw in my real food story post, I am where I am today because an acupuncturist recommended a cookbook, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and told me to join the Weston A. Price Foundation to get access to their research, quarterly journal and website articles. These things have been truly transformative for me and my family.
I was very excited to be able to attend the conference this year and meet many of the bloggers I follow and also hear many of the speakers whose books I have read. The road off of processed food has been long one for us dating back over 5 years. It has often been an extremely lonely process given that most people do not eat the way we do. Through this blog I have built up a network of like-minded readers (you!) seeking to learn more about how to eat real food. This conference was like Mecca for me. I couldn’t believe how many people were in one place that all agreed saturated fat was amazing and that you can heal from various ailments just by nourishing your body properly! I have never felt less alone in my life.
What struck me about the people I saw and met was that everyone had a light or spark of life in their eyes. Everyone was happy – giving hugs and smiling and very full of life. These were vibrant people. Everyone I met had amazing stories of healing and was very passionate about their food and their goals to teach others about how to eat in this manner to regain their health. The energy was palpable and contagious. As women and mothers we are on the front lines of bringing nourishment to our families. It is imperative to support organizations such as the Weston Price Foundation because they are one of the only organizations out there fighting for our continued right to access traditional whole foods like raw milk, pastured heritage breed animals, fermented foods and foods free of GMOs. They help people become farmers and help educate them on how to farm in traditional and sustainable ways. They also help behind the scenes to lobby for protections for these types of practices and for consumers of these types of products. I encourage you to sign up as a member and read their quarterly journal which is packed with amazing information including DVD and book reviews, latest research and analysis and commentary of social issues.
So let’s get to the round up. I saw some great speakers this week including:
- Sandor Katz on Fermented Foods. New revelation from this session: we do not have to use whey when fermenting! I have pretty much stopped using whey in fermenting vegetables but was still using it in my fermented condiments and did not like the results. Now I have an alternative: sauerkraut juice from a previous batch! I will be updating those recipes to reflect this change. I captured the entire Q&A with Sandor during the session. I also was able to snag a signed copy of his latest book!
- Natasha Campbell McBride on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS). I learned so much in this session! If you have never heard of GAPS, here is a great video explaining GAPS in 5 minutes and here is a GAPS Intro Guide. While I do not think my family needs GAPS at this time, I think many of you were very interested judging by the activity on my Facebook posts here and here about the session and with the Q&A. Dr. McBride also has a site with more information.
- Steven Fowkes on Reversing Alzheimer’s with Diet. There was a lot of technical information in this session which I can’t even begin to summarize here except to say that coconut oil is very promising for people with Alzheimer’s. Here is my Q&A thread on Facebook which includes a link to his YouTube Channel.
- Kat Anderson on the traditional tribal Indians of California. If you are a member of the Weston A Price Foundation and read the journal then you are familiar with this series Kat has been doing about the California Indians. They were really at one with the land and didn’t just hunt and gather. The Indians tilled the land, they burned the land to encourage growth and they made sure everything produced abundant and nutrient dense foods. They lived sustainably with the land for 1000s of years before being interrupted by explorers and new residents as we all know. At the end of the session we were able to sample some traditionally prepared acorn! There is more information about this research in Kat’s book.
- Joette Calabrese on Homeopathy. I found this session to be very informative. I have been pretty into Chinese medicine lately and I think homeopathy can be another great way to empower me in healing my family in appropriate situations. My notes and the Q&A are posted here.
- Kaayla Daniel on ADHD. I have a great roundup of the information I gleaned from this session on Facebook but the net is what we all suspect, diet can help with ADHD in many profound ways.
- Foods I loved while at the conference: pemmican, this beet kvass called the ‘Bubonic Tonic’, some amazing crackers made from cheese and nuts and butter and some coconut kefir cheese.
- An unusual find: Kombucha SCOBY earrings.
- UPDATE: Video highlights:
I hope to attend this conference again next year in Atlanta, GA and that I can maybe meet some of you in person there too! Please let me know if you have any questions!