Goodbye Nourishing Traditions: The WAPF Diet in Retrospect

We stopped eating a Weston A. Price diet (WAPF) and switched to whole foods plant-based. Here’s my review of the WAPF diet and why we started eating WFPB instead!

Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon - Yellow cover with colorful multi-cultural illustrations

In the first post in this miniseries, I talked about why we switched to a whole foods plant-based diet, and some of the everyday ways we implement it.

Today I’m sharing my review of the Weston A. Price diet (also called the WAPF diet or Traditional Foods diet), which is the diet we tried to align with previously.

Before I begin, I’ll give two caveats, because I like the word “caveat.”

The first is that I realise this post will not be relevant to some people, since this is a very niche-y topic! But I also know that when we were switching from a traditional, WAPF diet to a whole foods plant-based diet, I didn’t find a lot of comparisons or reviews of this nature. So I’d like to help out others who may be looking for a personal take like this!

The second caveat is that we never fully ate the WAPF way. I wanted to, and I assumed that the WAPF diet was the “gold standard” when it came to eating habits. But I was also sure we’d never achieve it.

More on that in a minute.

What is the WAPF Diet? (Weston A. Price Diet)

WAPF stands for the Weston A. Price Foundation, founded by Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig, which takes its name from the dentist Weston A. Price. Price published the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration in 1939, detailing his observations and theories of why people groups unexposed to a Western diet had better teeth and facial structures.

Fallon and Enig developed the WAPF diet based on some of Price’s nutritional theories, as well as their own findings and beliefs. Many of my readers are familiar with the WAPF diet, especially since this diet was gaining huge followers in the 2000s and 2010s (thanks, in large part, to blogs!).

On the ideal WAPF diet, you avoid all processed foods and instead eat organic produce, fermented foods, cod liver oil, bone broth, and full-fat animal products including grass-fed beef (cooked and raw) and organs; raw milk, cheese, and butter from grass-fed cows; free-range chicken and eggs; and “properly prepared” grains and nuts (this involves a process of soaking the grains or nuts in an acidic solution before consuming. This is one of the WAPF things that Price didn’t cover or suggest in his book).

Why It’s So Hard to Eat the WAPF Way

Ultimately, we switched to a plant-based diet because my view on animal products changed and I believe eating more plants is the healthier way to go.

But we had known for a long time we’d never achieve the WAPF diet, and this is why. The WAPF diet is prohibitively expensive and prohibitively time consuming.

The WAPF Diet Is Prohibitively Expensive

Raw and pasture-raised dairy, one of the big features of the WAPF diet, costs two to three times as much as conventional dairy—sometimes even more. We knew we couldn’t do it all, so we prioritized raw milk (which is delicious, by the way), and bought conventional cheese, cream, and butter. Pastured pork products like sausage and bacon were out of the question.

Since we couldn’t afford organic produce, we bought from the “Clean Thirteen” list (produce that may have a lower pesticide load) and pretty much ignored the produce from the “Dirty Dozen” list (produce with more pesticides). We missed out on so many health-giving fruits and veggies this way!

We took regular cod liver oil but couldn’t afford the special fermented cod liver oil. Later I was extremely grateful that we never bought the fermented kind, as it came out that the Green Pastures brand promoted by WAPF was rancid and was causing serious health issues for many people. WAPF still recommends this fermented cod liver oil, and their stance on the issue has caused a number of dissenting board members and chapter leaders to resign (others were asked to leave).

We personally stopped taking even non-fermented cod liver oil years ago because I had my doubts that fish oil can be a shelf-stable product, and it didn’t seem like a good allocation for our limited supplement budget. I’ve since read that the high demand for cod liver oil also ties into the over fishing problem, and I’m happy not to contribute to that!

In addition to the expensive WAPF foods, on a proper WAPF diet you need—or feel like you need—a number of specially-designated kitchen items such as a dehydrator, fermenting equipment, grain mill, food processor, high-powered blender, cast iron cookware set (to avoid nonstick coatings), water filters, and deep freezer (to store the half a cow you bought in order to save money).

Now, I’m definitely not opposed to any of those kitchen items. But it can be discouraging when you’re learning about the WAPF diet and you hear these tools invoked by gurus, and then you realize how expensive they are!

People who defend the high cost of the WAPF diet will sometimes tell you that it is, in fact, affordable—simply stop buying those fancy Starbucks lattes on your way to work! Advice which is trite and unhelpful about 99% of the time. Even when you have truly realistic ways to save money, WAPF is always going to be expensive.

The WAPF Diet Is Prohibitively Time Consuming

If you dig into the WAPF diet, it’s clear pretty quickly that it’s an expensive way to eat. But it’s also a burden in terms of time.

I’m a big fan of cooking from scratch. But the WAPF diet urges you to cook from scratch and then some—not just making recipes from basic ingredients, but making those ingredients, too! I faithfully made yogurt and sourdough and kefir and kombucha and bone broth, but I just couldn’t make room in my schedule to also soak almonds and walnuts (nor did I feel like leaving the oven on for hours to dry the nuts back out again!) Some people purchase these things ready made, but this adds even more $$ to the already-expensive diet.

I found that I couldn’t just pull out ingredients and have at it, I had to plan menus very carefully as a sort of chain reaction: “I can’t make this soup because I have to first make bone broth, and I can’t make bone broth because I first have to roast my chicken!” etc. I like to keep things simple, and this wasn’t simple enough for me.

In addition to food preparation and home processing, there’s also the enormous amount of time it takes to research and source all of the grass-fed, pastured-raised, minimally-processed animal products you’re supposed to eat.

A Plant-Based Diet is For the Masses!

One of the things I love about a whole foods plant-based diet (besides the health benefits), is how accessible it is. Unlike WAPF, you can find what you need for a whole foods plant-based diet at your regular grocery store. This is empowering for people who don’t have the time or money to eat the WAPF way. In fact, in many grocery stores the first thing you see when you enter is the produce section—the core of the plant-based diet!

Trust Issues with the WAPF Diet

Earlier I mentioned that we stuck to the “Clean Thirteen” fruits and vegetables in an effort to avoid pesticides. As we switched to a plant-based diet I started embracing the whole produce section again, including foods from the “Dirty Dozen” list. I came to the startling conclusion that apples are still a health food even if  they’re not organic. (And organic doesn’t actually mean pesticide free.)

While washing your produce with water is an effective way to remove most pesticide residue, you can’t remove pesticides from the meat and animal products you buy. The animals eat grain and feed with pesticides, and these accumulate in their fat, which consumers then eat with their butter, cream, and steaks.

Stick of butter on a butter dish

I remember reading a WAPF article years ago about pesticides bio-accumulating. (And this checks out. There are lots of scientific articles that have concluded the same.) The WAPF article stressed the vital importance of eating organic, grass-fed animals products in order to avoid these [synthetic] pesticides.

This raised an obvious question: so if it’s bad to eat conventional full-fat diary and meat because of the high pesticide load, but you can’t afford/can’t find unpasteurized, grass-fed alternatives, then are you better off buying conventional skim milk and low-fat dairy and meat?

Apparently not, because one of the foundational pillars of the WAPF diet is eating animal fat. Again and again on their website—and on the websites of writers and recipe developers who follow WAPF—butter and animal fat are praised without the warning label that it must always be grass fed.

It’s contradictory and bad advice to tell people to eat full-fat animal products when you know the fat contains the pesticide load. But if the fat recommendation always comes with a caveat about needing to be grass-fed, then the WAPF diet does become exclusive, despite their best intentions.

And of course, plant-based advocates would tell you that the pesticide load in animal fat isn’t the only issue—or even the main issue—with animal products. For years, I heard from Weston A. Price advocates about how healthy saturated fat and animal protein are. In the last couple years, I’ve given my attention to the other side of the debate: the plant-based doctors and dieticians who say that animal fat and protein are giving us heart attacks, diabetes, and strokes.

Now that I’ve fairly considered both sides, the plant-based people have me convinced. I’ve seen a history of WAPF-fers who sidestep evidence and bury their heads in the sand about the potential harm of a diet high in animal products. The fermented cod liver oil scandal and the pesticides-in-fat issue don’t give me a lot of confidence that the people behind WAPF are willing to engage honestly with evidence that challenges their tenets.

What WAPF Gets Right

In spite of my issues with WAPF, I think they’re on the right track in some areas. Learning about and attempting to follow the WAPF diet years ago was a good stepping stone for me, and a wonderful period of discovery. I was flipping through Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook the other day and reminded of some of the things that WAPF gets right, including:

  • Challenging the Standard American Diet of processed, sugar-heavy, low-nutrition foods
  • Having a more ethnically-diverse diet and looking to other cultures for culinary inspiration
  • Promoting high consumption of vegetables and legumes
  • Sourcing quality animal products: humanely-raised animals from traditional farms rather than CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations)
  • Eating fermented foods such as kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and other condiments

I think a lot of people are attracted to the Weston A. Price Foundation diet because it allows them to eat broadly. WAPF makes it a point not to demonize any food groups. They also appeal to nostalgia, telling people to “eat like your grandparents did.”

Unfortunately, I think that reasons like these can deter people from digging deeper into the scientific and historical backing and credibility of the WAPF principles.

Explore the Plant-Based Diet

If you want to eat nutrient-dense, do yourself a favor and add more plants to every meal, no matter what diet you subscribe to! The God who made our bodies also made plants and told us to eat them, so we have it on good authority that that’s exactly what we’re supposed to be doing.

In my next post, I’ll give you some good plant-based resources to read, watch, and listen to, as well as some favourite plant-based recipes we’ve added to our repertoire!

Posts in This Series:

34 Comments

  1. Love this! We eat a plant based diet and it has kept me from having to go on meds for RA. A month after I started eating WFPB (four years ago) my joints felt great and I’ve never looked back! I’m grateful to God for the wonderful plants he gave us to eat!

  2. I have moved away from WAPF diet mostly because of your point about time. As my four children have gotten older and life has happened, I just needed a break from being forever in the kitchen!

    Can you point me to some resources about FCLO being rancid, though? I had not heard that since I’m not in the loop like I used to be.

    1. Dr. Kaayla Daniel is the one who did the initial FCLO report on the Green Pastures brand. She used to be the WAPF vice president. And of course there are TONS of responses to the report, for and against, and then responses to the responses! It’s a lot of uncertainty for such high priced products.

  3. Great article, I appreciate reading others views on the topic. We used to follow a WAPF diet pretty strictly but we now just stick to real food and locally sourced when possible. We ended up reading Price’s original works, instead of just relying on WAPF recommendations, and the biggest takeaways for us was that all of the diets researched in his book were local, low in sugar, and unprocessed. Other than that the diets were all very different and depended on location and what foods were naturally available. I think the biggest flaw of the WAPF is they try to combine all of the different diets from very different cultures into one and I don’t think that works. So we now we just prioritize local food and supporting our community while also raising some of our own.

    1. That sounds like a great approach! And so interesting about Dr. Price’s actual writings. I think WAPF used him as a springboard but added a lot of their own philosophy too.

  4. Very interesting. I am going to look more into this. I had already heard all the info about the rancid cod liver oil and I never totally could do the wapf diet due to just what you said here, time and money. Having 12 kids just leaves less time and money sometimes. LOL! I hope you will be able to share the next installment really, really soon. Looking forward to it.

    1. Rancid? That is so silly. Fermented and rancid have 2 very different effects on the body. WAPF studies different cultures to see what they were thriving on then, took note of how they prepared them. i.e. grains and beans and never suggests trying to do it all. In fact we barely spend money on groceries now. When I was WFPB I ruined our guts with all the unsoaked beans and grains they call for in recipes. If you stick with it, at least remember the harsh effects on your gut grains and beans have, and certain raw vegetables along with the excessive nut milks.

  5. Yay for you & your family! I heard Dr Esselstyn speak in person & he is amazing. Began eating more plant-based in 1997 (first vegetarian) then basically vegan (do eat local raw honey) since 2007.

    1. Wow, that is so neat that you got to hear him in person! I’d love that. And good to hear from someone who’s been eating plant-based so long with success! There are plenty of naysayers to vegan and vegetarian diets, so it’s always good to hear that it can be done(:

  6. You mentioned god telling us to eat plants but he also tells us to eat animals also. While I agree wapf eating can be more time consuming with certain preparations.l, however I’ve also found ways of prepping that actually saved time. What takes more time washing/chopping vegetables or tossing a piece of meat in the crock pot? I spend way more time prepping the vegetable portion of our meals than the animal portion. Ill make liver pate monthly, freeze in ice cube portions to add to stews sauces and such. Grains can take time but grains aren’t a huge contributing factor for our meals. We have a very modest food budget that leaves little money to purchase meat, but I will cook a single piece of bone in meat and a big batch of beans for the week. I crock pot it overnight beginning of the week, strip meat, reserve 2/3 of stock in pot for the week snd freeze the other third in ice cube trays to use when I need something fast, toss bones and extras back in crock pot with splash of acv snd cover with water. I leave the crock pot go two or three days replenishing water as needed. This bone broth will go into the fridge or freezer once done to use for next weeks meals. The previous weeks bone broth gets used this week to make a stew with the rabbit so all I have to do is dice up veggies and season for a big enough batch to last us all week. I bake my sourdough bread once a week and make sourdough tortillas/flatbread to eat with our stew.. Weekends we usually do potato bowls or a stir fry with rice with extra veg from stew prep earlier in the week. Snacks are usually simple things like a piece of fruit, hard boiled eggs, piece of raw cheese, or granola that I make in bulk once a month. Simple ferments like kraut can be made in huge batches to last most of the year and kept in the fridge. Aside from meat our only splurge is raw dairy that I buy locally at $10 per gallon and the price of it means we don’t chug it in excessive amounts like we used to conventional milk at $3 per gallon. It’s actually refreshing to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. I find my family is so much more grateful for the meals I serve because of how much care I’ve taken to make them. While some wapf eaters consume huge portions of animal products I don’t think that’s necessary either to achieve the health benefits that those foods provide. Every body has slightly different nutritional needs but I don’t believe our ancestors ways of eating is what is causing our population to be so chronically sick and plant based isn’t the answer for everyone.

    1. God did tell us to eat animals later, but my thoughts are that from the beginning we were eating plants (and lived in a garden to boot!). So even though we can eat animals, there’s also precedent that as a species in general, we don’t need to eat them to live. What you say about different bodies having different needs is also true, and no one should make themselves sick trying to doggedly adhere to a particular diet. My faith as a Christian permeates my entire worldview, and I believe that the Fall effected our world and our bodies in ways we can’t even discern. So perhaps the fact that we can’t universally eat plants all the time is result of the Fall. Who knows, but that’s how it is!

      You are right about vegetables taking a long time to chop…very true, and something I’ve noticed as I’ve increased my plants! I do prefer it to dealing with raw meat (thawing, cutting, and sanitizing afterwards), but it is time consuming for sure. I’m trying to prep produce earlier in the day or the week, so the meal comes together quickly when I’m hungry later and have less motivation.

      Thank you so much for sharing some of your food routines. I always find it interesting to hear what people actually eat in their day to day, and that sounds like a frugal, nourishing way to care for your family.

  7. I found your article while looking for wapf freezer meal ideas and to be honest, your headline drew me in and my first thought was oh jeez what’s this rubbish. However, after reading it I have to say I complete agree with you and I thank you for making your point about conventional meats being carriers of pesticide. I was going to purchase a chest freezer today as I’ve been informed that the price of beef will be increasing by 40-50% by the end of February, but now I’m reevaluating my plan. Trying a plant‐ based diet would be financially freeing to say the least. Thank you for this well thought-out article!

    1. Hi Niki! Thank you so much for your comment! I’m not sure if you’ll see my response or not since I had to set some of my blogging endeavors aside the last couple months! But I am so glad you persisted in reading the post, and that you found it useful! Even though food prices are rising across the board, I have definitely found it freeing not to be so reliant on meat. I’m not anxious about meat being expensive because I’ve been learning so many plant-based recipes and practicing this way of eating! And what you said about buying a chest freezer sounded familiar to me; I figured we’d have to buy one eventually so we could purchase half a cow, half a pig, etc. in order to save on these expensive foods. But now that doesn’t seem so necessary so I’ve saved some $$ and some space!!

  8. Hello, I was looking at your lovely blog when this article popped up. I hope to share some info that I have been led to for my family. My family and I have stopped taking all cod liver oils as well. I tried fermented cod liver oil years ago and my heart raced after I took it. I decided not to continue. Then the Good Lord gave me the truth about FCLO. Dr. Ron Schmid of Dr. Ron’s pure supplements passed away many years ago. He believed many of his health heart issues stemmed from FCLO. https://www.davidgumpert.com/major-falling-out-at-wapf-over-fermented-cod-liver-oil This shakeup divided the WARP community in many ways. Including me. We stopped taking regular cod liver because we have an allergy to many of the preservatives even the most expensive brands have natural preservatives. I believe we need to eat fish roe. Not much is needed. I believe it is superior then cod liver oil for us and is packed with many vitamins and minerals. However, if you are able to eat cod livers. There are many canned cod livers available. I too believe WARP is very informative on all the many issues you laid out as well. I read these bible verses and it gives me confirmation as to why animal fats are what The Good Lord wants my family to eat:

    Genesis 4:4 (NIV) And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, Genesis 4:4 (NKJV) Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat.

    Isaiah 7:15-17
    King James Version
    15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.
    My family and I have since found out we can only eat A2 butter ( dairy ). I am grateful, to WARP for teaching on this issue.
    However, I do not eat the sea salt or any salts WAPF recommends. This article resonates as truth to me. https://tamararubin.com/2020/10/how-much-lead-is-in-salt-which-salt-is-safest-to-use-for-cooking-is-himalayan-salt-safe/
    Plus this cardiologist from New York https://www.yurkovsky.com/ believes you have to find the best salt for your body and most sea salts are contaminated. Celtic Sea Salt is one of the worse offenders.
    However, the Good Lord once again has given me confirmation as to why salt is important to eat and not to be afraid to eat it, just eat safe salt 🙂 My family and I eat this salt…https://seasalt.com/cyprus-flake-mediterranean-sea-salt-flakes-pour-spout-pouch
    Luke 14;34
    34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out… This bible verse also lets me know, we need to take care of our environment and land to perverse or salt. ( plastic-free, chemical-free, etc)
    Mark 9:50
    New International Version
    50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

    “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    I believe we need to pray for discernment and the truth to guide us in this world.

    I believe WARP has many things that are good. I believe they have ushered in many lost truths, history, and perspectives to ruminate on. I also believe WARP is not perfect, no one is except… Jesus 🙂 I believe this is why the Good Lord asks us to pray for wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. To keep us safe.
    I pray this information has blessed someone as it has for my family and me!
    Blessings

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I will check out those links you shared! I find it fascinating when the Bible talks about food, and I’m always curious to dive into those passages deeper. You are so right that we need to pray for discernment, and do the best we know how for our families!

  9. No…. Your suppose to eat GGRASS FED GRASS FINISHED meat and diary not stuff from the store. Plant based diets are SUPER rough on your gut it just takes time and your excuses for being lazy about planning instead of finding a way around the time issue.

  10. I ate a WFPB diet for 7 years and have struggled with anemia, hypothyroid, and overworked adrenals. I gave up a wapf diet due to my feelings about animal agriculture. Even being meticulous about my diet, I’ve struggled with health issues. I don’t feel like a wfpb is. Great long term solution. Feel isn’t the correct word. I still eat many vegetables, but since focusing on a health based diet, my health improved immensely. When given a platform to share your diet, it’s a slippery slope. I hope for continued health for you and your family and your readers.

    1. I’m grateful you shared your experience–thank you so much! And I appreciate the word of caution, too. I suppose in my view of a plant-based diet, there’s room for interpretation based on your body’s individual needs. I’m not vegan, although I completely respect why some people choose that and I know that it can be done “properly” so that you get adequate nutrition. For me, eating a plant-based diet doesn’t actually mean giving up all animal products forever, but it does mean building a diet around plants…pulling in all that variety and wonderful nutrition that helps our bodies heal and protects against disease.

  11. You say animal fat might be the reason for rise in heart disease and stuff, why didn’t our grandparents grandparents die from all these issues we are having now then? The biggest issue is processed food, processed vegan food is just as bad full of chemicals made in a lab by a scientist. Also you can eat high veggies even non organic on any diet even wap…. and another thing trees make fruit because they want us to eat their fruit its colorful and appealing, but plants don’t want you to eat their roots (root veggies) and leaves and plants, because then their life ends, so they have evolved to make alot of inflammatory issues in the human body to try to get humans to stop eating the plant. It makes sense why almost every wfpb person I know or see is always talking about trying to fix their gut even 10 yrs after being wfpb or vegan diet, because it’s not healing them at all…

    1. Those are some interesting points! Perhaps one reason that heart disease is a modern issue is because thanks to advances in medicine and science, humans are actually able to live long enough to *get* heart disease. Also, I completely agree that you can eat high amounts of fruits and veggies on a Weston A. Price diet, (or other whole foods diet variations) and many people do. As I mentioned in this post, promoting vegetable intake is certainly something the WAPF diet gets right! Also agree that processed foods can be problematic for any diet type. As far as what plants want us to do or not do…well, I’d turn that around and point out that I’m not sure a mamma cow would want humans to take her milk, either! I think that gut health is just a popular topic these days in general, right? I hear people from all different diet “camps” discussing gut healing, and how they’re using various foods to do it. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and comment!

  12. What a wonderfully thoughtful post! I have wondered many of these things along the way and, while I am not completely plant based, I have certainly moved much more to whole food diet with limited leaner meats and fish. I am also currently in the middle of a Low FODMAP process of elimination. Diet is so very personal and should be personalized for sure but real unprocessed food is the best start for everyone. Thank you for sharing your experience. It has given me more to “chew” on.

  13. I was a whole food based vegan for a year and my health declined drastically. Switching to the WAPF recommendations has helped me reverse chronic illness. I truly believe that their recommendations make the most sense with our biology because plant foods contain significant amounts of anti nutrients that need are dealt with through fermentation, soaking, sprouting, etc. This is a fact that the plant based community ignores completely: You are not what you eat; you are what you absorb. Bioavailability of nutrients is key, and when talking about bioavailable nutrient density per dollar, being more animal based easily gets you a better bang for your buck!

  14. I’m curious if you’ve read the Nourishing Traditions book? I grew up vegetarian, planted based, my dad owned a health food store, and I think not eating meat robbed me of crucial vitamins like B12, copper, magnesium, iron to name a few. I find it more worrisome though, people promoting planted based diets, don’t consider the massive amounts of glyphosate being sprayed on any number of non organic foods used to create the new craze of “plant based foods.” So much of it is processed garbaged, green washing marketing campaigns. You allude to why you suddenly changed your mind about animals foods but just leave it at that with no explanation, what was your reasoning? The more I learn about nutrition the more I’m seeing the importance of clean animal products, but that’s just works for me and my family. To me, paying more for local, grass fed meat, or organic dairy just makes sense, then I just budget out other things. Not to mention, organic produce from your local farmer is cheap! I would gladly eat that than plants grown void of proper minerals from poor soil quality, sprayed with neurotoxic chemicals. It blows my mind that we groan about the price of pesticide free produce but your wallet is a political stance too, and I sure as hell am not on board with large corporations poisoning our soil and water just so we can safe a few dollars at the grocery store…

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience and food background. I, too, am frustrated by pesticide usage and soil depletion. It does worry me that pesticides are so ubiquitous in the foods we eat, but I’m hopeful that it will get increasingly easier and more cost-effective to access cleaner meats and produce. It’s already much easier than it was when I first got in to health and blogging a decade ago! I totally agree that greenwashing and marketing is something we have to be wary of, regardless of the food group in question! We have to base our core diets around real, plain food, and regulate “healthy” snack and convenience foods to treat-only status.

      I have read the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, not just made recipes from it but actually sat down and read the margins and introductory material and all that. But I would encourage anyone to read the books I mention in the next post in this series (here) that offer an alternative perspective on animal products. Reading books like those is what led us to switching our diet to be more plant-based. To put it simply, I think that large amounts of animal products contribute to heart disease and strokes. I think this is an area that people owe it to themselves (and their kids) to research further and come to their own decision. I know there’s so many differing opinions about diet stuff and I don’t want to upset anyone…I just enjoy using my blog to share about what our family is learning and experiencing!

      Regarding the difficulty of getting sufficient types of vitamins on a vegan diet: I know that can be a struggle for some people who are trying to eat strictly vegan. We’re not, though. And I’ve found that it doesn’t take that much meat, that often in order to meet those B12 and mineral needs.

  15. I was raised vegetarian, New Farm style with an emphasis on macrobiotic and had issues with my skin until I took a GAPS/Traditional foods approach as an adult. My grandma has been veg for over 40 years and she has severe osteoporosis. My aunt has been veg her whole life and her teeth are falling out at 40. These are not Taco Bell vegans. My aunt is an acupuncturist and my grandma has been studying nutrition her whole adult life. They eat cleaner and with more intention than most people I know but their families have severe issues with teeth and bone health. If plant based works for your body, great. But kids need dense nutrition and soy products wrecked my body as a kid. I get that quality animal products are expensive but I can’t put a price on my daughter’s health. It’s been hard to watch my family’s health deteriorate while clinging to an ideology. Plant based wouldn’t be a thing for most regions if we didn’t have corporations pumping carbs and fake meat to the grocery stores. If you are veg, just be mindful of malnutrition in yourself and your family, because the risk is real.

  16. I spent about 27 years as a single mom, so your sentence,

    “The WAPF diet is prohibitively expensive and prohibitively time consuming.”

    caught my attention, to say the least.

    I remember telling my 7yo, that I was too tired to chase the frisbee, but would be glad to play with him if he could throw it straight to me. I felt so tired that wherever I sat, whatever position my limbs “landed” in, they were content to stay in!

    My vegetarian friend was very helpful in teaching me how I could maintain my weight. I have experienced short times of vegan/vegetarianism being purifying and energizing and healing! But I always return to a lack of vibrancy. My vegetarian friend, has had more illnesses and joints replaced than I have kept track of.

    I found out about the WAPF from reading The Maker’s Diet by Dr Jordan Rubin. I was convinced he had too much time and money! Lol

    Nevertheless, after much prayer, I felt like I should start with what I had, a package of chard seeds, and the venison the police gave my neighbors to help feed their boys, but which they did not like. I purged my cabinets of the refined, chemically tinged ” foods.” I bought fruits and vegetables when they went on sale, and ate what others rejected. My son and I went dumpster diving. I appreciated others’ freezer burned meat.

    My family was mostly unsupportive at my attempts to convert our traditional recipes.

    I persisted.

    I roasted meat one day, reheated the next, boiled the next, and used those leftovers repeatedly – finding it quite convenient – actually!

    Motherhood’s mornings can be hectic getting ready for work and school, but I found that the step of creating bioavailability of nutrients by pre-soaking the oatmeal/grain/pancake batter the night before and thawing the fruits helped the mornings flow more smoothly!

    I did not buy all of the kitchen appliances suggested. Somehow, I made do without them and we remained very happy! (I had some LITTLE arms that enjoyed stirring and helping cook while spending time with me. 🙂 I put them to use and have some wonderful memories! I will never forget when he followed the directions to “mix by hand!” Lol)

    Cod liver oil,etc., became luxuries, and I believe I am beginning to see the wisdom in eating fish eggs instead!

    I worked part-time. I did not receive any government handouts. We made the wisest purchases we could with the resources we had, and over the years learned how to enjoy more time harvesting “weeds” with the goats we were surprised to be allowed to have in our neighborhood, than shopping produce aisles.

    Today, I am happy to report at 54 years old that my son is the picture of health, my Raynaud’s syndrome has healed completely, my menstrual cramps went away before I had a blissfully easy menopause, my skin is becoming softer and smoother, I have married a man who is rehabbing and expecting to get off of disability within the next year, and best of all we have energy and endurance to laugh, talk, work, and play together even after helping those around us who are just beginning to eat and thrive!

    I pray for all who read this to make wise decisions.

    1. Betsy, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your story with me and with other Richly Rooted readers. It is so valuable to read other people’s real experiences like this, and for people to see the possibilities in how to make a given lifestyle work! You have a powerful story, and I’m so glad your perseverance was rewarded in a beautiful way!

      Also, I wanted to add that even though I know many people can make an exclusively-vegetarian or vegan diet work, it can be tricky (and perhaps your vegetarian friend was missing some nutrients). For my family, we have found a good balance with eating reduced animal products, and much more fresh produce and beans than we used to, but certainly not cutting out animal products altogether.

  17. Folks who avoid meat (and maybe dairy & eggs) for any reason other than a sympathy for animals – because of their execution and suffering – will ultimately return to meat. Emotion (that silly childish thing, according to some people) is needed for a life-long, easy-to-follow, meat-free diet. See what Annemarie Colbin has to say on this topic in her book Food and Healing, namely that there are “sensible” reasons for avoiding meat, and then there are personal, psychological, emotional ones. She herself does not appear to have much concern for the suffering of animals, but she doesn’t deny that other people do.

    Thank you for considering this viewpoint. There is no humane meat. I am not ashamed of my emotions.

  18. Good article. While I agree getting the meat/fats right is expensive, I find it interesting that the same care mostly isn’t applied to getting our plant-based food right, whether that be from an environmental or ethical standpoint. The WAPF has always said we should do what we can with the resources (money/time) that we have and has always taken care not to come across as being elitist. Can there really be any ethical consumption (including PB) in an industrialised food system?

  19. I am not interested in committing to any specific diet. Our goal is to eat the best uncontaminated, nutrient dense, healthy foods. We are not purists, but make the best decisions on a daily basis.
    (Make home made cookies and compare your ingredients next to store bought ingredients is eye opening!)
    Sally Fallons books are fascinating to me and much of it makes complete sense. We have all three of her books as well as vegetarian and others.

    1. That sounds like a good food philosophy! And I know…WHY do pre-made, store bought foods need to have SO many ingredients?? So much you can eliminate even if you just make the “same” thing at home!

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