EVERY stock breeder realizes the superlative importance of diet to the animals he breeds. He gives his horses, cows, dogs, a fair amount of exercise and fresh air, but he considers these of relatively minor importance compared with diet. Farmers have a traditional knowledge of the diet required for their animals. In their tradition the experience of thousands of years is embodied.
Those who are not satisfied with the knowledge which has been handed on from father to son apply to the various organizations for the promotion of agriculture and stock breeding, to scientific organizations, to the Board of Agriculture, etc., and professors of animal nutrition devise scientifically balanced diets for pigs, cattle, etc.
Unfortunately stock breeders and farmers who realize the supreme importance of correct natural feeding for their stock do not consider that question of any interest to themselves and to their families. They eat de- vitaminized, de-mineralized, and de-germinated white bread, de- mineralized and de-vitaminized white sugar, pastries and cakes, flavoured and dyed with coal tar products, etc., with disastrous results to their health.
While official medicine is principally interested in treatment with potent, risky and often dangerous drugs, injections, inoculations, and other pseudo-scientific proceedings, which happen to be the latest fashion or the latest craze, it is drawing upon the general public, largely owing to the teaching of men like Sir Arbuthnot Lane and of his associates in the New Health Society, that natural health cannot be obtained by the most artificial means, but only by natural food, air, exercise, etc.
Unfortunately those who seek for a correct, healthful diet are utterly confused by the professors of nutrition, whose books and articles cannot be understood by any except by other professional dietitians. One might imagine that diet is one of the most abstruse sciences which only a trained specialist can master. Yet every savage and every roaming animal unerringly lives on a correct diet. The scientific dietitian is largely responsible for the diseases of civilization.
He is teaching men and women to think and speak not in plain natural terms, but in calories, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, etc. It is worth mentioning that some of the highest authorities on scientific nutrition known to me, who presumably feed scientifically, have no teeth and a wretched digestion. I have lately received three books on diet. One is entitled Vital Facts About Foods. A Guide to Health and Longevity, by Otto Carque.
It is published at 5s. in paper cover and at 7s. 6d. bound in cloth, by the author at Los Angeles, California, and Messrs, C. W. Daniel, of 46 Bernard Street, W. C. I, act as his agents. The volume contains much interesting and important information. The author is obviously a nature curer who, rightly and wisely, warns his readers against the de-natured foods on which the civilized live to their injury. I would quote a passage or two which will show the character of his work. We read under the heading “Sulphured and Unsulphured Fruits.”.
“While dried fruits are not equal in hygienic value to fresh fruits, they are the best substitutes for them. They are preferable to canned fruits, containing syrup made from refined sugar, or candied fruits. Dried fruits make an ideal breakfast food, especially during winter and spring. They should be used instead of cereal breakfast foods.
“Fruits which have been sulphured before drying have a lighter colour than those which are dried without sulphuring. At the same time, it is well known that highly sulphured fruits are preserved with a larger percentage of water than those not sulphured, and for this reason a greater weight of fruit is produced from a given weight of the raw material when sulphur is used.
This is especially the case when the dried fruits are reprocessed in the packing houses. Here the fruits are washed and re-sulphured, increasing the sulphur content of the finished product often to 3,000 parts per million and more.”.
While there is much excellent and valuable information and much common sense in the book highly sulphured dried fruits are injurious the volume is disfigured by pseudo-scientific explanations of the value and functions of the different vitamins and of the various mineral elements by so-called scientific analyses of the composition of the various foods and their content of protein, fat, carbo-hydrates, mineral matter, etc., which are absolutely useless for all practical purposes.
Unfortunately nature curers try to adopt the peculiar language adopted by professors of nutrition, who are rather misleaders than leaders and who ” darken knowledge” with scientific gibberish.
As an honest critic I must take strong exception at Mr. Carques information regarding Aluminium. Referring to the justified objection that Aluminium cooking utensils are injurious because the metal dissolves and is absorbed by the food cooked in them he quotes on pages 60 to 62 an article by a doctor which pooh-poohs in declamatory style the danger of Aluminium poisoning.
The question whether Aluminium is injurious or innocuous cannot be settled by blatant assertions or futile experiments on animals, but only by experiments on human beings. Every experienced homoeopath knows the effect which Aluminium produces on human beings from the provings in our materia medica. Every observant homoeopathic doctor has seen numerous cases of Aluminium poisoning. A typical case is described in a letter published on another page. The authors treatment of the Aluminium question gives a bad impression. It causes one to doubt his impartiality and the soundness of his book.
Chapter 14 is headed ” Fruit, Mans Best Food.” That assertion, though expressed ever so eloquently, seems to me quite unsound. One can wax poetical on the fruits of the earth, on the masterpieces of nature, as Carque does, but modern fruit is not a masterpiece of nature, but a masterpiece of man. Most of our fruits were unknown to our ancestors who could not have dreamt of bananas, grape fruits, loganberries, etc. Like so many nature curers, Carque finds faults with all the grain foods which from his points of view are too starchy.
Men have lived for thousands of years on grain as a staple food, while the attempt to live on fruit is comparatively recent and those who try to live on fruit and nuts usually break down in health after a time through long- continued under-nutrition. On the other hand, Hindhede has shown that people can live for years on entire grains or on an exclusive potato diet. His assertion “Cereals, even in their natural state, do not contain enough of the alkaline basis to prevent an increase of acidity in the blood” may sound scientific, but his advocacy of a fruitarian diet is wrong and impracticable. There is not enough fruit to go round.
The author obviously starts from the theoretical assumption that man, resembling the higher apes, ought to live on a “natural” ape diet of fruit, berries, shoots of plants, nuts, etc., while cereals are “too starchy” and milk is “essential for the infant only”. Those who wish to live on an ape diet should be logical, discard their clothes and sleep in trees.
Mr. C. C. Abbott, of 56 Railway Road, Leigh, has sent me a little volume, A Legacy of Health. As there is no publishers name on the title page, those who wish to buy the little book should obtain it either from the author at the above address, or from the Homoeopathic Publishing Company. It is sold at 2s. 6d. The author is a nature curer, and a man of great ability. He seems to have an excellent chemical laboratory and he diagnoses disease largely by means of the Abrams Box. O
n January 28th, 1923, he had the misfortune of losing a boy patient who died of meningitis, an inflammation of the membrane covering the brain. Orthodox medicine applied lumbar puncture to that disease which as a rule is considered incurable. The boy had always been utterly defective. Abbott had treated him for years with the greatest devotion, and had done him much good, without asking for a remuneration, but he found himself indicted and charged with mans laughter, a terrible position.
As he had been very successful in his district, he was a thorn in the side of the medical men around him, especially as he earned an income of L2,500 a year, of which nine-tenths were used for research, etc. He was not only acquitted, but was triumphantly acquitted notwithstanding the imposing array of medical authorities brought against him. Abbott published a verbatim report of his trial at 3s., which is obtainable from the author, or from the Homoeopathic Publishing Company. It should be read by every lay healer. It will make him realize his position and his rights, risks, and duties.
In the present volume Mr. Abbott tells us that he has written this little book on dietetics because he discovered that most diseases are due to faulty feeding. He discovered the benefit of a more natural nutrition in his own body, for he was a consumptive, born of consumptive parents. He started life as a coal miner. He was saved, when considered incurable by the medical profession, by a layman who treated him with herbs, and it is not surprising that he became a herbalist himself. Abbotts book, like that of Carque expresses the faith of a nature curer.
Abbott, like Carque, favours fruit and vegetables, and he has not a good word to say for milk and eggs. The argument “milk was made for calves” may be impressive, but in practice milk is invaluable, especially to the sick. I certainly do not know of any substitute for it. After all milk is liquid beef. It has been used for invalids and for healthy grown-up people since time immemorial, and the most magnificent physique is found among those tribes and races who live on a lacto-vegetarian diet, such as the hill men in Northern India, among whom cancer is unknown.
Abbotts volume consists largely of recipes, and those vegetarians who wish for tasty dishes which require little cooking will find many appetizing ad attractive recipes in the volume. However, I would recommend my readers to replace Nutter by butter and to use whole-meal flour and other natural plain food instead of artificialities. Those who desire to adopt a fruitarian diet should remember that fully ripe fruit is almost unobtainable in England. The fruit offered at the fruiterers is very nice for table decoration, but the bulk of it is quite unripe and unfit to eat, while the nuts, which are the staple food of fruitarians, are, as a rule, stale and worthless. No self-respecting monkey would touch them.
There are people who proclaim themselves vegetarians, but who eat fish. Olga Hartley has provided for the fish-eating vegetarians a little book, Meatless Meals, Is. 6d., published by Messrs. Burns. Oates & Wash-bourne. Ltd., 43-45 Newgate Street, W. C. I, which contains a good deal of sense. We read:.
“Then English way of cooking green vegetables is to boil them in plenty of water to make them look as green when they come to the dinner table as if they were still growing in the garden. The water containing all the most valuable salts, the vitamins being destroyed by the soda is then thrown away. The French, among other nations, have other methods and ideas. They use only a little water so that when the vegetables are cooked, there is just a spoonful or two of liquid left in the vessel.
The vegetables are served in this juice with a piece of butter stirred into it at the last moment. Not only are they a much better flavour cooked in this way, but they are a much better food, only they are not such a cheerful colour. Of course the pot must be watched, lest the water should boil away entirely and, if necessary, more boiling water must be added. Peas cooked like this should have a spring of fresh mint put in with them, also a lump of sugar well rubbed with a raw onion. Carrots should also be cooked with a little sugar and so should tomatoes.”.
Those who wish to feed well and wisely should endeavour to get as much natural food as possible in the most natural condition, in perfect freshness and thoroughly cooked by the sun. Unfortunately totally unripe gooseberries, apples, etc., are bought which are not fit to eat by any animal, not even by pigs, and they are then cooked with plenty of demineralized and de- vitaminized white sugar, and offered to us as a health food.
The chemists, the dietetic specialists, and the middle men have much to answer for. I should not wonder if a special hell awaited those who ruin the constitution of the people by ruining their food.