I got a free issue of Food and Wine
magazine in the mail the other day. As I was flipping through it, I noticed an interesting article titled “Should You Eat Like an Icelander?” (hence the title of my blog which answers this question!). Here’s the link to the full text of the article in case you are interested:
The opening blurb on the article proclaims that “Icelanders are among the planet’s healthiest, happiest people. Their incredibly pure diet could be the secret”. The article then goes on to describe the amazing seafood, lamb, and grassbased dairy that is available to the citizens of this country.
Mmmm. Something wasn’t quite right about this analysis. Then it struck me, it isn’t the pureness of the Icelandic diet that is the reason for such a healthy, happy people! Pureness of the food couldn’t possibly be the secret as some of the most unhealthy, depressed, nervous, anxious people I know are vegetarians (vegans are the worst – ever shake hands with a vegan? You need to go put on a sweater afterward as their hands are so cold and clammy). No, pureness of the food is definitely not the contributing factor to Icelandic wellness as folks who take the time and effort to be vegetarian typically go to great lengths to eat organic – even biodynamic foods.
By this point, the answer was staring me in the face! Why hadn’t the author seen the obvious? In her defense, perhaps stating the obvious was not an option, else the editor would have axed the article for its political incorrectness!
The REAL reason why the diet of the Icelanders contributes to such a high level of physical and mental well being is because it is heavy in animal foods! Of course, this is exactly what Dr. Weston A. Price discovered on his journey around the world back in the 1920’s. Every single traditional culture that enjoyed a high level of physical and mental wellness consumed animal foods. And, the more northern the culture, the MORE animal foods that were consumed (apparently, very high levels of fat soluble vitamins are required to tolerate the cold winters, so consuming more animal foods affords a survival advantage).
The truth about the necessity of animal foods in the diet to achieve optimal health is slowing making it out to the public – you just have to read between the lines sometimes to see it!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.