Which to Follow—Food Facts or Theories?

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Dr. Royal Lee illustrates the nutritional dangers of a diet of processed foods through the famous example of New York Senator W.P. Richardson’s hog farm. Richardson, after shifting the diet of his pigs from whole corn and whole wheat to stale white bread and rolls, found the health of the hogs’ offspring to suffer tremendously. “The young pigs developed at only half the usual rate of growth and were subject to many diseases normally foreign to the pig species, particularly pneumonia,” Dr. Lee writes. In addition, the sows “had small liters or aborted.” Dr. Lee notes the similarity between the symptoms of these malnourished pigs and those of the disease-ridden crew of a German warship who’d been reduced to a diet of primarily white flour and sugar. “You do not need to be a professor of biochemistry and medicine,” Dr. Lee opines, to figure out that “lowered resistance caused by a deficient diet is apparently the real cause of most disease.” From Let’s Live magazine, 1958.

[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]

Which to Follow—Food Facts or Theories?

Like the proverbial ostrich with his head in the sand, the exploiters of denatured and synthetic foods, [such] as white flour and white sugar, that annually destroy more human lives than the most bloody war imaginable, are not interested in facts. The battlefront for better nutrition today is clouded with publicity spread by promoters of theories through which they profit. The facts, which may be of little profit to anyone, are not so well publicized.

“These schemers,” as Herbert Spencer wrote more than 100 years ago, “are so absorbed in studying the action of a proposed mechanism as to overlook its reaction.” We may go on with further words of wisdom from Spencer to quote another of his sayings: “If to be ignorant were as safe as to be wise, no one would become wise.”

But it is small consolation today for the victim of heart disease, arthritis or diabetes, to console himself with the fact that eventually “truth will out.” And so it becomes incumbent upon each of us to make a decision as to our survival.

Hog Feed and Chickens

To illustrate my point, let me cite the case of a farmer in New York State, who a few years ago, made a contract with some New York hotels to take their stale bread and rolls off their hands for use as hog feed. His hogs had plenty of other foods, too, having the run of a large orchard with windfall apples, no scarcity of vegetation and the various by-product foods that a farm affords. But the young pigs developed at only half the usual rate of growth and were subject to many diseases normally foreign to the pig species, particularly pneumonia. His brood sows had small liters or aborted. His hens began to lay eggs with irregularity, and chicks hatched from them were so feeble that few survived. It seemed that a curse had been laid upon his farm.

He finally came to the conclusion that the white bread might have something to do with that matter. Forthwith he set up two test pens, putting one group on the white bread regimen, the other on whole corn and wheat grain. In three months there was a “woeful lot” of pigs in one pen and a perfectly normal group in the other. The test absolutely established the responsibility of the white bread. The farmer was Senator W.P. Richardson of Goshen, New York.

Involuntary Experiment

Not many years ago an involuntary experiment was made on a group of 500 men, a feeding test in which the use of “non-perishable” foods were found incapable of supporting life. The foods used were exactly what you and I get when we eat in the average public restaurant, with one exception: there was none of the small portions of fresh, perishable vegetables and whole wheat that we occasionally obtain. These men lived exclusively on white flour products, all kinds of commercially packaged crackers and sweet cookies, butter, oleo, cheese, cold storage meats of every variety, potatoes, plenty of canned fruit and vegetables, salt fish, oatmeal, condensed milk and coffee. The men were the crew of the German naval warship the Kronprinz-Wilhelm. They sank allied freighters periodically on the Argentina-Liverpool circuit and removed their choice foods with which these ships were mainly loaded, so they had more meat, canned goods and white flour than they could possible consume. Between September 1914 and March 1915, she captured or sank fifteen ships.

Fresh vegetables and fruit found in these victim ships were served only to the offices of the Kronprinz-Wilhelm. As a result, they, in the main, escaped the fate that decimated the crew. After 255 days of out of port, 110 of her crew were prostate, the rest on the verge, when the ship slumped into the American port of Newport News in search of medical aid.

Similar Symptoms

What were the symptoms of malnutrition that affected these men? Will it surprise you to find that they were very similar to Senator Richardson’s description of the way his pigs acted when he put them on a white bread diet? The ship’s physician, Dr. Perrenon, said, “We had many cases of pneumonia, pleurisy, and rheumatism among the men. They seemed to lose all resistance long before the epidemic broke out.” Alfred McCann, reporting on the incident, said (1918), “She would be out there yet, sinking the allies’ ships, were it not for her typical American meals; plenty of meat, mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, white bread, butter, sweet cakes and coffee.”

Blinders and Horse Sense

These are but a few hidden facts about foods. “Hidden” by those who wear blinders when it comes to the monstrous condition of malnutrition; with us for so long that we have become tolerant of it. The lowered resistance caused by a deficient diet is apparently the real cause of most disease. You do not need to be a professor of biochemistry and medicine to figure that out. But we do need to realize how powerful this poisonous influence is in order to remain immune. How many will continue to believe the farce that has infested our thinking, that, as the ad slogan says, “white bread is wholesome, eat more and help the farmer?”

By Dr. Royal Lee. Let’s Live, 1958. 

Patrick Earvolino, CN

Patrick Earvolino is a Certified Nutritionist and Special Projects Editor for Selene River Press, Inc.

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