It was a mother’s nightmare. Jennifer had contracted meningitis during her pregnancy, and her son was born premature, at just 29 weeks. Weighing only two pounds, he was in desperate need of his mother’s milk—but all Jennifer could produce was one ounce every few hours. When he was finally released from the NICU at four months old, the doctors sent him home on oxygen, with a grim prognosis: Chronic Lung Disease, and almost constant hospital visits over the next 12 months.
Out of desperation, Jennifer spent hours online, searching for something that might help her son. Finally, she stumbled across the website of the Weston A. Price Foundation, an organization that promotes a healthy, natural diet—and shares recipes online for homemade raw milk baby formula.
Jennifer was willing to try anything, so she bought some raw goat milk from Split Creek Dairy in Anderson, South Carolina, and switched her baby from commercial formula to her new homemade concoction.
Soon afterwards, he was weaned off the oxygen.
In fact, he was so healthy over the next 10 months that his doctors were shocked. He caught a cold only once, from Jennifer, and is now an active, playful 14–month–old, with only three doctors following him, down from the nine he started out with.
This is only one of the myriad gushing testimonials on the Weston A. Price Foundation website. Several pages are even dedicated solely to baby photos sent in by grateful parents of little ones who have been helped by the homemade formula or other dietary recommendations on the site.
So who was Weston A. Price? And what exactly does this organization advocate?
Interestingly, Dr. Price was a dentist. In the 1930s, he began a series of studies to find the major factors contributing to good dental health. For 10 years, he travelled from his native Cleveland to remote places all over the world, seeking out isolated tribes not yet influenced by modern Western culture. What his research led him to believe was that dental problems, from cavities to crooked teeth, were caused by poor nutrition, and not genetics. Tribal people still consuming traditional diets had strong, straight, beautiful teeth, while those who had abandoned those natural, nutrient–rich diets in favor of modern, processed Western food, had all the same dental woes as Westerners.
Especially of interest to Dr. Price was the fact that pregnant and lactating mothers in tribal societies were fed a special diet, with extra nutrients to aid in the growth and development of the child. Armed with his new understanding of the influence of diet on health, he developed a set of guidelines designed to help Westerners imitate the native wisdom of those tribal peoples.
While most of his recommendations are almost common–sense these days—eat whole, unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables, meat from pasture–fed animals—some of them do not resonate with the mainstream Western approach to food. The prime suspect is his recommendation to drink raw milk.
Price’s foundation puts a special emphasis on feeding raw milk to infants if breast milk is not an option. Story after story can be found on the website, detailing the life–changing effects homemade raw milk baby formula has had on children around the country.
Little Harrison had lost 18% of his body weight while breastfeeding due to a thyroid problem with his mother, which left her devastated. Luckily he bounced back quickly when fed raw goat milk.
One such success story comes from Julia McClure of Oregon. Already a raw goat milk aficionado, she drank it all through her pregnancy, and even during labor! She breastfed her son, Harrison, for about a month, but as she explains, “I knew instinctively something was wrong. He was always breastfeeding, and every time I took him off, he cried. I called my midwife, and she said he had to be put on formula right away, because he was starving and had lost 18% of his body weight. I was devastated.”
McClure soon learned that a thyroid problem was to blame for her milk production problems. Already aware of the benefits of raw goat milk, McClure quickly made the connection: “He had one bottle of [commercial] formula, and then I started to think about giving him some watered–down goat milk I had in the fridge.”
Searching online for advice, she discovered the Weston A. Price goat milk formula recipe on realmilk.com. She immediately made the switch. “I saw a difference in him right away—he started gaining weight very fast. He drank his raw goat milk formula until he was 13 months old.”
Stories like McClure’s, and Jennifer’s, are everywhere on the foundation’s website. The health benefits of goat milk, combined with those of the other natural ingredients called for in the recipe, seem to be a godsend to infants battling health issues. These recipes can be found at www.westonaprice.org.