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Nutrient-rich diet provides benefits to Park Rapids family

Tanya Larson employs a growing library of books in living a health-conscious lifestyle. She said her family finds the planning and preparation of healthy meals to be an enjoyable endeavor. Children can be transitioned to healthy snacks, she said. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Tanya Larson has discovered a new way to think about choosing and eating foods through the Weston A. Price Foundation.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets.

Larson is the volunteer leader of the Park Rapids chapter of Weston A. Price. Her role is to organize meetings to discuss nutrition and keep a local organic foods provider list.

"In doing research, it was clear that studies Dr. Price did found a correlation between what people were eating and overall health and teeth," she said.

Dr. Price's research demonstrated that humans achieve good physical health generation after generation when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found in animal fats.

"It's primarily eating nutrient-rich foods such as meats, eggs, yogurts, not the processed foods," Larson said.

She has been involved with the Weston A. Price Foundation for about two years and has felt good about having her family eat healthier. Her two daughters and husband have taken to the new diet.

"It's just a better way to live," she said. "Nutrition isn't a science. It takes common sense."

As far as Larson's children, she says, "of course it is best to start them early on nourishing foods, but even if you can't do that, nourishing foods are usually very rich and delicious and kids take to them. For many treats there are more nourishing alternatives, such as homemade ice cream sweetened with maple syrup or choosing nuts over crackers and dried fruit over candy."

Larson said if these things are introduced slowly and some of the others phased out slowly the transition is possible.

"Often families notice an improvement in mood, more energy and better concentration with a move toward more nutrient-dense food," Larson said. "These positive changes often help encourage a family to continue with nourishing foods."

It does take more planning to eat this way, she said.

But, after eating healthier, Larson said they find it enjoyable to spend the planning and preparation required.

"A little bit of planning goes a long way to have meals ready," she said. "The crockpot is always a good friend and we are so lucky these days to have many appliances to make our work easier and faster."

The foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies.

The foundation seeks to establish a laboratory to test nutrient content of foods, particularly butter produced under various conditions; to conduct research into the "X Factor," discovered by Dr. Price; and to determine the effects of traditional preparation methods on nutrient content and availability in whole foods.

Local Weston A. Price meetings have had demonstrations on how to make homemade cheese or mayonnaise, for example.

For more information about the local chapter contact Larson at 732-9402 or

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561