Our Food Failure
Contents in this issue:
- “Our Food Failure.”
The following is a transcription of the First Quarter 1974 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
Our Food Failure
A Cause of Degenerative Disease
More recent investigation of soil care, food processing, and the nutritional value of food is presently being deliberately pushed into the background. It seems that current reports and recommendations are filed away if they contain information contrary to the present government program instead of being studied as possible blueprints for future governmental action. Apparently, like liquor, they improve with age.
We now have the “agri-business combine,” through interrelated directorships of food processors and chemical, civic, and medical organizations—and with the support of some government agencies promoting the obsolete information that our soil is no different now than it was thirty or forty years ago. Consumers are being advised that their family will be well fed and healthy if they follow the previously accepted homemaker’s guide diet consisting of something green, something yellow, some white bread, milk, lean meat, and poultry. Thirty years ago (with the exception of white bread) this was probably true, but now we have an entirely different situation. In those days we were considered to be one of the healthiest nations in the world.
It is an established fact that we are what we eat. So, if the soil is the same as thirty years ago and raises the same nutritious produce with the newer agricultural procedures, food processing and chemicals in our food are advantageous, orthodox medicine is on top of the situation with antibiotics and wonder drugs, and we have the best and probably largest hospitals in the world giving X-ray and radioactive substance treatments—how is it possible that almost 50 percent of the people of the United States are suffering from chronic degenerative diseases?
Everyone knows that the incidence of heart and vascular disease, cancer, dental conditions, diabetes, and arthritis, to mention a few, is on the increase. If the soil and food are right then the propagandists, including some medical columnists, must be wrong.
Of thirty-three nations surveyed in 1968 by the World Health Organization, we are far down the list in the life expectancy statistics. Our average age at death for males is 66.6 and for females 74.1 years. Since that time the rate for males has probably deteriorated further, as a recent Metropolitan Life Insurance Company survey of thirty-seven states revealed that women have almost twice as much chance of surviving the sixty-five to eighty-five bracket than men do.
Free and unfettered nutritionists are stigmatized as quacks when they advise that our faltering health record in the last twenty-five years is due, at least in part, to the killing of the microorganisms and other soil life in the humus by strong or unbalanced chemical fertilizers, lack of crop rotation, continuous one cropping of unfallowed land, failure to plow under a green crop for organic fertilizer, the excessive use of poison pesticides—especially when sprayed from the air by planes—overprocessing and chemicalization of our daily food, especially flour, treated with chlorine bleach.
Using the World War II period as a base, we find that our health statistical record has continuously declined so that the before and after effect is very discouraging when all the facts are known. Our authorities must realize immediately that the problem is current and cannot be solved with outmoded propaganda. It was during the war that our white flour was found to be so lacking in nourishment, due to loss by the roller mill method of processing, that a government edict was issued to initiate the addition of inorganic iron (ferrous sulphate) and several synthetic B vitamins.
Apparently, deficiencies in food were noticed previously. In the Yearbook of Agriculture 1939, Gove Hambridge indicated that half the people of the U.S. did not have even fair diets and that only a small percentage had good diets.
Henry A. Wallace, former Vice President and also former Secretary of Agriculture, said:
“Fifty percent of the people of the U.S. do not get enough in the way of protective foods to enable them to enjoy full vigor and health. Lack of common-sense knowledge of nutrition, even among the well-to-do people, is appalling.”
Mineral and Vitamin Deficiency
It is generally assumed that the family diet can be complemented by the addition of citrus fruits and tomatoes for vitamin C and inorganic mineral salts for iron. However, ripening green-picked oranges and tomatoes at their destination with ethylene gas does not provide the minerals and vitamins that naturally vine or tree ripening does.
Several consumer groups, Bess Myerson (New York City Consumer Commissioner), and Senator Frank E. Moss of Utah have requested the Agriculture Department to study the health and nutritional characteristics of gassed green tomatoes. To date the request has been ignored.
Through years of study, horticulturists have determined that growing crops continue into the ripening process, thereby assimilating flavor from some thirty minerals and vitamins in their natural combinations as the soil provides. Science is still uncertain as to how many of these minerals are needed to produce healthy mammals, but to date some twenty are known to be important in metabolization. Of these, calcium, copper, cobalt, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, vanadium, and zinc are considered necessary in enzyme production.
Consumers are generally unaware that plant rootlets absorb the inorganic minerals together with organic material from the humus of the soil, and with the aid of the sun and oxygen the plant transforms these minerals and organic material into organic minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, enzymes, lipids, phosphatides, proteins, and vitamins, all necessary food substances, to increase disease resistance in man and beast.
Presently, the importance of iron as a key element in nutrition is being reviewed by our FDA, in that the regulation to double the quantity to be used in white bread has been postponed from April of this year to 1975. Some doctors have objected to this amount as being intolerable to many people. They have experienced the fact that the present amount of inorganic iron additive is too often not only not assimilated, but irritating to the GI tract, so the addition of more may do more harm than good. In the meantime, anemia continues to occur at an unprecedented rate according to current research reports, including the “Ten State Nutrition Survey.”
Without adequate assimilable iron in the proper amount, together with such synergistic materials as copper and manganese, our red blood cells fail to furnish adequate oxygen, so we acquire anemia, languish, and sometimes die. Dr. Louis K. Diamond says, “Iron-deficiency anemia is a national problem.”
Iron does not occur alone in food sources. It is always associated with the other essential minerals in a definite relationship or ratio. For instance, iron and manganese are relatively associated in plant and animal tissues in an approximate ratio of two or three to one. The relationship with copper in the hemoglobin synthesis of the red blood corpuscles is also well known. If iron does not occur alone in nature, how can we expect it to be a lone worker in our body? Therefore, it is natural to assume that if iron-deficiency anemia is so prevalent in this country, it surely must be indicative of a general mineral and vitamin deficiency in our foods. If iron is deficient in the soil then some of our best food sources must also be deficient.
Known food sources are dried fruits (such as apricots, dates, and raisins); vegetables (such as asparagus, beans, beet greens, mushrooms, potatoes, spinach, and Swiss chard); miscellaneous foods (such as alfalfa, crude molasses, horseradish, liver, lean meat, rye bran, sorghum, and walnuts).
Any anemia denotes a lower-than-normal level of hemoglobin concentration in the circulating erythrocytes. All our body cells contain and must be replenished with oxygen, which then metabolizes the hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. However, blood cells are more specialized and in addition require supplies of iron, copper, and manganese for the red corpuscles and calcium and magnesium for the white corpuscles. The versatility of the minerals in body structure is further exemplified in that calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are needed to maintain nerve cells.
In the hypochromic anemias, the red blood cells are pinkish or pale red. One such anemia is generally believed due to iron deficiency, although a trace of copper is necessary to make hemoglobin out of the available iron. In hematopoiesis copper functions as the internal impulse or enzyme accelerator in the oxidation of iron into the iron-bearing hemoglobin, therefore the anemic condition, regardless of treatment, will continue if copper is also deficient. Other hypochromic anemias may occur with similar defects in hemoglobin synthesis, such as the pyridoxine-responsive and riboflavin-deficient anemias. Manganese is yet another factor, its function being directed toward the support of the respiratory functions of hemoglobin.
Regardless of all the television advertisements promoting remedies for iron deficiency anemia, it continues to be one of the most common disorders found in medical practice today. It is said to be found most frequently in the premature infant, pregnant women, and in the growing child. Dr. Jean Mayer says that “millions of young people suffer from this readily preventable condition.”
The fact that our young people eat quantities of snack foods daily, from vending machines or so-called fast-food establishments, and wash them down with cola drinks in lieu of more substantial food is probably contributory. The majority of such diets are not supplemented with minerals and/or vitamins, so they evidently do affect our overall health record. With all the various combinations of minerals needed in cellular construction and maintenance—together with amino acids and vitamins in enzyme production to aid in digestive assimilation and overall metabolism—it is regrettable that our health authorities consider only the effects of iron malnutrition instead of contributory causes.
From a nutritional and biological standpoint, inorganic minerals remain in the body only for a few hours, and during this time are only meagerly utilized by many individuals. However, when these same minerals are combined in plant growth, they become a vital chelated organic mineral, readily assimilable, and provide health and vigor to the animals and humans who ingest them. Modern tests can now determine their physiological action in the body. The outdated chemical test by ashing proves only one thing, and that is that they originated in the soil. The vitality of the organic mineral has been burned out so that even though chemically they may be the same, they are far different biologically. It is also regrettable that the antiquated theory that minerals are minerals and vitamins are vitamins, regardless of their source, is still being promulgated.
Modern investigators realize the disadvantages of the early scientists who were generally unaware of the various components of food. Their crude methods of analysis could not determine that the inorganic minerals of the soil were processed by plant life, through the aid of sunlight, air, and water into the vital food that supplies our body with the necessary physiological components to preserve life. Hence, the necessity for raw foods.
In his column Dr. Frederick Stare often recommends canned foods in preference to raw foods, which he reasons can possibly be damaged in transportation and with a greater loss of vitamins than are lost in the canning process. On the other hand, we believe the average consumer can more easily judge the freshness and quality of a raw product than that of a cooked canned product. Then too, it may be that Dr. Stare is biased because of his alleged interest in Continental Can Company.
It must be conceded that most any type of food processing, whether it is canning, cooking, refrigerating, homogenizing, hydrogenation, drying, smoking, or pickling will cause the loss of some important food substance.
We must also concede that products that have been too long in transit or in the vegetable bins in stores for any length of time are no bargain even if bought on sale. The vegetal cells and resistant skins have tough membranes difficult for the digestive juices to overcome. The cellulose of these membranes and skins hardens with age through polymerization. Such stale raw foods become virtually indigestible. Nutritionists advise that a healthy rule to follow is to “eat only foods that spoil, but eat them before they do.”
Nutritionists also advise that each building up process in the body is preceded by a breakdown process. This particularly applies in all digestive functions. Certain patients advise that raw foods are badly tolerated. It is true that in some individuals they do provoke digestive sluggishness, abdominal bloating, colic, or diarrhea. But, favorably, they bring many indispensable elements such as proteins (amino acids), energy from carbohydrates and fats, and structural mineral elements. For instance, calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate as biocatalysts and such trace minerals as magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and no doubt others to act in the formation of enzymes and to promote osmosis and ion exchange.
Recent research conducted at the National Heart and Lung Institute by Robert I. Henkin determined that a deficiency of copper, zinc, and other minerals were causes of poor appetites in some people. In regard to minerals for flavor but more so in thousands of enzyme formations, nothing can replace the active magnesium of raw chlorophyll, the green blood of the plant generally not found elsewhere.
As mentioned before, clinical investigators have determined that the inorganic minerals remain in the organism for only a few hours, with only a minute amount being absorbed. Organic minerals were found to be more readily assimilated. Especially was this true in tests with the organic magnesium content of chlorophyll. In fact, Dr. E.V. McCollum, an early nutritionist, found an especial need for magnesium to combat serum cholesterol formation. His investigators found that the presence of magnesium in the diet often prevented atherosclerosis. He felt the assimilable organic magnesium tends to lower the serum cholesterol level through its dissolving action on the yellow cholesterol plaques in the circulatory system. Then too, according to Dr. Emil Ginter, Institute of Human Nutrition Research, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, sufficient vitamin C is necessary in the diet to stimulate the liver enzymes to convert cholesterol to bile acids.
To overcome any distress caused by ingestion of raw foods, it is well to start with a small amount and gradually increase the portion. For better tolerance it should be an imperative rule that all raw foods should be thoroughly chewed in order to insalivate, tear down, and pulverize them as much as possible to break down the cellulose membranes. It is simply a reeducation of the digestive process gradually, before the degenerative diseases become more fully established. You ate the wrong foods, so now you must about-face and eat the right ones.
To aid in this process of regeneration, we quote French nutritionist Raymond Lautie, PhD, who states:
“One may begin by a day of fast, then, take a raw food before a light meal. It is only little by little that raw foods will be able to take their normal place in the meal. Too often meals are badly planned and the alliance cannot be made between raw foods and other foods. The noon meal will consist of, in principle, first some fresh fruit, then various raw vegetables, seasoned with oil and lemon juice, then a cooked dish. In the evening one eats with pleasure a green salad made with oil and then some mild fruit. One must not exaggerate the quantity of raw foods absorbed at a meal, nor their seasoning. It is well to remember that raw food is much more nourishing than cooked, and when eaten raw, smaller quantities are consumed. One can eat a pound of Egyptian onions cooked, whereas fifty grams of raw onions have more value for the organism. In conclusion, raw foods are indispensable in reasonable quantities, on condition that they are chosen fresh, ripe, clean and are well chewed.”
We must agree with Professor Lautie in that food not properly chewed fails to allow the digestive juices to penetrate and break down the cellular structure, consequently the stomach must continue its churning action instead of being at ease. The result is that the stomach must prolong the exertion by kneading an impenetrable mass, which ferments causing overdistension or, as the expert on TV says, “Gas acid indigestion.” It is usually the fast eaters or those who wash a mouthful of food down with a swig of coffee or some other drink, before it has become completely insalivated, that become easy marks for the TV antacid bunco.
Usually these antacids, especially in people over forty, further aggravate the situation as there may be an insufficient amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach to completely acidify its contents. Antacids only tend to neutralize the amount that is present. Therefore, it would appear that those who complain the most about stomach distress are the fast eaters who usually swallow without chewing, or those who do not have sufficient digestive juices to complete the process of digestion.
It is the more chronic type of stomach distress that may contribute to symptomatic headaches, allergies, anemia, and ulcers. The probable leading cause is the million or so addicts of over-the-counter drugs (so-called painkillers) of the aspirin, caffeine, and phenacetin type. A recent British survey has shown that two-thirds of the people that take three or four aspirins a day suffer loss of blood from the stomach lining and risk becoming anemic. Thousands of people are hospitalized every year as a result of internal bleeding and/or ulcer aggravation possibly due to ingestion of aspirin or some other coal tar derivative. Many of these people have learned too late that specific medications are no substitute for nourishing food and that malnutrition and poor health are synonymous. Some others have found out that the calorie is only a heat unit and cannot possibly furnish the body cell maintenance so necessary to continue an active life.
New cell construction is a constant process and depends entirely on the food supply. Varied types of whole food must be supplied regularly to insure cell growth and reconstruction of weakened tissues. The cells are built one at a time until our entire cell structure is replaced. The need for the stamina furnished by whole food was recently demonstrated in the last Olympic meet. Big Russia and Little Finland fared very well.
We are advised that Finland, with a population of only four million, came from an all-time athletic low in 1967 to a very substantial success across the whole range of sporting events in the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Their earlier experiments to give their athletes more energy by providing more calories failed, so they entirely forgot about calories. During this time, they found out that refined foods did not provide the necessary minerals and vitamins. Head Coach Nuuttila complained that the refining of flour radically influenced the intake of the B vitamins. Where modern foods failed whole foods and/or supplements eventually provided the muscle power. It is well to note here that in both Finland and Russia whole grain dark bread continues to be a staple food. In Finland they also have a yogurt-like milk culture called “Pimmaa.” It is made from clean raw milk or cream. This acidophilus-like culture transforms the bacteria of the colon and is reported to restore normal colon function in just a few months. The starter culture is said to have been in existence for three thousand years. Apparently, we still have a chance of becoming healthier if more nutritious food, of the right type, is provided.
Calories vs. Enzymes
In this country, in the recent past, the outmoded calorie theory and the profit motive, in selling processed foods, have almost become synonymous. As the Finnish athletes found out and as your dictionary will define, a calorie is a heat unit only and as such seemingly has little to do with nutrition for health and stamina.
In whole food we find the natural vitamins associated in activity with vitamins of the same complex as well as with other vitamins, organic minerals, and the amino acids of various proteins. The proteins from various sources are needed because few of them are complete proteins. Incomplete proteins lack some of the amino acids. The action of all the amino acids together with the organic minerals and vitamins are indispensable in enzyme production. Thousands of enzymes must be formed to provide complete metabolism. The entire process is quite miraculous when we consider that each enzyme can only act on one particular food compound, and then only when the temperature, acidity, alkalinity and other conditions are favorable, and when the body has produced sufficient enzymes in the proper amount and at the right time.
Apparently, it is at this time that nature rebels in being furnished synthetic and highly processed foods that complicate life through glandular malfunction, often resulting in an ineffectual bloodstream with a probable weakening or starvation of some cellular structure of the body. The capillaries are balked in their function of providing nourishment to the cells. Whole food assimilation tends toward the maintenance of a unified healthy whole body with little if any cellular malnutrition.
Industrial scientists cannot possibly know all the essential food factors or their correlating synergists and are not in a position to synthesize an adequate diet. Foreign investigators have learned that synthetic vitamins, inorganic minerals, and incomplete proteins cause a disturbance of the natural processes of the body and cannot maintain full functional efficiency. This is because the so-called “Mother Nature” foolers do not possess what the body needs to function properly. Some nutritional clinicians believe this is the reason for the continued downward trend in our health statistics in the past thirty years.
“Our body must have food containing every element found in the earth…If we can supply the complete nutritional requirements, the forces of nature will accomplish the rest.”
—G.W. Heard, DDS