Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation
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|Natural health, alternative medicine, nutrition|
The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (PPNF) is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established "to teach the public and professionals about foods, lifestyle habits, healing modalities, and environmental practices that can help people attain vibrant health." Founded in 1952, it was first known as the Weston A. Price Memorial Foundation after the 20th century researcher Weston Price who emphasized the importance of nutrition for health and dentistry. The other half of the foundation's current namesake is Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. whose study of nutrition in cats sparked interest in a diet high in raw animal products including uncooked meats and unpasteurized dairy. In 1969, after Price's death, the organization became the Price Pottenger Foundation, and then the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, which it bears today.
PPNF primarily advocates: 1) that consumption of animal fats is not dangerous to human health, and 2) that mainstream agricultural methods which emphasize the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides as well as factory farming and significant processing of whole foods, reduces overall nutritional quality of food and human health. The first set of claims go against the mainstream scientific consensus among researchers, doctors, and nutritionists, that a diet high in saturated fat presents serious risks to cardiovascular health and longevity. The second set of claims is aligned with the increasingly popular organic food movement, although major food growers and producers consistently affirm the taste and nutritional quality of their food as identical or better than organics.
PPNF now houses over 10,000 books and publications, including the works of Dr. Royal Lee, Dr. Melvin Page, Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin, Dr. William Albrecht, and others. The foundation today owns and protects the original copyrighted material of Weston A. Price, DDS, and Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD. They continue to republish Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, and Pottenger's Pottenger’s Cats – A Study in Nutrition.
Price was a dentist from Cleveland, Ohio, whose 1939 book, Nutritional and Physical Degeneration, describes the fieldwork he did in the 1920s and 1930s among various world cultures, with the original goal of recording and studying the dental health and development of pre-industrial populations including tribal Africans and Pacific islanders, Inuit, North and South American natives, and Australian aborigines. The book contains numerous photographs of the people he studied, and includes comparison photographs of the teeth and facial structure of people who lived on their traditional diet and people who had adopted or grown up on industrialized food. In certain instances it was possible for Price to examine and photograph traditional and industrialized eaters from the same family.
Francis M. Pottenger, Jr.
Pottenger was a doctor whose 1932-1942 Pottenger Cat Study addressed the nutritive value of heat-labile elements — nutrients destroyed by heat and available only in raw foods. Pottenger used donated laboratory cats to test the potency of the adrenal extract hormones he was making. The adrenal glands of these cats were removed for the experiments and Pottenger noted that most of the cats died during or following the operation. He was feeding the cats a supposedly nutritive diet consisting of raw milk, cod liver oil and cooked meat scraps of liver, tripe, sweetbread, brains, heart and muscle. When the number of donated cats exceeded the supply of food available, Pottenger began ordering raw meat scraps from a local meat packing plant, including organs, meat, and bone; and fed a separate group of cats from this supply. Within months this separate group appeared in better health than the cooked meat group. Pottenger conducted subsequent studies involving approximately 900 cats over a period of ten years, with three generations of cats studied. His experiments showed that cats were healthiest after being fed raw meat and raw dairy.
Joseph and Pat Connolly
Marion Patricia ("Pat") Connolly was the curator for PPNF, overseeing the archiving and promotion of the organization's materials. Pat studied health and nutrition for over 66 years and lectured on a variety of nutritional subjects. According to the PPNF, she was the foremost authority on the work of Price and Pottenger. In 1962 Pat took a course on nutrition by Alfreda Rooke, then Curator of PPNF, who had studied under Price. In 1972, she became a PPNF Nutrition Instructor and began teaching Rooke’s course. Pat Connolly taught classes educating people on Price's research and its applications. She authored several books, including Dietotherapy (The Kelley Research Foundation), Mini Guide To Living Foods, The Guide to Living Foods (PPNF), Food Alive (Livingston-Wheeler Medical Clinic), A Modern Approach to the Primitive Diet (Nero), and The Candida-Albicans Yeast-Free Cookbook (McGraw Hill). She was also listed as a co-author of the first edition of Nourishing Traditions. She died in November 2010. 
Her husband Joseph Connolly practiced dentistry in San Diego for 40 years and helped found PPNF. He died in 1996.
In 1994 George E. Meinig published Root Canal Cover-up Exposed which resurrected Price's old studies. Regarding the book, Hasselgren in New York Academy of Dentistry's Annals of dentistry stated "[t]he focal infection theory, supported by many including Dr. Price, has been attacked, debated, accepted, criticized, agreed upon, etc. but it has not been covered up." Hasselgren noted that Meinig would sometime confuse the meanings of "infection" and "inflammation" and based all his work on Price's 1923 Dental Infections, Oral and Systemic book. Hasselgren observed: "Many clinicians appear today to have lost sight of the fact that endodontical treatment shall be based on biology and not on the use of various gadgets to sweep canals. Also, one-visit treatment of necrotic, infected teeth is being advocated and practiced even if no long-term study has been performed to investigate this kind of treatment. The work of Dr. Weston Price is therefore still to a great extent valid and important and the role of infection can not be underestimated." Meinig died in May 2008 at the age of 93.
Mission and advocacy
"PPNF is dedicated to encouraging a return to traditional, biological farming methods. Our hope is to someday have a demonstration center that will further this work with a living laboratory to demonstrate the principles of soil enrichment with compost through the use of earthworms and animal manure; of humane animal husbandry, particularly to increase levels of the Price "X Factor" in dairy fats; of proper choice of whole natural foods derived from fertile soil; and of preparation techniques that enhance rather than diminish nutrient content in our food."
Publications and education
The PPNF houses an archive of books related to Price and Pottenger's work as well as the works of authors in related fields. The foundation publishes its own journal, the Journal of Health and Healing. They also sell a variety of books, DVD, and CDs, publish an online newsletter, and offer classes.
- Alternative medicine
- Focal infection theory
- Saturated fat and cardiovascular disease controversy
- Weston Price
- Weston A. Price, DDS, Nutritional and Physical Degeneration, 8th ed. (2008), ISBN 0-916764-20-6 & ISBN 978-0-916764-20-3
- Baumgartner JC, Bakland LK, Sugita EI (2002), Endodontics, Chapter 3: Microbiology of endodontics and asepsis in endodontic practice (PDF), Hamilton, Ontario: BC Becker, pp. 63–94, retrieved 2009-11-27
- Hasselgren, Gunnar (1994) Annals of dentistry: Volumes 53-54 New York Academy of Dentistry pg 42)