Did Genghis Khan Read Weston Price?

In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (2004) by Jack Weatherford, I read this (p. 87):

Compared to the Jurched [Chinese] soldiers, the Mongols were much healthier and stronger. The Mongols consumed a steady diet of meat, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products, and they fought men who lived on gruel made from various grains. The grain diet of the peasant warriors stunted their bones, rotted their teeth, and left them weak and prone to disease. In contrast, the poorest Mongol soldier ate mostly protein, thereby giving him strong teeth and bones.

To tenderize meat a Mongol would put it under his saddle while riding. I was pleased to read this because I eat a lot of meat and yogurt (but not milk). The source of this information is unclear but it’s a surprisingly modern comparison. Good Calories Bad Calories (2007) by Gary Taubes says much the same thing (minus the yogurt — the part that most interests me). Weston Price wrote many similar passages comparing people eating traditional food (= Mongols) with people eating modern food circa 1930 (= Chinese). Long ago, grain was modern food.

Thanks to Tucker Max.

One Response to “Did Genghis Khan Read Weston Price?”

  1. Charles Says:

    As Taubes wrote, we all new until recently that it was starch that caused us to get fat.

    When I was 14, in 1965, I did my own self-experimentation, and went on a meat-and-milk diet, cutting out all bread and starches and sugars. I was a fat kid, and over the sumer lost 30 lbs., and went from 205 to 175. I have no idea where I came up with that approach. But it worked, and ever since I’ve been able to manage my weight through managing carbohydrates.

    (Since that was pretty much a mongol diet, maybe I was a mongol in a previous life.)

    I really have little hope that as a population, we’re going to be able to do anything to stop the obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure epidemic. There is too much money to be made in carbohydrate-rich mutant foods, and they have discovered how to tap into the worst of our hormonal and neurological responses to sweet/starchy/salty tastes.

    I mean even this whole umami hypotheses, which should lead us to healthy things, if one of your recent links is accurate, is turned against us by something as banal as ketchup. That has not gone unnoticed by food scientists, I’m sure. So it’s only going to get worse for the bulk of the population.