A Fresh Look at Milk

By Francis Pottenger Jr., MD 

Summary: “There is no question that pasteurized milk and milk from poorly fed cattle produces osteoporosis in the experimental animal.” This quote by Dr. Francis Pottenger Jr., whose famous cat experiments in the 1930s established that malnutrition is inherited, sums up the great paradox of pasteurized milk: Americans drink it by the gallon believing they are strengthening their bones, but in truth it does the opposite, as shown by animal experiments going back decades. In this telling article, Dr. Pottenger discusses a study organized in 1933 by a farmer whose aim was to produce the finest milk possible from his cows. With the aid of a group of scientists, he discovered some basic principles of milk production that have been long ignored by the American dairy industry and health “experts” alike: not only does pasteurization destroy the nutritional value of milk, but the health of the cow greatly determines whether the milk it produces is beneficial or detrimental. “When the health of the cattle fails,” Dr. Pottenger explains, “the nutritional f actors of milk will decline, and partly metabolized food nutrients will produce sensitizations not only in the cow but in those who use the milk.” The implications of this statement are almost beyond belief. Included also is a description of the forgotten Wulzen anti-stiffness factor, a vitamin-like component of raw milk shown by early nutrition researchers to help prevent arthritis. From Modern Nutrition, 1962. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 27A.

Are We Starving to Death?

By Neil M. Clark

Summary:  Dr. William Albrecht was the Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri and the foremost authority of his time on the subject of soil fertility and its relation to human health. In this 1945 article from the iconic Saturday Evening Post, author Neil Clark recounts Dr. Albrecht’s pioneering experiments demonstrating the critical connection between the trace mineral content of a soil and the health and hardiness of plants grown in that soil—and, consequently, the health and hardiness of animals and humans who eat those plants. Dr. Albrecht warns the magazine’s readers in no uncertain terms that unless America makes a concerted effort to restore the trace minerals to its depleted soils, the country’s population will suffer a slow extinction from the “hidden hunger” of mineral-poor foods, as evidenced by ever increasing rates of degenerative disease. With the “chronic disease problem” worse today than ever, Dr. Albrecht’s prophecy rings ominously true, and his findings demand the adoption of organic farming practices across the board in America’s agricultural industry. From The Saturday Evening Post, 1945. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 21.

Are We Starving at Full Tables?

Author unknown

Summary: One of the fundamental discoveries of early nutrition research was the connection between ill health and soil deficiency. Investigations like the one featured in this 1950 article showed that mineral shortages in worn-out land lead to malnutrition and disease not only in plants and animals grown on that land but in humans who eat those plants and animals. In the study described here, diseased dairy cows raised on mineral-deficient pastures are returned to health through dietary supplementation with trace minerals—those elements so often lacking in the overworked soils of conventional, nonorganic farms. The author also discusses the negative nutritional consequences of pasteurizing milk as well as the nutrient-robbing effects of industrial food processing in general. Thanks to a loss of nutrients at just about every step of the modern food manufacturing process, he says, Americans suffer widespread malnutrition despite a preponderance on their plates. From Steel Horizons magazine, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 41A.

And Now—A New Crisis in Farming

By J.W. Robinson

Summary: A scathing, two-part report detailing some of the tragic consequences of the “profit at any cost” policy of twentieth-century animal husbandry. By 1963 in the United States, strange and novel diseases such as dwarfism, infectious abortion, and various bizarre viral infections had become epidemic among the country’s cattle, and the reason, writes author J.W. Robinson, was simple. America’s ranchers, by straying from basic natural law in animal breeding, had invited unnatural problems in their livestock. Citing numerous warnings from the Bible against ignoring the natural principles of animal husbandry, Robinson paints a picture of greed and ignorance that portends the factory-farm disasters of today. From The Plain Truth magazine1963. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 136. 

Diseases as Deficiencies via the Soil

By Dr. William A. Albrecht

Summary: In this article world-renowned soil scientist William Albrecht, former Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri, connects the dots between unhealthy soil created by unsustainable farming practices and deficiency-related disease. “The degenerative diseases of the modern world,” Albrecht says, “need to be traced not only to the supplies in the food and feed market where the family budget may provoke them but a bit farther and closer to their origin, namely the fertility of the soil, the point at which all agricultural production takes off.” From the Iowa State University Veterinarian, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 37A.

The Despotic Misuse of Our Federal Pure Food Law

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Publishing this piece was a tremendous act of courage by Dr. Royal Lee. In it, he exposes the methods used by government agencies to suppress the natural-nutrition movement and subordinate nutritional science to medical consensus in spite of the fact that medical authorities have never trained in nor respected the field of nutrition. In fact, these authorities have historically acted as apologists for food adulterators and persecutors of whole-food advocates. Lee also debunks FDA attack statements on “food faddists” and organic-farming advocates. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1957.

Cardiac Failure in Cattle on Vitamin-E-free Rations as Revealed by Electrocardiograms

By T.W. Gullikson and C.E. Calverley

Summary: In 1922 researchers at the University of California at Berkeley showed that rats deprived of an unidentified substance found in leafy greens and wheat germ failed to reproduce. The fat-soluble nutrient was named vitamin E, and soon research groups around the world were studying the effects of its deficiency in species ranging from turkeys to the tree-kangaroo. In this 1946 report, researchers at the Minnesota Agricultural Station reveal the surprising results of a ten-year investigation into the effects of vitamin E deficiency on the reproductive health of cows. While the animals were able to reproduce, many of them suffered another, unforeseen calamity: sudden, fatal heart failure. Meanwhile, clinicians were reporting a variety of successful applications of vitamin E therapy in humans, as epitomized by the famous Shute brothers, two Canadian doctors who documented the effective use of vitamin E in nearly ten thousand heart patients—results discredited and ignored by the medical community to this day. From Science, 1946. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.

Calcium

By Dr. William A. Albrecht

Summary: A comprehensive discussion of the amazing role of calcium in the soil and its effect on crops and animals, written by one of the greatest soil scientists of all time. Dr. Albrecht, who chaired the soils department at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, is known in the organic farming movement as the “father of soil fertility research.” Born in 1888, he published his first article on soil fertility in 1918 and would publish research papers continually until his death in 1974. Albrecht was a friend of Dr. Royal Lee, and the Lee Foundation published several of his papers, which are available in this archive. From The Land magazine, 1943. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 8.

The Irons Frame-up (Its Whys and Wherefores)

By Morris Bealle

Summary: Morris Bealle’s newsletter American Capsule News reports on the conviction, fine, and jailing of the great American naturalist Victor Earl Irons for the crime of informing the American people of what was happening to their food supply. “It is obvious that Mr. Irons has committed two ‘unpardonable sins’,” writes Bealle. “The first is distributing vitamins that keep people well and away from drug stores. The second is exposing some of the crimes of the Food and Drug Administration who, as Dr. [Harvey] Wiley said, are lynching, raping and murdering the laws passed by Congress to protect the public from poisoned and adulterated foods.” Irons, like his friend Dr. Royal Lee, warned the public of the depletion of America’s soil, the refining and processing of the basic food supply, and the cause-and effect-relationship of these practices to health. In the case, the FDA marched out five “health authorities” from Harvard, including the infamous Dr. Frederick Stare, to testify to the “fraudulent” nature of Irons’s statements. Irons was convicted on federal charges and served a year in jail. As this report reveals, those pioneers at the vanguard of nutritional knowledge paid dearly for the right to speak out about what was happening to America’s food supply, health, and freedom. From American Capsule News, 1956. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.

Trace Elements Experiments Here Turning Up Some Amazing Results

By Tom A. Ellis

Summary: A newspaper account of a gathering of nationally known nutritionists and soil experts discussing the effects of trace-element deficiency on the health of soil, plants, livestock, and humans. Among the scientists attending were Dr. William Albrecht, the soil expert from the University of Missouri who’s been called the father of organic farming, and Dr. Francis Pottenger, Jr., whose famous cat-feeding experiments showed conclusively that the effects of malnutrition are passed on to subsequent generations. Several studies are discussed, showing the positive clinical effect of supplying trace elements to livestock and humans deficient in them and suggesting that the true cause of these deficiencies is a lack of trace elements in the soil in which the plants eaten by the animals and humans grew. These early experiments show clearly the critical nutritional role of trace minerals in the cycle of life. From the Springfield Daily News and Reader, Missouri. Reprint 92, 1949.

This Molasses War—Who Is Prevaricating? / Bone Meal—Nutritional Source of Calcium

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Two articles that appeared in Let’s Live magazine in 1952 and 1953. In “This Molasses War—Who is Prevaricating?,” Dr. Lee compares natural and refined sugars. He posits that carbohydrates are not essential in the human diet and offers proof by way of certain traditional peoples who eat no carbs and yet experience perfect health. He also discusses the virtues of molasses, which is rich in minerals and is protective against tooth decay, whereas white sugar promotes cavities. Lee also describes the famous experiments of Dr. Rosalind Wulzen of Oregon State College that led to the discovery of the “anti-arthritic factor” in molasses and raw cream that was later named after her. In “Bone Meal—Nutritional Source of Calcium,” Dr. Lee describes the virtues of finely powdered bone flour as a source of protein and minerals, particularly calcium. He states that for the teeth, cold-processed bone meal is unexcelled. He also discusses the role of trace minerals also found in bone meal. 1953.

Sources of Fundamental Nutrition

By Louis Bromfield

Summary: In 1939 Pulitzer Prize winner and farsighted agriculturist Louis Bromfield established Malabar Farm, a thousand acre spread in the heart of Ohio that would become a hotbed for sustainable agriculture research as well as a popular getaway for Hollywood celebrities (Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall wed there in 1945, with Bromfield serving as best man). Bromfield would dedicate Malabar to what he considered the biggest challenge facing the country—conservation of the soil and water—pouring the profits of his writing into developing practices considered highly radical at the time, such as controlled grazing, crop rotation, contour plowing, and the use of natural instead of artificial fertilizers. In this 1950 article, Bromfield gives a glimpse of the philosophy behind his “conservation farming,” reflecting an understanding of the connection between soil health, microbial life, and animal and human nutrition that is truly years ahead of its time. “It is the duty of every citizen,” Bromfield urged, “to support and fight for—and possibly initiate—measures having to do with conservation of soil, water, and forests.” From The Role of Research in the Conservation of Our Nutritional Resources, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 85.

Public Health Aspects of the New Insecticides

By Morton S. Biskind, MD

Summary: An early warning from a medical doctor about the effects of agrichemicals on the health of livestock and humans. Dr. Biskind cites multiple studies showing that insecticide use and “nutritional defects” combine to significantly increase the incidence of various types of chronic degenerative disease. In a telling disclosure, he also points out that the infamous pesticide DDT was released onto the market “against the advice of investigators who had studied the pharmacology of the compound and found it dangerous for all forms of life.” From the American Journal of Digestive Diseases. Reprint 69, 1953.

Modern Miracle Men

By Rex Beach

Summary: A fascinating document from the U.S. Senate that originally appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine. Beach describes the work of Dr. Charles Northen, whom he credits as the first person to show conclusively that mineral-deficient soils produce nutrient-deficient food plants, which in turn lead to nutrient deficiencies in the livestock and humans that eat them. A historically significant record of the decline of America’s soils, nutrition, and health. Reprint 109, 1936.

Those “New Foods” Can Kill You

By Jack Denton Scott

Summary: In this 1956 article from the popular magazine American Mercury, author Jack Scott warns the public of the toxic stew that accompanies each bite of the modern diet. DDT and DES lead the list of hundreds of chemicals contaminating America’s food supply, either coming from the farm or added by food processors. With regulation of these chemicals admittedly lax (see “The Peril on Your Food Shelf” by congressman James Delaney, chairman of the House Committee to Investigate the Use of Chemicals in Food Products during the 1950s), the American public had become one giant guinea pig colony for the alliance between the chemical and food industries. Articles like these led to the popular revolt in the 1960s and ’70s against commercially grown foods and the phony health experts paid by the food industry to assure America that it was the best-fed nation in the world with the safest food supply. From American Mercury, 1956. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 89.

What Are Pesticides Doing to Human Beings?

By Granville F. Knight, MD

Summary: From a California physician comes this remarkably lucid discussion about pesticides and their use in America. “Under the present laws,” Dr. Knight writes, “any company wishing to use a new chemical in or on food is not required to first consult with the Food and Drug Administration relative to merits or potential harmfulness.” Indeed, he adds, any “partially tested pesticide may be manufactured, advertised, sold, and widely used!” (Sadly, this policy remains true today.) And what about concerned citizens and scientists who had the courage to speak out against America’s mammoth agribusiness and their untested pesticides? “‘Hysterical alarmists’ is the quaint description applied to…those who even suggest that the public is being harmed,” Knight says. Articles like this served as an early warning to America’s homemakers about the chemicalization of the food supply and sowed the seeds of today’s organic-foods movement. From Modern Nutrition magazine. Reprint 86, 1952.

What About Trace Minerals?

By Ed Rupp

Summary: This 1949 article from a Missouri farming journal describes some breakthrough research on trace minerals being conducted in the state at the time. Specifically, undulant fever (brucellosis) is shown to be successfully treated with trace-mineral therapy. The article goes on to describe the loss of nutrients through pasteurization of milk and other so-called modern food processing methods. From the Missouri Ruralist. Reprint 41, 1949.

The Primary Cause of Disease

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Dr. Lee lays out a basic principle of his nutritional philosophy—the idea that bacterial infection is usually a secondary result of malnutrition. Properly nourished bodies, naturally stronger and well defended, are much better equipped to resist invasion of pathogens, which are always around us, Lee explains. A weaker, malnourished body, on the other hand, is much more susceptible to a successful attack by foreign invaders. From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.

Poor Soils, Synthetics Produce Inferior Results

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: In this 1963 article, the great holistic nutritionist Dr. Royal Lee touches on two main tenets of his philosophy. First he discusses the supreme importance of soil health, noting that soils across America had become so mineral poor through inferior farming practices that in many places animals could no longer survive on the land. The weakening of livestock as a result of soil degradation is a phenomenon observed throughout history, and many experiments in the early and mid twentieth century showed that animal health—as well as that of plants—could be restored through careful, balanced remineralization of the soils, including in particular application of the trace elements. Ignoring such research, America’s agricultural industry opted for a less natural approach to the soil problem, bulking crop yields by overloading the land with artificial ammonia-based fertilizers and then using chemical pesticides and antibiotics to prop up the sickly plants and animals reared on the imbalanced earth. Dr. Lee then discusses the “great lie” of modern food manufacturing and conventional nutrition: that a synthetically manufactured product, whether food or vitamin, can reproduce the same nutritional effect as something made by nature. This assumption was repeatedly shown by early nutrition researchers to be dangerously untrue, and it lies at the heart of our health issues today. Simply put, humankind does not have the capability of creating what our body requires for real health, be it food or supplement. Synthetics may prop us up in a state of sickly survival, like the poor plants and livestock of industrial agriculture, but they cannot give us true vigor and vitality. From Herald of Health, 1963.

Medical Testament—Nutrition and Soil Fertility

By Sir Robert McCarrison, MD, and Sir Albert Howard

Summary: In 1911 Britain passed its National Insurance Act, a law intended to “provide for the prevention and cure of sickness” of its citizens. Yet despite the bill’s aim, rates of chronic disease proceeded to explode in the country over the ensuing decades. While medical officialdom was at a loss to explain or prevent the events, in 1939 the 600 family doctors of Cheshire county gathered to issue a public “testament” naming both the cause of the new epidemics and the means of their reversal. The physicians, reflecting on nearly three decades of clinical experience, named malnutrition at the hands of industrially processed foods as the common cause of chronic disease while marveling at the “amazing benefits” of switching patients to a diet of nutrient-dense, organic foods. Two researchers instrumental in guiding the doctors to their findings were Sir Robert McCarrison and Sir Albert Howard, both of whom were invited to speak at the famous Cheshire meeting, as recorded here. In their speeches McCarrison and Howard articulate the basic principles of what might be called “ecological nutrition,” that the health of humans depends on the health of the foods they eat, which in turn depends on the health of the soil those foods are grown in and on. With the medical industry still baffled by the cause and prevention of chronic disease, the words of these farsighted researchers offer a blueprint for building true health and wellness in humankind, literally from the ground up. Originally published in New English Weekly, 1939.