This post is in response to some confusion that has surrounded Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO) in recent months, as competing products try to discredit it.
At the end of this post I propose a solution that can perhaps bring both ‘sides’ together for a common purpose. But please bear with me for a moment as I lead up to that…
Anyone relying solely on science for the answers has missed the point of this FCLO issue entirely. You have committed two sins that defy the very logic for you being here (in the traditional food space):
Sin #1: You are insisting that science trumps experience. Yet we are here exactly because we are tapping into the personal experience of our ancestors. Our science will never be able to completely understand water, let alone FCLO. The march of science is relentless because it is forever incomplete.
Sin #2: You are dismissing personal responsibility. Each individual is supposedly taking responsibility for their own health by joining this subculture, as they attempt to wrest control away from big business, big government, and whomever else is trying to deceive them or make them dependent. Trying to make WAPF or GP responsible for individual ‘FCLO abuse’ violates this essential idea of personal responsibility. The people must become aware of, and responsible for their own experience.
Dr. Weston A. Price did not use science to ‘find’ the answers. He used it to confirm what was already proven by the traditional people. The entire idea of pursuing ancient traditions is founded on the fact that they were much healthier than us. Their experiences proved the efficacy of their diets. Science just helped communicate that to us. Dr. Price looked for healthy people and tried to figure out why they were that way. He succeeded.
Dave Wetzel has actually done a similar thing, which most of you are disregarding. He is trying to provide a completely natural FCLO that eschews modern intervention to the greatest extent possible, and relies only on traditional processes, in order that it might provide benefits that we cannot yet quantify or understand. He succeeded.
Now we have people like Dr. Kaayla Daniel and David Gumpert making (IMO) libelous statements in an attempt to throw out the wisdom of experience. In my opinion they are certainly guilty of libel; however, their more serious crimes are committing the sins I mentioned above.
They are attempting to return people to the leash of scientific ‘authority’ – give up your personal responsibility, ignore the wisdom of experience, and be guided only by the rhetoric of supposed leaders; which of course would be them, and not WAPF. Ironically, they do not have science to support their guidance, so they are using fear, uncertainty, and doubt (which is why it is libel in my opinion).
They are asking us to ignore the countless people around the world reporting the spectacular effectiveness of FCLO for nearly ten years. They are also asking you to disregard the science. Yea, OK, it was rancid fish oil from China that was mixed with vegetable oil, devoid of nutrition and filled with toxins. Yea, ok, that is the product that cures rats of rickets in rat assays, helps heal cavities and eczema, etc., etc., etc.
Let’s put all that aside.
If there is a common issue that we can rally both sides around, perhaps it is this: There is a problem in the consumer base with FCLO ‘abuse.’ While the term and idea has not been discussed to my knowledge, I believe that both sides would agree that it matches the single concern about FCLO: There are people out there that are not compatible with FCLO, and they need help in understanding that.
This is not at all new or unique. All food products are potentially dangerous to someone, and we must stop promoting the idea that personal responsibility is not required. A glass of wine is good for you. For most people this is true. But not for all. And obviously alcohol abuse is not good for you. This advice is given by countless doctors and experts. And it is the same as the FCLO advice, and any number of other foods. Dave Wetzel has a daughter that is not compatible with FCLO, and he promotes that fact.
We need to encourage more personal responsibility, and educate consumers about weighing their own experiences with that of others, and with science too. This would be a legitimate and helpful pursuit that would be in line with everyone’s concerns.
There is definitely FCLO abuse occurring in the consumer base, and that doesn’t have to mean that we are blaming the consumer. Some people are just too eager, and the product is somewhat new to them, and to all of us. FCLO is like a magic pill for some people, and those stories of success are what drive the product sales – and possibly product abuse. In some ways, the product is a victim of its own success.
Blaming WAPF and GP is not correct, appropriate or constructive by any stretch. Certainly, we can all improve. Empower the people to use their own experience and make their own judgments – not only about FCLO, but about all their foods.
(If you wish to comment, please consider doing so at the Weston A. Price Foundation, where I have duplicated this article as a post here.)
Yet another good person seems to have been taken down by Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s fraudulant report on Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO).
Kate, who runs her blog Modern Alternative Mama, has been a long time user and supporter of the GP FCLO products. But following Dr. Daniel’s report, she turned against her own experiences and wrote a scathing personal attack on the GP FCLO, and Green Pasture’s owner, Dave Wetzel. Having been a fan of Kate, I was shocked, and so I addressed her post head on here.
For convenience, here is my post in its entirety:
Wow Kate, your comments are shocking. You used these products with great success for years, through several pregnancies that ended with perfectly healthy children, and now you throw the products, the company, and the man under the bus with false claims?! I thought you were better than that. I believe that you misled by Dr. Daniel into feeling betrayed by Green Pasture, and you are striking out with an emotional response.
You have been seriously duped by Dr. Daniel’s hidden agenda. You are factually incorrect on numerous counts, and you are perpetuating false statements. Do the research. Experts, i.e., professionals in the field, have shown that all of Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s accusations are false. See this detailed report by Chris Masterjohn, which happens to be in line with all previous tests and reports:
No tests have ever confirmed the Green Pasture FCLO to be rancid. None. Ever.
Summary of Facts (according to experts in the field) about Green Pasture’s FCLO issue:
- It is NOT rancid. This is explained in great detail by Dr. Masterjohn.
- It is indeed from fermented livers, and this process is explained in detail.
- It is Cod. Any search will show you that pollock is one of the few true cod.
- The nutritional analysis of Vitamin K2, D, A, etc. is very complex; however, the Green Pasture FCLO unquestionably demonstrates a powerful and effective nutritional matrix.
- The FCLO certainly contains Vitamin K2, and Dr. Masterjohn invites anyone to challenge his previous reports on that topic.
- Transfat can be from microbial activity, and does NOT imply vegetable oil is present. Dr. Masterjohn presents several possibilities for the transfats, and does not consider their quantity to be significant.
- Green Pasture is not the only CLO recommended by WAPF.
Again, no report has ever confirmed the Green Pasture products to be rancid. Dr. Daniel tries to imply, insinuate, infer, and speculate from her own secret lab results, but even those numbers are all dismantled by the experts. In fact, the lab tests from Dr. Daniel’s report actually confirms that the Green Pasture FCLO is an exceptionally clean, powerful, bioactive nutritional cod liver oil. The science is undeniable in this. And the experience of users is even more convincing.
And now you are running with Dr. Daniel’s agenda, adding more insinuations and speculation? Why? What has motivated you to attack a product that has helped you, your family, and your readers?
Some things that you must reconsider in your posts:
1. The fact is that nobody knows exactly what Green Pasture’s process is, as it is a trade secret. Yet you state as a fact that you know the process is the one you reference, and you condemn it. But that is simply not the case. Lab analysis confirms that the FCLO is indeed from a fermented process, but that exact process cannot be confirmed. You do a nice job of pulling up all that historical information, but that is irrelevant, and only serves to distract from the facts.
Furthermore, you misunderstand the concept of fermented CLO. It was never the oil itself that was fermented. It is the livers that are fermented, as the fermentation is used to extract the oils from the liver, and in doing so also imbues the end product with a bioactive nature. And the fact remains that no tests have shown the Green Pasture FCLO to be rancid or putrid.
2. You claim, at great length, that the Green Pasture FCLO is rancid, and yet you have no test results that show it. I find it offensive that you associate links to generic tests about the dangers of rancid oils, free fatty acids, etc., when those links have nothing to do with the product. In addition, you take a personal swipe at Dave Wetzel by quoting him on something that you think is relevant. This is especially sad, as Dave has a tremendous amount of great information on his site, and his opinions and research are respected by professionals in the field. Surely you must know this, and surely you could have posted numerous quotes from Dave that put him in a good light.
3. Anybody can look in Wikipedia or elsewhere and see that pollock is true cod. There is no single fish that represents ‘cod’ in a scientific way. The top level group of the cod family consists of four fish – Atantic cod, Pacific cod, Greenland cod, and Alaskan Pollock. These are all considered ‘true’ cod. That is the genetic taxonomy. In addition, the pollock only accounts for a small percentage of the livers, so any speculation about nutritional impact is meaningless.
4. The politics that you discuss within and around the WAPF have nothing to do with the test results, the analysis of the experts, or the personal experience of users such as yourself. You have a lot of disparaging comments that have nothing to do with the product, and I was sad to see that. As I mention in my opening, it seems to me that you felt betrayed and responded emotionally. It is Dr. Daniel that has betrayed you and the community, and not Dave Wetzel. You have three healthy children that are living proof of the safety and efficacy of the FCLO.
5. There is overwhelming guidance on the dosage of FCLO, the dangers of overdosing, and the fact that it is not for everyone. Yet you pull an obscure quote from Dave Wetzel (which seems likely to have been a typo) to imply that he is pushing dangerous doses. The facts are clearly in Dave’s favor here, as he and others have spoken often on the topic, and the dosages are published in many places.
You article is in disagreement with every test report, and the analysis past and present from WAPF, Dr. Chris MasterJohn, Chris Kresser, and many others. I believe that Dr. Daniel’s misleading report incited an emotional response from you, as surely you must have felt betrayed. You should be relieved to see Dr. Masterjohn’s report that shows Dr. Daniel’s accusations to be unfounded, and thus confirms that your many years of using and recommending FCLO were indeed sound practice and good advice.
Good luck to you, your family, and your readers.
Chris Kresser is a great guy and a great healer. Absolutely a knowledgable and likable force in the natural health community. I enjoy his podcasts and blogs, but I have a very serious concern that I need to voice here.
It seems to me that Chris is compromising himself for monetary gain, and while I would prefer not to believe that, it keeps poking at me via the FCLO issue (Fermented Cod Liver Oil, from Green Pasture). In truth, I am sure it is not about money. I think Chris has just been duped by marketing and sales at Rosita EVCLO, and by Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s recent report.
Chris has years of great experience and results with the Green Pasture (GP) FCLO, but has recently switched to the EVCLO product, which he gets a commission on. Commissions are fine, except when you marginalize a competing product without any valid justification – as he has now started to do to the GP FCLO.
The first evidence that I saw was in June 2015, in this article. I was dismayed, and made several posts; none of which he responded to. Here are my posts:
No Response 🙁
Again, no response 🙁 And my comments there are particularly relevant to what has just happened with Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s ridiculous attack on the Green Pasture FCLO. To which Chris responded here. It is a well written attempt at being neutral, and yet borders on slanderous with its unfounded insinuations.
My full response to his article is posted in his comments section here; although I do not know if we will approve it, so I present it here in full:
Let’s talk a bit about boron. Boron is an element, and a mineral that our body needs. Without enough of it, our body fails to make proper use of calcium, magnesium, and lots of other things. We don’t need a lot, but it is critical that we get the little we need. A great many problems can be fixed by this single mineral.
I was motivated to write this by a recent experience with a family member. Nearly a year of constant visits to doctors and hospitals did nothing to resolve a constant pain that the patient was experiencing in her arm and chest. Other than the pain, she seemed to be in perfect health. None of the doctors had any idea what was wrong, and no recommendations for further action. They assigned her to physical therapy and said that she had ‘fifty’s shoulder’ and was simply getting old. (A common catch-all diagnosis in Japan)
I suspected it was a chiropractic issue, and finally got her to agree to visit one. Of course the doctors and hospitals never recommended one (Sadly, chiropractics are still not recognized as ‘doctors’ in Japan). But then as she was preparing for her visit, I learned some other things that she hadn’t told me before. Chiefly, that she was having severe body cramps every night, which not only disrupted her sleep, but left her in pain. Cramps.
The first thought when hearing about cramps – magnesium. But she has a pretty good diet that should compensate for the magnesium deficiencies in our food. To be sure, we recently added magnesium and D3 supplements to her daily routine. However, boron alone has already started to have an impact. The cramps are subsiding and she is sleeping better.
Historically, boron was plentiful in lots of plants, so mankind never had a problem getting it. But now our soil, and thus our plants, are severely deficient in boron. And of course that means we too are now deficient.
The solution is sustainable agriculture, where we once again establish nutrient rich soils that bear nutrient rich plants. But that is a long-term solution. What about now? If you can’t get enough boron from your food, there is a rather unusual way to supplement, and it involves Borax.
Sally Fallon’s boron tonic: mix 1 teaspoon of borax into 1 quart of water and mix well. Use only 1 teaspoon of this base mixture mixed into a glass of water each day.
This is arguably the very best boron supplement that you can get, and it cost practically nothing. The very best borax (i.e. Two Mules brand) has been mined from the same place for over a hundred years, and a five dollar box will last you a lifetime. Pure. Cheap. Plus, it isn’t another pill to take. It is just a glass of normal tasting water – that you could use to wash down other supplement pills, I suppose. Magnesium and D3 would seem like the ideal combo. (Although I am generally not a fan of supplementing with pills)
If you are suffering from cramps, osteoporosis, or any number of other ailments – which might actually be attributed to calcium or magnesium deficiencies – boron might be your solution. But don’t take my word for it. Read more about boron here:
And back to my current experience… Another hint that boron was probably the problem – she was losing mobility in her shoulders, which seemed like arthritis, according to the doctors. I could suspect K2 deficiency here, but she eats a ton of natto and other K2 rich foods.
She may yet need to make other diet adjustments, but it seems that this tiny little bit of boron every day might just do the trick and restore her shoulder mobility, eliminate her cramps (and restore her sleep!), and eliminate her constant daily pain. That is an awful lot of birds with one stone.
As always, it all comes down to proper nutrition.
Many toxic sources that often go unnoticed are the products that we use for dental care. Toothpaste, mouthwash, picks and various tools that are steeped in chemicals. You can eliminate them all with natural homemade solutions that are much more effective.
The information in this post owes much to the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, and the books from Ramiel Nagel that present Dr. Price’s work in addressing tooth and gum care.
There are many additional books and websites that provide various toothpaste or tooth powder recipes, and one of the most basic ‘secrets‘ is to use baking soda and some sea salt with colloidal silver (or hydrogen peroxide – but only if you have no metal in your mouth). I used this powder for some time, and then moved to an equal parts baking soda and bentonite clay mixture in coconut oil for a toothpaste. Both are very effective.
One caution: for some people, the gums can respond negatively to too much baking soda, which is likely due to making your ph too high. This depends a lot on the individual and their diet. It was a problem that baffled me for a while with my own personal use. Thus I have reduced the amount of baking soda that I use.
And now I use the recipe below, which is copied from The Healthy Home Economist, who in turn adapted it from The Wellness Mama’s Squeezable Toothpaste Recipe. I highly recommend reading many of the related articles on The Healthy Home Economist blog, as there is a wealth of information there on this topic.
Ingredients for Healthy Remineralizing Toothpaste
6 Tablespoons of virgin coconut oil
1 Tbl baking soda
5 Tbl calcium carbonate (where to find)
1-2 Tbl bentonite clay (where to find)
20-30 drops of peppermint essential oil
5-10 drops of lemon essential oil
30 drops of trace minerals (where to find)
Filtered water as needed
Mix all the ingredients well. If the mixture is too hard or thick, add a few splashes of filtered water.
It easy once you have everything on hand. I also use a squeezable silicon tube, recommended by the Wellness Mama, to replicate the convenience of a toothpaste tube.
It should be noted that the amount of essential oils can be adjusted a lot, as not all brands are of equal potency. And you can adjust the other contents too, to find a preferred taste and texture.
How About Oil Pulling?
I highly recommend oil pulling as an effective detox method for not only the mouth, but the entire body. I put a spoonful of virgin coconut oil in my mouth every morning and swish it around for fifteen or twenty minutes, and then spit it out (into a paper towel). I also rinse with colloidal silver (CS) before and after this, keeping the CS in my mouth for at least a minute each time. It is usually effortless for me, as I can do it while I am prepping for the morning. I sometimes do it before, during, or after exercise or running. Brushing is done after that.
Maybe you like to use mouthwash? OK, here is a great mouthwash ‘recipe’ that you can make at home. I will reprint it here, but the linked article is definitely good reading:
- 2 teaspoons calcium carbonate powder
1 teaspoon xylitol crystals(*I do NOT recommend xylitol*)
- 10 drops concentrated trace minerals liquid
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil (where to buy essential oils online)
- 5 drops lemon essential oil (where to buy essential oils online)
- 5 drops spearmint essential oil (where to buy essential oils online)
- 2 cups of filtered water
Xylitol is a little bit controversial, so I do not recommend it. If you really need a sweetener, I recommend pure stevia; although I personally do not find the need for any sweetener.
Why Should We Use These Recipes?
As far as cavity fighting, I already use colloidal silver as a rinse before and after oil pulling. But fighting the cavity is not enough, as some damage will always be done. We need to heal. We need to remineralize.
The entire idea of ‘cavity fighting’ is irrelevant if our diet is good (i.e. following the WAPD guidance), as our cavities will heal. And this mouthwash and toothpaste are aiding in remineralization, which is the key point for ‘fighting’ cavities.
Our ancestors thrived for millions of years without any of this – why? – because the body eliminates cavities and repairs teeth naturally when it has the nutrition it needs. Look around you. Animals and people throughout history have maintained perfect teeth. Diet is the single most powerful influence on the health of your gums and teeth.
But the recipes above help us stay healthy in several different ways:
- They displace toxic products.
- They help detox the mouth and body.
- They help fight pathogens that cause cavities.
- They help the body heal cavities.
Even with a perfect diet we are still inundated with toxins from our environment, so these types of recipes are a great way to help maintain health.
Personally, I have some old fillings, occasional cavities, and gum disease ( but no root canals), and my overall oral health seems to be steadily improving. – although it backslides quickly when I get lazy with my diet. The biggest and quickest positive impact always seems to come when I supplement with Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil from Green Pasture. I have seen pinhole cavities disappear when taking those superfoods, and sensitivity and bleeding will cease.
Search the internet and you will find many stories (and photos) of people healing their teeth and gums with similar recipes and diet.
Microgreens, micro greens, baby greens, etc., cover a broad range of popular herbs and vegetables that many people grow at home; usually hydroponically.
This post is about two of the most popular and widely recommended:
- Broccoli Sprouts
- Wheat Grass
In short, I recommend that you grow your own broccoli sprouts – in soil, and buy a powdered wheat grass from Pines (or an equivalent source).
Our motivation for growing these greens is to get maximum amounts of clean nutrition, and that is what is behind my recommendation. Clean for us means clean for the environment too.
Broccoli sprouts should be grown in a natural soil, organically. Hydroponic gardens are not natural, not organic (but still great for people with space limitations). Combine soil growing with composting and you have a very efficient and very healthy gardening cycle. After your initial soil purchase (assuming you don’t already have compost available), you’ll be net positive on soil. And you are not consuming any other items that would be required for hydroponics, so you have less impact on the planet. Your only recurring cost is the seeds.
Broccoli sprouts are one and done. Meaning that you grow them, pull out the entire plant and eat it all (You could leave the roots, but it is easy enough to shake them free). The soil is then dumped in your compost, where nutrients will be restored naturally.
Wheat Grass on the other hand, is not one and done. We continue to harvest the same plant, and thus managing the nutrition of the soil or water is a challenge. And no matter how perfect and organic my efforts may be, it is highly unlikely that I can match the nutritional profile of an organic grower like Pines. I cannot reproduce their pristine natural conditions, and their powdered products are made without any chemical or mechanical processes that could damage or reduce nutrition. The powder is still completely natural, and the nutritional profile is superior to anything I could grow at home. Equally important, in this case, is that purchasing is actually more ecological than growing – as long as the product comes from a place like Pines.
I am not a fan of supplements – heavily processed, artificial nutrition (i.e. synthetic vitamins), that is often loaded with fillers and chemicals and sold as pills and powders. It is always better to get nutrition from natural food sources. And there are many great food items that look like supplements – meaning they are packaged in pills, powders, liquids, oils, etc. Pines Wheat Grass is one good example, and the Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil at Green Pasture are others.
– pumped with synthetic vitamins
– heavily processed, thus damaging the oil
– risk of vitamin imbalance
– too much omega 3 oil can be bad
There is no doubt that ‘generic’ fish oil has saved people’s lives. It is a magic elixir in some situations, both historically and still now. But I do NOT recommend it for the reasons stated. It gets its glory from special cases, and is therefore not worth the risks. Use the Green Pasture products, which are the safest and most nutritious, or find other safe sources for your omega 3s, vitamin A, D, etc.
And always check your sources very carefully.
Here is a great story about GMO vs. Organic that will illustrate a few of the dangers of GMO very clearly for you. Watch the short video of this Swedish family. Equally important, notice the subtle (and grotesque) way that Yahoo plants seeds of doubt in their article.
It is a good read, with a lot of good information, but Yahoo (and/or Lisa Moskovitz, RD, founder of New York Nutrition Group, ) is blatantly wrong in the latter part of the article. I cannot emphasize enough how wrong (and insidious) their comments are:
1. False statement: There are some misconceptions about organic eating that everyone seems to get wrong, says Moskovitz. “The most common one is that organic foods are more nutritious,” she explains. “Very little, if any, evidence supports this theory. For example, an organic carrot is very similar in nutritional value to a conventionally grown carrot.”
Really?! That is absolutely false. The differences can be astronomical.
Even among organic vegetables, nutrition is not equal, and may not even be close. It is well known and well understood that the planet faces a soil crises, and many plants are seriously depleted of many nutrients. Boron is just one good example, as it is essential for us, and yet vegetables can be devoid of it if the soil has been depleted. And most soil has been. More ‘popular’ examples:
Vitamin C content can vary by over 300% and Carotenoids by over 200%. Yes, we are talking about double and triple the nutrition. But in truth, it is far worse, and can easily vary by 1,000%. Here is a study that compares six carrot growers, and note that they are all grown in equal conditions, as this is not a GMO vs. Organic study. It is simply highlighting the differences between cultivators:
You will quickly see the variations of 200 – 300%, but also notice what happens in storage. This is essential, as GMOs (and irradiated foods, and various other chemical treatments) are intended to increase shelf life. Thus, not only do they start off with less nutrition, but that nutrition is further diminished due to storage. By contrast, organic foods spoil quickly, and therefore must be eaten sooner, so they start with more nutrition, and are closer to that level at time of consumption.
It’s easy to see how organic food can have TEN TIMES the nutrition of GMOs and other non-organics. This difference is not merely due to the genetic manipulation, but due to a complex array of factors that are determined by the farming and supply chain practices surrounding the products.
2. True, But (Intentionally?) Misleading: Lisa says “While organic crops can still carry pesticide residue, it is well under government safety thresholds.”
There is no reason to make this kind of statement, other than to plant seeds of doubt in the readers mind. However, I would like to add to her statement, as she should have…
Please do realize that even among organic foods, the differences can vary greatly, so do your homework and find food sources that you trust. It is worth the effort.
– Do not trust everything your read, no matter the source. Dig deep. Lisa gives us a great example in this article, as she is an ‘RD’ from ‘The NY Nutritional Group’ and yet her ‘facts’ are completely false.
– Do NOT trust ‘Organic’ labels! The government requirements for ‘organic’ are often meaningless, and such ‘certifications’ are often too costly for truly organic food suppliers. Government regulations often allow the use of chemicals to varying degrees that will shock you. You are far better served by finding local farms that you can visit or research with confidence. It is not nearly as hard as you think.
Support the small farmers, and you will make yourself and the planet healthier. And hats off to that Swedish family for a nice concise video to illustrate their efforts and the effects.