Two: Two Kinds of Food -- The Constructive -- The Destructive
§ 15 -- More Precious than Silver and Gold
THE despised minerals of the soil with their mysterious companions, the "vitamines," which are always automatically removed from food when the minerals are removed, control all vegetable and animal life. More precious than silver and gold, these commonplace constituents of food are rejected.
Notwithstanding the formidable names by which they are known, they are found in the commonest of earth that will produce vegetation; in the grasses and seeds of grasses that spring from that earth; in the most familiar living things that feed upon those grasses and their seeds.
As we consume them every day and are not disturbed by their presence or absence in the dining room, we shall have little difficulty in following them in spite of their awe-inspiring names. What we want to know is just how they affect our lives, and how our interference with them results in disease and death.
All the mineral salts work in beautiful co-operation with each other. They teach us that in nature nothing is independent. They reveal the essential interdependence existing among all God's creatures, among even the inert elements that have sprung from His hands.
Without phosphorus, for instance, all the other soil elements are worthless, even though present in abundance.
The science that treats of the life and health of the soil is so conscious of this phenomenon that it has influenced legislation, requiring the fertiliser manufacturer to state in specific terms the exact quantity of the available phosphorus which his commercial product contains.
The soil obtains nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and carbon from the air and the rain.
It finds its potassium and other mineral elements through the erosion of rock, but the quantity of phosphorus in the mines and in the land is so easily estimated and so very limited, because there is no known substitute for it, that man is ever on the alert for a new supply.
The upper crust of the earth, known as soil, averages from six to twelve inches in depth. This thin film of earth containing the vitalising mineral elements that give us all our vegetation is the cradle of the world. It is the dust from which the bodies of men are organised.
The first seven or eight inches of the virgin top soil of an acre of land weigh about 2,000,000 pounds. In this top soil there are only about 2,000 pounds of phosphorus.
Thus we glimpse a little of the wonderful function it performs in combining with the other elements that support and control life. One little part of phosphorus in a thousand parts of earth. Think of it!
Nature's most profound laws are qualitative, not quantitative. Phosphorus, in harmonious activity with all the other mineral salts of the soil, means normal crops, means health, buoyancy and vigour in the animal life that feeds upon those crops.
Absence of phosphorus means soil starvation, loss of vegetable and animal vitality.
Agricultural science knows that this subtle substance must not be removed from the soil if we do not wish the end to come.
All the gold and silver and precious stones of the mines, all the piteous cries of starving multitudes cannot re-create this mysterious compounder of life. So science warns us against our prodigality and tells us that if we wantonly destroy it or remove it from the earth or take it out of our food we must pay the price in disaster. That, nevertheless, is exactly what we do.
Yet we must remember that phosphorus is only one of the mineral elements without which life on the surface of the earth would become extinct.
It is only because the available supply of phosphorus is so small that it possesses picturesque significance as an illustration of the necessity of minerals not only in the land, in the vegetable, fruit and grain which the land yields, but also in the life processes of man and animal.
Iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, silicon, chlorine, fluorine and iodine are just as important as phosphorus, no more so, no less so.
When we remove any one of them from the earth we produce soil sickness, and the fruits of that soil are correspondingly dwarfed, enfeebled, or do not appear at all.
"Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return," is indeed a profound utterance, containing many lessons which the Twentieth Century has been too busy, too materialistic, to heed.
That grim annual parade of 400,000 children under ten years of age, with which the "four-foot graves" of the United States are filled, would not be possible if human intelligence, guided by faith in the benevolent dispensations of God's providence, were to heed for one serious hour, on a nation-wide scale, the gravity of its slothful indifference to the laws of life.
We are now about to see why whole grains, finely ground, containing all the mineral salts and vitamines with which God has endowed them, should replace in our diet not only for their superior flavour, but for what they mean to life and health, the refined, sifted and bolted cereals and breadstuffs upon which we feed; why every ripe fruit that grows should be popularised in the home; why vegetables and greens should receive ten-fold the attention they now enjoy; why the waters in which vegetables are cooked should not be discarded, but rather why they should be served in the form of soups or sauces; why less meat and more milk should be consumed; why all meat should be sterilised and all milk pasteurised; why butter is superior to all other forms of vegetable or animal fats and why it too, as well as ice cream, should be pasteurised; why milk and meat should not be consumed at the same meal, and why young children should not eat meat at all; why meat should always be accompanied by an abundance of vegetables, and why no child or adult should pass a single day without consuming fruit in some form, even though it be but dried fruit such as raisins, dates, figs, prunes, dried apples, apricots or peaches, and why sun-dried fruits should replace the sulphur-dried product of the market place; what eggs mean to the diet, and how to prepare for home use the unrefined grains in all their delicious combinations of whole meal breads, muffins, biscuits, cakes, porridges and puddings to which they so marvellously lend themselves not only at home, but in the restaurant; why refined sugars such as granulated cane sugar and beet sugar, glucose syrups and candies should be consumed in ever lessening quantities; why the natural sugars such as unsulphured brown sugar, old-fashioned cane syrup, molasses, old-fashioned sorghum, old-fashioned maple syrup and honey should be consumed instead; why baking powders should be sparingly used; why artificial colours, chemical preservatives and chemical adjuncts such as sulphites, alum, saccharine, sodium benzoate and the whole coal tar scheme should be rejected.
Behind this general proposition rests a structure of corporal and spiritual beauty, the form and substance of which although bequeathed to us through the wisdom of Moses, would still have to be accepted on faith, were it not for the revelations of modern science itself.
Dr. J. Reynolds Green, Cambridge, has demonstrated that even in the life of the plant the mineral salts play many parts, and are necessary for the assimilation of the food of protoplasm.
Protoplasm is the soul and essence, the vital, growth-controlling, life-maintaining material of the vegetable and animal cell.
A new school of scientific experts has juggled with protoplasm, and from it coined the mystifying phrase "vitamines," subordinating, even dismissing, under the one-sided enthusiasm of its erudition, the simpler but none the less indispensable elements without which protoplasm, vitamines, the "fat soluble A," the "water soluble B," or any other component of life-supporting food cannot exist.
The purpose of these words is not to clutter up the mind of the reader with a hodge-podge of scientific terms, but rather to demonstrate the exquisite simplicity of what now, to the plain people, appears to be the most baffling and perplexing of riddles.
Here and there the employment of scientific terms becomes essential. However, we need not be afrighted in their presence, for they are the crutches upon which we shall hobble into light and our journey without them would be slow indeed. So much for that.
Now for the work we have undertaken.
Pfeffer, in his many experiments, demonstrated the importance of mineral salts to the growth of plants which, unlike the animal, have the power of utilising mineral food as it exists in the ground. The plant can make its own vitamines. Man cannot.
We shall make no statements without fortifying them by facts, hence the reference to Pfeffer and others who shall step on our little stage hereafter.
Pfeffer made a solution of water, iron oxide, calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate, magnesium sulphate, potassium acid phosphate and potassium chloride. Into this solution he put buckwheat to grow. He also made other solutions from each of which he omitted one or more of the mineral salts, in order to determine what effect such omission would have upon the development of the plant.
Through these experiments he proved that the plant, deprived of any of the minerals mentioned, is affected at once injuriously. He proved that in the absence of iron the development of chlorophyl does not take place.
Chlorophyl is the green colouring matter of the plant, and corresponds with hemoglobin, the red colouring matter of the blood. Without chlorophyl there can be no vegetable life, as without hemoglobin there can be no animal life. Both depend on iron for their existence.
He proved conclusively that in the absence of iron faulty nutrition is at once set up.
In five glass jars employed by him it was easily seen just how the growth of the plants is affected by depriving them of any of the mineral salts so necessary to their existence.
These food minerals of plants can be divided into four groups, each of which serves a different purpose.
In the first group are found sulphur and phosphorus. All analyses of proteins, the fibre of meat, the albumen of egg, the gluten of wheat, the casein of milk, show that sulphur and phosphorus are essential constituents of them. As proteins are immediately utilised in the construction of protoplasm, it can be seen that these salts are contained in every living substance.
The second group comprises potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron, all of which have been conclusively demonstrated to be essential to the development of the plant.
The third group consists of sodium, silicon, manganese, chlorine and iodine, without which no plant can grow.
In the fourth group is found fluorine, which performs a wonderful function in all plant and animal life.
In plant life it has been shown that potassium is directly connected with the construction of sugars and starches, but in just what way is not clearly known.
Potassium occurs most frequently in the organs in which the formation and storage of sugars and starches are most actively carried on, such as in the leaves and tubers.
It has been shown that magnesium has a distribution much like that of potassium, and that calcium is essential to the health of all green plants.
One of its functions clearly established is its activity in neutralising oxalic acid, a poison elaborated in the nutritional processes of vegetables, and therefore finding its way into animal life.
When we compare the influence of potassium, sodium and calcium on the development and growth of plants we find the presence of potassium leads to the development of stems, flowers and fruits, or to what may be regarded as the maturing of the plant, while in the absence of potassium the growth of the leaves is more directly favoured, the crop remaining backward and immature. The fruit does not develop! It has also been established that the nitrogen so essential to the life of animal and plant is combined with the mineral salts of the soil in the form of nitric acid.
The minerals are thus taken up from the soil not only for their own sake in the performing of many functions in life's processes, but also for the sake of the nitrogen which they carry to the plant. In other words, they are nitrogen carriers as well as oxygen and carbon carriers.
Oats mature less fully and completely in the absence of silicon, thus establishing evidence of its aid in the metabolism of the plant.
Until quite recently little was known of manganese as a constituent of many plants, but it has now been determined that manganese exerts a powerful influence on various oxidative processes carried out by a somewhat widely spread enzyme known as laccase.
A curious phenomenon connected with these facts stands forth when we consider that many of the food minerals even in moderately dilute solutions are extremely poisonous, yet when nature finishes her mysterious work of manipulating, combining and compounding them, they are not only not poisonous, but actually benevolent in their effect upon plant and animal.
Potassium in its pure state is a deadly poison, yet in its absence the degree of development of the plant is limited.
When the effects of such deficiency are so well marked even in the case of plants, how reckless is man when he permits the food of his children through entirely unnecessary, useless and vainglorious processes to be deprived not only of their potassium salts, but also of every one of the other mineral salts which we are beginning now to see in their true significance!
What effect upon the vigour of American childhood and manhood, considered apart from the deaths every year of 400,000 children under ten years of age, is exerted by the removal of these food minerals from our national diet?
We shall see.
When sufficient potassium is present in the food of the plant its sugars and starches are produced in greater quantities. The plant itself moves on normally to maturing and the formation of its flowers, and subsequently of its seeds, follows without interruption.
The composition of the soil determines largely the character of the development of the plant, exerting a vast influence upon the variety of the species, the different individuals of which are influenced accordingly. The same food influence is seen in operation in the development of the heavy bones of the truck horse and the fine bones of the race horse, in the development of the queen bee and the worker bee.
Ethnologists who write so dogmatically upon the creation of man, drawing preposterous conclusions from the long heads and long bodies of the Nordics, the round heads and sturdy bodies of the Alpines, and the "disharmonic combinations" of Nordic and Mediterranean mixtures would be less aggressive in their journeys into the blurred and misty past, less sure of their assumptions if they included food in their tortuous speculations.
Their sneering references to Genesis and their contemptuous disposition of Adam, mask, in the name of wisdom, a depth of ignorance which only the highest arts of camouflage can conceal. The composition of the food of man largely determines the character of the development of himself and his children, exercising the same vast influence upon the physical characteristics of his offspring as are exercised by soil food on the plant, and by plant food on the horse.
The ethnologist who laughs at this has never bred, broke nor trained a race horse, nor has he ever heard of the influence of pellagra, a food deficiency disease, upon "the poor white trash" of the South, nor has he ever fed four generations of chickens on meat, but more of this later.
It has been conclusively established that in the absence or through the deficiency of this or that food mineral others may be absorbed in unnatural proportions and combinations. This is one of the most alarming arguments against manipulation of these minerals, whereby some are removed entirely, leaving others in proportions altogether out of harmony with nature's formula.
We do not know in what manner certain minerals are deposited in the arteries, but we do know that the hardening of the arteries, brought about by these deposits, is the chief cause of old age. A man may be old at twenty-five or young at sixty, depending upon the condition of his arteries. Over this phenomenon the ethnologist blindly leaps.
There is much evidence of which the ethnologist has never heard, to support the belief that man's disregard of the meaning and significance of the natural proportions of food minerals as they are elaborated by Mother Nature is responsible for the abnormal growth of many organs and glands; responsible in a particular manner for the growth of morbid cells found in all tumours and cancers.
Packard's illumination of this subject is destined to shine through the centuries.
We know what happens, for instance, when the thyroid gland is deprived of its iodine, and we know how the enfeebled thyroid affects the rest of the body. Just as a handful of fertile earth, a measure of wheat, a pint of milk, and the flesh of an animal each contain the salts of the earth, so the blood, the gastric juice, the pancreatic juice, the saliva, the bile and all the other internal secretions of the body are composed chiefly of mineral salts in solution.
We need only glance over the following analyses made many years ago, but to-day as true as when they first came from the laboratory, in order to see how these internal secretions contain a constant minimum of these salts.
Analysis of saliva by Frerichs, Berzelius, and Hammerbacher, calculated for 1,000 parts by weight of mineral salts.
xx Frerichs Berzelius Hammerbacher Water 994.1 992.9 994.2 Total solids 5.9 7.1 5.8 Minerals 2.19 1.9 2.2 Potassium 457.2 - - Sodium 95.9 - - Iron oxide 50.11 - - Magnesium oxide 1.55 - - Sulphur 63.8 - - Phosphorus 188.48 - - Chlorine 183.52 - -
Analysis of mineral salts of blood serum by Cavazzani calculated on 100 parts of fluid.
Potassium oxide 0.387 Sodium oxide 4.290 Chlorine 3.565 Calcium oxide 0.155 Magnesium oxide 0.101
Analysis of mineral salts of red corpuscles by C. Schmidt calculated on 100 parts of the moist corpuscles.
Potassium chloride 3.68 Sodium chloride Traces Potassium phosphate 2.34 Sodium phosphate 0.63 Calcium phosphate 0.09 Magnesium phosphate 0.06 Iron oxide 0.47 Potassium sulphate 0.13
Analysis of pancreatic fluid calculated on 1,000 parts, by Schmidt and Kruger.
xx C. Schmidt Kruger Water 900.8 980.44 Solids 99.2 19.60 Mineral salts 8.3 3.57 Sodium chloride 7.35 0.93 Potassium chloride 0.02 0.07 Calcium phosphate 0.41 0.01 Magnesium phosphate 0.12 0.02
Analysis of bile minerals by Jacobsen and Hoppe-Sayler based on 100 parts by weight of salts.
Sodium chloride 65.16 Potassium chloride 3.39 Sodium carbonate 11.16 Trisodium phosphate 15.90 Tricalcium phosphate 4.44 Calcium carbonate Traces Potassium sulphate Traces Sodium sulphate Traces Iron, silica Traces Magnesium Traces
Analysis of gastric juice by C. Schmidt.
xx Human Dog Water 994.40 973.0 Total solids 5.60 27.0 Mineral salts 2.19 6.7 Sodium chloride 1.46 2.5 Calcium chloride 0.06 0.6 Potassium chloride 0.55 1.1 Magnesium phosphate - 0.2 Iron 0.12 0.1 Calcium phosphate - 1.7
In all of these analyses it must be remembered that the chemist, handicapped as he is when working in the organic field, has not determined the form under which, in their highly organised states, the various minerals found in the laboratory previously existed in the internal secretions of the living animal.
In reducing the organic mineral salts and colloids to "ash" their form is completely changed so that all the chemist can say for the result of his analysis is that the minerals are really there, and that they are always there, regardless of the proportions in which they are found by this or that investigator.
We must not assume because the chemist has calculated the iron of the red corpuscles as "iron oxide" that it would be a good thing, therefore, to go to the drug store and purchase a dose of iron oxide. The iron in the blood does not exist in such form. The chemist has to reduce it to such form before he can recover it from the organic compound in which it is found in life.
Herein lies the error made by the patent medicine manufacturer who tries to make the people believe that because certain salts are found in the human body therefore medicines containing them are good for the human body.
To assume that because "calcium oxide" appears in an analysis of blood serum it must therefore appear in the blood serum itself as calcium oxide is a childish error.
The calcium, iron and other mineral salts as they appear in the blood and internal secretions are present in such wonderfully complex forms that they cannot be reproduced in the drug store or laboratory.
The dumb grasses of the field possess the power to organise these salts of the earth into forms in which they can be assimilated by the animal. Man with all his intelligence and all his laboratory apparatus cannot do this, yet man is presumptuous enough to offer excuse, even justification, for his work of juggling, manipulating, refining and destroying them before he sells his finished product to his neighbour.
The mineral salts present in the internal secretions of the human body are not present through the operation of blind accident. Selective action picks and chooses, accepts and rejects, absorbs and discards them in a manner so astonishingly intricate and so exquisite in its rhythmical waves that those who study the very majesty of these phenomena are compelled to see in them a Supreme Intelligence regulating all their orderly activities.
In the clearly disclosed evidences of that intelligence we behold the workmanship of God.
Water forms about three-fourths of the weight of the adult body, and is the medium in which its biochemic activities are carried on. Even the child knows that without water no plant life could exist.
Plants that have but a single cell, which are not actually immersed in water, are generally found in more or less moist situations where they continually get their supply of water from dew or rain. In times of drought they are seriously injured.
The young cell which is enclosed with a cell membrane speedily shows a tendency to accumulate water in its interior. Gradually traces of water appear until ultimately a vacuole, which is always full of liquid, is formed.
In the plant which consists of a number of cells such a vacuole is found in every adult cell as long as it is living. In other words, healthy protoplasm must always be in direct contact with water. It is only while saturated with water that the active life of protoplasm can continue.
A few "scientists," taken off their guard in public debate, have asserted that the removal of minerals from man's food through refining processes can do no particular harm because the body contains a store of minerals which do not require to be replenished.
The same preposterous argument would indicate that because man's body contains an enormous store of water (three-fourths his weight) it is not necessary for him to replenish that store daily. More of this later.
We now know that with very rare exceptions if a cell is once completely dried, even at a low temperature, its life is gone, and restoration of water fails to enable it to recover.
The life of a plant is intimately connected with the renewal of the water which its cells contain. Fresh liquid must be constantly taken in, just as a new supply of mineral salts must be taken in. The water which is already there must, to a certain extent, be removed.
The plant depends in fact upon a certain circulation of water, and this becomes the more imperative as its growth increases.
It has been proved that protoplasm, which, as we have seen, is the active substance found in every living cell of plant or animal, draws its nutriment eventually from the salt solutions which come to it.
It has also been established that protoplasm in plant and animal must return to these solutions such waste products as it gives off. It must obtain its oxygen for instance from water, for this element can only pass into the interior of a cell through the liquid which enters that cell.
Thus we see that water is a wonderful medium through which the forces of life are conveyed. It is not difficult to believe, therefore, that the body of a man weighing 160 pounds contains more than 100 pounds of water, not as the result of accident, but as the result of a fixed law.
Of the solid matter found in the human body about one-fifth is made up of the minerals-iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sodium, sulphur, silicon, fluorine, iodine and chlorine.
Chlorides and phosphates with carbonates and sulphates form the chief of these mineral salts as far as weight is concerned, but some of the salts which appear in mere traces, such as fluorine and iodine, have essential functions to perform, and without them we now know that human life as it now exists would not be possible.
One of humanity's most conspicuous sins of omission has been its failure to consider reverently the dignity and the complexity of the human body, which, considered apart from the human soul, is the most majestic work of creation.
Let us examine a single detail of its marvellous composition.
If we place a trace of fresh blood under the microscope an astonishing picture is presented to the eye. Hundreds of little corpuscles are seen floating about in the blood serum; most of them are red, but a considerable number are white.
A single drop of blood contains so many millions of corpuscles, far more than all the visible stars in the sky, that less than a hundredth part of a drop, the merest trace, must be used on the field under the lens in order that the eye may see anything at all.
These red and white corpuscles are in themselves alone sufficient to confound all the wisdom of the universities, but they are not the only substances discoverable in that fragment of a drop of blood.
Moving about with them as part of their structure, or in the fluid in which they circulate, we find, as we have seen, the salts of iron, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, chlorine and many other compounds which we shall not consider here.
These substances are always found when pure and normal blood is examined. It is evident they must find their way through some definite channel, and in obedience to some well-defined law.
It has been established on many occasions that the red and white corpuscles each have certain well-defined work to do. It has also been established that any foreign agency that interferes with their work or keeps them from getting into the blood is an enemy of life.
In order to compound that marvellously complex solution which we call blood, Mother Nature obtains her building materials from food, just as she obtains food from earth. Let us emphasise this impalpable and imponderable truth over and over again. We can never attach to it too great or too sublime an importance.
The whole character of the blood depends upon the character of the food supplied to the digestive organs.
What kind of blood is supplied to the 400,000 children under ten years of age who die every year in the United States?
What kind of blood was supplied to the "rejects" of the army of 1918?
What kind of food is supplied to both?
We shall soon know.
The food-minerals and vitamines upon which life depends must be in the food man eats, that his body may take them from that food.
All food contains them until man removes them. Consumed for a few months, food deficient in some of these building materials gradually affects health.
If we are partial to a particular food from which a considerable portion of nature's building materials has been abstracted, disorder is bound to develop.
Nature, handicapped by the deficiency, will set up warning before fatal damage has been done, but if we do not understand her warning, or if we disregard it, we head straight for destruction, unless in the meantime an accidental change of diet provides the offsetting substances essential to life.
Accident and chance are the elusive forces that temporarily bar the doors against destruction.
With the army of the dead, augmented in the United States every year by 400,000 children under ten years of age, no happy accident ever interfered.
Surely man should make an effort to locate the law upon which so much physical integrity depends.
Each drop of blood is but an expression of that law. Anything that interferes with the purity of blood is hostile to life. "The blood is the life."
Because man leaves so much to chance he sends a call into darkness, summoning hundreds of diseases to assist him in mismanaging the world in its sad sum total of misery and pain.
The removal of one substance essential to life marks the beginning of disorder in the body. If two substances are removed the body may make use of the others until the handicap asserts itself. Then confusion must ensue.
If three, four or five substances are removed the inevitable collapse will take place a little sooner.
If seven or eight substances are removed destruction gallops to the end. When all sixteen substances and their compounds are removed starvation itself begins.
If we believe that God has elaborated these substances for our benefit it is little short of sacrilege to disregard them, or to trifle with them, because by doing so we assert our independence of His designs.
If God is rejected entirely from the scheme of the universe the extraordinary phenomena which spring from food, nutrition, health and life must sooner or later overpower the spirit. In the presence of miracles of life, too profound to be comprehended by the human intellect, the knee must bend.
But whether man be a fervent believer or a scoffing atheist, he must see that breakfast, dinner and supper are not matters to be left to accident or the designs of a food factory concerned chiefly in the profit of its products.
If he is pale or anemic, if his energy is quickly exhausted, if he feels "all run down" and little like undertaking the commonplace duties of the day, if his children have lustreless eyes, pallid complexions, undeveloped bodies or manifest abnormal tendencies, let him look to his food.
If they are bright, sturdy and resist illness, which he wrongfully and cruelly assumes must come to all children, let him congratulate himself that an accident has brought them immunity.
In congratulating himself let him not ignore the truth. An apple falls from the tree in obedience to a fixed law. If his children are in health to-day as the result of another fixed law, concerning which he knows nothing, let him know that they may be protected to-morrow.
Our sixteen food minerals and the vitamines associated with them are no part of chance. They are the law.
The body derives them, and the resistance they bestow, from food and from no other source. To take them from his food man must find them there. He cannot find them in food from which they have been removed. With their loss he loses his resistance.
If God had not endowed man with this extraordinary resistance, the human family would have to keep itself hermetically sealed in tin cans or glass jars.
The salmon is canned because dead flesh offers no resistance to germs. A tin shell acts as a substitute in keeping the germs off. Open the can and let them in for twelve hours. The results will speak even in that short time. Let them in for twelve days and the neighbours will retreat. Keep them out and the salmon will stay sweet for a century.
There is nothing quite so marvellous as the power of healthy living tissue to hold germ life in contempt. It is quite as effective as a hermetically sealed can. Death and putrefaction are synonymous.
Putrefaction simply means the splitting up of tissue compounds into their simple elements. Bacteria are the instruments employed by nature to get rid of the dead. Without germs nothing would rot. When a body is embalmed the germs are simply held back a little while.
Bacteria convert dead flesh into gases and dust. On healthy living flesh they have no effect. On living flesh that has lost its resistance they feed even in life, but they do not convert such flesh into gas and dust. They convert it into poison.
One kind of germ poison produces typhoid, another diphtheria, a third syphilis, a fourth pneumonia, a fifth tuberculosis.
Some germs, invited deliberately into the living temple, are not included in God's plan of protecting humanity from their assaults, and the body, even when healthy, offers feeble resistance to them.
The result is disease, loathsome and unnatural, involving not only the bones, nerves, blood and brain, but even the soul. The flesh disintegrates and reason itself totters as the germ of syphilis cavorts across the human highway in its dance of death.
But -- with respect to the many germs that have their own proper functions to perform outside the body, and which therefore in their wide distribution through nature are taken into the system almost hourly through food, drink and air, the living flesh in health laughs at them all.
They may approach in battalions only to be overcome as rapidly as they advance, whereas a solitary organism entering life through the channels of vice becomes venomous, malignant, powerful. After taking up its residence in the blood it begins a blighting reign so imperious and dominating that its evil influence passes on to innocent children yet unborn as if to emphasise the truth of the prophecy, "The sins of the father shall be visited upon his children even unto the fourth generation."
Potent poisons such as arsenic, mercury and the iodides may retard for a while the catastrophic activity of these avenging organisms, but there is no evidence to prove that even when these "curatives" are most skilfully administered the forces of degeneration are not passed on in some measure from generation to generation in accordance with the formula laid down in the scriptures.
Man, surrounded by the artificial protection of modern medicine, defies, or thinks he defies, the inexorable laws of nature, but ever is he confronted by disclosures that above him and beyond him in unseen realms which only the microscope may feebly penetrate, are powers so small the naked eye has never beheld them, but which in irresistible energy are mightier in the number of their victims than earthquake, fire and flood.
Contemplating this Nemesis of evil, man is consoled by the knowledge that it is within his lot to regulate his conduct in the flesh so that without the aid of art or science he may rely with sublime confidence upon other forces as benign as they are beautiful.
Because he is a free agent he may choose for himself between good and evil, knowing that even germs are divided into good and bad and that most of them are good. Well may he doubt the conclusions of his own arrogance in dismissing the ancient doctrine concerning good and evil spirits.
The folly of rejecting what he cannot see or understand is nowhere more visible than in his attitude toward those purely material forces of life and death which, prior to fifty years ago, were neither seen nor understood by mortal, but which now exhibit themselves to reverent eyes in grandure that moves to awe.
What the ubiquitous tin can, hermetically sealed under the laws of sterilisation, is to salmon, natural resistance, safeguarded by well-disposed intelligence, under the natural law, is to man and his children.
Why does he persist in his refusal to see the beauty, the benevolence and the consolation of this parallel?
This little experiment can be performed in the laboratory of any high school to help us grasp an idea of the remarkable conduct of the minerals in the human body.
First eat a tablet of citrate of lithium. Then take a clean platinum wire. Hold the wire in a blue Bunsen flame. It will give no colouration to the flame.
Now pass the platinum wire along the skin of the forehead or across the palm; return it to the flame and note the beautiful yellow fire of sodium, showing this mineral at work in the elimination processes of the body.
Without sodium to take up the carbonic acid, evolved through the digestion of sugars and starches, as a poisonous waste product that must be removed from the body, this acid, better known as carbon dioxide, would accumulate in the tissues and destroy them. This is why the excessive use of denatured sugars, table syrups, and starches in the diet of America is followed by many serious diseases.
Sodium is one of the food minerals indispensable to health. The little platinum wire and the Bunsen flame reveal it in the performance of one of its many functions.
Now take a blue glass, which will filter out some of the light rays that interfere with vision. Look through it at the platinum wire in the flame. Note the beautiful lilac flame of potassium, showing this mineral also in the elimination processes of the body. The sodium and potassium have been taken up from the human skin.
Potassium helps to keep the tissues flexible and active while assisting the sodium to carry off the carbonic acid manufactured as one of the end-products of combustion in the furnaces of life.
We shall assume now that a half hour has elapsed since the tablet of citrate of lithium was consumed.
Again clean the platinum wire thoroughly. Pass it over the forehead or across the palm of the hand. Place it in the flame. It is coloured a vivid red. This is the flame of lithium. In one short half hour the lithium, taken through the mouth, has circulated through all the avenues, highways, and by-ways of the human body and has appeared after its marvellous journey upon the surface of the skin.
Through this simple experiment we obtain a crude idea of some of the hidden forces at work in our bodies.
There is much evidence that potassium gives life to the nervous system and assists the heart to beat by influencing the relaxability of the heart muscles. If the heart did not send the blood into the lungs the body could not and would not obtain the oxygen necessary to its life, nor could it, through those delicate tissues, made up of millions of little valves or filters, dispose of the waste gases which would otherwise poison all its organs and glands.
Many discoveries of science justify the conclusion that potassium interferes with the hardening influences that menace muscle, joint, and artery, making the tissues soft and pliable.
It has been noted that linen, made from flax grown on granite soil, rich in potassium, is noted for its suppleness and softness, whereas linen produced from flax grown on calcareous soil is hard, brittle, and of little strength.
In the month of October, 1915, potassium sulphate was worth about $200 a ton, as produced from alunite by the United States Smelting Company of Utah. At this price the Armour Fertiliser Company purchased its entire year's potash production. In spite of the value of potassium salts and the necessity of their presence in fertiliser, 106 tons of potassium salts were wasted daily in 1915 by the twenty-five distilleries in the United States that subjected molasses to fermentation.
The farmer has been taught, through various federal and state bulletins, to appreciate the necessity of potassium to the health and vigour of his plants, yet school children have never been taught that when the body cannot secure the quantity necessary to carry on its wonderfully complex duties the heart ceases to serve its master and the body dies.
Those little soldiers of life called corpuscles are never out of the presence of iron. Containing no iron themselves, they nevertheless swim about in a fluid which does contain iron. If that iron were not present the little soldiers would die.
Iron combines with oxygen in the presence of water, no matter where it is found. The blade of a pocketknife, the hinge of a barn door, the barrel of a rifle, the spring of a farm wagon, become "rusty." Rust is simply a combination of iron and oxygen. The chemist calls it "ferrous oxide."
The wonderful affinity of oxygen for iron is an expression of the law under whose operation oxygen finds its way into the body. Without the iron in the red colouring matter of the blood the body could not appropriate the oxygen from the surrounding air and in a few minutes it would perish.
We need only choke a human creature two minutes to be guilty of murder. To choke means to shut off oxygen. The carburetor of an automobile engine is equipped with a "choker." To stall the engine it is only necessary to resort to this choker, which, by cutting off the oxygen, makes combustion in the cylinders impossible.
In exactly the same way combustion, supported by oxygen, is necessary to the fires of life.
If the blood contains only half the iron necessary to bring into the body the oxygen it requires it will grow pale and sicken. Iron is indispensable. It is part of the law.
The waste matter accumulating in the human tissues during every second of existence would destroy life in twenty-four hours if not rendered harmless and carried off. When these waste products are only partially removed the result is autointoxication, self-poisoning.
The iron in the blood, uniting in the lungs with the oxygen of the air, carries its life-supporting freight to the tissues, where it oxidises or burns up the waste substances so dangerous to life.
If the iron is not present in sufficient quantity to keep up with the demand of the body the oxygen that ought to be inside performing its work remains outside ready and willing but unable to enter.
When fire, through the influence of oxygen, attacks a piece of wood it produces smoke and ashes. Just as the smoke of the fire has to be carried off through the chimney and the ashes raked through the bars of the grate, so do the oxygen-burned waste products of the body have to be eliminated.
This oxidising process going on in the human tissues produces the carbonic gas which we have seen taken up by the sodium in the blood and discharged through the lungs as carbon dioxide.
The sodium, having work of its own to perform, has to help the oxygen and the oxygen in turn has to be helped by the iron. Thus we obtain a vague idea of how these food minerals and the other elements necessary to the support of life operate, not singly and alone, but in beautiful harmony with each other, in unswerving obedience to a fixed law.
Calcium, commonly known as lime, combines with phosphorus, magnesium, silicon, and fluorine in the development of the bones and teeth. If the quantity of calcium required by the body in the construction of its bones and teeth is reduced the bones and teeth suffer.
We have seen that millions of children in the United States are suffering with defective teeth. These defective teeth are the direct result of the inability of the body to obtain, in their proper form and in their proper combination, the calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and fluorine necessary to the construction of normal teeth, either because these mineral substances have been removed from the food of the children or because they have been consumed with other foods that destroy them and remove them from the body.
Chickens obtain the fluorine required for the production of their eggs, if they have a chance to pick up a few specks of granite. When confined in a wooden henhouse and fed on food containing no fluorine they easily develop chicken cholera and chicken diphtheria.
The yolk of the egg requires fluorine. The protective enamel of the teeth requires fluorine. The bones of the spine require fluorine. The pupils of the eye require fluorine.
Silicon possesses powerful antiseptic properties. There is good reason to believe that in the establishment of normal resistance to disease it assists the body to defend itself against the invasion of many of the organisms which cause disease.
Silicon influences the nervous system to perform its functions normally. In combination with sulphur it is necessary to the development and health of the hair and nails. Bears, bison, foxes, sheep, have luxuriant hair, fur, or wool. There are no bald or thin-haired squirrels. They consume all the silicon nature provides for them. Their hair food and nail food are normal.
Animals fed upon food from which any of the food minerals are artificially removed perish.
Experiments on animals in captivity have proved this. White mice, rabbits, guineapigs, hogs, and poultry develop the same diseases as those which kill 400,000 children under ten years of age in the United States every year, when these animals are fed on the same foods so freely consumed by children.
Food minerals not only themselves engage in the construction processes going on constantly within the body but they also exercise a controlling influence over the destructive forces that threaten the body from without.
We are now beginning to appreciate the fact that food minerals are precious substances. Yet not a single one of the states prevents the adulteration of food through the abstraction or removal of them.
The smallest boy in the laboratory can be made to understand the wonderful oxidising property of sulphuric acid. When this acid is generated in the human body, as it is generated every day, it is immediately neutralised by the alkaline bases which nature, under normal conditions, never fails to provide for that purpose.
Phosphoric acid is also generated in the body and neutralised in the same manner. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium are among the alkaline bases provided by natural foods. If they are not present to do their work within a short time the destructive action of the sulphuric and phosphoric acids can end only in disaster.
A few drops of sulphuric acid taken into the body from a bottle will produce death, by attacking the tissues, oxidising and destroying them.
When food from which the minerals have been removed by commercial processes or by foolish methods of cookery is introduced into the body, it results in the formation of free sulphuric acid from the albumenoid sulphur and of free phosphoric acid from the many complex phosphorus compounds found normally in meat, cheese, eggs and other articles of diet.
These acids, in the absence of the alkaline bases that ought to be present, and which in normal, natural foods always are present, must be neutralised as rapidly as they are evolved. It is because they are neutralised that we find them in the urine as discarded waste products in the form of sulphates and phosphates.
When the neutralising bases have been removed from food before it is consumed these acids abstract basic elements from the living tissues, thereby impairing or destroying them.
Meat which is minced and immersed for a few hours in distilled water loses its potassium, magnesium, and calcium salts. It also loses its colour. If cooked in this condition it will be found to be tasteless. If fed to dogs and cats or other animals these animals will eat a little, then refuse to take more, and if fed on nothing else will actually die more quickly than animals not fed at all.
This can be accounted for not only through the generation of free sulphuric and phosphoric acids in the bodies of the animals but also by another fact.
The animals fed on the demineralised meat, in addition to being deprived of the food minerals indispensable to life's processes, are also obliged to dissipate their reserve vitality at a rapid rate through the efforts of their organs to throw off the useless and dangerous food elements imposed upon them; whereas the animal starved outright is not called upon to expend its strength faster than the laws of starvation demand.
One feature of the laws of nutrition we are endeavouring to emphasize, is that these food minerals are so essential to the life and health of the body that when the body is deprived of them disease must follow.
Certain experts have gone so far as to declare that all human food contains an excess of mineral salts.
Where natural foods are considered the statement made by these experts is never true. On the contrary, it has been conclusively proved in many instances, particularly where refined foods are consumed, mineral salts are carried out of the body in life's processes faster than they are taken in.
This is notably the case in tuberculosis and wasting diseases, in which the calcium content of the feces invariably exceeds the calcium content of the food consumed. It was the case among thousands of the children who, under the age of ten years, died last year in the United States.
Nature does provide a reserve from which, in emergencies, for a short time, the body may find the elements it requires. But if the diet is of such a refined character that it exhausts nature's storehouse, destructive consequences inevitably follow.
This fact must be remembered in the feeding of children, because when the food of the infant is changed from a purely milk diet to a mixed diet great injury may result from a deficiency of lime and other salts. This injury manifests itself on the surface in the form of defective teeth, but defective teeth constitute only a symptom of much deeper ravages within.
An exclusive flesh diet is poor in lime and many foods on which children are fed have as much as 75 percent of the lime natural to them removed before they are put upon the table. This is one of the reasons why the excessive consumption of meat is a curse. Meat is deficient in the mineral salts required by the body unless consumed as the tiger and the leopard consume it, lapping up the blood and gnawing the bones.
In consequence, the excessive meat-eater is plagued with rheumatism, asthma, and many other diseases in the alleviation of which he is sent to the mineral springs to drink water containing calcium, magnesium, and sodium sulphate.
These waters, however large the quantity in which they may be consumed, are useless unless the offending diet is first corrected, the peg removed.
In, its proper place, baby's diet, based on the importance of its mineral contents, will be carefully outlined and of even greater importance and significance the diet of baby's mother before baby is born will receive the same attention.
We shall now consider one more instance of the subtle relationship between the food minerals and the health of the body. There are glands in the neck called the thyroids, the importance of which, in the economy of life's processes, was never suspected until Breisacher, Plum, Kishi, and Bryce made it clear that the thyroids, like every other organ or gland of the human body, were really created by God for a special purpose.
Sometimes when the thyroid becomes diseased it attains an abnormal size, swelling out in the form of a great lump (goitre). At other times when even more seriously diseased its enlargement may be almost unnoticeable, except to the touch.
It has been conclusively established that in its proper functioning the thyroid depends upon the compounds of food iodine.
We have seen how the food minerals help to build up the body. We have also seen how they help to tear down the tissues. In the processes of assimilation and elimination they are equally important.
In this work of elimination the food mineral iodine and the thyroid gland, which iodine affects profoundly, are actively engaged, thus helping to rid the body of many of its enemies and defending it against the assault of disease.
Alexander Bryce proved that the intestinal decomposition of meat produces poisonous products of putrefaction which are absorbed by the walls of the bowel and which, having thus entered the system, become powerful irritants. They thus produce an increase in the connective tissues of the organs and blood vessels, hardening of the arteries, senile decay, tumours, and cancers.
Metchnikoff suggested that to aid the body in its effort to protect itself against these poisonous products nature has provided poison-destroying organs, among which is the thyroid gland.
Breisacher proved the poisonous products of meat digestion will quickly kill a dog if the thyroid gland is removed, although after its removal the life of the animal can be indefinitely prolonged if fed on bread and milk.
His experiment established the function of the thyroid as a poison destroyer.
Both Plum and Kishi were brought to the conviction after a series of experiments that the function of the thyroid gland is to neutralise the poisons derived from the putrefaction of albumen in the intestines.
An exclusive diet of eggs causes a condition among children which their parents term "biliousness." This so-called "biliousness" is simply the result of self-poisoning through the imperfect elimination of the protein poison.
In children some glands do not develop until their twelfth, thirteenth, or fourteenth year. The thyroid gland does not begin to develop until the third or fourth year of life. Hence the child lacks its assistance in taking care of these poisons and eliminating them from the system.
For this reason beef extracts, which contain alkaloids that no infant or invalid should be permitted to swallow, become dangerous food.
People in feeble health, put on a beef tea diet, are frequently made worse because of the imperfect functioning of the thyroid and other glands. These alkaloids stimulate and bring about a state of functional excitement. Functional excitement does not mean invigouration.
Neither beef nor beef extract contains the merest trace of iodine, yet the thyroid depends for its activity upon the presence of iodine compounds abstracted from food.
It has been further established that animals, during the period when they feed on fresh grasses and the seeds of grasses, in accordance with the dictates of the Book of Genesis, have much more active thyroid glands.
The Chicago packers have taken advantage of this phenomenon to manufacture the thyroid extracts advertised in the medical journals.
The investigations of Seidell and Fenger on animals shipped to the Union Stockyards, in Chicago, from all parts of the United States led to a surprising discovery. It was shown by these experimenters that the percentage of iodine found in the healthy thyroid glands of sheep and hogs was about three times as much between June and November, when the animals were allowed to feed naturally on green pasture, as that found between December and May, when they were fed on impoverished commercial by-product foods.
It was also curiously noted that the thyroid glands became larger during the months in which their low iodine content was observed, indicating some relationship between the iodine and the swelling of the glands.
What effect had the removal of the iodine from the food of the 1,500,000 children under ten years of age who have died in the United States during the last four years upon the health of those children prior to their deaths?
Next: 24. Commercialism Disarms Nature
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