Life in its fullness is Mother Nature obeyed ~ Dr. Weston A. Price

I had the honor of attending the Wise Traditions Conference in King of Prussia, PA this past weekend. This was the first time I attended the conference, but not the first time I wanted to go. I wanted to attend last year, but found out about it too late to make the plans necessary to travel across country. This year I was invited by the Weston A. Price foundation to attend the event and cover it for my blog. So Roberto and I were given free press passes to the conference on Saturday giving us the chance to attend many of the talks, and meet many vendors, some of whom I have known for a long time, online, but not in person. And of course we were also able to meet a few food bloggers, too!

The Weston A. Price Foundation or WAPF, is at the heart of the fight for real food. The conference this year focused on The Politics of Food. The topic was perfect timing in light of the many government crackdowns that many small family farms and food artisans have been facing in recent months, which calls into question whether people in the USA have a right to choose what foods they eat. It is also timely as another Food Safety bill is about to be voted on.

(Jenn with Jill Cruz at WAPF table, Jenn with Sharon Kane, Sally Fallon Morell and Jeffrey Smith)

For those who are new to the work of Dr. Price, Saturday’s conference opened with a talk by Sally Fallon Morell, President of the WAPF and author of the wildly popular book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Her talk was extremely informative. Dr Price was a prominent dentist of his day. In 1939 Price published Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, a book that details a series of ethnographic nutritional studies performed by him across diverse cultures of isolated non-industrialized peoples from the Swiss Alps to the South Seas and although the foods in the diets were different, there were some key similarities like the consumption of animal fats and fermented foods.

Price believed that various diseases endemic to Western cultures of the 1920s and 30s – from dental caries to tuberculosis – were rarely present in non-Western cultures. He argued that as non-Western groups abandoned indigenous diets and adopted Western patterns of living they also showed increases in typically Western diseases, and concluded that Western methods of commercially preparing and storing foods stripped away vitamins and minerals necessary to prevent these diseases.

Well, I for one appreciate and agree with Dr. Price’s findings. Which is why I follow the foundation’s guidelines for preparing whole foods. We have been eating this way for over a year and it has made a tremendous difference in our health from digestive and skin issues to emotional balance and energy. It has been profound. With a diet rich in full fat, good quality (humanely raised, grass and pasture raised) animal products, I have lost and then maintained a healthy stable weight for over a year, gained more energy to sustain my busy and active lifestyle, and despite popular and mis-informed belief, I have maintained an excellent cholesterol level and all my other blood tests came back normal or above average. All this on a diet full of cream, butter, cheese, raw milk, bacon fat, etc. *

In Fallon’s talk she discussed how eating local, sustainable, non-industrial foods is a political act these days since it keeps money local, brings prosperity to small farms, instead of commodity farms and produces healthy people, which means less money for the pharmaceutical industry. Very wise woman.

We also listened to two other amazing talks on Saturday. One by a hero in my book Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology and author of Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating

Jeffrey opened his talk with some interesting reports:

* In 2010 Monsanto went from being Forbes company of the year to the worst stock of 2010.

* The Nielson Survey named “GMO Free” the fastest growing claim for store brands in 2010. Meaning the trends are moving in the direction that consumers want – which is non-GMO foods!

* The American Academy of Environmental Medicine stated that all Mds should prescribe non-GMO foods to all of their patients.

For helpful tools to make sure you are not eating GMO foods look on the package for these words “Non-GMO Project Verified” in the coming months and visit this page to download the Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

The third talk we attended was given by Judith McGeary of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance . Judith has been working to amend the Food Safety Bill, so that it will not destroy small farms. To find out more about how you can help please voice your concern to your senators as this bill is about to be voted on. Also make sure to check out the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund to learn more about your right to eat the foods you want and those rights that may be taken away.

In between talks we took a break to peruse the vendors at the conference. I had a great time meeting some new friends and seeing face to face some people that I have been working with online for a long time. Some of my favorite vendors were:

WAPF
Sharon Kane who wrote “The Art of Gluten Free Sourdough Baking”
Cultures for Health
Farm Fromage
Shiloh Farms
To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co.
U.S. Wellness Meats
Vital Choice

There was also an amazing farmers market, featuring the local bounty and many Amish vendors from nearby Lancaster County, PA. We bought some delicious cheeses and fresh raw apple cider for lunch. Between that and all the samples we were able to try, we were quite satisfied!

To end our day at the conference we listened to some fellow bloggers on a panel about how to use social media for effective food activism. It was a great talk that was presided over by the wonderful and fabulous Kimberly Hartke from Hartke is Online! Other panel members included:

Kari Carlysle, Linked In guru
Kelly The Kitchen Kop
Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen
Ann Marie Michaels of Cheeseslave
Jill Nienhiser, webmaster for WAPF

There is so much to learn at Wise Traditions. All of the talks we attended were just part of what was available during the 3 day event. It is remarkable how much they offer and how well organized it was. My hat off to the organizers who did a superb job with every last little detail. I have decided to make this conference a yearly event. The information obtained is too important not to go.

If this sounds right up your alley and you are sad to have missed the event this year, fear not! All talks were recorded for your listening pleasure! You can purchase them here.

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional. This information is based solely on my own personal experiences with dietary change. Please consult a medial professional before making any major changes to your diet. Also the animals the products I eat come from are raised humanely on small family farms on diets of grass. Do not expect these results from the same products at a regular grocery store.