The following is a transcription of the Second Quarter 1977 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
“Mankind does not understand the devil he himself creates.”
Industrialized Farm Produce
April of this year was again designated as Natural Food Month and April 21 as national Food Day. The original designation of this day as Earth Day tends to make us realize the inclusiveness of the earth, sunshine, air, and water in providing the natural nutriments so necessary for our daily health and continued existence. Many of the problems so troublesome to our society today are linked directly or indirectly to our changed pattern of living. At least some are a result of the continual bombardment of ill-based propaganda in regard to industrial processed food as being equal to or better than the natural product. This despite the fact that processed food is a mere infant in the consumer’s art of daily living, and some of it has already been found to cause metabolic and degenerative diseases.
During the past fifty years, technocrity, it would appear, has been a drawback instead of an assist—especially so in regard to national health. The revived axiom “What you don’t know won’t hurt you!” must be discarded when it comes to knowledge of the food you need to stay healthy.
The ideal food is natural food raised on biologically active soil. As a part of the animal kingdom for thousands of years, man has developed a digestive system attuned to the natural and biologically produced foods that have sustained his life. In today’s language, we would say he is programmed for the utilization of natural foods. This biological type of agriculture was generally practiced in the United States until the early 1950s. Then came the introduction of technocrity into agriculture through the highly heralded so-called green revolution with its many chemical adjuncts as a substitute for nature’s natural predators. Nature was in the way of profits so natural hedges, fence rows, and wetlands, the home of the natural bug catchers and other predators, were entirely eliminated.
The protein value of foods raised on chemically fertilized land has declined, and such soil fails to provide the expected nutrients. Monocrop practices on these over-a-thousand-acre mechanized farms has no doubt further aided in the loss of normal soil elements. The old standby small farmer has been pushed out of the picture as the multimillion-dollar conglomerates have united agriculture and business and as agribusiness have combined food production, processing, and distribution into a very favored and favorable position. What has in the past been a simple process accomplished by nature has now become a highly complex or fragmented technology supported, to a great extent, by chemicals and/or fossil fuels and their derivatives.
Further high priority fuel use to furnish less nutrients in the food produced can only result in more fuel and more malnutrition.
Experts have advised President Carter that the remaining supply of these fuels, in our country, will only last another eight to ten years. In agriculture we must surely consider technology as having flunked out, when we consider that, in ours and other highly technologically oriented societies, we need 5,000 gallons of gasoline to clothe and feed one person for one year. We must consider it a highly wasteful procedure when China consumes only 160 gallons of gasoline, mostly to operate irrigation pumps, to accomplish the same thing. Immediately the question arises: “Who wants to live like a Chinaman?” Besides being conservative, they have fed their millions of people and occupied the same land for over 5,000 years. No other nation can boast of a similar record. We are told that, regardless of his station in life, he profoundly respects the man and the soil that grow his rice and other foods.
And what would Confucius say? No doubt, “Americans must again become solicitous for the future fertility of the soil as your source of life and health. You people have poisoned, mined and raped your soil and other resources in only 200 years.”
Apparently, our wasting of material resources has reached the end of the line. We here in this country must relearn the value of fertile soil and whole foods as a requisite for normal health as individuals and for the continued existence of our nation. Invariably modern agriculturists, physicians, and commercial scientists must about-face and absorb the words of Dr. Weston Price: “Life in all its fullness is mother nature obeyed.”
Chemical Withdrawal a Must
In An Agricultural Testament, Sir Albert Howard became the first modern day agronomist to caution the world against the effects of ignoring biological agriculture for chemical farming. To him “biological” meant fertility farming or humus agriculture. He stated:
“Since the Industrial Revolution, the processes of growth have been speeded up to produce food and raw materials needed by the population and the factory. Nothing has been done to replace the loss of fertility involved in this vast increase in crop and animal production. The consequences have been disastrous. Agriculture has become unbalanced; the land is in revolt; diseases of all kinds are on the increase; in many parts of the world nature is removing the worn-out soil by erosion—the purpose of this book is to draw attention to the destruction of the earth’s capital—the soil; to indicate some of the consequences of this; and to suggest methods by which the lost fertility can be restored and maintained. The effect of humus on the crop is nothing short of profound…Soil fertility is the condition that results from the operation of nature’s round, from the orderly revolution of the wheel of life, from the adoption and faithful execution of the first principle of agriculture—there must always be a perfect balance between the process of growth and the process of decay. The consequences of this condition are a living soil, abundant crops of good quality, and livestock which possess the bloom of health…The only way of measuring quality is by seeing it. It cannot be weighed and measured by the methods of the laboratory…Vegetables and fruits grown on land rich in humus are always superior in quality, taste and keeping power to those raised by other means…The key to fertile soil and prosperous agriculture is humus.”
Humus is that portion of the soil formed by partial decomposition of vegetable, plant, or animal matter. It acts as a sponge to hold air and water and serves as the home of billions of soil organisms that take part in decomposition, thereby producing a more fertile soil. The constant activity and the life and death of these organisms tends to create vital soil functions and furnish essential nutrient material for the continuance of normal biological life in the soil. For instance, a representative soil fungus (yeast) is 50 percent protein, has 18 amino acids, 11 of the B complex vitamins, and 10 minerals plus traces of several others. All are naturally processed for absorption by the plant roots. Indirectly, plants do absorb their sustenance from soil organisms which contain all the compounds or components necessary to produce and/or maintain life.
Over a period of time chemical fertilizers have tended to kill off some of these organisms and have created an unbalanced soil and unhealthy plants needing pesticide spraying, which causes a further reduction of soil organisms, and finally, a dead soil, without humus, subject to erosion by wind (sandstorms) or the formation of hardpan and flooding. Either way it is a loss of precious topsoil which we can ill afford. It has taken millions of years to form the few inches of crop-growing topsoil, according to past and present physiographers.
Less and Less
Nutrition is a controlled process at every level of life and in every form of life. Control follows a pattern of instructions issued by the cellular nucleic acids. Scientists have determined that nucleic acids are nature’s key to life. They direct the development of form and function of all living things and determine the genetic code of all organisms at each level of life all the way up to and including man. Generations succeed each other, for “in nucleic acid we are dealing with life itself.”
Apparently, the scientists employed by the large chemical conglomerates, or supported directly or indirectly by them, have failed to follow through on the possible hazards of malnutrition through the wasted energy of their exploited soil. The energy found in fertile soil furnishes the energy necessary to keep well people well. Modernity, as represented by agribusiness (the now combined agriculture and food processing industry), has broken the natural law as written in the genetic code. When acid fertilizers and pesticides are put on the soil it may interfere with the nucleic acid control. Both chemicals are known to destroy soil organisms either by hydrolysis or toxicity and allow the available minerals to leach or blow away. Then, too, the finest particles of silt are dissolved by the acid and also lost. Therefore, each year the soil contains less available minerals and less live organisms. The resultant dormant and dehydrated soil organisms fail to provide the natural organic matter to replenish the stored nutrients for future availability.
As a result of this loss of soil nutrients, the plants suffer from malnutrition and become hosts for various insect infestations. These pests are nature’s way of destroying inferior nutrients. They do not attack healthy plants or animals. They say it is the unhealthy dog that has the most fleas. Experiments have proved that the people who eat the animals and plants suffering from malnutrition can themselves suffer a like fate. We must presume they will be weakened further when the fewer remaining nutrients are either processed out or cooked out. Assuredly, this must be one of the reasons that degenerative disease is on the increase in the United States.
If we desire to prevent such diseases now plaguing orthodox medicine and the drug industry, we need to view matters in perspective. When it comes to nutrition, should we blindly accept the “consensus of medical opinion” as defined by the American Medical Association (AMA)? Surely this concept is archaic! Nutrition has not been a major subject in most medical schools since about 1945. Generally it has been relegated to a few commercial lectures on calories and cholesterol by dietetically oriented instructors.
Apparently it is for this reason that we find our domestic animals generally better fed than we humans. Every veterinary school in this country teaches nutrition as a major subject. Experience has taught them that the weakened or rundown body, animal or human, must be innervated by good food before the drugs or other medication can have any effect. No doubt you are astonished to hear that a farmer’s sick bull may receive better treatment nutritionally than your sick child when confined in a hospital.
Alas and a Lack
In the April 1974 issue of Food and Nutrition News, Dr. Charles E. Butterworth, chairman of the AMA Committee on Nutrition, inadvertently apologized for this lack when he stated (emphasis ours):
“Another cause for alarm that is worrying the medical profession is the growing suspicion that a great many people in the nation’s hospitals are unwillingly becoming the victims of physician-induced malnutrition and outright starvation…It is not due to willful neglect on the physician’s part; rather it is due to his lack of understanding of the whole new science of nutrition.”
At approximately this same time the Committee on Nutrition was abandoned, possibly because no one wants to be told of their shortsightedness or defects. Medical students are taught to have some knowledge of current drugs, but little if any of the source and effects of whole nutrition. Yet, without good food to furnish bodily stamina, most drugs would be less effective, at least. And, as Dr. Butterworth implies, hospital food is apparently lacking proper nutriments. This could be one reason that hospital-induced diseases are on the increase.
Apparently, this lack of nutritional understanding will continue. The spokesman for the American Hospital Association is reported to have said (in response to President Carter’s effort to cut the annual increase in hospital expense from the present 15 percent to 9 percent) they would have to cut down on help, food, and outpatient services.
However, this is beside the point, as President Carter implied that the increase was due to the overbuilt and overequipped hospitals, encouraged to a large extent by the availability of government funds. Cutting outlays for construction about five billion dollars last year is viewed as crucial to limiting hospital costs, which are said to have increased about 15 percent for each of the last two years. The President also referred to the present excess of hospital rooms with more under construction, duplication of costly diagnostic instruments and treatment equipment in each hospital tending to increase the cost of health care.
Observation of several hospitals in a given community will determine that each is operated as a closed corporation, in competition with the others, for the benefit of the staff instead of the taxpayers who donated to build them through Federal grants and who also must be the paying public. Apparently, duplication of efforts in a community increases our inflationary cycle.
At a recent symposium, Dr. James Sammons, executive vice president of the AMA, said: “Our sins have been greatly exaggerated. The new methods of health care are costly yet invaluable to protect the patient health and quality of life itself.’’
This view was contested by Ralph Andreano, administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Health, who stated: “We are inundated with new medical technology…The health care industry is a classic case of market failure…Either we have too much cardiac surgery or too little of something else.” Andreano is a noted health economist on leave from the University of Wisconsin.
It is true that during the last thirty years man has created many new problems through technology. Some of these problems are biologically involved with our ecosystem and may continue for several generations. The AMA’s official severing of their last link to nutrition may, because of lack of nutritional knowledge, serve as a risk to its members and a source of iatrogenic (physician-caused) disease. We must agree with Dr. Ralph D. Stoaks, who warned: “Beware of technological quicksand.”
Following the leader could be hazardous to many. In this regard Professor B.F. Parker has said: “Instead of investigating for themselves, medical men copy the errors of their predecessors, and have thus retarded the progress of medical science and perpetuated error.”
Apparently, this is what the AMA has done by divesting itself of nutritional interest in health. Even though their medical consensus of nutrition had become outdated, and the advanced scientific problems were misunderstood, they did not have to admit complete ignorance. Having lost nutrition, the health builder for a million years, they propound the theory that health is a negative state meaning absence of disease. In the past few years some of the professors have advised medical students that they, as doctors, cannot be held responsible for ensuring the health of the populace.
It would seem that this duty has been shifted over to the farmer, the processing industry, and the dietician so that the doctor is no longer responsible for healthful foodstuffs. Nowadays, many of them spend full time in repair and maintenance of human beings. As surgeons some have become specialists in replacing various body parts.
At a recent Senate hearing of the Select Committee on Human Needs, Senator Charles H. Percy had this to say:
“In seeking a cure-all to the nation’s health crisis, too many of us overlook the underlying weakness of a medical system that is oriented toward death prevention rather than toward health promotion and maintenance…experts have found enough incriminating evidence to conclude that our super-rich, fat-loaded, additive and sugar-filled American diet is sending many of us to early graves unnecessarily. More and more health authorities now agree that spending money for medical care may have no more positive effect on good health than making simple changes in the way we eat and live.”
Also just recently Dr. Michael Latham, Professor of International Nutrition at Cornell University, testified before a congressional committee that the poor child in Mexico, eating corn or beans for breakfast, or the Far Eastern child, who has a bowl of rice for breakfast, is getting more nutritional value for the cost of the breakfast than is the rich American child who has a big serving of commercial cereal for breakfast. “Bean, peas or lentils,” Dr. Latham said, “contain a wealth of protein, vitamins and minerals, all of it available to the child, none of it destroyed by the multitude of processes, such as the puffing, flaking, toasting, etc., that the cereals go through.”
Evidence is steadily mounting that our chemically based society is breaking down and that we are taking the wrong road for a healthy existence. Some conniving commercial scientists may have influenced our so-called protective consumer agencies by claiming that an all-out effort to improve yield per acre could only be accomplished by using chemical commercial fertilizers, the genetic seed approach, or with pesticide sprays. Commercially, science is applied to meet the expedient demands of economy, not the long-range needs of the people whose life itself comes from the soil through the foodstuffs it produces.
Too many people who should know better stubbornly refuse to believe that plant, animal, and human health has its origin in biologically fertile soil. Biologically fertile soil means vital or live soil, and when applied to food the term organic means from a living source and without having its nutritional value reduced through heat treatment or any other destructive influence. This is the original use of the word; however, now it is also used in the technical sense, meaning a compound of carbon, without any reference to its nutritional value.
Too few scientists have availed themselves of the rapidly changing health statistics in this country, since the changeover from the small farm and organic farming to agribusiness with its chemicalized farming and industrialized food processing. These statistics reveal a steady increase in incidence of metabolic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart and vascular conditions.
When doctors believed in prevention, William Mayo, MD, said: “The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life; the ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician.”
Is it possible that AMA switched tactics because of the old adage, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away?” An organic apple, that is?