May 27, 2010

It usually begins with Weston Price

The cook on the government boat was an aboriginal Australian from Northern Australia. He had been trained on a military craft as a dietitian. Nearly all his teeth were lost. It is of interest that while the native Aborigines had relatively perfect teeth, this man who was a trained dietitian for the whites had lost nearly all his teeth from tooth decay and pyorrhea.

- Weston A. Price, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, p. 160

My name is Mike. I believe that traditional, whole, natural foods--especially cholesterol- and saturated fat-rich animal products--are healthy, and, equally heretically, that all government intervention results in social and economic harm. This is a blog especially for folks who are convinced of the latter but not the former--for those who know all about Austrian price theory but little of Weston Price theory, whose politics revolve around natural rights but whose diets do not yet revolve around natural foods. (Those who are convinced of the former but not the latter, or who are already convinced of both, are also encouraged to follow along. Those who are convinced of neither have probably long since moved on, or are otherwise mopping up the residue of their exploded brains.)

Few people move from the premise, I'm a libertarian, to the question, what should I eat?, as though there's any essential connection between the two, but in this blog I'll attempt to sketch out just such a connection. I aim to persuade libertarian-minded men, women, and babies that, contrary to official government-sponsored nutritional advice, not only can eating saturated animal fat and other traditional, whole, natural foods ("real food") make you a healthier person, it can make you a more consistent libertarian as well.

But before we dive into all of that and what it means, for now I only want to point out how many prominent bloggers writing about traditional foods and real (i.e. not low-fat) nutrition also just happen to be libertarians, or otherwise libertarian-friendly. For example:

Health blogger Michael Miles is a voluntaryist who often reports on the government's war on real food.

Cholesterol skeptic Chris Masterjohn has posted at

Paleo blogger Richard Nikoley supplies intermittent reminders of his resolute market anarchism.

Melissa McEwen leans libertarian and eats a paleo diet.

Don Matesz links to the Mises Institute and eats a paleo diet.

Meat and veggie eater Art DeVany is a libertarian-minded economics professor.

And my personal favorite, health researcher Matt Stone, a self-described "political atheist," has referred to Ludwig von Mises as "the Weston A. Price of economics." (For libertarians who don't know the name, Weston A. Price is the Ludwig von Mises of nutrition.)

And the list goes on. Still more real food bloggers (of a specifically paleolithic/evolutionary persuasion, in this case) are listed here.

What can you conclude from this? If you're already a libertarian, there's little cognitive dissonance in ditching processed supermarket food products and the low-fat paradigm of nutrition in favor of traditional whole foods (including lots of saturated fat) and a radically altered understanding of what constitutes sound nutrition. But more on that later.


Toban said...

I don't read Matt Stone's site, but paleos consider him a total douchebag.

Mike Jones said...

That was certainly the east coast-west coast feud of health blogs if there ever was one.

You might want to check out Matt's blog and decide for yourself. I've participated over there for a few months, and in my view, he's cordial, helpful, and extremely generous with his time. But more importantly, he confronts problems and paradoxes and ties together novel and often conflicting ideas in a non-dogmatic way that acknowledges the incredible complexity of nutrition while making intuitive sense of it at the same time. I won't deny that he's offended some people, and anyone is free to dislike him, but I think his ideas deserve consideration all the same. I don't doubt that paleo is the promised land for many people, but for me, it never solved the riddle of my particular health problems, whereas I think Matt's theories--at least in part--have.

I really like Richard as well, and in the end, I would prefer to benefit from both of their perspectives rather than limiting myself to one side of a partisan divide.

Mike Jones said...

Like them or not, remember that even Murray Rothbard read and learned from the Marxists!

Mike Jones said...

I should add that I'm aware of the irony in proclaiming, "I would prefer to benefit from both of their perspectives rather than limiting myself to one side of a partisan divide" on a blog as politically partial as this one. What I mean is, I would rather not limit my reading to one side of a partisan divide. It's fine to pick a side--whether in politics or nutrition--but for the sake of intellectual growth, refinement, and open-mindedness, I think it's important to continue reading opposing views.