By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: “Yes, there is a battle going on,” Dr. Royal Lee writes in this 1950 article from the magazine The Interpreter. But the war Dr. Lee was referring to did not involve guns or missiles. It was a contest hidden from public view, waged between the nation’s food manufacturers and its first nutritionists—a war regarding the truth about processed foods. While modern beliefs about diet and health stem largely from the disproven idea that fat and cholesterol cause heart disease, the picture looked quite different to America’s nutrition pioneers. These practitioners and researchers, living at a time when industrially processed foods morphed from novelty to staple of the country’s food supply, witnessed firsthand a phenomenon repeated across the globe throughout the twentieth century: wherever processed foods were introduced, the “modern” diseases—heart attacks, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, liver disease, ulcers, tooth decay, and so on—soon followed, where they had been virtually nonexistent before. This phenomenon was so obvious and so predictable that only a massive conspiracy between industrial food manufacturers and the federal government, as Dr. Lee bravely outlines in this explosive essay, could hoodwink the American people into believing that processed and refined foods are capable of nourishing the human body. From The Interpreter, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 30-E.