Dubbed the “Fightinist” Leader in Nutritional Science, Dr. Royal Lee led the whole-food nutrition battle against organized medicine, the FDA, and the food manufacturing industry from the 1930s through the early 1960s. He spent a great deal of time in court, standing for the scientific facts that proved whole-food nutrition supported health. Big Medicine and the FDA often fought back with feigned ignorance and lies. In 1949, Elmer Nelson, M.D., the head of the “Nutrition” Division of the FDA, testified against Dr. Lee in a federal court, saying, “It is wholly unscientific to state that a well-fed body is more able to resist disease than a less well-fed body.”
Dr. Lee fought the legal battles in the courtroom, and he fought in the marketplace of invention and education by creating Standard Process Laboratories, Lee Engineering Company, and the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research. In his book, Empty Harvest, author Mark Anderson wrote, “Dr. Lee amassed an encyclopedic body of knowledge in plant, animal, and human health and its links to soil, food processing, diet, and nutrition that at every stage was forty years ahead of its time…. His Lee Engineering Company held more than one hundred of his electrical patents. He invented the governor motor, the Lee Flour Mill, and the Endocardiograph.”
Royal Lee left us a legacy that the entire health food movement, organic agricultural movement, and holistic health business of today is rooted in, providing everything we need to know to raise healthy soils, farms, animals, children, and to stop illness. The works of Dr. Lee can be mined for a lifetime from books, articles, recordings, and the supplement products he developed through his company Standard Process.
But perhaps his most enduring quality has been that he supported the work of all the nutrition pioneers of his time. He fought for them when they went to jail, printed their banned books, and used his Foundation to disseminate their work. He did not see himself as a guru or hero. He saw that it would take all of us together to stand for our health and food freedoms.
We owe Dr. Lee and his colleagues a great deal every time we have the opportunity to pay for whole, organically-grown food or visit a holistic health practitioner trained in Standard Process nutrition. But Lee would want only one thing in thanks—for us to assimilate and pass on the knowledge and information about whole-food nutrition that continues to win out over time, over ignorance, and despite endless campaigns to mislead the public.