HOME HYGIENE LIBRARY CATALOG GO TO NEXT CHAPTER
By denatured foods is meant foods that have been so altered and impaired in the processes of manufacturing, bleaching, canning, cooking, preserving, pickling, etc., that they are no longer as well fitted to meet the needs of the body as they were in the state Nature prepared them.
Every trophologist knows that the old "balanced ration" was what McCarrison called it, a "deficiency ration." It was composed of four items--proteins, carbohydrates, fats and water. Numerous animal experiments have shown that, while proteins, carbohydrates and fats are food elements, they are not in and by themselves food, either when taken alone or when artificially mixed.
In the Museum of Natural History (New York), is an exhibit showing the effects of soil deficiency on plant life. These plants, all of the same kind, were reared in soils lacking some element. The exhibit has to be seen to be fully appreciated. The plants range in size from about three inches to about eighteen inches in height. Their color ranges from pale yellow to dark green. The leaves of some are broad, of others narrow. Some of the leaves are kinky. All of the plants except one is defective both in size, color and features and all except that one were raised in soil lacking some food element. For example, one was raised in a soil lacking iron, (the plant has "anemia"), another in a soil lacking potassium, another in a soil lacking nitrogen, etc.
Food is the "soil" of animals. The digestive tract represents their roots. If essential food elements are lacking in their soil (foods), they, like the plants in the experiments, fail and die. Ride along the highway with an experienced farmer and he will point out to you, as he passes swiftly by in a car, fertile soil and poor soil, by the vegetation growing thereon; but the same farmer fails to recognize that sickly and stunted children are the result of poor soil (food).
Experiments revealed that animals fed on a diet composed of purified proteins, purified starches, purified fats and inorganic salts, although they may live on these for a time, do not grow and in a short time develop various pathological conditions as a result of such a "diet." If whey, or fruit juice, or vegetables are then added to the diet, the symptoms improve and the animals thrive better.
One physician sums up these results in these words: "What has been established is that a diet that contains enough nourishment, by all the recognized chemical standards, still fails to support normal growth and physiologic normality, if it lacks some unknown substances present in a variety of animal and plant tissues. A very little of these substances needs to be present, but there is an irreducible minimum."
Children and adults, alike, regularly consume breakfasts such as this one: Stewed prunes, a denatured cereal with white sugar and pasteurized cream, toast (white), pasteurized milk and, perhaps, bacon and eggs. Every article in this breakfast is denatured and altered chemically to a great extent. It is a predominantly acid forming breakfast and yet, the vitamin faddist will tell us only that it is lacking vitamin C or D. He will advise adding a little orange juice and cod-liver oil to make this a good breakfast. Our vitamin knowledge, where it is permitted to obscure all else, as is usually the case, certainly blinds so-called dietitians to some of the most important facts and principles of food science--trophology.
Except for the fresh fruits and vegetables you eat, practically everything you have on your table has had something done to it. Your milk is pasteurized, condensed, evaporated, boiled; your eggs are from hens that lay two or three hundred eggs a year and are fed on "rich" fare that produces disease in them. Your sugar is the crystallized, refined and bleached sap of cane or beet that has had all the minerals and vitamins removed from it. Your cereals are cracked, rolled, hammered, frittered, curled, flaked, ironed and even "shot from cannon," they are roasted, twice roasted, boiled, and in other ways rendered foodless. Wheat is milled, its minerals and vitamins removed, the flour is bleached and chemicalized. Its most important food elements are removed in the milling process. Your flesh foods are embalmed, smoked, pickled, salted, canned, corned, sausaged, fried, baked, broiled, refrigerated, cold-storaged and kept for long periods before being eaten. They are often drugged to give them color or flavor. Perhaps they come from sick animals. Your dried fruits are heated in drying, bleached with sulphur dioxide, stored for long periods of time and, finally, stewed and mixed with white sugar before being eaten.
The refining, preserving and cooking processes to which our foods are subjected destroy extraordinarily delicate and tender vital food factors. The refining and cooking processes rob foods of so much of their values that we add salt, sugar, spices, pepper and various other condiments and seasonings to them to make them palatable. Without the additions of such things they are dull, flat, insipid. Not so natural foods. Nature has placed delicate flavors and aromas in her foods that appeal to the senses of taste and smell.
A nation whose diet is made up almost wholly of such foodless foods cannot possibly be well nourished. Why go to great lengths and much trouble to build up our soils and then take everything out of the foods that the improved soils have put into them? When physicians prescribe such foods for infants and young children, for pregnant and nursing mothers and for patients they display both a lamentable ignorance of food values and a callous indifference to the welfare of children, mothers and patients. When they eat such foods themselves and feed them to their own children, they reveal that ignorance is their most prominent characteristic.
Over eighty years ago, Dr. Magendie, of Paris, starved one full pen of dogs to death by feeding them a diet of white flour and water, while another pen thrived on whole wheat flour and water. He fed another pen of dogs all the beef tea they could consume, and gave the dogs of another pen only water. The beef tea fed dogs all starved to death. The water fed dogs had lost considerable weight and would have starved also if the experiment had been continued; however, they were alive after those fed on beef tea were all dead. They were fed and all recovered.
Dogs fed on albumen, fibrine, or gelatine--the constituents of muscle--died in about a month. They can live longer than this on water alone. Dogs fed on the constituents of muscle artificially mixed, died in about the same time. Dogs fed on oil, gum or sugar died in four to five weeks. Dogs fed on fine (white) flour bread lived but fifty days.
A goose fed on egg white died in twenty-six days. A duck fed on butter died in three weeks, with the butter exuding from every part of its body, its feathers being saturated with fat. A goose fed on gum died in sixteen days; one fed on sugar in twenty-one days; two fed on starch died in twenty-four and twenty-seven days.
Dr. Page says, "Pigeons, chickens and mice will flourish on Graham (whole wheat) flour, but all will die within three weeks on white flour." A colony of mice fed on the best grade of white flour will all develop constipation in three days and die within a month. An equal number fed on whole wheat flour will flourish and gain weight.
In the process of making white flour out of wheat grain the outer coat of the grain is removed. This removes seventy-five per cent of the calcium of the wheat, much of the phosphorus, four-fifths of the iron and much of the other minerals of the wheat. The process also removes seven-eights of the thiamine and niacin, and three-fourths of the riboflavin. Much protein of the wheat is also cast aside by the milling process and the protein thus lost is of better quality than that in the heart of the wheat. Farmers feed these cast-off portions of the wheat to their horses, cows, pigs, chickens and other animals. "What fools these mortals be!"
In the milling process about thirty per cent of the wheat grain is thrown away and with it practically all of its alkaline minerals. White flour is of so little value that bugs, weevils and worms, that readily eat and do well on whole wheat flour, will not eat it except when forced to do so by extreme hunger, and then it kills them in a short time. How true is the statement that "we boast of having the whitest flour in the world. We have also the thinnest hair, and the poorest bones, teeth and nerves as a result."
Whole wheat alone, as pointed out in a previous chapter, will not sustain life in a normal manner. After a shorter or longer period the normal rate of growth slackens, unless green foods are added to the diet.
Many of the "diets" employed for experimental purposes are not worthy of the name. Rats fed on the following "diet" showed rickets in thirty days:
White flour 95.0% Calcium lactate 2.9% Sodium chloride 2.9% Iron citrate 0.1%
Nobody but an ignoramus could call this a diet. The white flour it contains is the only thing in it that even remotely resembles food.
A number of diets deficient in various vitamins have been formulated by the investigators. Here is one for example, formulated by Osborne and Mendel:
Purified Casein 18% Cornstarch 48% Lard 30% Salts 4% 0.3 Gm. dried yeast (for vitamin B1)
It is obvious at a glance that this is not a diet. There is almost no food in these materials. The salts are inorganic. The starch is devoid of minerals as is the lard. The casein is purified, which means that it has been deprived of its salts. Vitamin A is not the only thing lacking in this "diet." Experiments with "diets" of this nature can have no practical value in enabling us to better feed ourselves, our children and our patients. It should not surprise us that subsistence on this "diet" for any length of time will stop the growth of young animals. Growth could hardly be expected to last beyond the exhaustion of the stored reserves in the bodies of the animals.
The addition of one or more vitamins to such "diets" will not render them adequate. A true diet must be composed of foods: natural foods. Neither of the "diets" presented above resemble even the worst diets eaten anywhere.
Here is another example of these experimental diets, fed by Dr. Percy Howe, of Harvard University: "We take soy beans (50%), rolled oats (28%), dried whole milk (10%), yeast (4%), butter (5%), agar (1%), calcium carbonate (1%), and sodium chloride (1%), mix moisten with water and bake into a hard cracker. We feed a liberal quantity of pure cellulose, in the form of filter paper, as roughage. This diet contains enough of everything to sustain life except Vitamin C, and we may be sure that no animal is going to get his living from it unless he chews hard and long."
The statement that this diet contains enough of everything, except Vitamin C, to sustain life is absolutely and unqualifiedly false. This is not a diet at all. It is a poison, if it is anything. It certainly is not a food.
Sodium chloride is common table salt and is not assimilable or usable by the body. It is excreted unchanged. It comes out in the same state it entered the body. No metabolized food does this. It is not food, but an irritant. Its addition to food, supplies no lacking element. The same is true of calcium carbonate. It is a useless inorganic salt. It supplies the body with nothing.
In trying to prove that this "diet" only lacks Vitamin C, he takes no consideration of the oxidation of sulphur and phosphorus, for example, in the process of cooking. The proteins of soy beans are of a high grade, but cooking them into crackers doesn't make them any good. Take, again, the milk contents of this "diet." It is already injured when it comes to the hand of this experimenter, by the process of drying, and is still further injured in being cooked into a cracker.
The mere process of "sterilizing" (pasteurizing) milk, and this is done at a comparatively low temperature, causes the calcium-magnesium-carbon-phosphate it contains (a salt indispensable to the upbuilding of bones) to break up into its constituent salts and three of these--calcium phosphate, magnesium phosphate, calcium carbonate--are practically insoluble, and their usefulness greatly impaired. There is also a partial coagulation of the milk protein, the coagulated portion being precipitated with the salts. There, is by simple sterilization of milk, a great and physiologically important reduction of the bone-nourishing salts of the milk. When still greater and more prolonged heat is applied, as in baking, there is still greater damage done to these salts and proteins. The same thing occurs with the salts and proteins of the beans, oats and yeast. The butter is rendered practically indigestible.
Is it any wonder, then, that Dr. Howe hastens to add: "No animal is going to get his living from it very long no matter how hard he chews, because if it is not changed, all the animals fed exclusively upon it will be dead in four weeks." We don't doubt it. Indeed, we would expect it. And we would expect it if we had never heard of vitamins. Animals fed on such "food" are not fed. It is not food.
We have not learned to make, nor even to imitate living substances. We know that animals are dependent upon plants for their food and cannot go directly to the soil for it. We can neither synthesize these substances in the laboratory, nor can we tear them down in the kitchen or in the laboratory in "purifying" them (extracting their salts from them) without greatly impairing their food values. It is a mistake to assume, as these experimenters do, that chemical substances constitute nourishment irrespective of their form or condition.
In these experiments they had not fed these animals upon foods at all. Nature's chemistry had been greatly altered and the breaking up of their peculiar element-groupings by the refining and cooking processes and the changing of their salts had rendered them all but valueless as foods. I strongly suspect that the "unknown substances" to which the term "vitamin" has been applied are foods--natural food. Nature gives us apples, pears, cabbage, celery, lettuce, oranges, nuts, etc., and not vitamins. The vitamin may be the peculiar chemical structure of the whole, unprocessed, uncooked food.
Uncritically referring all the evils that flow from a preponderantly denatured diet to a lack of vitamins is rank folly. Many food factors besides vitamins are lacking in these diets. Various minerals are lacking. Often essential amino acids are not present. The fats are commonly cooked and renderd useless. In the same way, referring all the improvement that follows the addition of fruit or vegetable juices to the inadequate diets to vitamins is folly. These juices contain much other food material besides their vitamins--materials that are often greatly lacking in the various denatured diets consumed by people everywhere.
Nerves and brain are rich in phosphorus. Polished rice, the classic "cause" of beri-beri is practically free of soluble phosphorus. Indeed, Berg says: "Chamberlain, Bloombergh and Kilbourne pointed out that all the nutriments known to cause beri-beri are poor in phosphorus and potassium." Schaumann has shown that directly upon the beginning of an experimental diet, the balance of nitrogen ash, and above all phosphorus and calcium, becomes markedly negative, and grows continually more unfavorable as the "disease" progresses.
"Scala," says Berg, "reproaches physiologists who are experimenting as to the causation of deficiency diseases with uncritically referring all the manifestations to the account of the complettins (vitamins) and with forgetting that the organic extracts they use in their experiments contain in addition comparatively large quantities of inorganic substances (mineral salts) which likewise exercise a powerful influence." Orange juice is given to complement pasteurized milk. It is supposed to supply vitamin C, destroyed in the milk by pasteurization. But orange juice contains several salts and organic acids, and pasteurized milk has some of its salts spoiled for use. Does the orange juice supply salts or vitamins?
Merely by adding an excess of starch or starch and fats to otherwise natural food, rich in so-called vitamins, McCarrison was able to produce in monkeys, to which he fed this food, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia and gastric dilatation, gastric and duodenal ulcer, intussuception, colitis, and failure of colonic function. Starch poisoning thus caused conditions commonly attributed to avitaminosis, despite the presence of what is supposed to be an abundant supply of vitamins. If the mere addition of small amounts of vitamins to a deficient diet is enough to do all the experimenters claim it will do, these results should not have followed such feeding.
McCarrison also showed that "one cannot in practice dissociate the effects of deficient and ill-balanced foods from those of bacterial or protozoal agencies whose ravages have been made possible by faulty food." This is equivalent to saying that the deficiencies and the toxemies are so inextricably bound up that they cannot be separated.
Berg says: "Above all we have to remember that when an extract is made from uncoagulated material (uncooked foods), chiefly the bases (alkaline salts) pass into solution; whereas when the extract is made from material in which the protein has been coagulated by heat (cooked), acids predominate in the solution, This fact may in part explain the reported behaviour of the ther-moliable complettins." In other words, when we are told that heat destroys vitamins, we are to understand that solutions extracted from cooked foods are rich in acids.
Many of the evidences of deficiency could easily result from a leaching of the body of its alkalies by an excess of acids, such as the loss of calcium by the bones and the failure of calcification in the growing bones.
Aulde observed that when there is either a lack of calcium or an excess of acid in the food, vitamin A has no effect. McCollum, Ewald Abderhalden, Miller and Hart have all shown that avitominosis (failure to utilize vitamins) is produced by an excess of acid in the food. Peckham found that minerals and vitamins are valuable only in the presence of each other. Aulde claims that calcium is usable only in the presence of vitamin A. Similar facts are observed by numerous investigators with regard to vitamin B and other vitamins. (Many investigators consider B and D to be identical). Some of the pathological features of scurvy especially the bone disorders, edema, tissue fragility and the liability to hemorrhage, indicate the presence of a strong acidosis. The scurvy producing diet is unquestionably deficient in bases while the antiscorbutic diet is rich in bases. It is also claimed that the salts are not assimilated in the absence of the vitamins; but this amounts merely to the fact that inorganic salts spoiled by cooking are not assimilated.
Experiments recounted by Sylvester Graham showed that the addition of wood shavings, blotting paper and other forms of foodless roughage to the diet of an animal fed certain defective diets was enough to overcome pathological conditions and restore health. Graham attributed the evils of such a diet to poisoning from gastrointestinal decomposition. This is certainly present in most, if not all cases of avitaminosis.
The multiplicity of factors in nutrition render it difficult for the laboratory research worker to assess the practical value of his findings, while his limited view is likely to cause him to over-estimate the importance of the aspect of nutrition upon which he is working. "Vitamin deficiency" may be almost anything.
Animals confined to mineral-free diets become weak, dull, listless, have fits and die. They reach a point where they refuse to eat. If they are now force-fed on the same diet, they die quicker than animals not fed at all. In these experiments the nervous system suffers most. A dog so fed showed sudden fits of madness, became weak and uncertain in his movements, trembled and showed signs of nervousness, and grew weaker and weaker until he could scarcely crawl.
A man will starve to death with just as much certainty and just as speedily, and in most cases more speedily, if he attempts to live upon foods containing only one or two elements of nutrition, as if he were totally abstaining from food. A diet of white flour and water, or white sugar and water will result in death much sooner than a diet of water only. This is due to the fact that if no food is eaten the body feeds upon its own balanced foods reserves; whereas, it has no adequate provision for meeting the exigencies created by prolonged subsistence on one-sided diets.
Milk of cows or mothers may actually be dangerous to calves or children. Cows fed on commercial feeds produce milk which causes calves to become blind, have fits and die. Hens fed in the same manner produce eggs with pale or colorless yolks, lacking in iron and other minerals, which either will not hatch at all, or will produce a chicken which will not be able to live. Cubs born of the circus lioness, fed on meat alone, are born with cleft palates, due to lack of lime.
McCarrison showed definitely that foods and combinations of foods which are inadequate and unsatisfactory in feeding animals, are equally as inadequate and unsatisfactory in feeding man. If our foods do not contain enough of the right kinds of mineral salts, we simply starve to death. It does not matter how much "good nourishing food," as this is commonly understood, that we consume, if these salts are not present in sufficient quantities, we suffer from slow starvation, with glandular imbalance or disfunction, lowered "resistance to disease" and other evidences of decay.
In 1914, 4,000 men, engaged in the building of the Medina-Mamora Railway in South America, were killed by acidosis, beri-beri and tuberculosis, induced by an acid-forming diet of meats, white flour, degerminated corn meal, polished rice, tapioca, corn starch, farina, cakes, jellies, jams, glucose, sugar, syrups, lard and canned goods. The project had to be abandoned.
All around the workers in the woods, the monkeys subsisted on the fruits and nuts that grew in abundance. These were strong and healthy and free from the ailments from which the men were dying. The men, however, spurned the monkey food, just as the man in civilization refuses to eat celery, lettuce, etc., and refers to them as grass and fodder. The only members of the above crew of men who remained to tell the story were saved by a diet of acid fruits.
In 1925, twelve convicts in a Mississippi penitentiary volunteered as subjects for a dietetic test. Dr. Goldberger, who made the test, wanted to prove that pellagra is caused by carbohydrate foods. These twelve men were fed on demineralized and degerminated corn products, with the result that they all developed the disease and underwent intense suffering. Some of them even attempted suicide. They were placed on a normal diet with the result that their usual health was soon re-established.
It should be carefully noted that these men were fed on denatured and not natural carbohydrates. It is extremely doubtful if such results would have been obtained if natural carbohydrate foods had been used. Certain it is that it would have required much longer time to have brought about these results. Natural, whole corn is not a perfect food. As an exclusive diet it would in time produce a "deficiency disease."
Twenty to forty days on a white flour and water diet are enough to produce death in a man, from scurvy, after days of torture, bleeding gums, swollen joints, pains and other symptoms. It may be objected that we do not confine ourselves to diets of white flour or of corn and corn products, but eat a variety of foods. Mere variety is not sufficient, as was seen in the foregoing account of the Medina-Marmora railway workers. Another very striking case, which proves that even a varied diet of denatured foods will produce the same effects as those observed to follow a denatured mono-diet occured during the world holocaust of 1914-18.
The German raider, the Crown Prince Wilhelm, after having been upon the high-seas for 255 days and sinking 14 French and British merchantmen, was forced to put into port, at Newport News, because 110 of her crew were stricken with beri-beri. The crew was dropping at the rate of about two a day. The men presented symptoms of weakness, irritability, muscular atrophy, paralysis, dilatation of the heart and pain upon pressure. Their diet had been very similar to that eaten in the average American household. It consisted of fresh meat, white flour products, canned vegetables, potatoes, sweet biscuits, cheese, oleomargarine, tea, coffee and champagne. Much fresh fruit and vegetables and whole wheat had been captured by the raider from the French and English merchantmen, but these had either been sent down to the bottom of the sea or eaten by the officers. Only the "staple" foods were retained for use by the crew. None of the officers developed the condition.
The ships physicians were unable to deal with the situation. So were the American physicians. They did not know the cause of the suffering of these men, nor what to do for them. Except for Alfred W. McCann, all or most of them probably would have perished. He prescribed for them a diet very rich in basic salts, with the result that improvement was immediate and rapid. All protein, sugar, fat and white flour was excluded from the diet. In two weeks the most severe cases were up and the men rapidly regained their health. No drugs were given. How true is Berg's remarks that, "This warship was conquered by the food preserving industry."
It will be asked: Why does not the average individual, eating a diet so similar to that eaten by the Medina-Marmora railway workers and the crew of the German raider, suffer in the same way? The answer is: He does, but not to the same extent, due to the fact that he consumes enough alkaline foods--fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, etc.--to protect him to a great extent. The steady death rate from tuberculosis, the rapid increase in nervous afflictions and degenerative diseases and our constantly lowered resistance to epidemic influences, reveal that we habitually consume too many denatured and acid-forming foods.
It is not enough that we consume even large amounts of the "protective" foods with our denatured acid-formers. This is too much like taking an antidote with the poison. We should cease taking the poison. If we offset the denatured foods with large quantities of base-forming foods, this entails a hardship upon the organs of digestion and elimination.
The lesson is plain. If we desire health, we must cease eating denatured foods. The examples given may be extreme, but conditions all around us prove them not to be exceptional. Almost everyone shows signs of the effects of denatured foods.
"Orthodox" food scientists tell us that we can eat white flour, white sugar, polished rice, etc., and "offset" the deficiencies in these by eating green vegetables and fruits. Leaving out of consideration the evident folly and waste of denaturing these foods and, then, trying to offset their factory-made deficiencies; we are still left with a big problem on our hands--that of finding room in our stomachs to put the necessary amounts of "offsetting" foods to make up the deficiencies; and also that of finding the money with which to buy these foods.
If we ate but small amounts of denatured foods, we might accomplish this. But when we take white flour, white sugar, lard, polished rice, denatured cereal products, pasteurized milk, etc., all of which are denatured, they do not balance, or offset each other. They are all lacking in the same elements. One would have to eat a tub of spinach or cabbage to "offset" the ordinary meal. Even if our diet is half denatured and half natural, the excess in the natural foods will not be sufficient to compensate for the deficiencies in the denatured half. McCann estimated that it would require the expenditure of $40,000,000,000 for "offsetting" foods, to compensate for the losses which our $2,000,000,000 wheat crop of 1919 sustained in converting it into white flour. There is not money enough in the world to buy sufficient offsetting foods, even if we had capacity to consume enough of them. There can be no sensible defense of the denaturing practice.
Those who declare that denatured, refined and "ashless" foods are all right because the growing child, the young mother, the athletic youth and working adult obtain a great variety of "offsetting" foods which balance-up these denatured foods, are greatly in error.
The great bulk of their diet is made up of white sugar, white bread, white rice, denatured breakfast foods (cereals), glucose table syrups, glucose candies, ginger-snaps, and other cakes and pies, doughnuts, soda crackers, corn meal mush, tapioca, pearled barley, ice cream, pasteurized or boiled milk, meats, oleomargarine, lard and cooking compounds. Canned fruits and vegetables, cooked foods, etc., are not offsetting foods. These foods all need to be offset and no man, woman or child can eat sufficient fruits and vegetables to offset the deficiencies of such a diet. None of these foods will nourish the body. None of them build bones and nerves. None of them build normal blood. On any or all of them animals die.
Dr. Seale Harris, of Birmingham, Alabama, in an address before the American Medical Association, said: "The sugar-fed child is one of the saddest sights in the world. Many sugar-saturated vitamin-starved Americans, that is, those who live largely on white flour bread, white potatoes, white rice, lean meats, sugar-saturated coffee, and sugar-laden desserts, with candy and soft drinks between meals, would seem to be susceptible to ulcer and other abdominal diseases in which infection plays a part."
We may concede that such a diet is lacking in vitamins--we know that it is lacking in calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, phosphorus, iodine, sodium, silicon and other minerals. Children and adults fed on such a diet are certainly mineral-starved. Sugar is not merely vitamin-free, it is also mineral free. Children fed as above are suffering from a dyscrasia, which has its origin in a lack of the above named elements.
How absurd the prevailing notion that a diet such as that described by Dr. Harris, may be rendered adequate by the addition of nauseous cod-liver oil, or by adding a few cakes of yeast to the diet.
McCann says: "When the phosphorus goes the iron goes. When the iron goes, the calcium goes. When the calcium goes, the potassium goes. When these substances go the vitamins go with them, leaving the starches and the gluten behind. Starches and gluten do not themselves sustain life, do not protect health.
"The food factory cannot remove any element from whole wheat or from any other cereal without also removing all the other elements. These elements are so intimately bound up with each other that when one departs all follow."
The practice of peeling certain foods and throwing away the parings is wasteful and harmful. In the indigestible woody fiber and branny cellulose of beans, peas, cereals, fresh corn and nuts, and in the skins of the cucumber, squash, tomato and similar foods, and the seeds of berries, are many solubles (mineral salts) which are yielded up to the body during their passage through the digestive tract. The salts are needed by the body and to throw them away is folly.
In the animal body the various chemical elements are distributed in varying proportions in the different tissues--the muscles are rich in proteins, the bones are rich in calcium and phosphorus, the nerves are rich in phosphorus, the blood is rich in iron and sodium. So, also, in plants, the chemical elements are variously distributed in their different structures.
In a general way potassium, sodium, calcium, iron and sulphur pass into the stems, leaves, and fruits of the plants, while potassium, phosphorus and magnesium predominate in the seeds and roots. Green leafy tops are rich in lime and other needed minerals.
In the lower portions of all vegetables is located the greatest amount of starch and the least amount of minerals and vitamins. The upper green tips of the cabbage are the seats of the greater quantity of minerals and these diminish as we move down to the thick stems. In a general way it is estimated that there are five times as much minerals and vitamins in the green, leafy tops of radishes, onions, beets, turnips, carrots, spinach, lettuce, celery, etc., as in the lower or root portions.
In seeds there is an accumulation of calcium, sodium magnesium, sulphur, fluorine and silica in the outer layers, while potassium and sulphur predominate in the inner parts. The vitamins in potatoes are in their eyes and the minerals are under the skin. In grains the vitamins are chiefly in the germ and the minerals are in the outer layers.
All the elements are necessary to sustain life and no portion of the plant should be thrown away. If the grains are ground up and their midlings, bran and germ are thrown away all the vitamins and nearly all the minerals are discarded. If we dig out the eyes of the potato and peel the potato we lose practically all the minerals and vitamins.
There are very few conditions in which we must omit the coarser of these substances and for most patients and all normal individuals they should be a part of the diet. The human digestive tract is as well adapted to handling these things and can take care of them as well as can the digestive tract of the ape or the deer. Nature has not designed man for a diet of mush and does not confine him to such a diet. Indeed a mush diet proves his undoing.
Freezing breaks down food both chemically and physically and impairs its food value. Rabbits and chickens will not eat frozen lettuce or cabbage. Freezing breaks down these foods to so great an extent that it is plainly visible to the eye. Ice cream, ices, sherberts, frozen fruits, etc., cannot be recommended. Iced drinks are also bad for the reason that they impair digestion.
The natural affinity existing between the needs of the cells of man's body and the nutritional elements of fruits, nuts and vegetables, is sure guarantee that the eating of natural, that is, unprocessed foods, is thoroughly safe and constructive and that it is in closest harmony with the physiological or biological requirements of the body. Vitamins, calories and other necessary food elements will be supplied as needed by such a plan, and any method of processing our foods and all attempts to reinforce their unfoldment and effects within the body must result in a disturbance of the functions and processes of life.
Dr. Gibson lists, as Life threatening foods, "Ice cream, malted milk, preparations of cocoa and chocolates, alcoholic preparations, any preparation of bran, if separated from the grain itself, any form of bottled beverages, any form of pastry containing sugar, melted butter or lard, patent-sifted flour, cream, or fruit extracts, all kinds of factory preserves, every food stuff that kitchen chemistry has changed from a healthy natural product of vegetative evolution, into a haphazard output of unscientific digestion-and-nutrition-defying food camouflage."
All processed foods should be eschewed. Any treatment of foods which alters their chemistry, or that extracts some of their essential elements, offers nothing but devitalized husks to the consumer.
Sterilizing, predigesting, malting, dextrinizing, glutenizing, pasteurizing, refining, pickling, preserving, denaturing, extracting, concentrating, diluting, emulsifying, concocting, separating, isolating, demineralizing, frying, boiling, baking, hashing, "fruiting" and "crinking" processes are injurious, both to the nutritive value of foods and to the vitality of the consumer. The doctor, the cook, the chemist and the food manufacturer should be required to keep their hands off the food outputs of nature.
The factories, refineries, mills, canneries, bake shops, cooks, etc., have seen to it that we get but little natural foods. Not only have they been very busy subtracting, from them their valuable mineral elements, but they have also learned to add to them many irritating, injurious and poisonous chemicals, dye stuffs, preservatives, etc., until thousands are yearly killed and many are weakened in body and mind. We are fast becoming a race of glass yes, bald heads, false teeth and wooden legs as a result. As one well known Hygienist has so truthfully remarked: "We wake ourselves with caffeine, move our bowels with cathartics, coax an appetite with condiments, seek rest in nicotine, go to sleep with an opiate, and die just when we should begin to live."