Nourishing Diets: How Paleo, Ancestral and Traditional Peoples Really Ate by Sally Fallon Morell

Nourishing Diets by Sally Fallon MorellBacon Phat
00:00 / 1:05:51

Nourishing Diets fills us with ancient wisdom and reminds us that there are alternatives to the Standard American Diet.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Sasha snowboarding, skiing, and going to J tree

  • Julia hunting and building her tipi

  • Rabbit curry, rabbit broth, smoked rabbit

  • Lauricidin

  • ADP

  • enzymes

Show notes:

The episode

23:55: Weston A Price writes about how he mitigates some developmental problems associated with Down’s Syndrome by moving the maxillary bones off the pituitary gland:

With the movement of the maxillary bones laterally, as shown progressively in Fig. 126, there was a great change in his physical development and mentality. He grew three inches in about four months. His moustache started to grow immediately; and in twelve weeks’ time the genitals developed from those of a child to those of a man, and with it a sense of modesty. His mental change was even more marked. The space between the maxillary bones was widened about one-half inch in about thirty days...In a few weeks’ time he passed through states that usually take several years.


Nourishing Diets is a crucial book for anyone wondering what traditional people actually ate. It is filled with first-hand accounts of indigenous diets all over the world, and it removes speculation based on 20th century inventions of what constitutes a healthy diet. It considers regions all over the world and leads to the conclusion that regardless of geography or individual differences in available food, ancestral diets have one thing in common: they are by default organic, full of nutrients, health-promoting, and free of any manmade crap.

This is an excellent book to keep on the bookshelf for frequent reference if you are curious about how to incorporate more ancient foods into your diet, live like your ancestors, and/or want to not be fooled by moronic adherents to the USDA's dietary guidelines.


29:55: Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson

32:34: A lot of primary sources, like Samuel Hearne of the Hudson Bay Company


34:15: Pemmican


36:15: What puddings used to be, i.e. black pudding, suet pudding, haggis


39:05: Critique of the book. Sally writes,

We can’t go back to a primitive lifestyle, nor would we want to. We must be careful not to romanticize tribal or village life with its constant spectre of food shortages or even famine, the pressure to conform, the dread of ghosts, the ritual attached to all aspects of existence, the lack of comfort, and the constant exposure to smoke.”

But a huge percentage of the world is depressed, and the rate of Americans taking antidepressants has tripled since 2000.


41:40: Until modern life, babies would not have been separated from the rest of the family at night


44:58: As societies get more affluent, they’re less happy; and wealthy people are not inherently happy.


46:00: Land would not be what it is without human manipulation


47:50: Weston A Price: food unfit for insect life is unfit for human life.


49:40: Through research and discovery, physical degeneration can go away if you reintroduce good food into diet. Example: pigs deprived of vitamin A will give birth to pigs without eyeballs.

52:44: Foods given to women while getting pregnant. For example: 


Whether their diet was carnivorous or largely plant-based, the African groups that Price studied supplemented the diet of pregnant women and growing children with nutrient-dense foods—including liver, insects and deep-yellow butter from pastured cows—that ensured ease of reproduction and optimum growth. The Maasai and related herding tribes placed the time for marriage after they set fire to dry pastures preceding the rainy season, after which green grass came up for the cattle to graze. They also took pains to give every pregnant and lactating woman, and every growing child a daily ration of blood drawn from their cattle.


54:00: Foods of the inuit, like oogruk (seal), kiviak, which is made by stuffing hundreds of dead birds into a dead seal and allowing it all to ferment and break down.


56:30: Nixtamalization of corn meal 


68:20: Of Thailand, Ms. Fallon writes,

Given the fat that until recently, most Thai people—and their livestock—consumed water that can only be described as filthy, and that both animal and plant foods serve as hosts to numerous parasites and pathogens, it seems miraculous that the entire nation did not succumbed [sic] to food- and water-bourne illnesses. On the contrary, most Western tourists express amazement at the sight of healthy, smiling children swimming in the murky waters of Bangkok’s canals.

The answer lies in the protective factors inherent in the traditional Thai diet. Pickled garlic, onion and peppers, consumed frequently as condiments, inhibit the development of parasite eggs. The practice of fermenting pork and other meats kills the larvae of the trichinosis organism. Native maklua berries are an effective treatment for hookworm.

But the most protective factor in the Thai diet—and one most ignored by investigators back in 1950—is the lauric acid found in coconut products. Coconut oil contains almost 50 percent of this twelve-carbon saturated fat, which the body turns into monolaurin, a substance that efficiently kills parasites, yeasts, viruses and pathogenic bacteria in the gut.


60:40: Don’t try to create the paleo diet; rather, look at what people ate and use that to inform what the paleo diet actually is.