EVERY stockbreeder is aware that the health and strength of his animals depend principally on their nutrition, and that so-called “scientific foods” are a delusion and a snare. A race horse worth L 20,000 is fed on exactly the same primitive diet of oats, grass, hay, carrots, bran, etc., as the poor mans cart horse worth L 5. Men have lost their feeding instincts.
They eat and drink those things which are recommended to them by advertisers as “scientific” or “most scientific”, unless the artificialities offered to them are absolutely nauseous, and the result is, of course, disastrous. The diseases of civilization are principally due to the diet of civilization.
I am frequently asked by people whom I have never seen: “Which is the best diet for me?” The enquirers imagine that there should be a standard diet equally suitable to all individuals. As no two individuals are alike, there can neither be a universal boot fitting all feet, nor a universal diet suitable to all constitutions.
There are people who require much food or little food, few meals or many meals, much protein or little protein, etc. In diet, as in homoeopathic medication, one must individualize, and one must remember the maxim of Hippocrates: “An inferior diet, liked by a sick man is better for him than a superior diet which he detests”.
There are, of course, certain principles which should be followed. As natural food contains in abundance the vitamins, mineral elements, hormones, etc., which we need, we shall do well to live on food in its most natural condition. I have been a vegetarian for ten years, have benefited greatly by abstaining from flesh, fish and fowl, and I have induced thousands of people to become vegetarians with great benefit to themselves.
However, I have no prejudice against meat. The strongest argument against flesh foods is that they putrefy in a stagnant bowel, and unfortunately the bowels of the civilized are usually stagnant. Those who wish to eat flesh foods should eat them absolutely fresh. Theoretically it may be safer to eat them frozen, chilled, tinned, and they may be more tasty in the form of sausages, potted meat, etc., but embalmed foodstuffs are not likely to be wholesome.
Meat eaters should not disdain the blood and the organs, which are favoured by the unerring instinct of meat- eating animals. No animal, unless starving, will eat the flesh of dead animals. Our cats will not touch mice and birds found dead, nor will birds touch dead worms.
White bread and other things made of white flour may be palatable and pleasant to the eye, but they are injurious. Mice, rats, pigs, horses, fed on white bread die after a few weeks. White flour is chemically bleached and the baker adds further chemicals for blowing up the dough. Cakes and pastries are made attractive with coal tar dyes, and coal tar flavourings.
Unfortunately bakers are allowed to sell, as wholemeal bread, bread made from chemically treated white flour, to which a handful of bran has been added. Readers who wish to have wholesome bread should get Allinsons Wholemeal bread and those who wish to use wholemeal flour should get Allinsons wholemeal flour, or the wholemeal flour made by the Pitman Health Food Company, 471 Vitaland, Four Oaks, Warwickshire. That firm manufacturers scores of attractive health foods and scorns the use of coal tar dyes, dangerous chemicals, and dangerous processes.
That firm was one of the pioneers of the health food movement. Health food shops are to be found in London and in all the principal towns. A small provisional list of such shops is given in this Journal. Their managers can with advantage be consulted by those who wish to improve their health by improved nutrition.
Tinned vegetables and fruit are as objectionable as are tinned meats, although they may be tasty. The living food elements have been destroyed. Much of the tin and of the solder gets dissolved and is eaten with the food in which it is contained. In cooking vegetables soda and bicarbonate of soda should never be used. They leach out the mineral elements, destroy the vitamins, and these precious foodstuffs are thrown down the sink.
Vegetables should be boiled in plain water, and the liquid should be used either in soups or in other ways. Potatoes should never be boiled peeled but in their skins, because otherwise the precious alkalies contained in them are wasted. White sugar is as inferior to the natural brown sugar as white bread is to wholemeal bread. Where people live on wholemeal bread and natural sugar, there is little or no dental decay.
The Pitman Health Food Company and most health food stores sell the old-fashioned brown sugars and black treacle, which are exceedingly rich in vitamins, iron and other mineral elements.
Aluminium cooking utensils are injurious to many and they should not be used, not even for heating water. Water should be run off from the tap before being used for human consumption, because the water which has been standing overnight in the pipe may contain lead. Hot water from the hot water tap should not be used for cooking for the same reason.