§ 44 -- Bases and Acids in Food
EVERY housewife is familiar with the bubbling and effervescing which follow the mixing of baking powder ingredients. Cream of tartar and baking soda or baking soda and molasses, when brought together in the presence of moisture, froth and bubble. The bubbling is due to the elaboration of a gas which was originally part of the baking soda bound up in it by chemical bonds. Breaking of these bonds by the acid action of the cream of tartar or molasses sets the gas free, which is thus allowed to escape through the mixture to be raised during the baking process.
Baking soda is alkaline; cream of tartar and molasses are acid. Alkaline substances are at war with acids. When they come together they fight it out until both become neutral. After the fight there is neither alkali nor acid present. When neutralised by each other nothing is left but neutral salts.
The alkalis are called "bases," possibly because they establish a base for the operation of the acids. Some acids are feeble, others are highly energetic. Lactic acid is one of the feeble acids; sulphuric acid is one of the energetic acids. Both, however, are neutralised by bases. So are all other acids.
It is necessary to understand this because acids and bases are neutralising each other in the body during every moment of life.
When the acids manufactured in the body, such as lactic acid, uric acid, carbonic acid, phosphoric acid, sulphuric acid, and many amino acids, are allowed to remain unneutralised through some failure of life's processes they attack the tissues, thus producing the result known as acidosis. Acidosis is the curse of all refined food eaters.
This is so because all refined foods are of the acid-producing type. The condition known as acidosis may be feeble or it may be extremely violent. Between the two extremes it can register a hundred degrees of intensity, each of which is given a different name by the diagnostician, depending entirely upon the organ or gland of the body mostly affected.
In beri-beri, pellagra, rheumatism, tuberculosis, neuritis, nervous prostration, anemia, and many other disorders, acidosis is always present. This means that the acids which develop in the body as the result of the processes of digestion and assimilation, have not been neutralised. The bases that ought to be present to do their work have been thrown away.
The living cells, tissues and nerves which, in health, are bathed in the alkaline fluids natural to them, now become saturated with irritating acid secretions which stimulate them to do all sorts of unnatural things and which if unchecked actually bring about their destruction.
All this has so much to do with beri-beri, tuberculosis, rheumatism, anemia, pellagra, malnutrition, neuritis, nervous prostration, and many other diseases that we must begin to appreciate the destroying nature of acidosis and how it is brought about.
We have seen that the function of the food minerals, many of which, let it be noted, are bases, are:
- To regulate the specific gravity of the blood and other internal secretions of the body.
- To regulate the chemical reactions of the blood and other internal secretions and excretions.
- To preserve the tissues from disorganisation and putrefaction.
- To enter into the permanent composition of certain structures, especially the bones, teeth, and tissues.
- To enable the blood to hold certain materials in solution and to assist in their appropriation to the needs of the body.
- To serve special purposes, such, for example, as the influence of chlorine on hydrochloric acid formation, the influence of calcium in favouring coagulation of the blood; the influence of iron in the formation of blood pigment, the influence of potassium on the elasticity of the tissues, etc.
Notwithstanding the relationship of food minerals to the phenomena of life, there is not one table of calorie values now published in the United States which does not ignore the mineral division of foods. All these tables confine their information to three heads -- the so-called life preservers, "proteins," "carbohydrates," and "fats."
Now, all proteins and carbohydrates are acid-forming foods. When consumed without their corresponding bases they gradually bring about a condition of acidosis which prepares the way for the development of many diseases. There is much evidence to indicate that it is the development of acidosis in the body which destroys the body's natural immunity to disease. Proteins and carbohydrates are typical high calorie foods. All the scientists are talking about calories. The dietitians base all their tables and formulas upon these calories. Every hospital and sanatorium in the country talks glibly of calories. All of them see to it that this or that invalid or convalescent receives a certain number of calories every day, and the foods are selected, as a rule, according to a table, depending entirely upon their record as calorie producers. It is the failure of the calorie that we are now to consider in order that we may grasp the dangers of acidosis and how to guard against them.
Men are still alive who recall the days when horseshoes, nailed over the barn door, were looked upon as a cure-all for disease and a preventive of evils. Where the horseshoe hung lightning would not strike; the horse would not get glanders. A few people still believe in the efficacy of horseshoes.
Other men recall the days when buckeyes were the greatest friends of the human race. There was an old adage that ran like this: "Carry a buckeye in your hip pocket and you will escape rheumatism, or if you get it the buckeye will cure you." A few people still cling to the buckeye superstition, but scientific men laugh derisively at the absurd faith of their humbler brothers in horseshoes and buckeyes.
These scientific men, who so clearly see the mote of superstition in the eye of the great unwashed, do not see the beam in their own aristocratic orbs.
They are now giving lectures on "calories." They write about "calories." The Government publishes bulletins on "calories." Hospitals and sanitaria, that ought to know better, compose "scientific" diet lists for the guidance of invalid and convalescent and in all these lists the "calorie" assumes an importance that horseshoe or buckeye never enjoyed.
Professional nurses are talking about the "calorie" theory and some of them collect fees for their familiarity with it.
Even restaurants have fallen under the spell and are imitating the scientific leaders of thought who look down from lofty pinnacles of wisdom and smile indulgently as they witness the spread of the silliest fetish that ever cursed the medical world.
On the 1918 bill-of-fare of one of the largest systems of restaurants in the world, with establishments in New York, Brooklyn, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, Syracuse, Providence, New Haven, Paterson, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Washington, Norfolk, Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Kansas City, Denver and Los Angeles, is published the following:
"Figures in parentheses indicate calories as computed by an expert in nutrition. These show the energy value of the different food items and will permit customers to conserve food by ordering scientifically."
Let us separate the calorie scientist from the horseshoe farmer or the buckeye bricklayer.
In the first place we must find out what a "calorie" is and then we must show conclusively that it is the easiest thing in the world to condemn a man to death while stuffing him with the fattest calories found in the grocery store.
A calorie is a unit of measure. It has the same relation to heat measurement as the inch bears to the yardstick or the ounce to the ordinary balance.
If twenty drops of water are so heated that their temperature goes up one degree the amount of heat required to send the mercury up in the thermometer to this extent is said to be a calorie.
The scientists, speaking of twenty drops of water, describe this quantity as a gram. It can thus be seen that the heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water two degrees is two calories and that if two grams of water are raised two degrees it takes four calories to do the trick.
After Barnes, by experimenting in his laboratory, had established the principle that the relation of heat to energy could be expressed with the accuracy and precision of mathematics, he was able to prove that if one calorie of heat is produced in a steam engine enough energy can be obtained therefrom to lift a load of three pounds from the ground one foot in the air.
A certain beautiful truth lies at the heart of this discovery. But as it is now applied to the food requirements of man it has become distorted, ridiculous, grotesque.
The scientists have invented a contrivance which they call the "bomb calorimeter" in which they burn up olive oil, kerosene, butter, engine oil, bread, gasoline, turnips, benzine, soup, dynamite, white bread, fire-wood, cheese, anthracite, or any other combustible matter under investigation for the purpose of determining its caloric value. Though there are two kinds of calories, the large and the small, we shall employ the term merely as a unit of heat measurement.
Inasmuch as the physical energy of the body necessary for its tissue activities can come only from food, an article of diet that can send the mercury in the thermometer of the calorimeter soaring to the breaking point must be full of possibilities as a source of body energy. Thus do the caloricians reason.
These scientists, while laughing at horseshoes and buckeyes, have attached so much importance to this idea that they completely overlook the fact that food, to be burned in a body in the production of calories, is dependent upon the condition of the body to do the burning.
They have also lost sight of the fact that most of the heat which results from the burning of food in the body goes to maintain the normal temperature of the body and that where health is impaired through faulty nutrition no number of calories, however large, can avail anything.
These same scientists, in their intense enthusiasm for the rule of calories, ignore the fact that the most deficient and worthless of all foods are those which strangely enough possess the highest caloric value.
It never occurs to them that calories cannot and do not put iron into the red colouring matter of the blood; that calories have nothing to do with the oxidising-agent, manganese, which keeps company with the iron of the blood.
It never occurs to them that calories have nothing to do with the building of a protecting shell of fluorides around the bone structure of the teeth or that calories have nothing to do with providing the bone structure with calcium and phosphorus.
It never occurs to them that calories do not neutralise the acidity of the tissues or preserve the normal alkalinity of the blood and other internal secretions.
It never occurs to them that calories, however abundant, cannot act as a substitute for sodium, magnesium or sulphur in the body, or that calories cannot take the place of potassium or any of the other mineral salts and colloids which assist in the control of the processes of assimilation and elimination.
It never occurs to these scientists that with normal blood, teeth that can grind food, tissues in healthy condition and glands that are performing their functions normally, the human body is capable of availing itself of the energy bound up in normal foods, technically expressed as calories, even though the average person never heard of one.
It is because of these facts and others of still greater significance that the superstition of caloric feeding has persisted at the bedside, in the hospital and in the sanitarium until there is now no one who can estimate the number of men, women and children who have died as a result of this scientific superstition.
It may be an interesting scientific achievement to determine the number of calories elaborated in the body by the digestion of 240 grams of bread, 31 grams of butter, 120 grams of steak and 44 grams of prunes.
Perhaps it is also an achievement to determine that smoked bacon contains 10.5 percent protein, 64.8 percent fat, 0.00 percent carbohydrates, with a fuel value per pound of 2,841 calories or 100 calories per gram.
With such a table, containing the calorie value of all the foods on the calendar, the dietitian can devise a theoretical formula of feeding which should contain a guarantee of uneventful convalescence for the sick and an assurance of perpetual well-being for the healthy.
Unfortunately for its victims the calorie theory ignores the fact that no food, regardless of its calorie value, is burned in a dead body and that no food can liberate its calories according to the calorie formula unless the organs of the body are actively performing their proper functions.
The failure of the calorie theory and the superstitions which flow from its abuse are traceable to the lopsided importance attached by scientists to a mere detail of the miracle of nutrition, while ignoring in their calorie enthusiasm the significance of those wonderful substances upon which life depends -- the salts, colloids, enzymes, ferments and vitamines of food.
The calorie scientists do not consider the fact that foods are refined every day to a degree that removes and destroys these salts, colloids, enzymes, ferments and vitamines without changing one particle the calorie value of what is left.
Thus they ignore the growth-promoting substances of foods which have no calorie value and those other substances of food which, absolutely worthless from the calorie standpoint, are nevertheless indispensable to the regulation of the specific gravity of the blood, to the regulation of the chemical reaction of all the internal secretions, to the preservation of the tissues from disorganisation and decomposition, to the composition of the solid structure of the body, to the ability of the blood to hold certain materials in solution.
T. B. Osborne and L. B. Mendell found that animals fed with mixtures of refined protein, refined sugar, starch and fat, which have a greater calorie value than all other foods, even when mixed with inorganic matter in the form of crystallised salts, declined rapidly in health.
The elements essential to health were found under these feeding experiments in milk whey. Milk whey has absolutely no calorie value whatsoever. Yet when milk whey was added to these refined foods the decline of the health of the animals was arrested.
Milk whey contains none of the proteins or fats of milk. It is the clear watery fluid which contains only the organic salts of calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, etc., and some of the growth-promoting substances found in milk.
Milk whey might be called clear soup for chemically it resembles clear soup more than any other food now known to man, but it is as ignorant of calories as sugar, in all its calorie fulness, is ignorant of life-sustaining properties.
Man can manufacture sugar from starch but God has withheld from him the secret of making whey or of substituting for it.
The U. S. Bureau of Standards, through the irritation of some of its Ph.D. ornaments, will attack this iconoclastic "nonsense" but it will not publicly criticise the data developed by other government bureaus. One recalls how the Ph.D.'s of his time attacked the glorious Pasteur. They were on the government payrolls of France and Germany. Now they are dead and Pasteur, resplendent, remains the foremost scientist of all time.
Clear soups have practically no caloric value. In the restaurant table referred to a bowl of vegetable soup, which is very thick soup, is given a value of 200 calories, whereas a bowl of oyster stew is given a value of 630 calories.
Clear soup is even less rich in calories than watermelon, a whole pound of which has a caloric value of but 50. Clear soup is less rich in calories than apples, a whole pound of which yields but 190 calories.
Some foods have practically no caloric value at all as compared with oleomargarine (3410 calories), salt pork (3555 calories), granulated sugar (1750 calories), refined corn-meal (1635 calories), white bread (I200 calories).
These low calorie foods, ranging in value from 200 calories per pound down to almost nothing, include skimmed milk (165 calories), buttermilk (160 calories), string beans (170 calories), potatoes (160 calories), cabbage (115 calories), celery (65 calories), cucumbers (65 calories), lettuce (65 calories), onions (190 calories), rhubarb (60 calories), spinach (95 calories), tomatoes (100 calories), turnips (120 calories), lemons (125 calories), oranges (150 calories), and strawberries (150 calories).
Now the Big Superstition involved in the calorie theory makes its appearance.
When refined foods, which have a caloric value so high up in the scale that they are measured by the thousands as contrasted with other foods measured on the scale under the two hundred mark, are fed to animals, the animals die.
If we feed these high calorie foods, such as cornstarch, granulated sugar, corn syrup, corn grits, corn flakes, cream of wheat, polished rice, tapioca, macaroni, white flour and puffed rice to animals they die.
If fresh vegetable juices that have no caloric value at all are added to these refined foods the animals will live, but they will not gain their normal weight, their strength or their resistance to disease.
Their complete recovery cannot be brought about until they are fed with unrefined foods including the parts of the grains rejected in the milling of patent flour, degerminated corn-meal and polished rice or the substances found in the leaves of plants, such as lettuce, cabbage, celery tops, spinach, etc., or in the butter fat of milk and in the germ of wheat, rye, oats, corn and rice.
When these cast-off substances, ridiculously deficient under the rule of calories, are restored to the diet of the animals they at once regain their weight and all their vigour.
The most important and interesting discoveries concerning the growth-promoting substances called vitamines, not found at all in the high calorie foods so abundant in America and so enthusiastically recommended for hospital and sanitarium use, have been made during the last three years.
These discoveries show that in milk, in the seeds of grasses and in the grasses themselves exist two substances which have no caloric value but which stimulate and control the development of children and contribute to the vitality of adults.
One of these substances as we have seen is found in the fat of the food and the other in the juice of the food. Their chemical character is unknown and they have never been separated from the food materials with which they are associated.
McCollum shows that they are most abundant in cabbage, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower and milk, all of which, in the calorie scale of values, are away down at the bottom.
In experiments, McCollum, with Osborne and Mendell, has shown that the feeding of butter fat and whole milk promotes growth in a remarkable way and that no matter what the caloric value of the food may be, if these substances, that have no caloric value at all, are not present, the development of the animal will be stunted and its health impaired.
We know that engine oil, kerosene, gasoline and benzine have a higher caloric value than alcohol.
We know that alcohol has a higher caloric value than sugar. The calorie scientists, therefore, ought to refine the stench out of engine oil, kerosene, gasoline and benzine as they refine the stench out of cotton-seed oil. Odourless and tasteless gasoline, having a much higher caloric value than alcohol or sugar, could then be put into soup.
The addition of a teaspoonful of gasoline to a bowl of soup would contribute all the calories the professors declare so essential to life.
Sugar in war is almost priceless and the average man ought to be content, therefore, to put his little Ford in storage so that the gasoline thus saved might be used to keep his children in health if only some inventive genius would come along and remove its objectionable jitney flavour.
A speedometer, however perfect in its ability to register the number of miles travelled, will get a chauffeur nowhere unless accompanied by an automobile.
A complete set of horseshoes without a horse is of little use to a driver. The hands of a watch will throw no light on A. M. or P. M. unless attached to an efficient timepiece.
If a convention of scientists assembled for the purpose of emphasising the overshadowing importance of speedometers and horseshoes as a means of locomotion or of watch hands as the controlling factors in our system of measuring the duration of heatless, meatless and sweetless days, the obvious folly of their conduct would make them ridiculous before the world. One might as well attribute the velocity of Niagara's fall to the speed of the turbines whirling at its side.
Yet, in tying their blue ribbons about the neck of the calorie and setting the poor thing on a pedestal of glory as the very heart and essence of scientific feeding, they have attempted to dignify the ludicrous, a feat heretofore never accomplished.
Those complex substances called proteins are found in food and are parts of food. The calorie is not found in food and it is not a part of food.
The carbohydrates (sugar and starches) are found in food and are parts of food. The calorie remains still a name and is no part of protein, sugar or starch.
The fats, including those complex compounds known as lecithins, are found in food and are parts of food. The calorie has nothing to do with phosphorised fats, with palmitin, olein or stearine, all of which are found in foods and are parts of food.
The ash content of foods is present in all foods except refined foods. The ash content when removed in sifting, bolting, polishing, scouring, desiccating and refining carries with it all the salts upon which life depends, all the vitamines which control growth and development, and all the biochemic substances which confer upon the body in health its natural immunity to disease.
The calorie is nowhere found among these substances. Yet in all the learned treatises on calories no mention is ever made of any of these food elements found in ash.
One might point to a hat or a necktie and say, "There stands a statesman," and be quite as accurate in his comment as is the scientist who points to a calorie and says, "There flows the fountain of youth." The hat and the necktie at least have existence.
Just how the calorie, merely a notch on a yardstick, has succeeded in appropriating the centre of the universe will probably never be known, for as its shameless record of pretence begins little by little to dawn upon the minds of the unwary, those who have stood by so faithfully with the aid of big but meaningless words will begin their flight into darkness even as rats abandon a sinking ship.
In the treatment of disease the calorie can be made to serve a noble end but not until those who consult its meaning include in their efforts a conscious recognition of the indispensable substances it now ignores.
Sherman and Mettler reported in May, 1912, as a result of experiments conducted in the laboratories of Columbia University, their estimate of the acid and base-forming elements in the ash of the mineral content of forty-seven different kinds of food.
Meats, including fish, showed a decided preponderance of acid-forming elements. The lean flesh of different species, whether of young or mature animals of the same species, showed similar results.
The white of eggs was found to be an acid-former. Milk, on the contrary, showed a slight preponderance of base-forming elements. Vegetables and fruits showed a marked predominance of base-forming elements.
Experiments of several days' duration upon healthy men showed that where foods with a preponderance of acid-forming elements were substituted for foods with base-forming elements the increase of ammonia excretion in the urine accounted only for one-fourth to one-third of the acid involved.
The sulphates and phosphates in the urine, evidences of the fact that the sulphuric and phosphoric acids elaborated in the body had been neutralised, as they should have been, were not considered.
Sherman and Mettler did succeed, however, in stampeding self-satisfied scientists.
It has never occurred to these scientists that white bread, biscuits, crackers, farina, refined breakfast foods, pearled barley, corn meal, corn flakes, cornstarch, polished rice, mashed potatoes and refined cereals and sugars of every kind are acid formers, and that their constant appearance on the tables of the nation is rapidly bringing about a national condition of acidosis.
Barr declares: "Rheumatoid arthritis is not due to the action of bacteria or their toxines or of the toxines developed in the intestines as a result of stasis. The cause is a mild chronic acidosis which extracts the lime salts from the fibrous tissues, muscles, nerves, cartilages, and bones. The extraction of lime salts from fibrous tissues causes it to swell and its vascularity to increase.
"Loss of lime salts causes irritable weakness of the muscles. Under such a loss the muscles waste and contract readily. They frequently cramp and deep reflexes are exaggerated, often accompanied by rhythmic tremor. Neuralgic pains result from the extraction of some of the very small amount of lime present in the nerve tissue. With the continued absorption of the lime the particular tissues swell and there is effusion into the joints.
"The cartilages soon become involved and this is followed by thinning and erosion. The lime and other bases are so necessary to the neutralisation of the acids elaborated by the acid-forming foods that they surrender themselves to the actual destruction of bones and tissues in order that as long as possible the unnatural condition may be tolerable. Even when all the bases are withdrawn from our food the phosphates and sulphates continue to appear in the urine, showing that the body has had to steal the alkaline bases from its own tissue in order to carry on life's processes. Surely no one is so blind as to assume that this stealing can go on continuously without encountering disaster.
"The fact that the disease is present chiefly among the poorer class and in the female sex between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five years lends support to this view," continues Barr, "for in these there is a deficiency of lime intake, and during the active menstrual period there is a tendency to an increased lime metabolism.
"The relative absence of lime and potassium in the refined food of the poorer classes leads to a deficient motility of the stomach, and this in turn results in obstinate constipation with acid fermentation.
"Apparently foods from which the lime and potassium are largely removed will not provide the intake of these substances necessary to normal metabolic processes."
Herman Hille says, "No vital process is possible without the presence of mineral constituents, as these elements and salts are generators of energy and are all equally important with protein, carbohydrates, fats, oxygen, and water, the great calorie producers. The human organism cannot exist without mineral elements and salts in true organic form, as they are indispensable foods."
We begin to perceive the folly of removing the bases from all our prepared cereal foods and breadstuffs and from the vegetables cooked at home.
Herman Hille declares: "From a purely physical standpoint mineral starvation is usually the primary cause of disease. Organic minerals are more easily utilised than inorganic forms. Loss of mineral bodies impairs the food value of foodstuffs, and, moreover, tends to make them poisonous.
"Mineral starvation, regardless of the calorie value of the food ingested, is followed by disturbances in the vital processes and activities of the human organism, a reduced supply of vital energy, pollution of the blood, body juices and tissues, and the preparation of a tissue-soil in which parasites thrive and multiply without hindrance. Applying these facts and conclusions, we find that the food minerals can no longer be ignored by rational therapeutics. A rational scientific estimation of the value of foodstuffs must include the mineral bodies."
These statements were made in Chicago, Nov. 7, 1913, at the fifth annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Research, in which body it is my privilege to enjoy membership.
Five years have passed since that memorable meeting, yet so slow-moving is truth that no scientific institute or hospital in America has to this day attempted to apply its life-saving principles.
With a hundred other investigators Gautier has demonstrated that sodium, phosphorus, potassium, lime, magnesium, iron, silicon, fluorine, chlorine, iodine, etc., are found in a constant manner in the residue left by the combustion of the animal organs, glands and internal secretions.
"These elements," he declares, "are absolutely indispensable to the life of the tissues. The system is constantly excreting them and, therefore, impoverishing itself by its excretions. It is, therefore, imperative that they should be found in sufficient quantity and in assimilable forms in the different foods of man."
The French have not lacked warning to make them heed the folly of removing from their diet such physiologically active elements, the reactions and interactions of which control the bio-chemical processes of life.
The subject of mineral starvation, due to food refinement, is no new theme. Foster, in his experiments, established the fact that mice, pigeons, and dogs fed with meat which had been drained of its bases by the action of hot water, even if there is added to such meat, together or separately, starch, sugar, and fat, do not live beyond twenty to thirty days. Give them all the calories they require, but deprive them of the mineral matters natural to food, and these animals behave as though absolutely starved.
It should not be necessary to emphasise again the fact that the salts are necessary to the carrying on of life's processes, and that in such processes they are being constantly removed from the body.
Gourand has proved that these salts are excreted daily in health to the following extent:
Sodium chloride, 11 to 12 grams; phosphates, 4 to 5 grams; sulphates, 3 to 4 grams; calcium carbonates, 0.5 gram; magnesium, 0.2 centigram; potassium, 0.4 centigram; iron, 0.02 centigram.
From what source do we obtain them when they are removed from food? Starling, corroborating the work of Foster, declares, "Animals fed upon demineralised or refined food rapidly show distaste for such food, become ill and die sooner than if they receive no food at all.
"It is therefore evident," he continues, "that the mineral constituents of food, although yielding no energy in themselves, are as necessary to the maintenance of life as the energy-yielding or calorie-yielding foodstuff."
The average physician, whether ordinarily interested in food or not, becomes peculiarly aroused during the gestation and lactation period of his maternity patients, and the convalescent period of all his patients.
In the gestation period the fetus acts as a mineral parasite. If the mother's diet at such a time is deficient in the vitamines, mineral salts and bases demanded by the developing embryo, the deficiency is made up at the expense of her own tissues, with a corresponding loss of vitality both for her and for her off-spring.
Of all the tragedies due to the ignorance under which food is refined this is the most grim and depressing. The elaboration of milk during the lactation period without a proper supply of the food elements always found in normal milk, is followed by the same dismal consequences.
Here, during these two most sacred periods of woman's life, when the human heart goes out to the ministering mother in reverence, nature is actually asked to operate without the materials essential to the accomplishment of her purpose, and so she, who supports the heaviest burden of life, pays toll to folly in the form of preventable infirmity and pain.
Referring to the abstraction of calcium salts from the mother's blood by the fetus as the cause of the rapid progress of tuberculosis, Drennin reports that "inasmuch as gestation and lactation both deprive the mother of lime salts, there is consequently less lime for the process of calcification of the tubercubus areas -- nature's method of cure in tuberculosis.
"This, therefore, accounts for the frequent rapid rise of tuberculosis following maternity, increasing after every successive delivery, until the underfed mother generally succumbs after the third.
"During the re-establishment of functional activity following wasting disease, a deficiency of these compounders of life, the mineral salts, bases and vitamines of natural foods, means not only slow recovery but permanent injury, depending entirely upon the extent to which the refinement has been carried on."
Weston P. Chamberlain, Major Medical Corps, United States Army, cites the conclusions of Wellman, that the foods upon which prospective mothers, nursing mothers and convalescents are most frequently asked to subsist, such as starchy gruels, broths, farina porridges, polished rice, corn meal, tapioca pudding, white toast and similar types of demineralised cereal foods, are inadequate.
Wellman reports that fowls fed by him developed polyneuritis on a diet of foods such as corn starch, Louisiana molasses, corn grits, cream of the wheat, boiled sweet potatoes, boiled Irish potatoes, sago, macaroni, white bread, biscuits, puffed rice, polished rice, corn flakes, pancake flour, etc.
In the case of sago, boiled potatoes and corn starch the symptoms of paralysis followed sooner than when the fowls were fed on raw, highly-milled rice, showing that the mere milling of rice itself is only one of many other food abuses which pave the way to disease.
In view of these facts, Wellman declares it is absurd to legislate in the United States against polished rice unless action is also taken against patent flour, pearled barley, refined rye, degerminated corn meal, corn starch, glucose, granulated sugar, etc., all of which are used even more freely in the diet of the American family than polished rice.
Wellman's findings in regard to white bread are of special interest in connection with Little's reports regarding the occurrence of progressive malnutrition in Labrador, among people who at certain seasons live extensively on white flour bread of the refined type, imported from Canada and United States.
Funk, referring to the many recent discoveries in regard to the importance of certain minute quantities of certain substances in the food, the lack of which entails disturbances in metabolism, says: "These special substances may be destroyed by leeching out and by boiling, by carrying desiccation too far, especially in food for cattle, and by discarding the outer cover of grains, especially rice, corn, wheat and rye."
The conclusions of Funk are elaborately confirmed by many experiences in the feeding of horses for vitality and strength, and the feeding of cows for milk production.
In an examination of a number of dairies in New York State, New Jersey, and several in Illinois, including dairies where certified milk was produced under the auspices of county medical societies, I found that cows improperly nourished continued to yield milk of poor quality until their tissues were exhausted, when they were shipped to uninspected slaughter houses, and there killed and dressed for the retail butcher and bologna manufacturer.
Through the demands of lactation for an insufficient mineral food of assimilable nature, their tissues like the human tissues were actually consumed in milk production which brought about a condition of emaciation, anemia and impaired vitality favourable to the development of tuberculosis. The dairy cow suffers the same experience suffered by the human family, and for the same reason.
H. C. Sherman of Columbia University, commenting upon the calcium and vitamine necessities of man and beast, says:
"In the Orient where very little milk is available to the majority of the people, green vegetables, rich in calcium and vitamines, largely take its place."
Y. G. Chen, one of his oriental students, reports green vegetables are five times as prominent in China as in America.
"That children in the Orient," concludes Sherman, "fare as well as they do with a very low milk supply, as compared with America's supply, is explained by the much longer time during which they receive their mothers' milk.
"In China nursing is continued often for two full years, and not rarely for three full years. The child thus has ample time to become adjusted to the consumption of a variety of vegetable foods before its maternal milk supply is entirely cut off.
"It is not improbable," asserts Sherman, "that the free use of green vegetables with their high calcium and vitamine content in the food of the mother may be a factor in her ability to nurse her child through such a long period.
"This must be true because McCollum has found that the vitamines of milk are not manufactured by the cow, but are taken directly by the cow from her food.
"Since animals store but limited quantities of vitamines in their tissues, yet pass relatively large quantities into their milk, it is plain that the milch cow is much more economical and efficient as a producer of vitamines than is the beef steer fed for slaughter."
In other words, we obtain from milk, vegetables and whole grains substances not found in meat, white bread or refined cereals. How is the mother to obtain these substances from food when they are not present in that food? How is the child to obtain from the mother substances which the mother does not obtain?
No wonder maternity, rebuking the outrages imposed upon it by the commercial food manufacturer, revolts against the disregard of nature's laws under which it is forced to suffer, and expresses its revolt in terms of misery where happiness and health should reign.
"So long," says Sherman, "as we thought of nutrition in terms of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and calories, naturally we were inclined to assume that a diet consisting largely of breadstuffs or other grain products could be balanced by the addition of meat. In fact," he continues, "it has long been more or less common to think of meat as the animal food par excellence, and milk has often been spoken of as a meat substitute, whereas it is vastly superior to meat as a source of supply of substances not found in meat at all.
"Meat, except in traces, not only does not contain the salts of iron, lime, potassium and magnesium as they are found in milk, but it does not contain the 'fat soluble A' found in cream, or the 'water soluble B' found in skim milk, for which reason it is in no manner suited to take the place of milk, green vegetables or whole grains in nutrition.
"The inadequate lime content of meat has long been known," Sherman asserts, "and the inefficiency of ordinary meats as sources of vitamines has been strikingly demonstrated by Osborn, Mendel, McCollum and Simmons.
"Hence," he concludes, "we can no longer think of milk and meat as interchangeable, or of meat as a full equivalent of milk in the diet."
We are beginning at this belated date to realise that food calcium is indeed one of the mysteries of life, and that without food calcium, which is but an organic form of lime, and its associate salts and solubles we condemn our little mothers and their babes to death.
Medical literature is now crammed with the truth concerning food calcium, which, until the publication of "Starving America" six years ago, was rarely referred to.
The plain people do not bother their heads about medical literature, hence they have not heeded the perils that calcium deficiency places in their path.
Milk is the heaviest calcium supply truck, next to whole grain breadstuffs, now carting lime in assimilable form into America' s storehouses of health.
Next to milk and whole grains the green vegetables and edible leaves common to every American garden, are the great calcium providers.
These three forms of food not only yield lime in abundance, but they yield the now famous "fat soluble A," and the equally famous "water soluble B" in quantities sufficient to promote growth and to maintain health.
They also yield those complex compounds of phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium, sulphur, sodium, silicon and the other organic salts of the earth in happy abundance.
McCollum ranks the green vegetables and edible leaves like lettuce, spinach, chicory, parsley, cabbage, etc., very much richer in calcium and "fat soluble A" than cereals. Unfortunately by "cereals" he means the refined products obtained from milled grains which have lost not only their vitamines, but their salts as well.
If we foolishly refined our lettuce, parsley, chicory, cabbage, spinach and other greens and vegetables as we refine our wheat, corn and rice, they would also rank low in life-giving properties. Fortunately we cannot refine vegetables except by stupid methods of cookery, so we have few problems of refined vegetables on our hands.
These 1918 observations upon diet by some of our most eminent scientists are among the surprises unfolded every day.
Away back in 1910 the New York Globe through its columns not only permitted me to make these same assertions, but went much farther in its characterisation of America's food follies, and for eight years continued them daily.
Nearly six years have passed since the publication of "Starving America," a book that inspired many commentators to say its author was riding a pet hobby to destruction, and yet to-day those same commentators are confirming by laboratory experiment the conclusions set forth in that book.
America no longer needs any further facts on the subject of nutrition. The archives of its laboratories are swollen with facts. What America needs now is the application of them and their recognition by commercial food factories and their advertising agencies.
I abandoned the field of food advertising six years ago for the reason that all of us were lying about food, not so much in malice as through a blind commercial enthusiasm that could not be justified and would not submit to disillusionment.
Advertising agencies then as now were spending millions of dollars through newspapers and magazines, in lithographs and street cars, instructing the people in truths not true. All of us, I am now speaking of the advertising men, were pushing into greater prominence the very foods that ordinary decency should have inspired us to condemn.
We were leading the people farther and farther afield. We were miseducating them, setting up false standards for them, shoving them ever farther away from the fundamentals of nutrition, surrounding them with artificial compounds from which all the life and vitality had been extracted.
We were debauching the American people but we were satisfying our employers, and making millions of profit for them out of their highly ornate labels, their decorated cans, cartons, packages, bags, boxes and glass jars, the contents of which outraged the laws of nutrition now recognised by science as absolute and inexorable.
When I broke away from the advertising camp as it was then organised, I was chairman of the Vigilance Committee of the New York Advertising Men's League, and chairman of the Vigilance Committee of the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World.
When I quit these organisations my friends, almost to a man, thought I had been obsessed and had lost my balance. I was the stray sheep of the fold, and because my journey was into barren lands that promised nothing, none followed me. I addressed conventions of advertising men in Boston, Baltimore and Rochester, and wrote articles on the subject for Advertising and Selling, The Editor and Publisher and Printer's Ink, but my efforts fell on deaf ears and advertising ethics did not change.
To-day the scientific laboratories of Europe and America are driving all advertising men into confession and the war has only served to emphasise the hopelessness of their position. The magnificent men who do so much to influence the thought and habits of their time are face to face with revolution.
What benefactors they would be if the vast sums of money now passing through their hands were spent in exploiting those foods which during three generations in America have been gradually abandoned!
What benefactors they would be to the whole world in the reconstruction period now dawning, if they turned away from manufacturers of foodless foods and devoted their superb talents to the development of foods that will sustain life, nourish prospective mothers, maintain the health of nursing mothers, develop normally the growing children of the nation, and feed the workers of the world in a manner that would insure for them the maximum of strength, life, health and happiness.
Behind all their errors lie the unnoticed and neglected mineral salts and vitamines against which the food manufacturers of America have made their most violent attacks, and out of the world's loss of which they have reaped their heaviest profits.
The war must bring to us a realisation of these truths, and all the reform that goes with them, otherwise the blood of our youth will have been shed in vain, and as far as preventable diseases are concerned the world will be little better off than it was before the Hun unleashed his hounds of hell upon civilisation.
If my work on the New York Globe during long years of struggle has established anything it has established the fact that in the recognition and application of the truths of nutrition, purely commercial institutions can and do find a profitable business, which the advertising agent can develop if he will.
Of what use are the food scientists if our food manufacturers intend to ignore them?
Of what use are our scientific laboratories if the rich fruits of their labors are not to be utilised by the industries that feed our men, women and children?
If science is to be looked upon as merely ornamental, as are the fancy labels on so many of our food products, then let us do away with science, because as long as it stands before us unheeded it becomes but a mockery, reminding us in vain of the things that God Himself has prepared for our benefit.
With this digression, which I consider timely and important, we shall continue.
In New York City, Armour & Co. discontinued the killing of dairy cows because of tremendous losses sustained through the excessive number of condemnations resulting from generalised tuberculosis. On the killing floor these cows could be milked, showing that they had been producing right up to the day of slaughter.
In one certified dairy herd in New York State 124 of 125 cows were found in a state of malnutrition clearly indicative of the unfitness of their food.
The daily dietary of these cows consisted of:
- Ten pounds beet pulp (the exhausted residue of the beet sugar industry).
- Ten pounds alfalfa (good food).
- Two to ten pounds degerminated corn meal and brewer's grain (brewer's grain is the exhausted refuse resulting from the production of beer).
- To this mixture was added from one-half to one pint oil meal or gluten feed. Oil meal is the residue of the process employed in the production of cotton seed oil. Gluten feed is the residue of the process employed in the production of glucose.
Many of these cattle foods are impoverished foods, yet they appear on the formula of the certified dairy by reason of the fact that they satisfy the modern dietitian's erroneous idea of a "balanced ration."
November 15th, 1912, all the cows in the herd were tuberculin tested. Two were found to react to the test and were withdrawn from the herd.
May 20, 1913, the herd, having been on the "scientific calorie diet" for nearly one year produced fifteen reactors. The condition was beginning to alarm the owners of the cows.
In the meantime the stable superintendent had placed his delivery horses on the impoverished cow food. He was anxious to make a record for himself and as the cow food was cheaper than the horse food, he made the change. Between the fifty-sixth and seventieth days the horses on the debased food began to show the same symptoms of acidosis, emaciation and anemia characteristic of the cows.
The horses were then put back on whole grains and grasses, whereupon they promptly recovered. The cows were continued on the same refined diet until a veterinarian, noting the experience of the stable superintendent with his horses, declared the condition of the cows, favourable to the rapid development of tuberculosis, was due to the character of the food consumed by them. He immediately ordered a change, notwithstanding the high calorie value and the scientific proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats with which the certified milk producers were being nourished.
A contrast to this episode, concerning which more will be said later, regarding the disastrous results of the use of demineralised food on milk-producing cows and mothers, is to be found in the experience of David T. Arrell, Youngstown, Ohio, breeder of thoroughbred American trotting horses.
Arrell has bred, broke, trained, and developed prize-winners on four points -- food, pasture, shade, and stable. He so keenly recognised the fact that the quality of his horses, their health, vitality, endurance, resistance to disease, and general physical perfection depended upon their food that he went so far as to provide No. 1 unbleached oats for which he paid, prior to the outbreak of the war, $1 a bushel, laid down in Youngstown.
As a practical horse-breeder he had noticed that his animals fed on unprocessed or non-by-product foods remained practically immune to all the equine diseases with which the average horse-breeder is plagued.
As against this observation concerning the vitality of the horse, properly fed, officials of the Bureau of Animal Industry estimate that from 35 to 50 percent of all the milk-producing herds in the United States are affected with tuberculosis. All of these herds are fed more or less on exhausted or refined foods.
These diseases of disturbed metabolism, not only with respect to cows and horses, but also with respect to the human being, are as prevalent as the deaths of 400,000 children under ten years of age in the United States every year might indicate.
Lovelace reports 936 cases of peripheral neuritis in a railroad hospital in North Brazil. More American refined food!
Heizer, Fraser, Aaron, Higet, and others, as we have seen, have demonstrated the insufficiency of demineralised foods of high calorie value in the Culion Leper Colony, the Straits Settlement, and Billibid Prison.
Caspari and Mosykowski report practical experiences in New Guinea and Berlin which caused them to conclude that human neuritis is a widespread disease of disturbed metabolism caused principally by refined carbohydrate foods, the high calorie value of which is not disputed. Human neuritis is but one of the many symptoms of acidosis, but one of the many food diseases.
Next: Four: Eight Poison Squads that Cry for Action
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