Okay...I (Becky) have secret love. Natural health and nutrition.
Let me clarify: Not that I always ACT on my interest in this subject (anyone who knows me knows that if you give me anything crunchy and salty - don't expect to see it back), but I find the study of how food and our bodies work together fascinating. And as I start to prepare meals for our little family, my interest has been peaked - because in this crazy world we live in of processed foods, hormones in dairy, artificial colors, flavors, etc, I want to make sure that we are making good, wise choices.
A friend recently let me borrow a book after telling me about the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. Price was a dentist who practiced in the 30's and 40's and in the latter part of his practice, saw a troubling increase in chronic disease (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) plus in increase in people having to breathe through their mouth because their nasal cavities were too small, therefore increasing teeth crowding, etc.
After he retired, Dr. Price went on a tour of the world with his wife (some retirement, huh?!) specifically to find the healthiest people he could find (a.k.a people groups with little or no chronic disease, healthy mouths, gums, teeth, and sinuses), and see what they ate.
Surprisingly (or not), the healthiest people he found were tribal people all over the world. Any people group that was separated from "modern society" were by far the most rigorous, healthy, and happy people he found. They lacked diseases like heart disease and diabetes; mental disorders were practically non-existant, and they were all able to breathe through their noses - which meant their teeth and gums were in good shape.
In trying to find the common denominator of what made these people so rigorous, Dr. Price found that most of these groups ate bountiful amounts of unpaturized dairy, animal fat, and whole grains.
A.K.A Cheese, Butter, and Bread - the three no-no's of any one on a "modern diet."
I was as baffled as you probably are. What?
In the cookbook, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, she talks about Dr. Price's findings in detail, and actually shows studies that have been done in the previous century that have promoted the low-fat diet - all of which were inconclusive or skewed.
So your friend and mine Julia Child really had it right all along - my new motto is: pile on the butter, baby!
Crazy, huh? As I continue reading, I will let you in on more of what I learn.
Also, check out http://www.westonaprice.org/ - this is the website of the Weston A. Price Foundation.