I first read this book in 1987, when it was initially published. I'd picked it up in a bookstore on Fifth Avenue (that's how well I remember the occasion, 16 years later), started to read, and couldn't put it down. So I bought what for me then was an expensive book and finished it that night.
It was difficult to know who to admire more after after I'd completed it, Ron Schmid, who so lucidly and modestly outlined the accomplishments of Weston Price (really, the centerpiece of the book), or Price himself, an extraordinary man whose self-supported, worldwide investigations of the food traditions of native cultures were nothing less than revolutionary in what they implied for how most of us eat--and live--today. In any case, I felt oddly moved by this book--a strange thing to say considering its subject--as if some real portion of an invaluable truth had been exposed to me.
Three years later, I used this book to develop an eating plan for my pregnant wife, including cod liver oil every day and a lot of fish and raw milk cheeses (the closest we could come, even in Manhattan, to any raw milk products). With all of that, our son decided to wait two weeks beyond his due date to make his appearance--21 1/2'' long and weighing over nine pounds--with the obstetrician remarking that my wife's placenta was twice the normal weight, in fact was the largest she'd seen in all her years of delivering children. I don't know whether either fact can be attributed to the diet my wife had followed, but the important thing is that our son turned out to be very bright, healthy, and the owner of a sweet temperament (our first clue of that being that he was effectively sleeping through the night when he was two weeks old)--qualities that this book suggest are not at all unusual when pregnant women follow traditional diets.
So, for me this book has some sort of talismanic power, the kind I associate with other profound life-transforming (or -generating) reading experiences. In that sense, I'm not particularly interested in challenging ANY part of it, as some others here have done, because I feel its general, encompassing theme is so strong and effectively expressed by the writer, and because, as far as I know, Schmid was a trailblazer in introducing (and explicating so clearly) Weston Price's work to the general reading public. I will add, though, that anyone interested in this book, should and even must buy a copy of Sally Fallon and Mary Enig's Nourishing Traditions, which extends Schmid's (and Price's) generalities into the American kitchen. It's as much a treasure as Schmid's book, as the two together, like Jack Sprat and his wife, cover everything (including how to think about fat), from principles to practicalities, that you might need to build new lives out of ancient practices.