WAPF Leaders and Readers comment

Each comment is contained its own paragraph. I have deleted names and cities. I am grateful to those who wrote. “The one thing that I’m uncomfortable with about being a chapter leader of the WAPF is the judgmental attitude.  I find I even have a hard time and am really having to work on what I say and how I view people. I really wish a book like this had been out there when I was pregnant with my first two.  I’ve seen the difference in my kids since I’ve started eating (in steps) more toward the WAPF way.” 
“I always take the reviews by the foundation as just one data point. I joined the Weston A. Price Foundation because I believe it supports people in achieving food freedom and want to think for themselves rather than follow blindly what is told to them. I understand your concern but I think you will find that the chapter leaders and many mothers out there will come to their own conclusion regarding Real Food for Mother & Baby rather than take the foundation’s review as the truth. Most of us have already read some of your writing and know that the spirit of your books are very much in line with the traditional foods way of thinking. I for one am a Nina Planck fan and will remain so.”
“Nina’s books are definitely good for helping people move in the right direction. Her style is down-to-earth and accessible, and her suggestions and advice help people actually think about what they’re putting in their bodies and make palpable changes. It’s important not to overwhelm people, especially when most are so easily turned off by the mere mention of “organ meats.” (“Uh, fine for you, but I think I’ll go back to my What To Expect When You’re Expecting...”) Nina’s book is a great one to give to new or prospective moms who are staunchly in the mainstream and haven’t really started questioning the Standard American Diet. For those who are a step beyond that, I actually like the combination book and review—to give some insight into some of the aspects that Nina didn’t emphasize as much, but are really important for long-term, multigenerational health. (I wish the reviewer’s tone had been somewhat kinder for this purpose. It is possible to give an honest critique about what a book is missing without sounding overly critical or dismissive.)”
“Great letter. I think that it is a very good explanation of the situation, and as a mom of eight, two sets of twins, all home-born and nursed, retired lay midwife, ex LLL leader, and IBLC, I’ve had repeated problems with some of the WAPF folks on breastfeeding and childbearing. It is a growing process, and those of us who were raised on brown bread, gardening, and squatting often get a bit frustrated with the newbies who are like reformed smokers. I am glad that you have the format and the visibility to be more effective than I in talking about this.”
“I do feel that sometimes the WAPF hurts the cause with some of their extremist statements.   I can usually empathize because of the serious nature of the controversy and the forces that are working against us.  But when friends of mine inquire about traditional diets, I refer them to your book first and gradually assess whether they can tolerate WAPF. Thank you again for all of your important and inspiring work.  It is moving mountains!”
“I love your book and have given away several copies.  One of the things I liked about it was that the advice was laid back and easy to follow.  I am a huge follower of WAPF dietary principles, but I, like you, also live in the real world.  My daughter has had small amounts of sugar, white flour and other processed foods.  I think it is important to make sure these “special occasion treats” are not off limits so that our children learn how to enjoy them in moderation.  I know that I do more cooking than the average American mother.  I also struggle with issues of low income and lack of time.  Real Food for Mother and Baby addresses all mothers, not just those of us who can be home cooking nutrient dense foods all the time.  It is a great introductory book for women who might be turned off by a more rigid approach.  All mothers have to make difficult choices.  Shortly after reading your book, I became pregnant again.  I credit Real Food for Mother and Baby with inspiring me to have another baby.  My pre-conception diet was excellent.  My first trimester diet, like yours, suffered a bit as a result of normal pregnancy symptoms.  Thanks to your book, I did not beat myself up because I wasn’t eating liver every week.  I just continued to take my cod liver oil when I could stomach it and ate according to my appetite.  This has, by far, been my easiest pregnancy.  My husband keeps commenting on how he can tell that I am doing better than last time.  I think it is because I am more relaxed and I am making sure my nutrition is good enough, though not perfect.  Thank you for your wonderful book.  I believe that your book has the ability to reach more people who may be turned off by rigid views and strict diets.  Real Food for Mother and Baby is helping turn the tables and give more children the good nutrition they deserve.  Keep up the good work!”
And finally, 
“The WAPF Chapter Leader's list is discussing the bad review.  General consensus is that it was way too harsh, and purist, and that Nina’s book is a blessing to most.”
“I often read books on food and nutrition and am discouraged, disgruntled, or even outraged; however, I read Nina’s second book and was very happy with it.  I have recommended this book to friends and clients.  I am very happy with its existence, and in general feel it steers would-be-mothers from a dangerous ‘pop-culture’ food-plan, filled with low-fat, pasteurized dairy, and animal-food-free dinner plates—dangerous, indeed, for fertility, pregnancy, nursing, and feeding babies.  Most people eating the SAD diet would be making huge changes to eat the diet that Nina recommends.  Herein lies the beauty of what she wrote and how she wrote it. I feel that she was not remiss in her more ‘casual’ attitude, but successful and purposeful in reaching people where they are.  I actually recommend her books because of this.  Personally, so many people think I am ‘a freak’ with regard to how we eat (bone broths, liverwurst, heart, even butter and raw milk), that Nina’s approach (not being staunch or ‘dictocratic’) actually allows people who are far from traditional diets to approach them without feeling intimidated. She might not have gone far enough, but if her purpose was to broach these subjects honestly without being ridiculed by mass-America, she has done a great job.  I feel that this ‘approachable’ style to considering traditional foods is necessary to meet many of my clients and friends where they are. Nina Planck’s books are, thus, stepping stones into WAPF-friendly lifestyles and diets.  If the reviewer had considered this valuable position, I am sure she might have pointed out the ‘flaws’ with a different perspective, perhaps even resulting in a thumbs-up review, with a few noted caveats.”
“I LOVE your book and recommended it to my [relative] when I found out she was pregnant (she eats a pretty S.A.D way) and she loved it.  She had an early miscarriage with this first pregnancy but is now pregnant and doing well.  In between the miscarriage and this pregnancy she read the book and changed her diet to eat full-fat dairy and more organics.  She definitely isn’t a WAPF follower but I am certain that your advice and the fact that someone besides her ‘crazy’ [relatives] are telling her how to eat better helped her get pregnant again so soon and to have a so far healthy pregnancy!! Rock on with your great writing and spread the message far and wide.  I don’t always agree with Sally but I do thank WAPF for all they do in the big picture as it has dramatically changed our family for the better and so has your book.”
“I read an advance copy while I was pregnant with my 4th child and I although I have been a WAPF member for several years, I still learned a lot, as this was my first child since following a traditional diet.  I also am looking at the book again as I get ready to feed my nearly 6-month old baby his first real foods.  This book has been a great resource for me and this is my first child that has never had anything but breast milk during his first months of life.  He is now getting a bit of homemade chicken stock and I intend to only feed him nourishing foods.  He gets vitamin D and cod liver oil and probiotics.  He is a healthy, happy baby and I owe this not only to WAPF but to Ms. Planck for making me not feel alone and knowing I could do this with her supportive and encouraging writing in her book.”
“Why anyone would need to paint you in a negative light baffles me. Especially when the idea should be advocacy and uniting to spread the ideals of Weston Price. Take care of yourself - you are a writer, a woman, a mother, and beacon to those just learning to adopt true health. Don’t explain yourself to anyone. Now go curl up with those babies and let Rob make the salmon bisque!”
Salmon bisque—that sounds nice! Tonight we had wild Alaskan salmon baked for 15 minutes in cream, butter, thyme, salt, and a little Old Bay seasoning. Even less work than bisque, but sort of the same thing, come to think of it.  You could probably just whiz the baked salmon. No apologies from me for quick real food!
There were many, many more letters. Thank you, all of you, for writing.
Nina Planck
October 29, 2009