(From Der Wendepunkt)
INCURABLE diseases are largely caused by dietetic faults. Their significance is scarcely sufficiently appreciated. The first warning of the danger of dietetic faults was given to the world by the beri-beri disease. That terrible disease was produced by feeding the people of the East on rice from which the outer skin and the germ had been removed. Polished rice may look more attractive than the brown rice, but it is deadly to those who endeavour to live on it. White wheat flour also is apt to produce beri-beri. When the Madeira-Mahmora railway was built in South America, the labourers were fed principally on white flour and 4,000 of them died of beri beri.
The milling industry treats in the identical way grains of every kind, wheat, maize, oats, rye, barley, depriving these of their most valuable constituents and in the same way sugar is made dangerous by the process of refinement which gives us a beautifully white sugar, pleasing to the eye, but dangerous to health. In the kitchen the most important food elements are wasted. The water in which vegetables have been boiled contains the most important food elements of the plants. It is usually thrown away by the cook. It is also a mistake to peel apples and pears because the skin and the core contain vitamins, Iodine, Fluoric acid, etc.
We must remember that bread constitutes about 40 per cent. of the food of mankind, and practically all the bread eaten by the civilized is white bread. An additional large proportion of our food consists of puddings, cakes and confectionery made of de- vitaminized and de-mineralized white flour, white sugar, etc. The consumption of sugar per head has increased about ninefold during the last century.
The variety of foods obtainable by the masses has greatly increased but the foods obtainable by the masses has greatly increased but the foods supplied to us are largely deprived of their vitamin contents, of their Iodine, of their Magnesium, etc., and millions of civilized men suffer from deficiency diseases which would not exist if they lived on entire foods, such as wholemeal bread, unrefined sugar, etc.
If we study the composition of the wheat berry we find that Nature distributes the various food elements contained in it in a mysterious way, placing some into the flour, some into the germ, some into the skin of the berry, the bran. These elements are carefully balanced and are calculated to serve the growing plant in a way past our understanding. No one can calculate these elements and their proportions, nor can anyone replace them by some artificial combination.
We do not know the balance of nutritional elements needed by the human body. We have discovered only quite recently that that balance is of decisive importance for life, growth and health. Further, we do not know how the balance of food elements contained in the wheat compares with the food balance in the human body. We know, however, that there is an enormous difference between white bread and wholemeal bread which is entirely in favour of wholemeal bread.
The principle that men should live on entire foods applies to all foods, both of vegetable and of animal origin. As disorders and diseases created by deficiency foods develop only slowly and in the course of years, it is extremely difficult to ascertain the connection between deficiency foods and diseases. For instance, it is difficult to prove the damage done by over- consumption of sugar. It is, of course, obvious that men would rapidly sicken and die if they tried to live on sugar alone.
No one would be willing to undergo the experiment of being fed exclusively on sugar. However, it is well known that an excessive sugar intake is apt to produce anaemia and disease of the liver and pancreas. The danger of an excessive sugar intake is obvious to all thinking people.
Meanwhile, the sugar- producers spend large sums of money in order to teach the people by articles and advertisements that the consumption of sugar is perfectly harmless, that refined sugar is healthy and extremely nutritious. We must ask ourselves whether the sugar producers are most strongly interested in the health of the race or in the prosperity of their industry.
The objections to the over-consumption of sugar are so strong that no conscientious doctor can fail to see the danger. The sugar produced by the sugar refineries is entirely different from the sugar produced by nature. Every ounce of sugar contained in foods rich in natural sugar, such as grapes, carrots, pears, etc., is carefully balanced by important mineral elements, vitamins, etc., which are lacking in the white refined sugar generally employed.