I am pleased to announce that my interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola appears in the current journal of the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (PPNF). The article is part of an ongoing series called Profiles in Nutritional Healing that I have been working on for PPNF. Previously for the series, I interviewed Annemarie Colbin, PhD – the brilliant author of some of my favorite books on nutrition and health including the classic Food and Healing.
Dr. Mercola was a fun interview subject. His telephone manner matched his online persona to a tee: highly focused and enthusiastic, intensely driven and brimming with facts and information. We spoke for more than one hour and covered a broad range of topics, mostly centered around Dr. Mercola's approach to diagnosis and treatment and his respect for the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, the heroic dentist who traveled the world in the early part of the 20th century documenting the effect of modern diets on the physical and dental health of traditionally-living peoples. The preservation of Dr. Price's archives and the dissemination of his work is the primary mission of PPNF.
Dr. Mercola is both a proponent of high raw food diets and an opponent of veganism – an unusual mix in the raw food world. Dr. Mercola's position reflects Dr. Price's finding that some form of animal food, consumed in large or minute quantity, was a must in the diets of ALL traditionally-living cultures Price examined. This was especially true at certain times of the life cycle, notably pregnancy and lactation, where special preparations of fish eggs or other delicacies were given to the mother-to-be.
Dr. Mercola's anti-vegan stance also reflects his dedication to Nutritional Typing, a diagnostic tool used to determine one's ideal diet. Nutritional Typing states that Protein Type individuals require significant amounts of animal flesh for health. (A Protein Type himself, Dr. Mercola is well-known for enjoying flesh foods all day long, from raw eggs at breakfast to uncooked beef at dinnertime!)
I have yet to form a firm opinion on the compelling theory and subjective method of Nutritional Typing, but I certainly concur that not all people thrive on the same diet. Certain individuals may very well require more protein or animal foods than others. At the same time, it is important to be aware that high protein diets may pose a danger for many people. Excess dietary protein has the potential to stress the kidneys, organs which are needed to eliminate nitrogenous waste (ammonia compounds) from the body. Nitrogenous waste is a natural byproduct of protein metabolism. Excessive protein in the diet may cause the kidneys to become overworked or become damaged. (Dr. Mercola did admit to me that he himself suffers kidney problems; these may or may not be related to his high protein intake.)
Flesh foods are rich in protein, but I feel it is a grave mistake to equate the need for protein with a need for flesh foods. Many plant foods are also excellent sources of protein – think lentils, alfalfa sprouts, spirulina, almonds, sunflower seeds...even spinach, which contains all the amino acids needed for life!
Beyond protein, there are various reasons to include some animal food in the diet (i.e. to provide a natural source of the essential vitamin B-12). This animal food may or may not involve the killing of the animal from which it comes, an important distinction.
I believe that human dietary evolution towards a vegetarian diet is necessary if we are to attain environmental preservation, peace on earth and the survival of our species. (Click here to read more about my views on Nutrition Evolution.) I don't suggest that everyone become a strict vegetarian this instant (I myself am not a strict veg), but I do encourage all of us to move towards ahimsa (harmlessness). To this end, vegetarianism or semi-vegetarianism is an attainable life goal that supports our conscious evolution towards higher states of being, harmony and health.
Therefore, I was very pleased to learn that despite his public penchant for carapaccio and steak tartare, the animal foods Dr. Mercola considers most harmonious and beneficial for humans are raw milk and raw eggs. Both of these are vegetarian (not vegan) sources of animal protein whose consumption does not involve swallowing the flesh of a once-living sentient being. I like that! (Note: Fertilized eggs, as pre-chicks, are a borderline case that may prove the exception to the eggs being vegetarian rule. Fertilized eggs will be labeled as such. All other eggs, including free-range organic and pastured eggs, are, basically, a hen's period, provided by chaste lady birds who do not mingle with roosters.)
Beyond food and nutrition, Dr. Mercola and I discussed cell phone radiation, vaccines, biophotons and the role of emotions as a support or roadblock to healing. All of these subjects and more appear in the article. To receive a copy, request the Winter 2009-2010 Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing from PPNF. Better yet, consider joining PPNF to help support the work of this important organization and receive additional benefits, including the quarterly journal. Visit www.ppnf.org to learn more.
A downloadable pdf of my interview with Dr. Mercola will be posted on the Eat to Evolve™ website in the near future. Click on the link and scroll down to the "articles" section to find the interview. In the meantime, you may like to visit the page to access my previous PPNF Profiles in Nutritional Healing interview, A Conversation with Dr. Annemarie Colbin, as well as additional articles and writings.