This book distills the research of Weston A. Price, a dentist and independent nutrition researcher. In a decade of travel around the world, Price and his wife studied the health, dietary habits, and chemical composition of food of dozens of traditional peoples of various racial backgrounds. His research was done at a time when many such groups still lived free of the influence of Western civilization and what he called "foods of commerce," i.e. heavily refined and denatured foods.
One could question whether 60 plus year old research is relevant today, but I found his work powerful and persuasive for a very simple reason.
Health problems sent me on a quest to find the best dietary information, but I soon found myself mired in contradictory claims, opposing research and special interest groups, as well as outright deceit. First I would read about how one vitamin or mineral was good for this. Then I would read that the very same item was bad for that. You shouldn't combine X with Y, or needed to add tons of Z or W, except on Sundays when the moon was almost 3/4 full. I became very disillusioned with the incredible complexity of nutrition. As I read more and more deeply, I also became annoyed at all the disinformation and profiteering behind much of the so-called research.
I reached this bottom line: While we understand proteins, carbs, and fats reasonably well, and have a pretty good handle on most vitamins and about a dozen minerals, there is simply an immense amount we just don't know. We are researching minerals at about 5 per decade (around 50 to go - a hundred more years at our current rate). There are around 5000 enzymes in bee pollen alone, and few of them have been researched. There are an unknown number of phytochemicals and other things we have yet to discover that have been constituents of our food for perhaps millions of years. Science moves very slowly, and it could easily be several hundred or 1000 years before we get it all sorted out. And that doesn't take into consideration the power groups who insist on muddying the waters for profit's sake. Modern science is quite obviously incapable of giving us complete answers to our nutritional questions. It just plain doesn't have them to give, nor will it for a long, long time.
Then I found Price's work. Basically, he was the Tony Robbins of diet - he sought out the healthiest people on Earth and studied what they had done for hundreds and thousands of years to stay healthy. He looked at their Traditional diets as well as what happened when they adopted Western diets. The results are in this book, and it is well worth your taking the time to read. While others have followed his work, the changing nature of the world now make it impossible to duplicate his research today. His work stands as a pivotal piece in science and health as well as in history. This represents the cumulative knowledge of millions of people over thousands of years in a laboratory that includes the entire world. Definitely non-trivial.
There are also books by Ronald Schmid and Sally Fallon that introduce and give overviews of Price's work. I recommend them also. Today, when we must all become advocates for our own health, arming yourself with the best information is vital.