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NOFA/Mass Features Chris Masterjohn, from Weston A. Price Foundation, at October 24 Seminar

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2013 September Issue Newsletter

By Ben Grosscup, NOFA/Mass Education Events Organizer

Chris Masterjohn

NOFA/Mass is collaborating with the Marion Institute to offer a pre-conference seminar, “"Fat-Soluble Vitamins in Traditional Diets: Nutrient-Dense Animal Foods as the Keys to Vibrant Health," on October 24, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, ahead of the 9th annual Connecting for Change Conference.  The event will be held at the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford, MA.

The presenter, Chris Masterjohn, holds a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and writes regularly for the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Wise Traditions. He will explain how his research shows that fat-soluble vitamins (e.g., A, D, and K), which are most abundant in foods from animals pastured on healthy soils and from wild caught seafood, are crucial for fostering human health. The emphasis of his approach to nutrition is to highlight how these vitamins interact with each other in the form of whole foods.

The seminar covers a range of topics including the role of these vitamins in supporting the body against disease, unpacking current attacks on wholesome animal foods, creating grassroots initiatives to support nutrient-dense foods, understanding the role of soil fertility in creating these vitamins, and shopping for these vitamin-rich foods.

It is widely recognized that vitamin deficiencies are related to a wide range of health problems. For instance, in many countries facing extreme poverty, severe Vitamin A deficiencies are associated with blindness. In the developed world today, many doctors are prescribing Vitamin D supplements to people to address a range of health problems.

But Masterjohn is raising questions about mainstream nutrition, which is loudest in discussions on these issues. He says a key part of what is misguided in the mainstream approach to the relationship between vitamins and health is thinking about the nutritional benefits of each vitamin in isolation from one another. This way of thinking focuses on furnishing vitamins as isolated supplements rather than on producing high quality foods from well-mineralized soils. But the latter, he maintains, offers the best nutritional benefits. In a recent article on the role of fat-soluble vitamins in the diet, Masterjohn concludes:

It is clearly time to move beyond viewing each vitamin in isolation.  . . . At the level of scientific research, a study about one vitamin can easily come to false conclusions unless it takes into account its interactions with all the others. We should reverently and humbly bow before the complexity of these interactions, realizing how little we know and recognizing that we are always learning. At the level of personal health, these interactions emphasize the need to consume a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet.  . . . The fat-soluble vitamins work most safely and effectively when we obtain them from natural foods within the context of a diet rich in all their synergistic partners. (“Nutritional Adjuncts to the Fat-Soluble Vitamins” in Wise Traditions, January 28, 2013)

Registration for the seminar includes an organic lunch catered by Chef Rosa Galeno, featuring beef bone broth with root vegetables, sourdough bread, butter, salad greens, vinegar peppers, meat, potatoes, and baked apple.

Tickets for the Chris Masterjohn seminar are available online at http://bit.ly/164VAvh. The cost of registration is $85/NOFA Member; $106/Non-member if signed up by October 10.

From October 25-27 in New Bedford, MA, the Connecting for Change conference, sponsored by the Marion Institute, will feature keynote speakers and over 40 workshops addressing food systems change along with myriad other topics. On Friday, October 25th, best-selling author, environmentalist, and “matriarch of the eat-locally-think-globally food movement”, Joan Gussow, will be speaking. Additionally, Tanya Fields from the Bronx, dubbed the “eco-warrior”, will be holding a workshop on growing food in urban areas and will give her keynote address on Sunday, October 27.  For more details and to register, visit www.connectingforchange.org.

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