Interview with Nourishing Traditions Author Sally Fallon


Image by Azure Standard

While checking on my Azure order the other day, I noticed a link up to a recent article of an interview between Susan Booth (of Azure Standard) and Sally Fallon Morell, the author of the book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
and President of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

If you've never listened to or read anything by Sally before, it's worth reading this article just to get more of an overview of the Foundation and the type of whole foods, traditional diet that they promote (which is also the type of diet that I love to talk about and cook for my family).

Here is just a brief snippet from the article, but I would really recommending that you read the entire interview here:

Booth: You were saying that
the best diet has a lot of fat and cholesterol in it because of these
fat-soluble vitamins. And that kind of goes against the grain these
days when there is so much heart disease, diabetes, and obesity… what
you’re saying is exactly the opposite of what we’ve been hearing in the
mainstream media.

Fallon: Right. All of these
diseases have occurred as we’ve cut back on cholesterol, as we’ve cut
back on saturated fats. So, they’re obviously not being caused by
cholesterol and saturated fat. It just doesn’t make sense in any way,
shape or form. And there’s a huge volume of literature that contradicts
the theory that cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease. What
the Lipid Hypothesis did was create a health crisis of enormous
proportions because it has made people turn away from the very foods
they need to be healthy.

Booth: So, do you think that
if you take your cod liver oil, eat liver, and use butter and cream, it
is possible then to get all of your nutrition from food and have it be
complete? Or do you think supplementation is still necessary?

Fallon: I think it’s a goal to get
all your nutrition from food, and of course, cod liver oil is a food.
But, a lot of us have started off in not-ideal health. I personally
need to take some natural vitamin C, especially during the allergy
season. I’ve always had to. And that’s kind of where I ended up. I’m
sure that if I had started out with a better diet, I wouldn’t need all
that vitamin C. So, I take vitamin C, and I also take B12 just because
there are a lot of symptoms of B12 deficiency in my family. So while
the goal is to get your nutrition from foods, for a lot of people, some
supplementation is necessary.

Booth: If there was something
that you could tell Azure’s customers — the one thing you want them to
take away from this article — what would you tell them?

Fallon: I would eat the way your
ancestors ate and prepare the foods the way they prepared them. Now, by
ancestors, I mean you have to go back to before they were
industrialized. In America, that’s several generations.

Are you a fan of Nourishing Traditions and the Weston Price Foundation? Do you agree with their counter-cultural stance on animal foods, fats, cholesterol, traditional diets, etc. and eat that way yourself?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. I think you should always get the most from your food instead of using pills and suplements to bolster your foods.

  2. I liked many of the concepts in NT; what turned me off to some of it, I suppose, was the phrase “diet dictocrats” and others like it. I don’t believe that mainstream medicine is actively out to hurt people. Perhaps they’re misinformed, mistaken, or even bullheaded, but I think that most doctors and nutritionists are out to help their patients. So that aspect of the book bothered me a bit.

    However, I have always thought low-fat was a stupid idea, and fermented/raw food intake makes total sense to me. We eat a lot like NT recommends, although we cannot afford to do organic produce that we don’t grow ourselves and I can’t find anyone who’ll sell me raw milk. (Don’t post trying to convince me I can afford organic produce. I can’t, not where I am. :) )

    One book I liked that’s similar but, IMO, somewhat more balanced in the language, is “Feeding the Whole Family” by Cynthia Lair.

  3. Christine says:

    I have the Nourishing Traditions cookbook and have taken several classes based on NT. I’ve also started reading Weston Price’s book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”. It is quite eye opening as to how our modern diet has impacted poor health and poor development of the body.

    Ever since I discovered my husband and I have Candida though, we have been doing a diet and supplement protocol by Bee Wilder which is based on Nourishing Traditions. In fact, I came across Bee’s candida articles while on Sally Fallon’s blog at

    It’s been 9 months for us and 8 months from my friend, Ann and her autistic daughter. The amount of detoxing and healing our bodies are doing is tremendous.

    Bee has a ton of articles on her website exposing the myths of our modern diets and modern medical industry.


  4. I had only read her approach to soaking grains and started doing that myself whenever possible, until I came across this article. I now have reservations about doing so since I could possibly be doing more harm than good! All the conflicting information can be a little overwhelming at times, but what I come back to is that my health is ultimately in the hands of the Lord. I don’t want to spend my time obsessing over food. I want my heart to be consumed with Him.

  5. Melanie, I don’t want to comment too much on your husband’s situation with the cholesterol because I just don’t know enough details about his health and diet or know enough about that particular area of nutrition to want to advise you. However, I would recommend that you check out a book my Mary Enig on fats. She has a couple that are excellent, called Eat Fat, Lose Fat and also Know Your Fats. I bet both of those would offer you some more insight on the issue and maybe some practical suggestions for your husband.

    Kelly, I actually wrote several long posts on raw meat a while back. It’s a very interesting subject! Here are the links:
    Part 1-
    Part 2-

    Amy, I have also noticed for myself that as long as I am eating real foods, I am able to easily maintain a really comfortable weight, and I don’t really ever fluctuate with it (except now, of course! :). Once I made the switchover, the bit of extra weight that I used to struggle with just fell away and I have had no weight issues at all for the past 6-7 years. I don’t pay the slightest bit of attention to my calories, fat consumption, etc. and I freely eat animals fats (butter, cream, red meat and the like) as well as wholesome sweeteners in homemade treats and still feel fantastic!

  6. I love it too, though we follow more of The Maker’s Diet. I’ve always had blood sugar issues (hypoglycemia) and eating the NT way has really stabilized it. And it took off some stubborn pregnancy weight that was holding on too. Thanks for sharing, I’m going to read the interview all the way through when I have a minute.

  7. Jen,

    thank you so much for the book! I put it on my amazon wishlist.
    We only use angus beef from a local farmer (I can see them from my window,while they are eating grass all year round).
    Because of my husband’s family history and his diagnosed inability (?) to digest certain cholesterol, I’m still sceptical. But even without lard and excess animal fats, Nourishing Traditions changed our eating for the better :o)


  8. Melanie, I’m curious as to the source of your animal fats and meat. If you are using grass-fed pastured beef, pastured pork, and chicken, (and fats from these animals) there should be no problem with weight gain or cholesterol. If you were using industrial meats and fats… then yes, there would be a big problem.

    I can’t remember the source, but I’ve read that blood cholesterol levels have no meaning in relation to heart disease (I know it goes against EVERYTHING we’ve been told by the government and the health care industry). Also, the book Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes is a good resource for information on diet, fats, and health.

  9. I have checked Nourishing Traditions out of the library several times and have incorporated some of it into our diet- mostly going back to real foods.

    I have a friend from England and she was so excited when she came to our house and saw some oatmeal soaking on the counter for the next morning- her mom did this growing up and she had never known why and her mom didn’t even know why, just that it was how to prepare it. Also, old timers in rural areas always have pickled items as part of a big meal- never understood why until I read the book.

    The thing I find most interesting though is that in eating real foods, I weigh less with no effort than I did before eating low fat, low calorie, blah blah. I used to count calories and fat obsessively and exercised way too much. Now I still do a fair amount of exercise because I enjoy it, but nothing like I used to. And I drink whole milk and butter and all of that stuff I used to avoid…and weigh 10 lbs less (well, when I’m not pregnant! lol!).

  10. I have had the book for a few years and have slowly incorporated many of the practices into our daily life. Some of it is too out of our reach at this point in life, so I do what I can with the resources I have access to currently!

    I am curious to know what you think about her perspective on eating raw meats.

  11. The book has definitely changed our eating habits and my nutritional views for the better. Although at first seemingly revolutionary, in the end it really is common sense if simply take a look at historical eating habits vs. our post-modern ones. I look at all our farm neighbours– lean men who live on a diet of meat and potatos with plenty of butter and lard etc and I haven’t known any to have heart problems.
    Hoping you are hanging in well and peacefully Stephanie.

  12. I love the book. I was first exposed to it over 2 yrs ago and it was way to overwhelming to change all my cooking at the time. Over the past year I’ve implemented more and more. Her philosophy does go against the mainstream media and medical communities. As a nurse, I was astonished to think that everything I’d been taught wasn’t necessarily based on science, but on government policy and big food corporations’ interests. If we all ate the way Sally Fallon teaches, the small family farm wouldn’t be a thing of the past. The Weston Price chapter that I’m a part of does its best to send lots of business to local farmers.

  13. What I like most is the grain soaking. My daughter (18 months) loves steel cut oats but always had so much problems after eating them, now, after soaking them overnight with some buttermilk – no problems anymore.
    I also agree that you should eat all foods as natural as possible and that some animal fats are essential especially for children (and I like bone broth and things like sauerkraut, which I all know from my grandmother, who is 86 years old and with perfect health).
    But, and now comes one point that I don’t like, I think you can’t eat animal fats in these amounts without getting overweight and without getting health problems. My husband (and of course the rest of the family), whose father died of a heart attack at 38, did that after reading the book and got his cholesterol checked some months later. It went totally overboard and we were more than frustrated (and thankful that he had to let it be checked regularly). He even had to visit a cardiologist afterwards (everything okay).

    So for me it’s soaking, fermented foods (I’m german, so I already eat a lot of sauerkraut :o))), bone broth,lean meat (and coconut oil) eggs and of course whole grains and local natural foods, but no lard and not too much butter, cream and fatty meats or liver.

  14. I can’t say enough good things about this book, in fact, I do agree with Nourishing Traditions author on one thing–go back to the way ancestors ate…however, she is looking at a few generations, we need to look a LOT farther back than that.
    There was a reason why Adam and Eve were vegetarians since God always has a purpose with His commands! lol!
    Sarah M

  15. Sarah, I haven’t heard of the The China Study but I will definitely take a look at that link. I’m very interested to read it!

    Cottage Comtesse, I really liked Rex Russell’s book too, and that was probably the initial boo!

    I also have not really been able to find more original information on grain preparation (not anything substantial, anyways). From all the different stuff that I have read and gathered from, it seems to me that traditionally it has certainly been more prevalent anyways, and the science behind it makes a lot of sense to me. I find many whole grains easier to digest when prepared with soaking, souring, etc. and I have heard of others who have found the same thing.

  16. I have Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions, but I still have some reservations. It is very “revolutionary” to say the least, however, I have not bought into it completely. I believe some fermented food is good, I am not sure as to the amount. Also, I am still trying to research soaking grains based on reading older primary sources and I am coming up empty handed. Jordan Rubin claims this was an ancient biblical tradition, but I’m not finding anything on it – but it still could be correct, I just can’t find it.

    I really like Rex Russell’s book What The Bible Says About Healthy Living. In it, he states that we should eat food as close to the way God made it as possible. That means no lowfat foods or non-fat foods, nothing overcooked and more raw foods, raw milk/dairy products, whole grains, etc. I have been doing this for years and my cholesterol, weight, and blood pressure have been great. I have had a bit of gastrointestinal issues, so I may give Sally’s philosophy a whirl – at lest for a while and see how it goes.

  17. here is a link to the website with a bit more information on the book:
    Sarah M

  18. I have borrowed her cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, from the library and really liked all of the variety. BUT, I do have to say, the best research done on diet and nutrition in relation to long-term health is a diet in whole/plant based foods.
    A whole foods/plant based diet has been shown to reverse and eradicate cancer, obesity, dibetes, and other autoimmune diseases.
    I STRONGLY recommend reading The China Study, in which the author did a 27 year study on these very topics: animal versus plant protein. I recommend this book to anyone who is remotely interested in learning exactly how our bodies absorb every type of nutrient to vitamin D (something we’re supposed to give our babies) to carcinogens on a high animal protein diet.
    It’s really astounding!
    Sarah M