Simply put, Traditional Foods are foods consumed in the way our ancestors ate them. The basis of Traditional Foods is that the food you consume be as nutrient dense and nourishing as possible. Traditional Foods (TF) goes beyond just avoiding packaged and processed foods. It is about choosing the best food options available for your budget, individual chemistry & location and consuming it in a way that allows your body to extract the maximum nutrition from that item.
The Traditional Foods Philosophy of CTF
We espouse a particular viewpoint of traditional foods based from the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price combined with a modern understanding of gut health and physiology. Since Dr. Price’s book came out in the 1930s, there have been a number of people, foundations and books with various views of traditional foods. These are the tenets of traditional foods as viewed by CTF.
- Avoid your food allergens if you have them. If you have gut problems that do not improve after going on a TF diet, you likely still have an allergen in your diet standing in the way of healing.
- Dental decay is a symptom of a diet deficient in trace minerals and fat-soluble vitamins.
- Take the steps necessary to heal your gut if you have gut damage from food allergens, antibiotics, vaccination, poor lifestyle, poor food choices, medications and the like.
- Consuming the wrong fats and refined carbs along with too many calories have resulted in many modern diseases that did not plague our ancestors. Returning to their diet can lessen, relieve or completely eliminate symptoms of those diseases. Our Baby Steps series can help you make those changes.
- Remove and replace as many chemicals and contaminants from your environment as possible as your budget allows. Examples would be switching to more natural or homemade cleaners and body care, using organic pest solutions instead of industrial ones in your garden or removing the mercury fillings from your mouth if you are having health symptoms from them.
- Food is your best medicine and the biggest tool in your arsenal to heal health problems. However, no one food or combination of foods will solve all of your health problems or un-do all of the damage you’ve done to your health if you are already ill.
- No food is healthy, no matter how nutrient dense it is, if you are allergic to it. The damage from the reaction to the allergy greatly dwarfs any benefit you get from consuming that food. No one food has exclusive nutrients- you can always obtain the same nutrients from foods to which you do not react.
- There is no one food-stuff that all people must consume and there are no magic bullets to obtain perfect health for everyone. Each person has different body chemistry.
- Consider consuming superfoods like Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil to help you obtain the needed nutrient levels of fat-soluble Vitamins A (retinol), D3 and K2 since they are deficient in even the best modern diets.
- Wild-caught or grass-fed is superior to feed-lot animals. If they are not in your budget or unavailable, organic is good. If it is not in your budget, consume the best quality you can find and afford. The Good, Better, Best series on our blog can help you make these choices.
- You are better off consuming conventional meats and produce in a traditional foods form from the local mega-mart than you are to continue eating a processed diet. Do baby steps and don’t go into debt to change your diet.
- Consume meats with the skin and fat where possible.
- Consume organ meats where possible. ‘Hide’ them in the meals if necessary to help yourself become accustomed to their presence.
- Cook from scratch. As your cooking skills advance, learn to make your own ‘ingredients’ like ketchup and mayonnaise.
- Consume organic and raw dairy products from 100% grass-fed animals if you can locate them and they are within your budget. If not, find the best quality you can afford.
- Consume free-range eggs.
- Use only traditionally available fats such as butter, lard, tallow, palm oil and coconut oil and avoid new vegetable fats like soy and canola oil which are high in Omega-6.
- Consume as wide of a variety of vegetables and fruits in season that you can, and use lacto-fermented vegetables as a condiment to help improve digestion and contribute probiotics to your system. Hide the vegetables in meals if necessary.
- Soak or ferment all grains, nuts and seeds to reduce phytic acid and make the minerals in the food more bio-available.
- Consume the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates that make you feel best. Some people of certain heritages or with certain health conditions feel better on more or less amounts of carbs, fat or protein than others. There is no magic ratio for all people at all stages of health. Flex with it as when your health changes, those ratios might change as well.
- Introduce solids to your children in a way to minimize the potential for food allergens, especially if the child has any gut damage; a family history of gut problems, digestive or skin diseases; has received any antibiotics or vaccinations; or was born by C-section.
- Breastmilk is the ultimate traditional food and children were designed to nurse for at least two years. Homemade raw milk cow’s formula is superior to commercially available formula if you must supplement and donor breast milk is not available.
- Sustainability of your lifestyle is important. Consider getting a couple of chickens for your backyard, rabbits in a hutch or a garden going in your yard. Don’t be afraid to grow your own vegetables, fruit, milk, meat or eggs, even if you need to do it in an innovative or unconventional way.
A Note About Our Forum
The CTF forum is designed to support you in consuming traditional foods, but it is also designed to support you in the wider role of living and parenting in natural ways that are an extension of the traditional foods lifestyle. This includes alternative choices in pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, parenting, health care, education and more. While we welcome all people at all walks of life who are interested in traditional foods, CTF has a decidedly different flavor from the mainstream choices in many areas of life.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in some of my posts are affiliate links. When you click them you allow me to cover a small portion of the cost of this blog. Blogging isn’t cheap and I appreciate your support so we can keep churning out awesome recipes. Using my affiliate link is like leaving a tip. Thank you. You can read more of our disclaimers here.
KerryAnn Foster runs Cooking Traditional Foods, the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet, now in its seventh volume. KerryAnn has eleven years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Read about KerryAnn’s journey to health through multiple miscarriages, celiac disease, food allergies and intolerances, obesity, adrenal fatigue and heavy metals.
Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. With two choices of Menu Mailers, multiple eBooks, Print Books and video-based classes, KerryAnn makes traditional foods easy, accessible, affordable and family friendly for everyone.
KerryAnn founded Nourished Living Network, a network for traditional food and natural living bloggers, in 2011. NLN provides support, publicity and networking opportunities for bloggers all across the traditional foods spectrum. Our Recipe Gallery features recipes from the fifty member blogs and growing.