Wise Traditions conference celebrates "real food," decries myths about fat and salt

Proponents of traditional diets gather in Dallas.

DALLAS, November 11, 2011―Chicken broth was on tap today at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund fundraiser breakfast at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Literally on tap. Conference-goers filled up bowls of beef and chicken stock from a shiny silver carafe that you might, at any other conference, think was for dispensing coffee.

Serious about nutrient-dense food, attendees of the Weston A. Price Foundation’s annual Wise Traditions conference feasted on full-fat local and organic yogurt, soaked oatmeal, pastured hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the day, coconut wraps with pulled chicken and lard-fried tortilla chips for lunch, and garlic sauerkraut with grassfed beef for dinner. A far cry from standard conference fare, this food had big shoes to fill: to nourish a group of hundreds of people who believe in the power of food as medicine and who see sustainable farming as important as breathing.

In between sessions of eating food, participants spent the first day of this three-day “real food” marathon in one of five tracks.

Day-long lectures Friday included an introduction to traditional diets with Foundation president Sally Fallon Morell, a description of Gut and Psychology Syndrome and its treatment with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, and a “nutrition and metabolism” seminar with Dr. Stephanie Seneff. These three seminars provided a framework for holistic health along with protocols. The “Biodynamic Farming” track included presentations on bovine and beef care while the Food Preparation track featured practical tips by Healthy Habit Coach Tara Rayburn, Full-Moon Feast author Jessica Prentice, and Sharon Kane, author of The Art of Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking.

Conference attendees include health counselors, doctors, caterers, farmers, chefs, fitness coaches, and individuals and parents looking for wisdom for their best possible health and the health of their children. This year’s conference theme was “Mythbusters,” with speakers challenging the wisdom of low-fat, low-salt and plant-based diets.

In the exhibit hall, vendors sell lacto-fermented vegetables, sprouted flour, coconut oil, nutritional supplements, meats and lots of books from New Trends Publishing and Chelsea Green. The weekend continues with Saturday talks on industrial sweeteners and connections between mental and physical health, among others. Dr. Joseph Mercola will provide the keynote address at Saturday night’s banquet. Sunday’s day-long tracks will address recovery, environment, nutrition, child health, and hormonal health.


Jessica Claire Haney is a freelance writer, editor and tutor. Her writing has appeared in parenting publications and poetry journals. A former high school English teacher, Jessica is mother to a five-year-old son and a baby girl. She is passionate about holistic health and well-being and is a leader of a chapter of Holistic Moms Network.

Jessica’s blog is Crunchy-Chewy Mama, crunchychewymama.com, and her writer’s site is jessicaclairehaney.com.

“Like” Crunchy-Chewy Mama on Facebook, and follow Jessica on Twitter @crunchychewy


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Jessica Claire Haney


This holistic mom dreams of a day when all kids -- and adults -- eat foods with only recognizable ingredients. Paying attention is not an option for me; it's a necessity.

A few years ago, my body started breaking down and let me know I wasn’t like all those other Jessicas who were still in their twenties. I began making the rounds of alternative health practitioners and nutritionists to deal with stomach problems, thyroid problems, chronic grumpiness, and infertility, issues that my doctors weren't addressing with any success. With a lot of help and a bunch of lifestyle changes, I managed to work my way back to healthy and happy. And pregnant!

Now a full-on convert to natural family living and a mom to a three-year-old, I’m on a mission to share my insights -- and my persistent questions -- about nutrition and holistic health with other moms and with anyone else looking for something that will work and feel good when other stuff doesn’t. As a leader of a local chapter of Holistic Moms Network, I've tried to build a community that supports other parents in making healthy decisions for their families.

My writing has appeared in parenting publications and poetry journals. I blog about life on the alternative/mainstream divide at Crunchy-Chewy Mama, and I'm a contributor for DC Metro Moms.

Contact Jessica Claire Haney


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