An indefatigable advocate for healthy aging lauds our unrefined wild Sockeye Salmon Oil
by Craig Weatherby and Randy Hartnell
We’ve known Ted Miller since the early days of Vital Choice, when his search for the perfect fish oil led him to our virtual door. Among myriad talents and interests, Ted is an experienced chemist who's expert in oils and fats.
He remains healthy, and more active than most 30-year-olds, despite achieving nonagenarian status five years ago.
We witnessed his rare vitality—and had trouble matching it—during a recent visit to his North Carolina home.
Ted attributes his robust health to a “prudent”, Mediterranean-style diet, supplemental fish oil, travel, constant curiosity and activity, and the company of canine companions.
Following the long and colorful career described below, Ted Miller became an inveterate traveler and, at 95, he’s a tireless advocate for senior rights and healthy aging.
Miller's local newspaper—the Tideland News of Morehead City, North Carolina—profiled him recently in an article by Annita Best, and focused on his interest in fish oil.
These are some pertinent excerpts:
- “Pretty much everyone agrees that fish oil has many health benefits, but Miller says the fish oil capsules you buy in the pharmacies can be over-processed, distilled or denatured thus don’t contain the nutrients pure oil does.”
- “Miller met Randy Hartnell on the Internet while researching fish oil and they discovered they have a similar view of nutrition… in particular with regards to omega-3 fatty acids.”
- “Hartnell’s product is as close to fresh as possible. The freshly caught wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon are taken from the boat to a dedicated plant where they are cleaned and the oil is removed, deep-chilled and stored.”
- “It is then transported to a licensed facility where it undergoes simple filtration before being bottled or encapsulated in fish-based soft gels.”
Ted stated his case for Vital Choice Salmon Oil plainly and to the point: “The reason I’m so strong on this particular oil is because it’s almost as if you ate the actual salmon.”
To read the full story, go to the Tideland News.
Ted Miller’s amazing odyssey and senior advocacy
Ted Miller was born in 1913 in Taylor, Texas, and received his chemistry degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering in 1935.
After serving in World War II, he bought a Nova Scotia Bluenose Schooner, which served as his home and office while he was working for Chesapeake Bay canneries and freeze plants.
Then, in October 1948, Ted sailed to Morehead City, North Carolina, where he lived aboard a fishing schooner while offering consulting services to fisheries.
Soon after, Wallace Fisheries Co. agreed to sponsor a research and quality control program in their menhaden plants. Menhaden oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, but no one knew then how important omega-3s are to good health.
In 1957, the company was approached by the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research, whose researchers wanted to conduct a medical study of the effects of fresh, purified fish oil on peoples' blood fat profiles.
Excepting unrefined cod liver oil, fish oil was produced only for industrial applications, and the processing methods made it unfit for human consumption.
Ted’s team worked hard to figure out how to keep their menhaden oil’s delicate fatty acids—including omega-3s—intact during production, and finally succeeded in producing the five gallons needed for the study.
The Rockefeller Institute’s landmark research was published in the leading medical journal Lancet.
Fish oil pioneer becomes senior-health advocate
His unprecedented production of a fish oil suitable for human health research marked neither the beginning nor the end of the unique odyssey that led Ted Miller to Vital Choice.
In the early 1970s, Ted received a five-year appointment as Food Science Sea Food Extension Specialist for the North Carolina State University Seafood Laboratory, where he conducted research designed to develop and improve seafood products.
He then moved to Ocean, N.C., with his wife Sylvia, where they raised four children and he operated his Marine Chemurgics Laboratory.
After Sylvia’s death in 1990, Ted Miller launched a 13-year odyssey he called “Wildegeest”—a Dutch word meaning “wild spirit”—to explore North America.
He’s traveled the continent for years with “best-friend-dog” companions, and spreads good cheer and well-informed nutritional advice wherever he goes.
In 1999, at age 86, “the man” and best-friend-dog Theodore traveled 15,000 miles from North Carolina to Newfoundland. And in October of 2004, they completed a 6,700 mile tour to the outer reaches of the St. Lawrence River.
Over the years, Ted developed a growing concern for the segregation of old people, and the inadequacy of their prevailing diets.
This led to his starting EarthWise Farm—a pesticide-free, sustainable demonstration farm—and a study of diet and fish oil.
Ted then established the Wildegeest Foundation, to educate people about nutrition and improve the lives and diets of the elderly.
Ted Miller’s Fish Oil Therapy Project
Ted found us when he was looking for a pure but unrefined fish oil to include in a study of the effects of combining supplemental fish oil with the so-called “prudent” or “Mediterranean” diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, whole grains, and fish.
Called the Fish Oil Therapy Project (FOTP), this informal but serious study is sponsored by Ted’s Wildegeest Foundation. To learn more about this ongoing study—now in its third year—click here.
The Fish Oil Therapy Project is supervised by Scott Rice, Ph.D., M.D., who, years earlier, performed basic science research on fish oil at Glaxo, Inc. in collaboration with Duke University scientists.
Dr. Rice left the pharmaceutical industry in 1989 to become a primary care physician in his home town of Morehead City, NC, where he met Ted.
We’re glad to supply the wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil capsules needed for Ted Miller’s FOTP study.
And we’re happy to join Mr. Miller as co-conspirators in his worthy plot to make Americans of all ages healthier!
- Best A. Ted Miller touts benefits of fish oil. Tideland News, November 26, 2008. Accessed online November 27, 2008 at http://tidelandnews.com/articles/2008/11/27/tideland_news/news/doc492d4eef75280511880178.txt
- Wildegeest Foundation. http://www.wildegeestfoundation.org/