The following is a transcription of the October 1961 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories. An Open Letter to Senator Kefauver Senator […]
The following is a transcription of the March 1957 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories. The Diabetic Syndrome The high blood sugar of diabetes […]
The following is a transcription of the January 1957 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories. Which Is First—The Disease or the Microorganism? Medical science […]
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: In this 1949 address to the Seattle chapter of the American Academy of Applied Nutrition, Dr. Royal Lee touches on some of the major findings of early nutrition history that are still, incredibly, ignored to this day. Topics include the importance of calcium, phosphorus, and raw protein to tooth health; the total destruction of nutrients in bread caused by bleaching; the connection between vitamin E deficiency and heart disease; the dependency of connective-tissue integrity on adequate vitamin C levels; and the various lesions of B vitamin deficiencies. Dr. Lee explains that most of the health problems caused by nutrient deficiency are the result of the consumption of overcooked and processed foods and concludes with perhaps the most important edict for good health: “We must take the trouble in our homes to prepare our foods from the basic materials as far as possible, even to the extent of growing our vegetables and fruits on properly composted soil if we can. The dividends will be quite possibly twenty years added to our life span, to say nothing of the life added to our years.” 1949. Reprinted by Selene River Press in Lectures of Dr. Royal Lee, Volume I.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: By the close of the 1940s, Dr. Royal Lee had seen many “peeps behind…the iron curtain that is so carefully maintained by the makers of fraudulent foods to keep the American people in ignorance as to the real cause of their chronic diseases.” Thus, in commenting on the opinion of a committee who’d concluded, on very little evidence, that fertilizing soil with trace minerals is unnecessary to produce nutritious plants, Dr. Lee could not help but question the motives of the committee’s so-called experts. “Such haste in promoting one side of a vital question that cannot be settled without a great amount of research certainly throws a lot of doubt upon the integrity and honesty of the committee.” Lee would spend the next two decades calling out such formulaic chicanery, the kind of which would later lead to some of the great shams of modern nutrition, including cholesterol theory and low-fat diets. 1949. Original source unknown.
By Helen Bullock
Summary: A newspaper account of a dermatologist’s report that patients with skin disorders showed considerable improvement after eliminating bleached flour products from their diet. Importantly, the dermatologist is referring to the bleach chlorine dioxide, which had replaced the former standard flour bleach of many years, nitrogen trichloride. This article illustrates well the practice of the food processing industry to continue to use a product in spite of concerns about its safety until enough demonstrable cases of harm force its hand. From The Dallas Morning News, 1955. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
By Dr. Royal Lee and Jerome S. Stolzoff
Summary: In this landmark report from 1942, Dr. Royal Lee and coauthor Jerome Stolzoff contrast the nutritional merits of traditional, natural foods and their industrially processed counterparts. Whereas the foods of traditional diets have centuries of trial and error behind them affirming their ability to nourish the human body, the authors say, industrially processed foods were introduced into the food supply practically overnight, with no nutritional testing whatsoever. Only when people in droves began developing vitamin-deficiency diseases—which include the likes of heart disease and cancer, Dr. Lee points out—did nutritionists of the early twentieth century begin to realize the frightening truth: processing and refining render food nutritionally unfit by irrevocably damaging its vitamin complexes, and unless the human race returns to a diet of time-tested natural foods, it will quite literally starve itself to death. Includes an eye-opening chart listing almost 150 modern diseases and the vitamin deficiencies associated with them by scientific research of the early twentieth century. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1942.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: One of the truly perplexing assumptions of conventional nutrition is that industrially refining and processing a food has minimal effect on the food’s nutritional value. Look through the history of scientific studies on diet and health, and rarely will you find a distinction made between pasteurized and raw milk, bleached and unbleached flour, refined and unrefined vegetable oil. Yet the chemical and thermal mauling of the food supply is precisely at the root of our ill health, writes Dr. Royal Lee in this 1961 manifesto of holistic nutrition. The reason for mainstream nutrition’s blind spot when it comes to food processing, Dr. Lee explains, is its tendency to view foods solely in terms of calories—the measure of how much fuel a food supplies. Because processing and refining do not tend to alter the caloric content of foods, we have allowed uncontrolled damage to be done to the foods’ noncaloric elements—the vitamins, minerals, and countless other known and unknown cofactors that spur the thousands of biochemical reactions required to repair and sustain the body. The result of this destruction is a sea of “foodless calorie products” that, while giving the illusion of sustenance, fail on the most basic level to sustain human health. From Natural Food and Farming, 1961. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 30H.
By E.F. Ladd and R.E. Stallings
Summary: In 1906 the U.S. Congress passed the landmark Pure Food and Drugs Act, the first federal law to directly address the safety of chemical additives in America’s foods. One such additive was the bleach nitrous oxide, a compound used by industrial millers to give wheat flour the ultra white color so prized by consumers at the turn of the twentieth century. In this frank report—published just months after passage of the “national pure food law”—researchers at the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station discuss the negative effects of exposing wheat flour to nitrous oxide, from the destruction of the nutritional value of the flour itself to the occurrence of noxious nitrous by-products in bread made from the flour. The authors also include the results of a survey of the people most intimately familiar with flour bleaching, America’s millers, whose responses reveal the true motive for the practice: to make lower grade flour look—and sell—like higher grade. Thanks to the powerful influence of the millers, the use of nitrous oxide to bleach flour continued after passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Act, and in spite of a Supreme Court ruling in 1914 condemning the practice as a violation of the pure food law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture never once has attempted to enforce the court’s decision. This article—one of the oldest in the SRP Historical Archives—is a truly historic document that sets a time and place for the onset of the commercial destruction of America’s food supply. From Bulletin No. 72, North Dakota Government Agricultural Experiment Station, 1906. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1951.
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.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: Dr. Royal Lee was one of the earliest and most outspoken opponents of water fluoridation, which he described as “wholesale drugging of the population.” In this address to a group in Florida, Dr. Lee delves into the dangers of ingesting fluorides and speculates as to the commercial interests behind the adoption of water fluoridation. Also included is testimony by U.S. Representative Arthur L. Miller, Chairman of the Special Committee on Chemicals in Food, who candidly explains that water fluoridation had been adopted as official policy by the U.S. Public Health Service despite the fact that long-term studies of the effects of fluoridation had yet to be completed. Miller calls into question the motive of the Health Service’s approval and speculates that the aluminum industry, for which fluoride is a waste product that could now be sold for pure profit, had perhaps influenced the agency’s decision. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 53B, 1952.
By James Rorty
Summary: This article of “the suppressed facts” regarding flour bleaching details just why commercial bread in America is “worthless and unsafe.” In spite of its tabloid-like style, this 1956 magazine article boasts some solid reporting, recounting the early resistance to flour bleaching by America’s millers as well as by Dr. Harvey Wiley, the first head of the Food and Drug Administration. In the end Dr. Wiley was shown the door, and the FDA became abettors of the food processors’ actions—hampered, as one “honest but resigned” FDA official says in the article—by the onus on the administration to prove a substance is harmful before it can legally bar it from manufacturing. “We’ve practically got to produce a corpse before we can claim they’re poisoning your food,” the FDA agent adds. The author also discusses the history of nitrogen trichloride, which was used to bleach bread in America for 40 years until it was finally shown in studies to cause fits in animals. While the use of the old bleach was discontinued, the process of bleaching was not, and the author excoriates the FDA for allowing the use of a new bleach, chlorine dioxide, that it admits is toxic but “probably safe as normally used” (which, of course, is what it had said about nitrogen trichloride.) A great article debunking the myth of America as the “best-fed nation on Earth.” From the National Police Gazette, 1954. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 75.
By H.M. Sinclair
Summary: With the invention of the steel roller mill in the late nineteenth century came the widespread availability of “70-percent extracted” flour—or refined flour, as we know it today. The 30 percent of the wheat grain left behind in refined flour’s production comprises mostly the bran and germ, which happen to contain almost all the food’s vitamins and minerals. In countries that historically relied on bread for their health, such as Great Britain, this was a major problem, and for years a debate raged over what to do about it. On one side there were the “chemical” nutritionists, who proposed doctoring 70-percent flour with synthetic versions of the “token nutrients”—that is, the handful of vitamins and minerals deemed most depleted during refining. Opposing them, as reflected in this 1957 lecture to the Royal Society of Health by Dr. Hugh Sinclair, were the more “naturalist” nutritionists. Since not all the nutrients provided by wheat were known nor the way they function truly understood, Dr. Sinclair says, a wiser course would be to mandate a minimum, higher extraction rate of wheat—as the British government had done during World War II—so that the nutrient-dense germ at least was included. “There have been very many tests on the lower animals of the two types of flour,” he adds, “and it is acknowledged that rats grow better on flour of high extraction than on [chemically] ‘fortified’ white flour.” Unfortunately, facts such as these—like the old-school-nutrition researchers who presented them—were simply ignored as the age of chemical nutrition prevailed. From The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 1957. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 38.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: Dr. Royal Lee was one of the original fighters against the bleaching and refining of flour products. He considered it a national crime, and spoke out about it tirelessly from the early 1920s through the end of his life. In this article, aimed at homemakers, Dr. Lee gives a brief history of the practice of flour bleaching as well as the noble efforts to stop it. He also highlights the discovery by scientists that the chemicals involved in flour bleaching were deadly. “It seems that English investigators have found that the bleaching chemical universally used in this country for many years has been found poisonous enough to kill dogs in a few weeks if they receive the bleached flour, or bread made from it.” 1947.
By the Whole Food Society of England
Summary: A British perspective on the bleaching of flour in the year 1955. At that time, a new flour bleach, chlorine dioxide, was being introduced because the old bleach, nitrogen trichloride, or agene, had been shown to clearly be a nerve toxin in dogs. The authors point out that the official ban of agene came ten years after the results of the dog experiment were made known and five years after an announcement by the country’s Ministries of Food and Health officially condemning the substance. Why the long delay between identifying agene as a poison and barring it from the market? Simple, the article says: the millers needed time to come up with a new bleach. Rather than putting public health at the forefront and discontinuing the practice of flour bleaching altogether, the government and milling industry decided to continue the process because bleaching makes flour look appealing. Thus, after feeding the public for decades an additive whose safety had always been questionable, a new questionable additive was selected, and the bleached-flour industry kept rolling right along. From The Farmer. Reprint 78, 1955.
By Philip Harris and Paul Dunbar
Summary: A portfolio of four articles—two scientific studies and two commentaries—on the effects of deficiency diseases caused by white bread and other foods that have had the vitamin E complex refined out of their structure. A poignant example of how industrial-scale food refinement led to an industrial-scale deficiency in the diet of modern humankind. Articles published between 1949 to 1961 from various sources. Reprint 137A.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: Every misdeed has a history, and the history of the destruction of the American food supply is a story that few know from its beginnings. Yet it’s a story worth knowing because its consequences have been and continue to be indeterminably enormous. In this booklet, Dr. Lee tells the story up through 1940, by which time it was many decades in the making. Lee calls out the entire industrial food and drug business as a racket in which profit, not the health of Americans, dictates public and private policy, and deception about the nutritional value of industrially processed foods is actively practiced. Richly documented with supporting evidence, this booklet is a valuable reference for anyone interested in the true cause of most disease in America—malnutrition as a result of processed and refined foods. 1940.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: An inspired article by Dr. Lee about the irony of praying to God to overcome disease while ignoring the simple laws of health here on Earth. “Man needs no miraculous intervention to have perfect health and happiness,” he writes, “unless he first commits criminal acts of food adulteration and contamination.” Lee explains that there is “a frightful conspiracy to keep the public in the dark about the devastating, death-dealing effects of modern food counterfeits—the synthetic glucose, the synthetic hydrogenated fats, the refined cereals, the refined breakfast foods, the coal tar dyes and coal tar flavors that ensure acceptance of otherwise tasteless and colorless food frauds which destroy human life to the tune of over a million victims a year.” He adds that heart disease—the leading cause of death then as it is today—is so effectively countered by food therapy that “nine out of ten sufferers can be shown by cardiographic sound recordings to respond favorably within ten minutes to natural food products.” Originally published in Natural Food and Farming, 1955.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: If there are “health food stores” today, what motivated their creation? In this article from the 1956 issue of the National Health Federation Bulletin, Dr. Royal Lee recounts some of the events and decisions that paved the way for the appalling condition of the American diet, showing how the processed-food industry and self-proclaimed public and private health authorities sold the health of the American public down the river and branded all opposition to refined foods as faddists, quacks, and racketeers. No one recites this tale better and with more provable facts than Royal Lee. He was there. Reprint 301, 1956.
By Julian Pleasants
Summary: If you want bread done right, make it yourself, commands author Julian Pleasants in this stirring 1949 declaration of nutritional self-reliance. Pleasants wrote this article not long after the federal government had launched its “enrichment” program, mandating the addition of synthetic B vitamins to all white flour in the country despite “little direct experimental evidence to demonstrate the value of such a proposal,” as the editors of the science journal Nutrition Reviews put it. The author recounts the evolution of commercial bread making, detailing how each “advancement” in flour milling meant a further decline in the nutritive value of the end product, culminating finally in the Frankenstein’s monster that is enriched white bread. “The completely ridiculous idea of taking out the best parts of the wheat berry and then adding a few of them back, in synthetic form,” he writes, “was only a stall of the milling industry to keep from being forced into the production of a decent whole wheat flour.” Such a depressing result is inevitable, he adds, when the standards of food production are “set by the end of trade rather than by the end of use.” Only concern for your own health and that of your loved ones combined with personal know-how and effort can produce a true staff of life, Pleasants opines—a sentiment applicable not just to the making of bread but to the task of nourishment in general. From Integrity magazine, 1949. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 44.