WE are told that the fruits of the early are the most wholesome food and they are undoubtedly the most delicious. What can be more attractive and more tasty than a ripe peach, a luscious pear, a delicate grape, a handful of perfect cherries ? Unfortunately we rarely get fruit in perfect condition England. A witty Frenchman, returning from England, wrote: “The only ripe fruit which I had when in England was a baked apple.” At least 90 per cent of the fruit sold in this country is unripe, is in a condition in which no fruit-eating animal would touch it.
We pick gooseberries and other berries early in the year when they are hard, sour and uneatable and convert them into stewed fruit or jam, adding to them a large quantity of demineralized, acid- producing and unwholesome while sugar. There is a vast difference between the natural sugar in the fruit produced by the sun and the chemical sugar produced by the manufacturer. Practically all the fruit is gathered unripe and sent to market because the producers and retailers do not wish the fruit to spoil.
Consequently we are given almost exclusively unripe fruit. The sour, hard apples, pears, plums, etc., offered to s may get a little softer by being kept the greengrocers or in ones larder, but they will lack the natural sunlight and the natural flavour which natural ripening alone will given them. The fruit sent to us from abroad is also dispatched unripe and it is “ripened” in store. The oranges are frequently horribly sour, the bananas are totally unripe, we are offered grapes with berries as hard as marbles, etc.
A fully ripe orange never needs sugar to make it eatable. People believe that a banana is bad if he skin is speckled or black. Bananas are sent to England by the shipload quite unripe and unfit for human consumption. They become eatable when the skin becomes speckled, dark or black.
The nuts, recommended to us as particularly wholesome and as a substitute for meat, are usually stale, and they have been grossly and wickedly tampered with by the trade. They have been dried no ovens to increase their keeping quality, and they are steeped in salt water to make them look fresh and new, a disgusting trick. We are offered in walnut season walnuts which owing to the drying process are for all practical purposes six moths old, strong and bitter, or they are soggy, salty and mildewy.
Under these circumstances one can well understand that hundreds of thousands of people prefer sweet and luscious tinned fruit to fresh and that one is told; “I am sorry I cannot digest raw fruit. Thousands of people get diarrhoea and colic or some other form of violent indigestion after eating hard and unripe fruit, which is quite unsuitable for human or animal consumption.
Besides, only too often producers, especially in America, spray the fruit three with Arsenic and other dangerous poisons to destroy vermin. As long as the fruit appeals to the eye the retailer is satisfied because he knows it will sell. Unfortunately the bulk of the fruit offered to us in this country is not worth eating. If we wish to enjoy ripe fruit we have to grow it ourselves.
Much of thee foreign fruit is sent to us dried. We get dried raisins, sultanas,m currants, figs, dates, bananas, etc., from the countries where they are grown. Thee shortsighted housewife is anxious that the food she buys should be clean and that it should look appetizing, and the trade provides us with dried fruit which looks clean and attractive. Unfortunately much of the fruit is bleached in sulphur fumes which destroy vermin, but which at the same time make the fruit unwholesome, for we swallow in it sulphuric acid.
Brown sultanas are sold at one price and blonde sultanas are sold at a higher price. The blonde sultanas have been bleached with sulphur fumes, and they taste disgustingly of sulphur to anyone with a discriminating plate. The same applies to may of the dried apples, the dried apricots, the dried pears and peaches which taste chiefly of sulphuric acid. Their sale ought to be prohibited by law. Every reader of HEAL THYSELF” should insist upon unbleached and all dried fruit with a sulphur smell or sulphur taste in them should be hands back to the shop as unfit for human consumption.
Fruit bought unripe should bee ripened not in a stuffy room or larder, but in sun and wind. Readers should grow their own fruit as far as possible and they should remember that fruit grown in the open is superior to fruit grown under glass.