As a follow up to my article 10 Reasons We Don’t Recommend Juicing, some have wondered if the traditional people Dr. Weston A. Price wrote about consumed juice. I looked up juice in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration published by The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, who owns the copyright of the photograph above. I found the following sections where juice is mentioned:
Dr. Price writes about his observations in Switzerland:
The athletes were provided with large bowls of cream as constituting one of the most popular and healthful beverages, and special cheese was always available. Practically no wine was used because no grapes grew in that valley, and for centuries the isolation of the people prevented access to much material that would provide wine. In the Visperterminen community, however, the special vineyards owned by these people on the lower level of the mountain side provided grape juice in various stages of fermentation, and their feasts in the past have been celebrated by the use of wines of rare vintage as well as by the use of cream and other dairy products. Their cream products took the place of our modern ice cream. It was a matter of deep interest to have the President of Visperterminen show us the tankards that had been in use in that community for nine or ten centuries. The care of these was one of the many responsibilities of the chief executive of the hamlet.
The grape juice served in various stages of fermentation doesn’t appear to be a regular, daily experience according to my read, but rather a celebratory experience.
When Dr. Price later traveled to Ireland he reported:
In the interior of the Isle of Lewis the teeth of the growing boys and girls had a very high degree of perfection, with only 1.3 teeth out of every hundred examined that had even been attacked by dental caries.
An important part of the study of these islands was the observations made on conditions at the fringe of civilization. A typical cross-section of the residents of the seaport town of Stornoway can be seen assembled on the docks to greet the arrival of the evening boat, the principal event of the community. The group consists largely of adult young people. In a count of one hundred individuals appearing to be between the ages of twenty and forty, twenty-five were already wearing artificial teeth, and as many more would have been more presentable had they too been so equipped. Dental caries was very extensive in the modernized section of Stornoway. Since an important part of these studies involved a determination of the kinds and quantities of foods eaten, it was necessary to visit the sources available for purchasing foods in each town studied. In Stornoway, one could purchase angel food cake, white bread, as snow white as that to be found in any community in the world, many other white-flour products; also, canned marmalades, canned vegetables, sweetened fruit juices, jams, confections of every type filled the store windows and counters. These foods probably made a great appeal both because of their variety and their high sugar content to the pallets of these primitive people. The difference in physical appearance of the child life of Stornoway from that of the interior of the Isle of Lewis was striking. We found a family on the opposite coast of the island where the two boys shown in the upper half of Fig. 6 resided. One had excellent teeth and the other had rampant caries. These boys were brothers eating at the same table. The older boy, with excellent teeth, was still enjoying primitive food of oatmeal and oatcake and sea foods with some limited dairy products. The younger boy, seen to the left, had extensive tooth decay. Many teeth were missing including two in the front. He insisted on having white bread, jam, highly sweetened coffee and also sweet chocolates. His father told me with deep concern how difficult it was for this boy to get up in the morning and go to work.
In this case, sweetened fruit juices were one of the “displacing foods of modern commerce” that resulted in a decline in dental health.
Later, Dr. Price describes his own use of juice in some of his own dietary experiments with children:
They were brought to a mission where we fed them one reinforced meal at noon for six days a week. The home meals were not changed nor the home care of the teeth. The preliminary studies of each child included complete x-rays of all of the teeth, a chemical analysis of the saliva, a careful plotting of the position, size and depth of all cavities, a record of the height, and weight, and a record of school grades, including grades in deportment. These checks were repeated every four to six weeks for the period of the test, usually three to five months. It is important to note that the home nutrition which had been responsible for the tooth decay was exceedingly low in body building and repairing material, while temporarily satisfying the appetite. It usually consisted of highly sweetened strong coffee and white bread, vegetable fat, pancakes made of white flour and eaten with syrup, and doughnuts fried in vegetable fat.
The nutrition provided these children in this one meal included the following foods. About four ounces of tomato juice or orange juice and a teaspoonful of a mixture of equal parts of a very high vitamin natural cod liver oil and an especially high vitamin butter was given at the beginning of the meal. They then received a bowl containing approximately a pint of a very rich vegetable and meat stew, made largely from bone marrow and fine cuts of tender meat: the meat was usually broiled separately to retain its juice and then chopped very fine and added to the bone marrow meat soup which always contained finely chopped vegetables and plenty of very yellow carrots; for the next course they had cooked fruit, with very little sweetening, and rolls made from freshly ground whole wheat, which were spread with the high-vitamin butter. The wheat for the rolls was ground fresh every day in a motor driven coffee mill. Each child was also given two glasses of fresh whole milk. The menu was varied from day to day by substituting for the meat stew, fish chowder or organs of animals. From time to time, there was placed in a two quart jar a helping similar to that eaten by the children. This was brought to my laboratory for chemical analysis, which analysis showed that these meals provided approximately 1.48 grams of calcium and 1.28 grams of phosphorus in a single helping of each course. Since many of the children doubled up on the course, their intake of these minerals was much higher. I have shown in the preceding chapter that the accepted figures for the requirements of the body for calcium and phosphorus are 0.68 grams of calcium and 1.32 grams of phosphorus. It is obvious that this one meal a day plus the other two meals at home provided a real factor of safety. Clinically this program completely controlled the dental caries of each member of the group.
This is a relatively small amount of juice offered at the same time as high vitamin natural cod liver oil and an especially high vitamin butter was given. It is followed by a nutrient dense meal replete with animal protein and organ meats. Similar to the recommendations that are describe in the article I wrote on the topic. I did not find any other mention of juice in his book.