Wise Traditions 2011 (Lisa) Friday


Wise Traditions 2011, the 12th Annual, Weston A. Price Foundation Conference.  November 11th to 14th, 2011.  The theme of this conference was “Mythbusters”.

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Oatmeal Bar Breakfast

The conference began on Friday with an “Oatmeal Bar”.  Breakfast was not included in the conference registration fee but was provided as a fundraiser for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.  I know from experience that I don’t do well with oatmeal for breakfast, even when it is properly prepared.  So I bought two boiled free-range eggs and the sausage and biscuits.   There were also blueberries, crispy nuts, butter, and cream for the oatmeal, and tea, kefir, local grass-fed milk, fruit and other items for sale.


The conference was broken into several “tracks” that were all running at the same time.  This made choosing which one to attend difficult.  On Friday the tracks were:

Part 1, 2, & 3 by Sally Fallon Morell
Part 1, 2, & 3 by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
Part 1, 2, & 3  by Stephanie Seneff, PhD
Part 1 – The Biodynamic Preps by Hugh Lovell
Part 2 – Biodynamic Bovine Care by Michael Schmidt
Part 3 – Biodynamic and Practical Bee Care by Christy Hemenway
Part 1 – Traditional Cooking by Tara Rayburn
Part 2 – Broth Based Soups and Stews by Jessica Prentice
Part 3 – Gluten-Free Sourdough by Sharon Kane

During the first session I was so excited about being at the conference, that I found I couldn’t sit still to listen to any one speaker, so wandered the sponsor’s tables and peeked in on all the talks.

Traditional Diets by Sally Fallon Morell

Sally’s six-hour presentation is well worth attending.  You owe it to your self to see it at least once.  We have shown a version of this presentation at our Popcorn Review DVD showings, and will show it again sometime in the future.

Gut And Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, HMC, CCH

Gut & Psychology Syndrome - Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD

When I attended my first Wise Traditions conference in 2007, hearing Dr. Natasha speak was the highlight of my trip.   The basis of her talk is that the brain is intimately connected to what is going on in the gut, and that healing the digestive system can clear up many so-called psychiatric or neurological (and physical) disorders. We have shown her presentations at our Popcorn Review in the past, and will probably show this presentation, as  I understand that there was new information presented that was not available a couple years ago.

Nutrition and Metabolism by Stephanie Seneff, PhD

Nutrition and Metabolism - Stephanie Seneff, PhD

Stephanie’s presentations are very in-depth and interesting.   We have shown two of Stephanie’s presentations at our Popcorn Review.  She makes a clear biological case for needing such nutrients as cholesterol, fat and sulfur in the diet.

Biodynamic Preps - Hugh Lovell

Farming Track

This year I didn’t stay in any of the Farming track presentations.  In 2009 I spent most of one day in the farming track.  I find the farming tracks very interesting even though I am not a farmer.  I like to know what good farmers are doing, and what I, as a consumer of farm products should be looking for.  I would love to show some of the DVDs from this track to local farmers and consumers.

I mostly attended the Food Preparation track.


Friday Lunch

Friday Lunch featured some very interesting coconut wraps, cheese, veggies, salsa, chicken and baked apples for desert.

View the conference menu.

Broth Based Soups and Stews

Broth Based Soups and Stews - Jessica Prentice

After lunch I attended Broth Based Soups and Stews.  Jessica Prentice, owner of Three Stone Hearth in California and author of Full Moon Feast, is a wonderful speaker.  She has a great way of grouping together different recipes so that you can see the patterns behind them.  In this presentation she talked about how traditional cultures all over the world used similar techniques to make soups and stews.  She gave examples of recipes that fell into different categories of cooking techniques.  This gave us the opportunity to look at recipes that we decide to make not simply as instructions to follow, but allows us to see the pattern it fits into, and this gives us flexibility to modify the recipe.

Gluten-Free Sourdough

Gluten -Free Sourdough - Sharon Kane

For the third session of the day I continued with the food preparation track and attended Gluten-Free Sourdough. Sharon Kane described her experience of learning to make traditional sourdough breads only to discover that she was severely gluten intolerant.  She was told on all the sourdough-making sites that gluten-free sourdough was not possible.  Through her own perseverance she discovered the process needed to work with gluten-free grains and seeds.  She uses kefir (?) to start each batch in order to get the fermentation process going quickly enough to work with these alternative grains.  She does not keep a sourdough starter going at all times, but instead usually starts each batch with fresh starter.

Gluten -Free Sourdough - Sharon Kane

At the end of the session Sharon Kane gave us all samples of her Teff-Carob bread.  Yummy!  She had helpers toasting pieces in the back of the room and the smell was simply wonderful.

I bought her book and hope to be able to teach these recipes sometime in the future.

Friday Dinner

Friday Dinner

Pork sausages, pulled pork, baked beans, garlic sauerkraut, potato chips fried lard, bread and lots of butter.  For a sweet treat there was watermelon slices drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  The sausages were a little too dry by the time I got any, but otherwise fairly good food.  I thought the balsamic vinegar on watermelon was a strange combination, but it was nice.

The meals are all eaten at large round tables that hold at least I had a lovely conversation with someone I met at the table.  She said she was going to blog about it.  I took a picture of her “butter with a little bread”.

We WAPFers like our butter! This was my neighbor's bread & butter

Evening Activities

Sally said that at previous events they used to wonder what people wanted to do in the evening, and tried organizing social events.  When conference reviews came back, they found that what attendees wanted was more education!

So in the evening we had the choice of five more activities:

Radical Medicine: “Removing the Obstacles to Cure” by Louisa Williams
Film: The Greater Good by Leslie (Bradshaw) Manooklan
Obesity Myths by Ben Pratt
Cod Liver Oil by David Wetzel
Real Food – Bloggers Panel

Cod Liver Oil

The History of Cod Liver Oil - David Wetzel

I attended the presentation on Cod Liver Oil.  David Wetzel is the owner of Green Pasture, the first cod liver oil bottler in modern times to make cod liver oil through the original technique of fermentation.

His presentation covered the history of cod liver oil including many photos of original packaging and advertisements for cod liver oil.  He outlined the change that occurred when industrial processes of refining, bleaching, deodorizing the oil took over the market.  Instead of the advertising focusing on the health benefits of cod liver oil (that were well known at that time) they focused on the tastelessness of the product.  They claimed how easy it would be to get your children to take it.  They didn’t seem to know or maybe care, that the tasteless product lost most of its nutritional value.

I thought it was a great talk.  Unfortunately this presentation was not recorded.  I spoke to David Wetzel after his talk and found out that he is willing to come to Eugene (from Nebraska) to give this presentation to us if we have 25 people who are interested in hearing it.  Please let me know if you would be interested in hearing this talk.

Traveling Light

This was the first year I attended the conference without my son along.  He went to his first conference in Virginia, when he was just barely two, and slept through most of it in a carrier on my chest.  He is six now, and had a great time spending the weekend with his grandparents, aunt and cousin.  The conference provides childcare and activities for children for a reasonable extra fee.  My son did fine in childcare,  but  I enjoyed “traveling light” this time.

Stay tuned to the Eugene Chapter Newsletters for more highlights from the Wise Traditions 2011 conference.

Wise Traditions 2012

It is not too early to start planning to attend the 2012 conference, which will be in California!  Several of us from Eugene will be attending, and I am sure there will be opportunities to carpool, caravan, travel by air, or share rooms together.

4 comments to Wise Traditions 2011 (Lisa) Friday

  • Elizabeth

    I am interested in hearing David Wetzel speak. I hope you can get 25 people together because we purchase their products and would love to learn more!

  • There is evidence that cold liver fish oil is good for you. However, if you pucarhse fish oil supplement you must make very sure that the supplement is natural fish oil and not a chemical equivalent. There is good evidence that all the vitamin supplements are a waste of money, the reason being is that they are in fact chemical equivalents to vitamin A etc. they are not the natural vitamin.Further, a pill or a cod liver oil pill is very concentrated and is not combined within its natural food matrix. The stomach will see this as an overload and will dispose of it as the body will only absorb the amount of natural vitamins it needs. Overdoses of vitamin C are a waste of money.So as fish oil etc are very complex molecules and since the beginning of time the body has only received them within and combined with the matrix of the food and can only really handle such things if delivered naturally then rather than spend money on capsules or 50$ every 2 weeks I suggest that you spend the cost of the fish oil capsules on actual oily fish and eat the fish.

  • Linda Morris

    I can’t seem to find any articles about pressure canning bone broth. Is it possible and still retain its nutrients and gelatin? I have 40lbs of beef bones to process and don’t have the room this time to freeze the broth. HELP !!!

    • Linda,

      I have no experience with pressure canning broth, and I can’t find any Weston Price information on it either. I know that Sally Fallon is not a big fan of pressure canning. In Nourishing Traditions she advises against it, but she was talking about cooking grains & legumes, not stocks. So I don’t know. Use your best judgement. I am sure that pressure canned stock is better than NO stock.

      A few other ideas:
      1) Condense your stock. Use no more water than just needed to cover the bones. After the stock is done you can boil it down further to make it concentrated. Add more water as needed when you use it.

      2) Invest in a second freezer if this is going to be a regular occurrence. The local St. Vincent de’Paul has some pretty cheep ones sometimes. Put it in the garage if you don’t have space in the house.

      3) Leave a fat layer on the beef stock, this helps keep the broth longer in the fridge.