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Question: "How can I learn real nutrition in conventional schools?"


Recently I received this question from a college student studying nutrition:

Dear Susan,

How can I study nutrition without conforming to the influence and ideas of the FDA and big pharma companies? What I am being taught right now in school is not "let thy food be thy medicine" but more so "let thy food destroy thy health, and then take thy medicine." I don’t want to be a part of that. I want to be self sufficient, and sustainable. I want to grow my own food (though currently lack the space. eventually it will happen). I want to learn about the true, natural, concept of nutrition, that we are what we eat, and what we eat not only has a big effect on our health, but the health of the planet..... that is the education that I’m after. I don’t know, maybe there is no school for that. Maybe the education I’m after can only be obtained through experience. Over all I guess what I’m asking is how do I combat the conventional in school right now?

Thank you so much Susan

Dear Devyn,

You are a smart girl, who can see through the veil of illusion. That is the medicine of the Owl, known as the nighthawk in the Native American tradition. The people who can see are our teachers.

It is sad that conventional institutions, public schools and most universities, are still behind the times with regards to nutrition. Fortunately, some professors teach current scientific data, but many are stuck in old traditions and outdated material. I have seen great strides in environmental programs in universities, yet many of them don’t make a practice of what they teach (school cafeterias and on-site environmental practices, for instance).

One of the reasons I found for this, during my experience in dealing with schools and institutions, is that new information is coming out so fast that institutions (which must have approved curricula) don’t have the time or budget to keep up with the speed of our conscious and factual expansion.

One of the biggest roadblocks is money.  There is tremendous support from large food companies, Monsanto and big Pharma (as you put it) to keep old dietary guidelines in place. They have huge amounts of money invested in PR, which means wide circulation of biased scientific studies, stacked with their own agenda, as well as educational materials and large public relations campaigns (PR).  In addition to validating some less than excellent practices, the PR leaves a lot of people “thinking” that nutrition does not matter, and that pharmaceutical medicine is still the route to take for healing.  In other words, many still treat the symptom without even thinking of going to the root cause. Food, simply, is not thought of as being powerful enough to heal. We know now, from many personal cases, that another truth exists.

This mindset is changing rapidly, as consumers make better health and environmental choices, because they want and need something that will heal them. Many are sick and looking for answers that work. As the dollars turn, so do the practices. As for your question of where to learn: you are obviously learning from somewhere, so keep it up. There are many good doctors, scientists and health professionals who are writing excellent books. Some are resurrecting solid knowledge and practices that served us well, before fast-, convenient- and factory-food came along. Some are coming out with new vital information as to the exact science behind the value of what whole foods from a healthy earth can provide. The Internet has a wealth of knowledge, facts and wisdom.

One of the reasons I switched from writing and lecturing to teaching nutrition and food prep, was that I found most people genuinely understood the need to eat better, but they did not know how. I became exhausted with talking and began helping people navigate through the propaganda and learn new skills and practices. For instance, many still think that “low-fat” is a better choice than whole-fat foods. And, they are right, if they are choosing a low-fat option that comes from the factory, a grain fed cow or a rancid vegetable oil. That said, a whole-fat option is the best when it comes from dairy products of grass-fed cows that grazed in an organic pasture. The process of removing the fat results in more processing of the food, making it harder for the body to digest and assimilate.

Cold-pressed oils are another example where whole is better than low-fat. Did you ever try a low-fat olive oil? Yuk. EVO means Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which means the oil comes fresh from the first press in its whole form. Any oil that has to go through heat and over-processing loses some of its nutritional value, such is the case of low-fat anything. Not only in the nutritional value compromised,  but the processing is also harder for the body to digest causing weight gain and other problems.  Whole nuts, seeds and avocados are other examples of the good fats that are essential and thus precious nutrients for our cell function.

My focus is not to teach people a particular “diet,” but to help them navigate through all the material out there, and teach them how to eat from the earth and not the factory. And, of course, let’s make that a healthy Earth with clean air, water and soil.

Recently, I launched a new line of cultured vegetables that I have been selling at the Famer’s Market, here on Maui. I am stunned at the number of people who are sick and on special diets. Many are also very educated about the latest in nutritional healing protocols.  They are grateful for my product and buy it up.

I guess my advice to you is to teach those who you are teaching you, as well as your fellow classmates. When you have reports or papers to write, bring your professor or school the latest information you can find. Inspire a discussion.  Also, keep reading and visiting blogs that understand that the body is a system that mirrors the system of the Earth. When people understand the body as a system, they are usually turned on to stewarding it in a different way. There is a lot out there to learn.  In the summer or when school is out, you could also intern with someone. I recently had an Intern with me.  She started out thinking raw food was the only way to go. She knew nothing of cultured/fermented foods. Now, she has a well-rounded diet and is an expert at making cultured veggies. Her sugar intake in down, cravings gone and she is in balance.

You might also want to Intern on a farm. Many sustainable farms, here on Maui and all over the world, take on workers for a period of time, to live on the land and learn as they work.  Quite frankly, I have never met anyone more educated and with more intelligence than a sustainable farmer, an expert in body and soil health. They are the most conscious and informed people I know, and fortunately, the most fun, too.

There are also conferences you can attend and trade journals you can subscribe to. A few are:  Acres USA, Weston A. Price Foundation, and the Natural Foods Expo (you can find high quality lectures on nutrition and supplements at these Expos).  Mercola’s website is awesome (, and so is the Health Ranger’s (

Keep up the great work. You are definitely on a roll.

Good luck and let’s keep in touch.







1 Comment

Sesame Seeds, Sacred Clay & Kefir

Good morning Susan,

I purchased your online series as a supplement to the DVDs which I already have and I have some comments, suggestions, questions. I have progressed a lot with my diet since I bought your DVD's which I watched but wasn't ready to embrace at the time so I am going through your online course with joy and appreciation.

My internet connection is painfully slow so its hard to watch the videos online. Please can you let me know if they are identical to the DVD's or if there is any added material and if so what. I hadn't thought to grind the sesame seeds that is a great idea - how long can I store them for before the oils go off or they oxidize? Can you get raw milk on Maui? I have heard that it is very expensive. I bloat if I make Kefir with milk and what you said about the enzymes in raw milk to help digestion makes sense. I would like to try that. I manage by combining milk with cream to make kefir but it really makes me put on weight. Maybe I don't digest fat too well. A great tip I got from Jack La Lanne is to rinse a thermos flask out so that it is wet inside and put it in the freezer overnight. Use it the next day to put your vegie juice in and it will keep fresh much longer. Some recipes call for juicing herbs but they just slip through the juicer when I do it so I have given up. do you have any suggestions.? I am working on supplementing my diet with herb teas for calcium, iron etc and using a dandelion chai instead of coffee which I like a little too much. Playing with teas is fun and a good way to keep hydrated when water isn't appealing. I am also experimenting with tips that I get passed onto me from David Wolfe who is such an innovator. One of them is using clay in various forms to absorb the toxins in our system because it attracts the positively charged irons in toxins. If you are interested I can forward you the emails with the information.

You are an inspiration, I wish I could come to your Saturday workshop but I am working. Thank you so much. I love your lightness and joy. Aloha, Rosy.

1 Comment


Mom asks: How Early Do You Recommend Eating Raw Foods?

Here is the question I received from Kristine: Hi Susan,

I absolutely love your DVD's!  I"m a nutritional consultant in Olympia,  WA and have my clients watch your videos.  My question to is about 6  month year old and older nutrition.  I'm currently 6 months pregnant and  want to feed my child the best foods possible.  How early do you  recommend eating raw foods?  What do you recommend instead of  formula/milk?

Thanks and keep it up!

Dear Kristine,

Thanks for your letter Kristine. My recommendation for eating raw is at any age. That said, I am including Raw Dairy and Cultured/Fermented Foods as well. For formula/milk I recommend your own Mother's milk. If you are not breast feeding, and you are willing to take a look at raw dairy and cultured/fermented foods like kefir and vegetables I recommend researching the following: Sally Fallon's work with The Weston Price Foundation. She has some recipes for making healthy formula. You definitely want to steer away from soy of any kind because of the estrogenic factors. There is research showing the dangers in soy.

My experience with my own son, who is now 40, showed me why dairy (as we know it, all pasteurized and such) can be such an allergenic food. I read "Let's Have Healthy Children" by Adele Davis. Forty years ago that was about all we had. I made my son formula out of regular milk after I quit breast feeding. Adele Davis suggested raw dairy, but we did not have that readily available so I used our regular milk,  thinking that it would be fine. He became congested immediately and then got a cold and infection in the ears. By the time he was 9 months old he had been on antibiotics 4 times and had to have surgery in his ears. Now, I can't totally blame the milk, but the problem compounded itself after the antibiotics, then more milk, antibiotics, milk and so on. He had allergies and candita situation for years, but we never understood it then. Now I know why and know better.

Years after eating only raw foods, I also became depleted (around menopause) and began more research with Body Ecology Diet, Weston Price Foundation, etc. I put raw dairy in my life including butter and lots of kefir and cream. I also started making my own cultured veggies. Yum! To this day I still enjoy these foods abundantly. My theory after much experience and research is to eat from the Earth and not the Factory. Simple as that. Eat as much raw as possible, meaning fresh organic foods and as much fermented, cultured as well. The most vital part of raw food culinary style is the fats, which is why you want to soak nuts and seeds and keep their Essential Fatty Acids in tact. Same with dairy. Raw dairy from a grass fed cow or goat is a fantastic food. If from a grain fed cow, not so good. Cooking veggies is absolutely fine and often a better way to eat more of them. Same with lentils and other legumes. Cultured veggies (living sauerkraut) is a great food to get kids used to, so their palate can become accustomed to the sour taste early. These foods will build friendly flora in the intestinal tract and should be consumed all through life.

Another food I am enjoying lately is bone broths, particularly broths from bone marrow. These are powerfully rich foods that can build bone and help young bodies build themselves. There are several videos on YouTube of parents that were feeding their kids too much sugar with raw juices and fruits and their kids had terrible tooth decay problems with their baby teeth. With an enhanced diet of bone broths and raw dairy and liver, the tooth decay went away (see Weston Price Foundation). So, be wary of a high diet of sugar from fruits and raw foods. Do not deplete the child of the fats and proteins he/she needs to formulate their body.

One of the redeeming factors regarding my own son is that he was born with a very strong body and continued to grow that way. During pregnancy I ate cooked liver every day, lots of raw veggies and a starch like squash or a potato for dinner. Had I not given him that pasteurized dairy and antibiotics I think he would have been allergy free. Dr. Greene has a lot of information about the use of antibiotics and allergies that is good to know should anything arise where antibiotics are needed.

Eat and feed organic foods from the Earth and not the Factory, and eat only from animals that are as healthy as you want to be, that are grass fed and raised humanely. That is my recommendation. Just my opinion!!

Good luck and keep up the great work! Thank you ! Chef Teton