NATURAL food is consumed by all but in varying degree. Centuries ago there was a saying:L “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Many people believe that they can keep their health by eating a raw apple once a day, although they eat the most ghastly mixtures of ill-assorted, unsuitable and harmful goods.
At the other end of the scale are to be found the raw food enthusiasts who tell us with the voice of prophets that we were meant to live on the raw foods favoured by caterpillars and slugs; that the cereal foods are too starchy, that milk was meant for calves, that eggs are unwholesome except in the strictest moderation, etc.
The fruitarians and the raw food eaters occasionally condemn honey as being an animal product, threat butter and cheese as though they were poisons, but they are frequently men in poor health and usually they are thin and emaciated. They are a poor advertisement for the diet which they recommend.
There are a few excellent books on healthy and whole-some nutrition by means of natural food. The trouble about our food is that it is only too frequently completely denatured and chemicalized. The chemist has much to answer for. The reaction against so-called scientific foods is becoming stronger and stronger. Hence the volume like the one before us is to be welcomed. The book contains a large number of excellent recipes and much valuable advice. The contents of the book may be gauged from the following example:.
“MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCE”.
“Fresh clean milk of cow, goat or sheep is an excellent and nourishing food. Preferably it should be eaten soon after the animal is milked and it should on no account be boiled, sterilized or pasteurized. These processes (pasteurization most of all) destroy its vitamins, make the casein indigestible and deposit albumen on the sides of the saucepan or other recipient. Naturally dirty or infected milk is not a good food, but the remedy for this is not to kill the milk, but to have healthy herds and clean methods of distribution. Milk is a very complete food and should consequently be eaten alone or with very few other foods.
It harmonizes well with whole cereals and also with sweet fruits, honey and dried fruits, but not with very acid fruits. Fresh milk should never be eaten at the same time as sour milk or sour mil products such as cheese, since when taken in combination, fermentations are set up in the organism. Not does white of egg accord well with milk, though the yolk is permissible. Beyond these two definite incompatibilities, milk can be taken with any other natural food, but is most digestible when taken alone or with a cereal. It should never be eaten with white sugar.
“In general, milk is less rich in minerals than fruits and vegetables, but it is richer in fat, protein and carbohydrates. It is essentially a nourishing food, rather than an eliminative food or drink. In early spring when the cow or goat is feeding on fresh young grass it is at its best and most eliminative. A preference should therefore be given to milk and milk products in the spring.
The quality of milk on the health of the cow, and also on the food of the cow. Milk is a vegetable product if the cattle are fed on fresh grass and cereals, but if fed on dried blood and other artificial products, the milk becomes a poison to be avoided. It is therefore wise to make such enquiries as are possible about the origin of ones milk supply. This is necessarily impossible in large cities, but is feasible in the country.
“Provided there is an equal degree of cleanliness and health in the animal, goats milk is superior to cows milk. Sheeps milk is better still, but is not very often obtainable in England or the United States.
“Certain organisms are unable to digest fresh milk. In such cases, milk in which a few teaspoons of lemon juice have been squeezed and the mixture then stirred with a wooden spoon till the milk falls into flakes, will be found to be very digestible, even by delicate stomachs. Lemon milk, as this preparation is called, is a very refreshing drink in warm weather”.