Summary: At the turn of the twentieth century, sanitary conditions on many American dairy farms were deplorable, and it was not uncommon for humans to become infected by dangerous microbes transmitted in cow’s milk. While many officials pressed for sanitary regulations that would force producers to provide safe raw milk to the public, other powers pushed for another, less expensive option: pasteurization. Heating milk to high temperatures allowed germ-infested product to be sold to the public instead of being discarded. But while pasteurization did help neutralize many of the pathogens introduced by unscrupulous dairy farms, it had another, rather significant consequence that has gone long ignored. In short, pasteurizing milk destroys its nutritive value, as this collection of research abstracts from the 1930s shows. Whereas the studies report raw milk to promote growth, immunity, and excellent health in general, pasteurized milk was shown to do almost the complete opposite, inviting vitamin deficiency and disease in people who drink it, particularly infants. Even its calcium supply was shown to be highly unusable, making “scalded milk” one of the great impostors of modern food manufacturing. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 7, 1939.
Summary: The facts behind the Wulzen factor—an important fat-soluble nutrient found in raw milk and sugarcane juice—have been lost to modern science. Also known as the “anti-stiffness factor” because it combats arthritis and relieves pain, swelling, and stiffness, the Wulzen factor was considered an actual vitamin by a number of early nutrition investigators, but it was never accepted as such by medical or government “authorities.” To acknowledge it would have required the admission that pasteurization of dairy products is a causative factor in arthritis, and such an admission would never be made by those who so vigorously promoted and enforced pasteurization laws. From Annual Review of Biochemistry, 1951. Part of Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 27A. (To read reprint 27A in its entirely, including an in-depth discussion of the negative effects of milk pasteurization, see “A Fresh Look at Milk” in these archives.)
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.
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 the United States Department of Labor
Summary: “No single factor exercises a more pronounced influence on the development of the baby and on his health during his entire life than nursing at his mother’s breast.” So wrote the U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) in its landmark Folder 8, an annual report issued from the 1920s through the 1940s encouraging mothers to breast feed their infants and advising them on the best nutrition to support their body in the task. Though, sadly, the government would later abandon its official support of breast feeding, the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research continued to reprint snippets from the USDL’s Folder 8, along with the article “Weaning the Breast-Fed Baby” from Today’s Health magazine, as the single publication presented here. With its emphasis on untainted animal foods, fresh produce, and unprocessed foods, the diet outlined in this classic guide is as sound for nursing mothers today as it was in its day. Multiple sources, published from 1926 to 1962. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 122.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: Ebba Waerland was a natural foods advocate and healer from Sweden who gained international fame during the mid-twentieth century. The Waerland dietary system—named after her husband, physiologist Are Waerland—emphasized whole, natural foods over processed, nutrient-deficient ones, and it was very successful and popular in Europe. For the U.S. edition of her 1961 book, Rebuilding Health, Ms. Waerland asked American nutrition giant Dr. Royal Lee to write the foreword, which is presented here. In it Dr. Lee laments the assumption by modern civilization that industrially processed food is harmless—that “in some miraculous way, [the body] can transmute demineralized, devitaminized foods into healthy tissue.” A short biography of Ms. Waerland, from the book’s jacket, is included along with Dr. Lee’s foreword. From Rebuilding Health: The Waerland Method of Natural Therapy, 1961. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Health.
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.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: In this booklet, Dr. Lee describes how government policies were designed to protect the adulteration and devitalization of basic foods. He details many examples of such practices, showing how the producers of processed dairy, grain, fruit, and meat induced the medical community to overlook and even endorse their deadly foods. Lee even presents ads in medical journals—paid for by industrial food processors—that brazenly endorse processed foods such as white bread. Lee writes, “Few people in the United States are aware of the ‘Iron Curtain’ maintained in this country to prevent the food consumer from knowing that he is being sold fraudulent foods, foods that had the better part of their nutritional value removed or destroyed to facilitate the commercial handling of the food, and to enable big food-enterprises to unfairly overpower by price competition the smaller ones.” He adds, “The millers and bread makers do not know the trail of wreckage which they have left in the wake of their mineral contempt. They do not know how they have burrowed into the vitality of human life while it is still in the mother’s womb. They do not know to what extent they have been responsible for tuberculosis, diphtheria, pneumonia, scrofula, measles, scarlatina, anemia, etc.” Special Bulletin 1-49, 1949.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: Dr. Royal Lee, writing on behalf of the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, urges the directors of the American Academy of Nutrition to adopt an official code of principles. Among the principles he suggests are addressing head on controversial subjects such as the pasteurization of milk and fluoridation of water as well as actively countering the trend toward “counterfeit foods” such as corn syrup (glucose), hydrogenated foods, and artificial colors. This is Dr. Lee’s public policy in a nutshell. The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1957.
By J.F. Wischhusen and N.O. Gunderson, MD
Summary: “Scientists have been almost entirely preoccupied by the concept that bacteria cause disease, rather than by a much more important concept—that adequate nutrition causes good health and relative freedom from disease.” This basic principle, stated so eloquently by the authors of this essay from the journal Science Counselor, aptly defines the divide between the fields of nutrition and medicine. Were we to stop consuming substandard foods such as pasteurized milk and foods grown on soils deficient in trace minerals, the authors explain, then we would not need medical treatments for degenerative diseases such as rheumatism, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, nervous and mental diseases, and cancer, because they would be largely nonexistent (as they are in preindustrial societies that stick to their traditional diets). “Remove the true underlying cause of disease—malnutrition,” the authors add, “and it will usually be found that the disease germs cannot exist or propagate in an animal body that is healthy.” From Science Counselor, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 48.
By James C. Thomson
Summary: This article from the Scottish periodical The Kingston Chronicle offers one of the most insightful quotes ever regarding the reality of nutrition, commerce, and science: “When dealing with highly lucrative commercial enterprises based upon dietetic and therapeutic procedures, doctors and analytical chemists are given a clear lead. They know what is expected of them…there is a market for signatures. They have only to indicate a bias in the right direction and everything is made easy. Their investigations are tailor-made and tidy beyond description. Slides and specimens from the laboratories of the cartels are provided for them; meticulously labeled and annotated Petri dishes come to them teeming with unequivocal cultures of all the best microbes. In many cases even their opinions and observations are supplied—typed out all ready for signature.” The author goes on to show how commercial dairy interests used just such tactics to shamelessly demonize raw milk and write pasteurization into the law books of the country for the purpose of profit. From The Kingston Chronicle, 1943. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 28C.
Summary: A 1948 newspaper report of Dr. Royal Lee’s presentation to the American Academy of Nutrition in San Francisco. Dr. Lee warns of the health dangers associated with artificial colors added to foods, citing research proving “butter yellow,” a coloring added to margarine, to be carcinogenic. Lee also condemns the pasteurization of milk, citing studies of the damage it caused in animal feeding studies. From NewspaperARCHIVE, 1948.
By Jean Bullitt Darlington
Summary: The first of a two-part report examining the bias in the popular press of the 1940s regarding the pros and cons of milk pasteurization. Darlington debunks several famous “scare” myths ballyhooed by the press, presenting each story as it was first reported and then as it appeared after some fact finding. This article, along with its sequel, is full of facts and examples of how health authorities grossly manipulated science and the public fear of food-borne epidemics to silence any support of certified raw milk. Includes eye-opening statistics from the U.S. Public Health Service regarding the number of outbreaks traced to both raw and pasteurized milk from 1922 to 1944. From The Rural New Yorker: The Business Farmer’s Paper. Reprint 28, 1947.
By Jean Bullitt Darlington
Summary: Part II of a two-part series examining the myths and politics of milk pasteurization. In this article, Darlington reviews the efforts of the U.S. Public Health Service to strong arm communities throughout the country to adopt pasteurization, and he also examines closely the nature of milk production, pointing out that with the technology and equipment available at the time, safe raw-milk production was not just feasible but preferable. “Pasteurization is destructive of many of the essential nutritional values in milk. The only possible defense that could ever have been offered for [it],” the author concludes, “is that it did act as a temporary expedient pending the acquisition of more knowledge of methods ensuring a safe and clean supply.” With even better methods available today, the prohibition in many states of the sale of raw milk speaks less to public safety and more to the commercial dominance of the pasteurized milk industry. From The Rural New Yorker. Reprint 28-B, 1947.
By Hugo Krueger, PhD
Summary: An authoritative, fully-referenced report on the mysterious and famous Wulzen factor, an anti-stiffness nutrient found in the cream of raw milk and in fresh molasses. The author writes, “In 1941 Wulzen and Bahrs reported that guinea-pigs fed raw whole milk grew excellently and at autopsy showed no abnormality of any kind. Guinea-pigs on pasteurized milk rations did not grow as well and developed a definite syndrome, the first sign of which was wrist stiffness. On pasteurized skim milk the syndrome increased in severity until the animals finally died. There was great emaciation and weakness before death.” Doctors such as Royal Lee and Francis Pottenger, Jr., had long studied this anti-arthritic factor, which was never accepted by orthodox medicine and regretfully remains ignored to this day. From American Journal of Physical Medicine. Reprint 81, 1955.