My Great-Grandma was a tough ol’ chick.
She ate real, traditional food & could cook up fried chicken from scratch. When I say “from scratch” I literally mean “from scratch”. As in, she would kill a chicken, dress it, coat it with flour, and fry that baby up in a big ‘ol frying pan of lard. She was an amazing woman, my great-grandma. That woman wasn’t afraid of anything. She’d sleep out in the dark woods with hungry bears if you dared her to. She was that tough.
Naturally, when I started to research traditional, nourishing foods, I thought of my great-grandmother. I knew SHE would have supported my lifestyle, and probably could have taught me some amazing traditional cooking skills, but…
Did Grandma really know best?
One of the most common questions when talking about the wisdom of traditional diets is…..“Didn’t people way back then drop dead at 40? They ate a lot of meat & fat, and had a shorter life expectancy, right?”
WRONG! The truth is, life expectancy is NOT a recorded number of the age people died, but rather an average of all deaths, with a very high number of infant deaths. High infant mortality rates before 1900 skewed the numbers. The high infant mortality rate before the 1900s was due to unclean conditions and poor medical care. Subsequently, life expectancy numbers before the year 1900 gets easily knocked down to a low life number. Because infant mortality rates decreased as medical technology increased, the average life expectancy for men in 1907 was 45.6 years, in 1957 it was 66.4, and in 2007 it reached 75.5. The increase of life expectancy is due to a decreasing infant mortality rate which was 9.99% in 1907, 2.63% in 1957, and 0.68% in 2007.
The truth is the human lifespan has been consistent for more than 2,000 years!
“The inclusion of infant mortality rates in calculating life expectancy creates the mistaken impression that earlier generations died at a young age; Americans were not dying en masse at the age of 46 in 1907. The fact is that the maximum human lifespan — a concept often confused with “life expectancy” — has remained more or less the same for thousands of years. The idea that our ancestors routinely died young (say, at age 40), has no basis in scientific fact. When Socrates died at the age of 70 around 399 B.C., he did not die of old age but instead by execution. It is ironic that ancient Greeks lived into their 70s and older, while more than 2,000 years later modern Americans aren’t living much longer.”
– Benjamin Radford, Bad Science Column
Just for curiosity, I decided to research my own ancestral line as well as my husband’s ancestral line to find out how long our very own ancestors lived…
- My husband’s great-great-great-great grandfather Augustas Oliver Artemas Stowell, was born June 4th, 1783 and died August 23, 1860 at age 77.
- My husband’s great-great-great-great grandmother Mary Stephens Holmes, was born Sept. 15th, 1797 and died Nov. 20th, 1885 at age 88.
- My great-great-great-great grandfather James Monroe Lindsey, was born December 30th, 1829 and died January 9, 1912 at age 83.
- My great-great-great-great grandmother Mary Sarah Ann Little, was born July 2nd, 1832 and died March 5th, 1910 at age 78.
Crazy, right?! Turns out grandma & grandpa knew how to live a long, healthy life with traditional food!
An excerpt from my great-great-great grandmother Martha Lindsey’s journal shows the amazing VITALITY the traditional diet brings…
“The day & night before school started in 1901, I worked one hundred buttonholes and sewed on one hundred buttons, trying to finish up the children’s school clothes. I was still sewing at dawn. I milked the cows and fixed breakfast. I worked all morning about the house and cooked dinner. Then that afternoon I gave birth to my tenth child.”
That’s a REAL LIVE journal entry from 1901, you guys.
Our ancestors didn’t worry about heart disease, cancer or diabetes. They didn’t fear Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. These diseases were so incredibly rare before the 1900s, that they didn’t need scientists to solve any mystery. There was no mystery! Our ancestors simply ate food – real food, and were nourished. Sure, there was illness and life was not perfect. But chronic degenerative diseases rates were incredibly low.
The leading cause of death before 1900 was one of four things: infancy death, death from childbirth, death from infections, & death from accidents. (source ) Today, the leading causes of death are heart disease & cancer. (source ) Clearly, there’s something we need to change.
Following a traditional diet will give us optimal health. Seasonal fruits & vegetables, grains, milk, butter, cream, meat, seafood, eggs – all in the best form possible and if you can digest them – is the key to weight loss and disease reversal.
Avoiding fake foods like store bought crackers, cookies, cereals, granola bars, protein mixes, — as much as possible (without stressing about it too much) – is the key to keeping our bodies clean & toxic-free.
So, next time someone says to you that bacon is bad, or that lard will clog your arteries, or that fat will make you fat, have them read this article. Or this one , or this one . Or better yet, have them read my new book here.  If your friends and family don’t believe a little ‘ol blogger like me, show them (affiliate link) this book  and (affiliate link) this book . ‘Cause it’s time to wise up and discover the healthy, delicious food of our ancestors. It’s time to get back the skills of our great-grandmothers and become nourished.
Read the Full Article Here .
Reprinted with Permission.
Testimonials and Discussions
After publishing this article on Facebook pages, an incredible amount of of discussions and testimonials started rolling in. Here are some from reader comments published on these Facebook pages:
My great great grandmother lived to 96 without indoor plumbing, electricity or a car!! She had 12 children, naturally of course! LOL – Janet
My great grandfather was in good shape over 100 – Jerry
My great lived just a week short of 102. Food has been played with and antibiotics kills gut bacteria, in-turn causing all sorts of GI diseases. Our dieting is also creating issues – being hospitalised twice from diets. – Elisabeth
My great-grandma, who lived to be in her nineties, ate a wilted greens salad every night at the beginning of dinner. It was dark greens with bacon grease poured over it. That’s right…BACON GREASE!! – Libby
Grandfather 94, Grandmother 86…Never dieted and ate all the supposed BAD FOOD! -Linda
my Nan was 98 when she passed away and was given dripping bread most her childhood… we had it too… we were skinny kids and had loads of energy… mind you they didn’t share the bacon but we got the whole fat milk – that was not homogenised! – Debs
My Dad’s 97, in touch with his children every day and devoted to God. He also had a great start in life with a mother who cooked with wholefoods as normal anf he played tennis a lot and swam in the sea. He veers away from fry ups because he never grew up on it and it upset his stomach. – Serena
My great great grand parents 112 grand ma 93 mum is74 I’m 54 l eat butter lard when l can and coco nut oil love them all – Tony
95 grandpa 91 grandma. Fried chicken beef the works – Susan
Hubby’s gma had pigs on the farm and consumed all & of course used lard, cows were milked and gardened…she passed @ 100!! No chemicals, no processed food. – Jen
In Italy…They lived to a ripe old age……..Everything was home grown on a huge farm. Chickens. pigs, cows, sheep, and lots of fruits and vegetables that my family cultivated. My childhood was very memorable in Italy. – Josephine
My grandmother lived to be 104 yrs old. And this article is true, she cooked from scratch and ate good foods, not store bought if she bought it, it was local grown. – Wind
Great grandma 101 years old. Grandpa in his 90’s & still driving. 2 grandmas in their 80’s. we are changing the way we eat at my house. Butter, eggs, clean meat, clean fruits & veggies
Detox detox detox – Melissa
I deep fry my bacon in ghee, I’ve lost 20kgs this year. We have to rethink the way we’ve been eating. – Donna
Lol! My husband had a great-uncle who lived into his 90s. Somewhere in his 80s his doctor told him that his food choices (bacon, lard etc) because is was going to “kill” him. He leaned into the doctor, looked him square in the eye and said in his thick, southern drawl, “Well, it’s taking a loooong time!” – Jumara
Granma 92,her 8 brothers/sisters all up to late 80-s with so called high colesterol diet. – Mari
Ya know. My great grandparents lived into their late 80’s eating all that – Valerie
My great grandmother was 90. She loved butter – Angela
My 92 year old great-grandmother proclaimed to the young doctor who dared tell her not to eat pork, “now listen here you young whippersnapper you! I’ve eaten pork every day for over 90 years and I’ve lived longer and better than you ever will.!” she died of acute leukemia 4 years later and ate pork every one of those days too! – Janet
My grandfather literally ate only meat and potatoes, frosted flakes and candy. He hated fruit, vegetables and legumes because that was all they ate during the depression–along with the occasional squirrel, opossum and raccoon. My grandmother always threw a stick of butter in the pan before she sautéed–a term she would never use lol–the meat. If they did have veggies they were served with more butter, cream and cheese. I do think the early veggies helped with his great health. But he worked in a coal mine until he was thirty, smoked until he was 45-years-old and had a *highball* every night. He never exercised, unless it was connected to his work as a custodian. His job kept him physically active all day. And he thought people who dieted and exercised were silly saying what they really needed was to push themselves away from the table. He lived to be 92-years-old. And if he hadn’t chewed tobacco he’d have lived to 100. – Lori
My grandmother lived to be 104. She was born in 1899, still had her own teeth (although some were broken) and never broke a bone or hip. She lived in 3 centuries. She used lard, ate bread, drank coffee, loved bacon. She was a wonderful Christian, too, and a great example to her family. – LA-ja
one of my grandma’s passed in her late 80s and the other in her early 90s. Ive always said that eating real food, not junk laced with prservatives and toxins was the reason they lived so long. Lard, real butter, real cream, bacon, eggs, fried foods, etc….real, fresh ingredients are not harmful. Fake butter, fake cream, over-sized chickens, hormone-laced meats, pesticide-covered fruits-vegetables, etc isnt real food. – Strickland-Sims
I’ve said this for years! My Dad passed away 4 years ago at 96 after losing my Mom at age 86. His Mom lived to 98! My husbands Great Great Grandfather lived to 104 and his Dad is 88. What did they eat? All that we’re told is bad for us!! Preservatives and processed junk is what’s helping to shortening lives! – Debby
My grandma died at 93. They were farmers. Grandpa would bring honeycomb in and kill rabbits when I was young. She canned the food they grew. We ate real butter, and she put cream on the berries she grew. He sold the corn in town. – Carole
Moms 86—eats everything…grandma made it to 86…fat back…lard in biscuits…difference is ..they worked hard. Most of their lifes..carried water..wood..hung out clothes ..always workin – Mary
grandpa 93, grandma 89, mum 80. they had own geese, chickens, pigs and a huge veggie garden. all natural, no pestisides. – Marina
Totally agree with everyone here, My grandparents both maternal and paternal lived in their 90’s. Since the government has allowed all the toxic chemicals in our foods is when people have been getting sick, no dying more from cancers and other detrimental diseases from toxic chemicals and all the preservatives, colours and flavours and including the ones we don’t know of like the 200, 300 400 and so on that they put in our foods!!!! – Sonia
My grandmother lived to be 97. She ate all of the things they have told us for years not to eat. Her sons didn’t eat the things they said not to eat and they all died a lot younger than her. – Phyllis