The Paleo View

TPV Podcast, Episode 159, Fermented Cod Liver Oil Debate

Ep. 159, Fermented Cod Liver Oil Debate

On this episode of The Paleo View, Stacy and Sarah discuss the recent debates around fermented cod liver oil.

The Paleo View TPV 159 Fermented Cod Oil

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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 158, Fermented Cod Liver Oil Debate

  • Intro (0:00)
  • News and Views (0:56)
    • Stacy and Sarah had originally intended to host a part 2 discussion on sugar this week, but in light of recent discussions around Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil (FCLO), the hosts are going to shift gears this week to discuss rancid fats and what may or may not be happening with Green Pastures
    • A lot of the real food community has recommended Green Pastures for a very long time – they make and manufacture a number of products and have for a long time
    • You can find lots of information on Green Pastures throughout the community, as they have been a highly recommended supplement for a number of years
    • When Sarah first recommended Green Pastures she took a look at how it was extracted and how the integrity of the product was kept intact to keep it as a whole food
    • What sparked this whole discussion was a study that Dr. Kaayla Daniels released based on data that a third-party had completed on her behalf, and how the quality and claims were different than what is provided by the brand
    • This study has caused a big debate in the real food community
      • Example of the discussions around the study can be found here
    • Stacy is interested to learn more about the sides and the full-fact checking picture, because what concerns her about how this debate has unfolded is how the president of the Weston A Price Foundation made a decision to not investigate the concerns that were raised by the board of the Foundation on Green Pasture’s products
    • Green Pastures has offered members of the Weston A Price Foundation the chance to come and tour their farm and facilities to offer more insight into their product claims
    • Stacy wants to point out that the decision to not take Green Pastures up on this offer to fully investigate the truth before making and sharing decisions with the community, shows a lack of thorough analysis when making brand/product decisions (we have seen this kind of decision making before when the paleo community was attacked, see here)
    • What Stacy and Sarah hope to accomplish in this episode is to remove the subjective feelings and to take a look at the facts and science behind the findings, and to take a deeper look at rancidity of fats so that listeners can make fully informed decisions
    • First Sarah wants to discuss Dr. Daniels report and the debate around her conclusions, as she is seeing some misunderstandings on the science and wants to shed some more light on those misunderstandings (20:04)
      • Sarah finds it interesting that FCLO is considered a traditional food, yet Green Pastures is the only company that makes and sells it and it has only been on the market since 2007, when the Western A Price Foundation (WAPF) first highly endorsed it
      • The first criticism by Dr. Daniels is how can you ferment oil, you need to have something for a bacteria to eat – taking a deeper look at how Green Pastures explains their fermentation process on their site
      • How difficult it is to draw conclusions is based on to what extent the product manufacturing information is shared by Green Pastures
      • Concerns were first raised around Green Pastures product integrity by Dr. Ron Schmidt, see more here
      • Others began to share their experiences and say that they too were experiencing negative effects from FCLO consumption
      • Nourished and Nurtured shared a similar personal story as well, and how they too had experienced negative results from consistent FCLO consumption
      • In March 2014 a Green Pastures competitor, Corganic released extra virgin cod liver oil and Dan Corrigan again questioned how you can ferment cod liver oil, which sparked the WAPF President (Sally Fallon) to threaten to ban Corrigan from WAPF events
      • Dr. Daniels first began looking into the science a bit more in December 2014, in response to these debates that were happening all over the place on FCLO
      • The way Sally (the WAPF president) then responded to these debates and Dr. Daniels concerns shows a lack of scientific investigation when addressing a question of the WAPF board and community
      • In February 2015 the WAPF released a rebuttal to these debates, which then sparked Dr. Daniels to submit her own samples of Green Pastures FCLO for testing, and this is what her report that was recently released in August covers
        • The first investigation in the report, can this even be fermented? (30:39)
        • The second piece she investigated was oil rancidity
          • The three different ways fats can go bad
        • One of the other pieces that Dr. Daniels looked at was the vitamin content
          • The omega 3 content is surprisingly low and there are trans fats present, but it is unclear if they are good or bad trans fats
          • There are questions around whether or not these tests actually looked at all the different forms of vitamin A, D, K2 and if some forms were missed
      • It is clear what additional questions need to be explored
      • However, others have tried to undermine Dr. Daniels report by making unscientific statements in rebuttal
      • This raises some concerns for Sarah:
        • We do not have all the answers and it is too difficult to make a statement yay or nay against FCLO
        • Dr. Daniels will not share the information on the five labs who tested the FCLO, or where the funding for these studies came from
        • This is essentially a debate between two sides and no one is providing all the information, which is frustrating because Sarah wants to share an informed decision with those looking for more information
      • Stacy’s personal feelings on the information that is being shared and her approach until more information is available
  • You can find a lot more information on this debate in Sarah’s recent post, FCLO Friend or Foe? 
  • Stacy just wants to encourage everyone to be subjective to the recommendations you receive, regardless of who those recommendations are coming from
  • Next week’s show will be a sugar part 2 discussion
  • Please don’t forget to leave those reviews in iTunes and to share with others
  • Outro (1:04:36)

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