Who knew cod liver oil could be such a hot topic? Mud-slinging and accusations, organizations splitting, and a lot of confusion. Fermented cod liver oil or . . . ? Most people involved in this uproar seem to be floundering because the bigger question is being completely overlooked. What did Weston A. Price actually have to say on the subject? What did he use himself, and what did he recommend for others?
I have a special interest in this because of a wonderful opportunity I was given to research the topic using Dr. Weston A. Price’s own unpublished material. His numerous studies related to cod liver oil spanned several decades, and many of these documents are safely housed within the archives of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (PPNF).
Some of my work involves research and writing on nutrition and health-related topics for Vision.org and for PPNF. In 2014, I was asked by PPNF to research some material in Dr. Price’s unpublished manuscripts. The project is on-going, and spending months poring over his work has been quite revealing for me, raising some important questions. And yes, some of those questions lie at the heart of the current cod liver oil debate.
But the story really began years ago, when I attended my first Culture Club 101 Real Food Symposium, heard the discussions about fermented cod liver oil and met the person behind it. The reasoning seemed sound on the surface, so I looked into it a little and even took the fermented oil myself.
Never one to swallow something “hook, line and sinker,” though, I wanted to learn more about it. I began to cast a wider net, looking more deeply into the issues.
A few things along the way made me wonder, and now with these priceless PPNF resources at my fingertips, suddenly I was privy to more information than what I could find before. And it was eye-opening.
One obvious question that kept surfacing was this: “What kind of cod liver oil did Dr. Price himself use and recommend?” With the research I was doing for PPNF (with original material from Dr. Price), I was able to delve into the task of finding the answer. “Just the facts” became my mantra. I wanted to know the truth. It became a bit of an obsession as clues from across the centuries appeared, and the archivist and others at PPNF found more related information, sometimes penned by Dr. Price himself. And then one day it all came together. I couldn’t believe it—this was huge. Now there was no more doubt about what kind of cod liver oil Dr. Price recommended.
Yet I kept seeing well-meaning bloggers and others claim that Dr. Price recommended this or that—and I knew first-hand that these comments were somewhat misleading . . . well, okay, some were dead wrong.
I had also studied enough of Dr. Price’s unpublished work to know that the right kind of cod liver oil in the right amount was good . . . very good. But the wrong type and the wrong dose can cause headaches, paralysis, heart problems and even death. And all this misinformation being put forth—again, by well-meaning but misinformed commenters and others—could have serious health consequences for those who innocently followed bad recommendations.
Clearly, it was time for a much-needed article on this very important subject. Those at PPNF gathered all the data from Price’s documents and other works, and PPNF has published this information in the Summer 2015 issue of the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing.
I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to look into this using the original sources, and I’m grateful that the wonderful people at PPNF are willing to share this information with the general public.
Concerned, health-conscious people are asking a lot of questions about this. If you want PPNF’s free e-book on what Dr. Price had to say about cod liver oil, just sign up on their home page: http://ppnf.org/
If you would like to read the entire article in the Journal online, here’s the link for PPNF members: http://ppnf.org/summer-2015-journal/
And here’s the article in a blog post dealing with this topic (accessible by non-PPNF members): http://blog.ppnf.org/cod-liver-oil-a-historical-perspective/
Well, there’s the story behind the article. Hope it helps you make informed decisions about what to share with your loved ones.
Until next time~