‘Sacred Foods’: How White Nationalists Are Promoting Harmful Dieting Myths

Whether they’re reflecting on the “glory” of Confederate leaders, adopting classical art for their own nefarious purposes, or dreaming of America pre-1965, white supremacists are obsessed with the past. And the belief that the power of the white race is waning, coupled with a desire to reclaim its former greatness, has led to them adopting truly bizarre beliefs about history, culture, and even food.

During a recent appearance on The After Party, hosted by Jason Köhne and Jared George, white nationalist Elora (a.k.a., the “Blonde Butter Maker”) promoted conspiracies and quack science under the guise of “daily wellness.” Elora is a contributor to the hate group Red Ice — whose motto is “the future is the past” — and often creates how-to videos for making everything from jams and beef jerky to a “self defense corset holster.”

In Elora’s opinion, people of “European descent” must eschew many modern practices in favor of the wisdom of their ancestors. She believes these ancestors had superior diets which made them happier, healthier, and more productive. “I guess it — it does for me — come down to remembering our roots,” Elora said, adding that they needed to remember that their ancestors “ate to nourish themselves.”

Jared asked Elora if she could elaborate on “why we [white people] need to be connecting to the food that’s best for us and healthy for us, especially in this time when everything is attacking our whole way of life and our health on every level.” She responded by saying that the way she became “red pilled” was stumbling upon the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) after researching dental health.

Founded in 1999 by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, the WAPF touts itself as “your source for accurate information on nutrition and health, always aiming to provide the scientific validation of traditional foodways.” It is also a repository for various forms of medical quackery, vigorously condemning vaccinations, water fluoridation, and root canals, while promoting junk science like homeopathy and detoxification.

Elora Twitter

In 1931, Weston Price (the WAPF’s namesake), a Cleveland dentist, began a trip around the world to study the dietary habits of local populations. Price recorded his findings and, in 1939, published them in his widely panned book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Chief among these findings was that “primitives” who did not eat modern processed food had fewer cavities or complications from childbirth than those who did.

In fact, people who ate processed food were more likely to suffer from a slew of medical problems like tuberculosis and “mental backwardness,” and had narrowed dental arches and nostrils.

As Emily Matchar noted in The Atlantic, Price visited the Swiss valley of Lötschental and found that villagers “ate mostly locally produced milk and cheese on rye bread,” which Price declared to be “more vitamin-filled than commercial American dairy.” Price concluded that the “primitives” were healthy because of their high-fat diets consisting of meat and seafood, and recommended that others adopt this diet as well.

These conclusions, as Quackwatch’s Dr. Stephen Barrett pointed out, are scientifically unsound. Dr. Barrett wrote, “While extolling [Natives’] health, he ignored their short life expectancy and high rates of infant mortality, endemic diseases, and malnutrition. While praising their diets for not producing cavities, he ignored the fact that malnourished people don’t usually get many cavities.”

Still, Price’s ideas received a resurgence in recent years as evidenced by the popularity of the so-called “caveman” or “paleo” diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, the paleo diet is “a dietary plan based on foods similar to what might have been eaten during the Paleolithic era, which dates from approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.” It mainly consists of “lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.”

It also spawned the WAPF’s dietary guidelines which, among other things, call for the consumption of unprocessed foods, organ meats from “pasture-fed animals,” cod liver oil, copious amounts of animal fats, organic fruits and vegetables, and “full-fat milk products” — particularly raw milk and cheese. The WAPF also recommends the consumption of raw meat and raw shellfish.

To be clear, you should not consume raw — that is, unpasteurized — milk. The Food and Drug Administration clearly states that raw milk “can harbor dangerous microorganisms that can pose serious health risks” including “Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, Campylobacter, and others.” The CDC found 127 outbreaks linked to raw dairy products between 1993 and 2012 which resulted in 1,909 illnesses and 144 hospitalizations.

In 2016, West Virginia lawmakers who loosened the state’s regulation of raw milk made headlines after drinking some in celebration before falling ill. So far the link between raw milk and their symptoms of nausea, fever, and diarrhea remains inconclusive, however.

And consuming raw shellfish yields its own share of risks. Consider the possibility of contracting V. vulnificus from raw oysters, which can lead to infections like acute gastroenteritis.

Setting aside the threat from microorganisms, WAPF’s dietary guidelines fly in the face of what most experts recommend. For example, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) released its 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, which recommend a “variety of vegetables,” fruits, grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and a “variety of proteins” such as “seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products.”

It also recommends that people limit the consumption of saturated fats, trans fats, added sugar, and sodium. Foods high in saturated fat include butter, cheese, and red meat — all of which are recommended by WAPF’s guidelines. Saturated fats raise a person’s LDL — or “bad cholesterol” — and put them at an increased risk of heart disease and weight gain. The ODPHP suggests people consume “less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats.”

Still, Elora uses Weston Price’s findings to support her belief that white people should be eating more of these “sacred foods.” She was particularly struck by how the people of Lötschental were in “perfect health” even though they consumed “raw milk and raw dairy products, raw cream, butter, and cheese,” “sourdough rye bread,” and meat from “cattle, sheep, and goats” including the organ meat and bones — for bone broth.

(Jared George perplexingly suggested they were healthier because the water in Switzerland has a different “molecular structure” than water elsewhere.)

On the subject of milk, Elora went on to claim that when you pasteurize it “you pretty much destroy this wonderful, life-giving substance” and strip it of its nutrients. “And also, raw milk has lots of enzymes, and if you find yourself lactose intolerant it’s probably because the lactase in the milk is gone, which helps you digest the milk,” she added. Pasteurized milk is not robbed of its nutrients and does not cause lactose intolerance.

Beyond the dangerous nonsense of suggesting unhealthy fad diets and raw milk, some of Elora’s comments were straight-up conspiratorial.

When asked whether or not chemicals are being used for “social engineering,” Elora answered in the affirmative “because a lot of the deleterious substances that we talk about in our food, in our water, in the air that we breathe, the harmful effects do include depression, and anxiety, and mood disorders, and infertility, and problems with the development of fetuses, and I do think that it is by design.”

She also endorsed the view that a shadowy cabal — which the questioner referred to only as “they” — is trying to sterilize white people. Although Köhne himself also entertained this notion, claiming that friends of his “believe that there are many diseases that whites are suffering from more so than the non-white races that up until the last few decades or so were almost non-existent in our people.”

In fact, Elora sounds a lot like WAPF co-founder Sally Fallon who, in her cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, rails against “diet dictocrats” at the FDA and American Cancer Society. Fallon wrote that a “divorce” from the “sustaining, nurturing food folkways of our ancestors” leads to the “physical degeneration of the human race,” and “cheats mankind of his limitless potential, destroys his will and condemns him to the role of undercitizen in a totalitarian world order.”

Both Fallon and fellow WAPF quack Dr. Joseph Mercola are prominent anti-vaxxers, and both appeared as guests on Red Ice in 2015.

Sally Fallon Red Ice

Mercola has also contributed a fair amount to the hysteria over soy products. In a 2010 article he cites “thousands of studies linking soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.” The term “soyboy” became popular on the alt-right because of the belief that consuming it feminizes men.

Unfortunately Elora is not the only white nationalist who promotes unhealthy eating habits due to a fetishization of her ancestors’ lifestyles. On his radio show, David Duke said, “So when I look at the answer to me of what we’re supposed to eat, the first thing I look to is what our ancestors ate.” The ex-Klan leader recommended a “relatively high fat diet,” particularly saturated fat.

One thread on the white supremacist forum Stormfront advocated the paleo diet. Defendu linked to the WAPF website and said a real paleo diet consists of “few or no grains,” “[f]atty meat and pure (natural) fats,” eggs, “[o]rgan meats like liver, heart and kidney,” and bone marrow. “Judging from my internet research, successful bodybuilders have been eating similar to this for decades before the supplement boom,” he concluded.

Another forum member, Moon Man, added, “As far as I know, this diet is promoted almost exclusively by non-Jews.” He also noted that WAPF is “a key player in spreading the word about how bad soy is for your health.”

Another thread praised the more extreme “carnivore diet.” “It is simple,” ElCampeador wrote. “Eat meat and drink water. Especially fatty beef.” He swore that “eating  meat, eggs, butter, salt and drinking water” have resulted in a “libido increase” and an absence of mood swings. Odin Awakens wrote, “I can also confirm this diet works considering i [sic] have been doing a variation of carnivore/keto since last fall.”

None of these people are experts on health and nutrition, and all of them are relying on the tired belief that “traditional” automatically means “better.” In a world of greater life expectancy thanks to modern medicine (e.g., vaccinations), pasteurization, and a greater understanding of the human body, that clearly is not the case.