Our Teeth and Our Soils

By William A. Albrecht, PhD

Summary: Today, the standard explanation for tooth decay goes something like this: a carbohydrate-rich film develops on the teeth; bacteria in the mouth feed on that carbohydrate; acid produced by the bacteria attack and degrade the teeth. Yet this explanation fails to account for numerous observations regarding cavity development, which, as many nutritionists of the early twentieth century showed, appears to have more to do with systemic nutritional deficiency in the body than a localized pathogenic assault. In this fascinating 1947 article, renowned agronomist Dr. William Albrecht adds weight to the malnutrition theory of tooth decay, correlating regional differences between soil fertility, plant constitution, and dental health in America. In short, he concludes, the more fertile a soil, the fewer cavities in people who eat food grown in that soil. With tooth decay the most common and widespread degenerative disease in the United States—just as it was in Dr. Albrecht’s day—it seems obvious that brushing carbohydrates off of our teeth is not enough to prevent cavities. We need nutrient rich foods, produced by fertile soils, to thwart oral bacteria from proliferating in the first place. From the Annals of Dentistry, 1947. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 37.

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.

Medical Testament of the Doctors of Cheshire, England

By the Local Medical and Panel Committee of Cheshire, England

Summary: This 1939 declaration by the physicians of Cheshire, England, is one of the great documents of nutrition history and a clarion call for preventive medicine in the twenty-first century and beyond. In it the 600 family doctors of Cheshire county lament the failure of their profession to reverse the soaring rates of chronic disease in Britain, naming the reason for the new epidemics in no uncertain terms: “a lifetime of wrong nutrition” in their patients. While medicine’s political institutions were spinning the notion that only total vitamin deficiencies bring illness, such as the lethal scurvy or rickets, many practicing physicians were confirming what decades of experimental research had shown—that the human body is incredibly susceptible to partial deficiencies of vitamins and minerals as well, these lacks manifesting as practically every modern health complaint, from tooth decay to gastrointestinal disorders to chronic fatigue to mental illness. Unless Britain moved from its “white bread and margarine” diet of industrially processed foods to one with food that is “little altered by preparation,” with “no chemical or substitution stage,” and grown in soil in which “the natural cycle is complete,” the doctors warn, chronic disease would only continue to increase in Britain. In 1957 England’s prestigious Soil Association would resurrect Cheshire’s Medical Testament in a declaration of its own, published in the medical journal The Lancet, noting that time had done nothing but affirm the document’s dour predictions while repeating its assertion that whole, organically grown food is not a luxury but a necessity for human health. Over half a century later, with rates of chronic disease ever increasing across the globe, the institution of medicine continues to ignore the prophetic practitioners of Cheshire—at the risk of humanity’s very existence. From the British Medical Journal, 1939. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.

Mineralized Garden Brings Health, Acclaim to Kentucky Soil Doctor

By F.A. Behymer

Summary: A newspaper report of soil expert Albert Carter Savage, who in the 1940s warned of the depletion of soil and its effect on the quality of the food supply. Ostensibly about Savage’s prodigious garden, the article presents his ideas for restoring fertility and immunity to agricultural lands. “A program of countrywide mineralization could and would create, within a generation, a new type of human being,” Savage says. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1945. Lee Foundation for Nutrition and Research reprint 14.

Natural Versus Artificial Nitrates

By Sir Albert Howard

Summary: In this 1945 article from Organic Gardening magazine, Sir Albert Howard, father of the British organic farming movement, writes about the inherent inferiority of artificial soil fertilizers, specifically synthetic nitrates. He quotes the magazine New English Weekly: “It is always good to see the difference between natural and laboratory products emphasized, in recognition of the imponderable elements with which Nature endows substances, which can by no scientific skill be added to the synthetic product.” He also cites a study from an American university showing that “natural nitrates have something that the artificial lacks, and there is no completely adequate substitute for it in the field of [artificial] agricultural fertilizers.” Substituting crude imitations for Nature’s complex, synergistic compounds is a great way to destroy the health of soil and crops, he adds. Howard, the author of the classic book on organic farming An Agricultural Testament, was also the mentor of J.I. Rodale, the founder of Prevention magazine. From Organic Gardening, 1945. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 13.

Three Opinions of the “Death Food” Propaganda

By Dr. Royal Lee, Herbert C. White, and Arnold P. Yerkes

Summary: The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprinted these three articles by leading natural-health authorities of the time to counter the “America is the best fed nation on earth” propaganda coming from government agencies and the commercial food industries. From soil destruction and depletion to food processing and synthetic vitamins, the three authors cogently expose the frauds, lies, and myths perpetrated by the “death-food industry,” so described by Royal Lee. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research special bulletin 1-52, 1952. Multiple original sources.