Gluten Free? Paleo? Atkins Diet? Grain Brain? Trim Healthy Mama? Every other diet article, or more, has some new bit or recipe about why grains are bad for us and why we should avoid them in our diet. The amount of gluten free information in our current times is amazing, do we really have a celiac epidemic on our hands and is wheat really the broken staff?
We are sharing another bit from Father Muller's book called The Church and Farming which was written in 1952. We previously shared the chapter titled The Factors to Proper Nutrition. Today's chapter is about flour milling and bread, where he shows us that it is NOT the bread itself but rather the broken process. From the soil to the making of the bread it is the process that is causing ill health. While the gluten free movement is rather new, the history of bad wheat growing and bad bread making, sadly, is not.
Flour-Milling and Bread
The Church and Farming
By: Father Fahey + Imprimatur 1952
What happened to flour-milling in the period preceding 1890? The sad story is related in the chapter of Tomorrow's Food entitled The Broken Staff. "Seventy-five years ago," we read, "there was scarcely a substantial stream in the settled parts of America that did not turn the rumbling water wheels of one of more stone grist mills. The total number of these mills in 1884 was 27,509. Two years later 6,000 of these small mills in 1884 was 27,509. Two years later 6,000 of these small mills had stopped grinding and during the succeeding decade the local milling industry was nearly extinguished. Minneapolis took over the business, by virtue of the superior productivity of the steel roller mills that the Washburn and Pillsbury Companies had adopted a decade before. From the point of view of the millers of Hoffenberger mill had everything to recommend it. True, it turned out a flour from which the nutritionally precious germ, the mineral and vitamin-rich middlings, and the outer bran coating had been completely removed. but it was white and it had excellent keeping qualities, for the reason that being mostly starts it had little in it to attract insects Foot note inserted here:
Here it will not be out of place to quote a few phrases from the speech of Lord Addison in the English House of Lords, in the debate on the Wheat Content of Bread, 28th February, 1945. The noble Lord is reported in Hansard as saying: "If you take a bigger proportion of these valuable constituents out of the wheat, what remains is a greater portion of starch, and you may be able to sell what you take out- they are commonly called offals, but they are not offals in the colloquial sense of the term, at any rate in a very profitable way. This is a fact; we know that it is so... I remember calling attention to the fact that, by the modern methods, operating on this very white flour, it was possible to produce eight more quartern loaves per sack of flour than only one answer to that question: water... 'The problem of the scientific baker is to make water stand up!' The more nearly you make your flour consist of starch only ... the easier it is to make water stand up."
... Because of its tremendous speed and output, the steam-powered roller mill was precisely the invention needed to complete the centralization of the American milling industry. And because of the serious devitalization and impoverishment of the flour it produced, it played a major part in filling up the dietary deficiencies with which the nutritionists of World War II were obliged to deal. By the turn of the century most of the old mill wheels were rotting in the streams." (To-morrow's Food, pp. 37, 38, 60)
The results of the roller mill with regard to bread may be summarized in the words of Dr. Norman as follows: "In 1840, one ounce of genuine un-spoiled whole wheat bread made of whole stoneground wheat (not flour) contained thirty units of vitamin B1. One hundred years later, one ounce of white bread contained not thirty, but five unites of vitamin B1. Seven hundred units of vitamin B1 per day are considered necessary for the maintenance of good health. The daily consumption of whole wheat bread in 1840 assured 1,200 units of natural vitamin B1, while our average daily intake to-day assures only 200 units, mostly synthetic. Besides being robbed of vitamin B1, the wheat berry is robbed of other known and unknown dietary factors - proteins, other important fractions of the vitamin B complex, vitamin E, and a number of essential minerals. Footnote:
Anaemia from iron deficiency is a common cause of lowered vitality among poor women, particularly in pregnancy, and among their infants" (Medical Research Council's Memorandum on Bread. The Lancet, Aug. 3, 1940). According to the same Memorandum, the use of Baking Powder destroys the vitamin B content of bread, whether made from brown or white flour.)
To produce commercial white flour, the removal of these essential nutrient facts is considered necessary in order to decrease spoilage and to produce profits. White flour is sold to the bread or baker industries; part of the bran finds its way into bread factories for consumption by diabetics; middlings are processed by the breakfast food and cereal factories to give the gullible their quota of morning 'pep'; part of the wheat germ and wheat germ oil finds its way to the drug factories to be processed for pharmaceutical distribution where childless couples are urged to purchase it to restore their sex fertility - and most of this would be unnecessary if we ate foods as produced by Nature. Footnote: "Sterility due to vitamin E deficiency is commoner in women in England than had been suspected. This is not surprising when one bears in mind that the best sources of the vitamin are wheat germ and green vegetables and that large numbers of the poor people to-day live on diets consisting chiefly of white bread (which does not contain the germ) and containing very small amounts of green vegetables or salads" (The Englishman's Food, by Sir Jack Drummond, p.103). Quoted by Dr. Lionel Picton in Thoughts on Feeding, p. 168 Thoughts on Feeding is published by Faber and Faber, London.
What is left of the wheat berry is sold for livestock food. Other grains and cereals, including polished rice, are subjected to similar processing.
"Briefly summarized, the steel roller mill, mono crop agriculture, failure to conserve the soil or replenish it with humus, the combine, cyanosis treatment, separation of grains and cereals into several fractions which are used and sold separately, the centralization of the milling industry, etc., have dangerously altered our food economy and culture with respect to breadstuffs. Sadly enough, instead of the consumer receiving nutritious bread products at a cheaper price, he buys a starch product of dubious and unproved nutritive value, which as to be enriched before it is considered fit to eat, and pays an exorbitant price for it. (Lecture on the Fundamentals of Nutrition for Physicians and Dentists.)
Dr. Norman's teaching is fully endorsed in an editorial on Our Daily Bread in the British Medical Journal, Oct. 13, 1951. We read there in: "It is difficult to believe that the insipid starch sponge sold as white bread really earns the alternative title of 'staff of life.' Yet we are assured that this is what the public wants, even though a minority craves for something more palatable- a minority which will heartily endorse Sir Edward Mellanby's plea that wholemeal bread and flour be made more freely available. Some of the millers' steel rollers might play a more direct part in the re-armament program. Nutritionally there is nothing to commend in the activities of those who separate the starch from all the other valuable nutrients of the wheat grain. It is sometimes argued that milling provides a valuable food for pigs, but the separation of the two elements of the grain creates nothing, and both man and his pas might be better for getting their proper share of the wholegrain."
A few supplementary remarks must now be made about brown bread, bleaching and phytic acid. They will serve to complete the picture.
"Writing a few years ago in the British Medical Journal, Mrs. V.G. Plummer, the well-known dietitian, stated: 'There can be no white bread versus brown bread controversy except among those who are ignorant of the facts.'" (Honest Bread and that which is not, by Bertram T. Fraser and C. Leslie Thompson, p.12 (Thorns Publishers, Ltd. 91, St. Martin's Lane, London, W.C.2)) Why is this? Because brown bread may be 100 per cent stoneground wholemeal, from which real honest bread can be made, or it may be white flour, steel-roller-ground, with some of the elements that have been removed in the process thrown back. The result of this manipulation is sometimes termed wheatmeal or wheaten loaf, but it must not be confused with 100 per cent wholewheat or wholemeal. (Cf. Honest Bread and that which is not, p. 10)
The bleach in regular use for twenty-five years was nitrogen trichloride. In an article in the Summer (1947) issue of Soil and Health, a summary is given of the paper from the pen of Sir Edward Mellanby, MD., F.R.S., on Diet and Canine Hysteria, which appeared in the British Medical Journal of december 14, 1946. Sir Edward conducted a series of experiments of dogs, and it soon became evident that hysterical outbreaks were produced by a diet containing flour treated by the agent process. Gene consisted of approximately 1 per cent nitrogen trichloride in air saturated with water-vapor. The outbreaks were entirely absent when the same diet contained untreated flour from the same grist. Sir Edward concluded his paper with the words: "The abnormal behavior of the animals affected by the agonized flour suggests that the central nervous system is primarily affected by some toxic agent, but other organs may also be involved ... It is clear that investigations must now be made to see whether human beings are affected by bread made from flour improved by nitrogen trichloride." Footnote: The word "improved" has been italicized by me. From Honest Bread and that which is not, we learn that ...
"...the flour samples used in the experiments were subjected only to 'a normal commercial bleach.' They were not overdosed in any way."
The same writer (Bertram T. Fraser) quotes from an editorial in the British Medical Journal as follows:
"Whatever the true explanation of the action of bleached flour may be, it is clearly undesirable that food unfit for dogs should be eat by the human subject without at least a full realization of the dangers involved... The estimate that 90 per cent. of the flour consumed in this country is agenised cannot fail to give rise to some anxiety."
In replying on behalf of the Government, after a very interesting discussion in the English House of Lords on the Quality of Flour, Viscount Alexander of Hillsborough said: "The noble Lord, Lord Teviot, referred to the presence of agene in bread, and he went so far as to refer to it as a 'definite poison.' I would like to assure your Lordships that the present methods of treatment of bread, which have been widely used for twenty-five years, have not been proved injurious in any way to human beings. But recent evidence has become available such as that quoted this afternoon by the noble Lord, Lord Semill, of the possible toxic effects of this commonly used improver. Because of the evidence coming to light, certain experiments have been carried out, particularly on dogs. For this reason a committee on which the Medical Research Council is represented has looked into the matter and has recommended in future that, instead of the improvers which have been used, and upon which these experiments have been based, chlorine dioxide should be used. This recommendation has been adopted in the United Kingdom, but I ought to warn your Lordships that it will take a little time to change over the necessary plant to give full effect to this decision." (Hansard, April 25, 1950
My readers will notice that the sole preoccupation of the Minister was with the auxiliary machinery to be used in the mills to get the chlorine dioxide into the flour. He did not seem to be perturbed about the effect of this new substance on the organisms of the flour-consumers. Of course, he said that the Medical Research Council was represented on the committee that recommended it. But one may well ask what the Medical Research Council was doing during the twenty-five years of the nitrogen tricholoride regime. For Sir Edward Mellanby did not detect all its evil effects. "One year after the Mellanby report, Dr. Anton J. Carlson announced to the American Association for the advancement of Science his belief that agenised flour... is at least among the contributing factors to the nervous instability among the population that could be responsible for a portion of the up curve in public drinking. Dr. Carlson believed that although apparently normal people might show no symptoms comparable with those in dogs, agonized flour might be the final factor responsible for producing an alcoholic." Footnote (Honest Bread and that which is not, p. 64 Are we in the Irish Republic still living under the nitrogen trichloride regime? Or have we passed under the "more benign" influence of the chlorine dioxide "improver"? Two of my friends who visited a South of Ireland flour-mill, in the summer of 1950, were almost overcome by the fumes of the chemical department.
D.D.T. and Chemical Additives
Lord Douglas of Barloch spoke in the House of Lords, on 4th July, 1951, on the dangers to human health in the form of the use of poisonous chemicals, such as D.D.T., in the growing and preparation of foodstuffs. He pointed out that not only is D.D.T. exceptionally toxic, but that there is no known antidote. "It is absorbed by plants and cannot be removed. Hence, all fruits and vegetables which have been exposed to D.D.T., are carriers of it to the consumers. Animals fed on hay or other food exposed to it are affected. Owing to its solubility in fat, milk is especially affected by it. The spraying of D.D.T. in cowsheds has been found sufficient to affect the milk, and in the United States diary farmers have been officially advised not to do this. Butter sold on the New York market has been found with as much as thirteen parts per million of this dangerous drug ... D.D.T. has also been found in cigarettes up to as much as four parts per million (one part per million is enough to kill a rat) - presumably due to the spraying of the tobacco leaf... Some chemicals are used for 'maturing' flour in the space of a few hours, whereas nature takes weeks to effect this, and also for giving to inferior flour the characteristics of better flour. Others are used for a loaf which contains more air and water ... The use of agent has been discontinued in the United States. It took several years longer for a decision in principle to be reached in this country, and only a few weeks ago the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food stated that about 90 percent of the flour consumed in this country was agonized."
Footnote: Hansard, Vol. 172, No. 80. July 4, 1951
"So far as can be ascertained, infection has sometimes occurred through the consumption of contaminated food alone, or when D.D.T. has been used for a purely domestic purpose, such as moth-proofing... Contaminator may occur in any number of ways: through the consumption of butter or milk the product of animals which have consumed affected fodder... And so, although warnings against the indiscriminate use of D.D.T. have frequently been given or implied by the Soil Association, a reiteration of these warnings - which now hold additional weight in view of the increasing knowledge concerning the effects in actual preach of D.D.T. and other materials - must be made. And to back up this commendation, Dr. Morton S. Buskin's report, 'Statement on Clinical Intoxication from D.D.T. and other New Insecticides,' which the author has kindly made available to the Association, has now been published in booklet form and can be obtained in any quantity, at 6d. per copy from the Soil Association's Landon Office.
Chemical Treatment of Seed
In Pay Dirt, Mr. J. I. Rodale, Editor of Organic Gardening, after having spoken of the chemical treatment of seed with poisonous material to prevent "seed-borne diseases such as smut," and the spraying of stored wheat with syanogas, "which is a very strong poison," goes on to say: "This discussion has not taken into account the strong bleaches used to whiten flour. Labet, a French authority on the subject of bread, says, in the Bulletin of Hygiene: 'The danger of chronic intoxication following the persistent use of bread made with flour that has been bleached and artificially matured by means of chemical improvers is held to be sufficiently well established to make the absolute prohibition of the use of any chemical improver in France highly desirable." Mr. Rodale then continues: "Now we got a step further. What happens to the flour when it arrives in the bakery? In the book, Eat, Drink, and be Wary, by P.J. Schlink, appears this statement: 'The amount of lead which reaches the consumer's stomach via bakery goods must be enormous and gravely menacing to health, judging from the foregoing statement which describes a typical condition; and from the fact recently disclosed by an analysis conducted for Consumers' Research that ammonium carbonate, used commonly as a leaving (gas-forming) agent in certain baker's goods such as cookies and cakes, contained, as obtained from a commercial bakery in a large mid-western city, the enormous and treating proportion of 70 parts per million of lead ... Research in such contaminations is made very difficult so that a consumers' organization has the utmost difficulty in even getting samples of the very special and very peculiar materials used in the common baking industry - the various pie-filling mixtures, the highly colored and synthetic custards...'" (Pay Dirt, p. 120 The Devin-Adair Co. New York.)
May we not subscribe the words of the (then) Viscount Lymington
"White bread as we eat it now is a scandal and a curse to civilization ... White bread, like white sugar, is a shoddy cheap food that results in 5,000,000 pounds a year being spent in advertisements for patent medicines."
Footnote: England and the Farmer, p 19. Viscount Lymington is now the Earl of Portsmouth. It is not surprising that c. Henry Warren wrote some years ago: "Medical Science is largely occupied in adapting our bodies to an unnatural way of living, just as agricultural science is largely occupied i nadpating our land to an unnatural way of arming. The results are by no means encouraging either way." England and the Farmer, p. 66
It will be well, before leaving the question of processed flour and bread, to say a few words about the accusation brought against wholewheat bread of producing rickets in children. This accusation was made in a Report entitled The Incidence of Rickets and Wholemeal Bread, drawn up by two chemists, D.W. Kent-Jones and A.J. Amos, who followed up the line of research indicated by two other chemists, Widdowson and McCance, in 1942. Bertram T. Fraser examines the point at great length. "The government of Eire," he writes, "introduced a loaf made from 100 per cent wholemeal flour and this is blamed for the production of rickets in Dublin children because of the higher proportion of phatic acid in wholemeal. This substance runs off with lime to form an insoluble salt resulting in the loss of an element which is essential for the building of bones in growing children as well las for many other purposes. At first the chemists' arguments seems to be sound, so sound, indeed, as to lead one 'high authority,' according to the authors of the Report, to say that never again would he be so foolish as to advocate wholemeal bread after having seen so much misery and ill-health caused thereby.
"But the argument is not so sound as it appears, and the Report itself states the solution to the problem, although the authors of it have passed over very casually. Kent-Jones and Amos agree that there was a deficiency of lime in the Dublin children's diet. 'It may well have been,' they say, 'that the intake of calcium of the poorer classes in Dublin has always been on the low side, but it was apparently sufficient to prevent the deficiency of disease of rickets occurring.' They seem to have been satisfied because there was enough calcium to prevent rickets so long as the bread was white - a very poor standard indeed. Obviously the children were eating too much bread and too little lime-rich food, and to replace whole -flour by flour of lower extraction was simply to rob them further, but in less immediately obvious ways. When rickets appeared after the introduction of 100 per cent wholemeal, what the investigators should have seen immediately was that the children were living in conditions of lime-starvation." Honest Bread and that which is now, pp. 19,21,24
The authors of the Report admit that the trouble should have been met by increasing the consumption of calcium, for the Report concludes: "It is true that to counteract the troubles the total intake of calcium can be increased so that if some is rendered unavailable there will still be a sufficiency available." "Instead of advocating such a procedure," writes Mr. Fraser, "they preferred to condemn wholemeal. The dublin diet ought to have been gone into with a view to finding out whether it was well balanced, and inquiry made into such simple questions as to whether the vegetables were being conservatitivly cooked, were any gas greens being eaten daily and was the milk pasteurized and so made unfit for children to drink. Investigation along these lines would soon have revealed the true cause of the rickets." Footnote: Honest Bread and That which is Not, p. 25
"A quart of fresh unpasteurized milk contains a third of the adult requirement of vitamin C. Pasteurization robs us every year of as much ascorbic acid as is contained in the entire citrus crop of the Inited States. It also robs us of some calcium, which pasteurization converts to unassimilable forms. Are these losses any longer necessary to ensure that milk may not serve as a carrier of such diseases as bovine tuberculosis, septic sore throat, scarlet fever, typhoid, diphtheria, and undulant fever? Scarcely. (Tomorrow's Food, p. 102)
Mr. Fraser, as we have seen, examines the Phytic acid bogey very seriously. The authors of To-morrow's Food do not attach so much importance to it. "During World War II," they write, "the alleged 'phatic acid' hazard of whole grain bread caused a similar and equally ephemeral alarm. Experiments by McCance and Widdowson appeared to show that the large amount phytic acidic whole grain bread caused a drop in the absorption of calcium. In 1946 the 'phytic acid' bugaboo was authoritatively disposed of by the careful research of Walker, Irving and Fox, sponsored by the National Research Council of South Africa. The South African investigators showed that human body quickly adjusts to the higher phytic acid content of whole grain bread and that the initial loss of calcium is soon made up. This answers the question: Why did the peasant populations of Europe never experience any calcium deficiency because of their consumption of whole grain bread and flour? Realistic food scientist in this country had been prompt to ask this question when the 'phytic acid' bugaboo was first given currency by the commercial milling and baking interests." To-morrow's Food by J. Rorty and N. Philip Norman, MD pp. 64, 65
When we take account of the fact that calcium was added to bread in England in 1942, and that the addition was made compulsory in 1943 (Speech of Viscount Alexander of Hillsborough Hansard, April 25, 1950) it seems even more noteworthy that the report of Kent-Jones and Amos should not recommend that procedure but attack wholemeal flour. Since money can be made by "enriching" flour as well as by devitalizing it, it is significant that all the attention is devoted to the onslaught on the nutritionally superior food. Needless to say, the evil effects of pasteurization on the calcium in milk were not mentioned in the Report. It is imperative that food-processing combines be compelled to practice Social Justice and to subordinate their private profit making to the Common Good.
To eat bread or not?
Thank you, once again, Father Fahey for sharing with us your pearls of wisdom. Amazing how information from over 60 years ago may still be useful to us. Basic white flour is still bleached for the same reasons of preserving and making it a pretty white color. While D.D.T. was banned in 1970, Monsanto has developed a round up ready wheat (source). Which enters the realm of deciding if GMO's and Round Up are safe for us to use. Is it safer than D.D.T., which was just shown to be mostly in use because of the money to be made. That will have to be a post for another day.
Should we eat bread? It seems that from Father Fahey's words and from even more modern research that it isn't the bread/gluten that seems to be the cause of such high numbers of chronic diseases and illnesses. Rather it seems to be more the content of the soil, how and when it is harvested, how it is milled and how it is prepared. Along with the other aspects of our diet and how they work with bread for proper digestion and health. It seems that many diets focus on the QUANTITY of a certain for group without taking into mind the QUALITY of that food group. A proper balance is needed for both quantity and quality.
How can one put these wonderful pearls of wisdom to use in our time? It seems from the writings which we have shared today that one could improve health in steps: first off by baking our own bread, using a high quality flour or even grinding our own wheat. Being careful in the type of wheat that we choose insuring there are less pesticides and chemicals in them and also by souring our bread, which makes the wheat more digestible and lesses the level of gluten. Also improving the dairy that we consume, using raw milk when available or low heat pasteurized, organic with little to no chemicals and using that in reasonable amounts which may be easily dictated by price of high quality raw milk. Also making our cheese, butter, ice cream etc. from the same high quality milk. Fermenting it into kefir and yogurt also help the digestion of the milk and make the nutrients more available.
Find a recipe for homemade sourdough here. With just a few minutes a day will have you wonderful healthful bread. Make sure you also checkout the next chapter in Father Fahey's book titled Food Processing and Health.
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Will you be making a change to the bread and/or milk served in your home?
Have you seen the constant articles in the news about food sources be tainted with heavy metals or foods, such as the latest news that much of the chocolate for sale contains amounts of lead. Also the articles about food containing things that they should not contain such as the plastic in rice in China? Sadly these kinds of food issues are nothing all that new. In Fr. Fahey's book, the Church and Farming, he addresses many of these things. It use to be common place that grain mills would add fillers to bulk the flour out and bring in a higher dollar.
Any time that our food is processed from its original state and/or grown by a large corporation we will risk the danger of contaminates in our food sources along with food that is not healthful for our bodies.
Today we are sharing an excerpt from Fr. Fahey's wonderful book, which was written in the 1950's, regarding the processing of food. What the danger it poses to our health and how we should avoid them. We previously shared an excerpt from this wonderful book on our blog, incase you have missed you can find the link below:
12 Factors to Good Health - Food Health & Proper Nutrition
Processing of Food in General
The Church and Farming
By: Father Denis Fahey
+ Imprimatur 1952
I have devoted so much space to bread because of its importance, that I must limit myself to some general observations concerning other foods. The work is simplified for me, however, by the excellent Appendix I, contributed by Dr. N. Philip Norman to Tomorrow's Food. From that very valuable statement, which I strongly recommend to my readers to study in its entirety, I take a few extracts:
"Food in modern times undergoes amazing treatment. Provident Nature has given us food-stuffs that are perfect for man's utilization, but we are not connect. We mutilate the original food pattern: refined, polish and separate it into fractions; hold it in undated cans or packages for indefinite periods; add chemical preservatives; cook it carelessly; and finally, add vitamins and minerals to make it fit for human consumption … Can there be any explanation for this meddling and mutilating of our food except huge profits to processing concerns? Certainly the public's health is deriving no benefits from such tampering … Consider another sign of the times - the constant increase in size and number of hospitals .. .What we are suffering from is malnutrition, plus the innumerable ills that follow in its wake…"
Large Businesses & Foodstuffs
"Large businesses have developed for handling our foodstuffs. They now dominate our minds, and it will require unremitting, concerted efforts for us to free ourselves. Their attention has not primarily been focussed on healthier human beings. As a result of advertising campaigns and clever propaganda, we have come to think as they want us to think; we have accepted what the have told us as facts. Not only have our thinking and acting been influenced, but our tastes have been so conditioned that we now crave the nutritionally minus concoctions they prepare for us … To elucidate what has been happening to our food supply, we give a few examples:
"Polishing rice- which robs the cereal of its antineuritic factor.
Separating grains into fractions instead of using the whole grain- which gives u bread and cereals of inferior quality.
'Refined' table sugar - all minerals and vitamins are extracted from sugar cane or beet juice for this product.
Products made from 'refined' sugar: sweet beverages, confections, and bakery commodities.
Combining berries and fruits with large quantities of 'refined' sugar in jellies, jams and preserves.
Citrus fruits, picked before they are ripe or subjected to gas treatment to develop colour.
Perpeared and pre-cooked breakfast foods and cereals.
Bolted (literally filtered) flours, chiefly wheat and corn.
Meats and fish are … soaked in 'smoke solutions' or injected with… chemicals and 'smoke solutions'...
Mass production of eggs' which gives us non fertile eggs, devoid of an essential hormone...
Addition of artificial coloring and flavoring to foods gone insipid because of processing, etc. etc.
"Although research in nutrition has revealed that the caloric and biologic (quality) food values are interrelated, it is with the latter that we are chiefly concerned. When we ask how many calories a certain meal contains, we are inquiring into the amount of heat units it will produce.
The benefits that man derives from food, however, cannot be measured only in calories; food is not to man what coal is to a furnace. One of these benefits has to do with disease prevention.. Lowered resistance follows faulty nutrition as night follows day.
Many refined or otherwise processed 'new foods', such as those we have already listed, have been robbed of vital, health-promoting factors. The food processors earn large profits for their mutilation of food patterns, which if left undisturbed are entirely right for our consumption and are not in need of being 'enriched,' 'restored,' or 'fortified.' Food so devoid of nutritional value as to require 'restoration,' 'fortification,' or 'enrichment' is not wholesome food … As a chemical nutritionist, the writer has had considerable experience in the practical application of nutrition principles to his patents."
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
It would be possible to give what may be termed an a posteriori proof of the physical degeneration caused by processed foods, by selecting passages from Dr. Weston A. Price's fine book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, already alluded to. The book is illustrated by photographs taken all over the world. What Dr. Price says about two countries as far apart as Switzerland and New Zealand is typical of what he found everywhere, as a result of the introduction of processed in the place f natural foods. Of Switzerland he reports: "High immunity to dental caries, freedom from deformity of the detail arches and face, and sturdy physiques with high immunity to disease were all found associated with physical isolation, and with forced limitation in selection of foods. This resulted in a very liberal use of dairy products and whole-rye bread, in connection with plant foods, and with meat served about once a week. The individuals in the modernized districts were found to have widespread tooth decay. Many had facial and dental arch deformities and much susceptibility to diseases. These conditions were associated with the use of refined ceral flours, a high intake of sweets, canned goods, sweetened fruits, chocolate, and a greatly reduced use of dairy products. I inquired of several clinicians in Switzerland dental caries and tuberculosis among the people of Switzerland. I noted that the reports indicated that the two diseases were generally associated. We shall find a corollary to this in many studies in other parts of the world."
On pages 207, 208, 210, 211, Dr. Price gives excellent photographs both of Maori and white inhabitants of New Zealand. The following are some of his comments on the photographs: "Since the discovery of New Zealand the primitive natives, the Maori, have had the reputation of having the finest teeth and finest bodies of any race in the world. Only one tooth per thousand teeth had been attacked by tooth decay before they came under the influence of the white man. In striking contrast with the beautiful faces of the primitive Maori those born since the adoption of deficient modernized foods are grossly deformed. Note the marked under-development of the facial bones, one of the results being narrowing of the dental arches with crowding of the teeth and under-developtment of the air passages."
"The original primitive Maori had reportedly the finest teeth in the world. The whites now in New Zealand are claimed to have the poorest teeth in the world. An analysis of the two types of food reveals the reason."
The remedy obviously demanded by commonsense is the reorganization of our methods of dealing with food and the reeducation of our people, "Could it not be successfully argued," write James Rorty and Dr. Philip Norman, "that the public investment of money, education and administrative energy in the rationalization of our food economy and culture, all the way from the farm to the dinner table, to the measures of a biological accountancy, would net greater gains in health than an equal investment in medical therapy?"
Two obstacles lie in the way of that sane attitude. As the first obstacle to sane reform concerns the medical profession, I shall allow doctors to put it before my readers.
Reorganizing Our Food Methods
Thank you Father Fahey, your words of wisdom from 64 years ago! They are a great light at the end of this dark tunnel of food confusion that we live in. More and more news of harmful processed foods continue to stream in the news. We constantly bombarded with articles and books telling us to eat this and eat that leaving us throughly overwhelmed. A bit of commonsense, showing that simple whole foods prepared properly, in reasonable amounts and grown locally instead of by agri-industry, are really the most healthful for us! It turns out the quality of food is surely more important than the quantity of food.
The comments on health care in relation to processd foods could not have hit home more today than it did in Father Fahey's time 64 years ago. With our socialistic health care system, more money is pumped into reaction to disease rather than into prevention of disease. With nutrition not high on the list of education, in our medical system, we are left to ourselves to answer Fr. Fahey's suggestion of a remedy to this ill. Let us share with each other this great information on how processed foods create ill health and WHAT those processed foods LOOK like. They don't all just come in a box, but they might even look like whole foods.
What information did you find most helpful in Father Fahey's writings?
Thanks for stopping by St. Fiacre's Farm! Support our little farm, without any extra cost to you, by shopping our affiliate links and ads, as well as our Herbal Farm Store! By shopping our affiliate links we get a small commission that helps us provide our family with a traditional farm life.
Today we are sharing from one of our favorite authors, Father Denis Fahey, from his book on the Church and Farming, part of his excellent chapter on food and health. We hope to continue through this chapter as time allows.
The Church and Farming
By: Fr. Fahey + Imprimatur 1953
This chapter may fittingly open with a quotation from Man, the Unknown, by Dr. Alexis Carrel. "Modern Man," he writes, "is delicate … Medicine is far from having decreased human sufferings as much as is generally believed. IT is true that the number of deaths from infectious diseases has diminished, but the deaths from degenerative diseases have increased, and the sicknesses consequent on these diseases are gained by the suppression of diphtheria, small pox, typhoid fever, etc., are paid for by the long suffering and lingering deaths caused by chronic affections, and especially by cancer, diabetes, and heart disease … The maladies of the central nervous system are innumerable … Although modern hygiene has considerably prolonged the average length of life, it is very far from having done away with diseases. It has simply changed their nature … The organs, has become more susceptible to degenerative diseases. . The ordinary staple foods do not contain the same nutritive substances as in former times. Mass production and commercial processing haven edified the composition of wheat, eggs, milk, fruit, and butter, although these articles have retained their familiar appearance … Hygienists have not paid sufficient attention to the genesis of diseases. Their studies of the influence of modes of life and of nourishment on the physiological, intellectual and moral state of modern men are superficial, incomplete and of too short curating."
The Factors of Proper Nutrition
In an excellent lecture on the Fundamentals of Nutrition for Physicians and Dentists, Dr. N. Philip Norman says that "Propter nutrition and the role that it plays in the maintenance of good health involve twelve factors:
"1. The ecologic equilibrium of the fauna and flora of the soil.
2. Fertility of the soil.
3. The vigor of the germ plasm of the seed.
4. Climatic factors - temperature, moisture, and sunshine.
5. The proper culture of the flora and fauna which supply man with food.
6. The harvesting and storage of food.
7. The handling of food during transportation and distribution.
8.The methods of processing through which food has gone - milling, canning, brining, salting, dehydration, freezing, sun-drying, curing and smoking, sulfuring, drying, etc.
9. The intelligent selection of food at the market.
10. The proper preparation of the food either for immediate consumption in the raw state or for cooking.
11. Proper methods of cooking different kinds of food.
12. The proper care of left-over food to be used at subsequent meals."
We have already seen something about Nos. 1 and 2. In this section we shall treat briefly of the consequences of processing.
In From the Ground Up, Jorian Jenks points out that the growth of the large towns consequent upon the Industrial Revolution made "the services of the good intermediary a physical necessity. The urban housewife became almost completely dependent on him for the collection, grading, packing, transportation and delivery of foodstuffs that formerly most people had either grown for themselves or obtained from neighbors… TTo these intermediary changes were added as the food trade grew more complex, the cost of "processing," that is, the adaptation of perishable produce to the requirements of transport and storage to meet trade demands for standardized and attractively-presented articles."
Food Processing and Health
"What food processing is doing to our national health," writes Dr. Philip Norman, "was shown recently by a large scale experiment. At the beginning of World War II someone in the Surgeon General's office, probably unfamiliar with the physical manifestations of malnutrition, drew up a list of physical specifications for use by draft examiners. The rejection rate of the first two million selectees soared to a starting figure and a lower standard of physical fitness was formulated. Even so, draft rejection rates in World War II were approximately 14 per cent. higher than those of World War I… I do not think that this unfitness of our youth can be ascribed to a more universally potent factor than the increased consumption of highly processed foods which spiraled upwards between 1918 and 1941. (Lecture on the Fundamentals of Nutrition for Physicians and Dentists.)
More detailed information is given in To-morrow's Food, written conjointly by James Rorty and Dr. Norman. In that work we read: "The six major reasons for rejecting volunteers and selectees, given i nthe order of their importance, were poor eyes, poor teeth, chronic heart disease, musculo-skeletal defects, venereal diseases, and mental and nervous disease and disorders. With the exception of the venereal disease, all of these defects can be either directly caused or directly affected by malnutrition. It is interesting to note that the four major deficiencies of the Anerican diet appear to be closely related to the major causes of the draft-rejections. According to the Steibling-Phipard study of 1936, these deficiencies are calcium, riboflavin, ascorbic acid and thiamin. In the case of mental and nervous diseases and disorders, and in the case of chronic heart disease, which affected one out of twenty of the first eight million volunteers and selectees, the nutritional factor involved is the vitamin B complex, and especially vitamin B1 or thiamin. According to Dr. Williams and Dr. Spies, the vitamin B complex specifically affects three parts of the body: the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart, the nervous system and the digestive system…
"One-fourth of the first million draftees were rejected because of defective teeth Not all tooth decay, certainly, is caused by malnutrition. It is generally conceded, however, that the correlation between carious teeth and defiant or badly balanced diets is very district."
In Chapter Four of To-Morrows Food, is given a summary of Dr. Weston A. Price's pleaded work Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, from which we take the following passage: "The best diets of primitive peoples are in fact higher in essential vitamins and minerals than the average civilized diet: and so long as the primitives adhere to their diets their teeth are almost free from cavities, their dental arches are perfect, and their health extraordinary when measured by modern scientific standards. As soon, however, as they begin to use white flour, granulated sugar, and canned goods of our civilization, their teeth begin to decay with astonishing rapidity. Tuberculosis and arthritis make their appearance, and in a hundred ways the resistance to disease declines. Within a generation the pregnancies of their workmen become difficult and the dental arches of their children are malformed." Dr. Price, accompanied by his wife, made a study of primitive peoples all over the world. His book was published by himself at 1020 Campus Avenue, Redlands, California.
This is true also of gingivitis, another common mouth disease of the American people. Dentists believe that approximately 75 per cent of American adults have this condition. An experiment made on 341 children between 1929 and 1933 at Mooseheart, Illinois, showed that gingivitis is a vitamin C deficiency disease. At the time this experiment was started, 70.9 per cent of the children were found to have gingivitis. After receiving a pint of orange nice and the nice of one lemon daily for a year, only 10 per cent of the children had gingivitis. In addition, the amount of tooth decay had decreed by one half …
"The prevalence of vitamin B complex deficiencies is believed to be very high, both among the poor and the rich. Among a group of upper-income-class patients studied by Dr. Herber Kelly and Myrtle Shepard in 1943, 76 per cent were found to be deficient in vitamin B1 and 77 percent were found to be deficient in vitamin B2. In addition, Dr. Kelly and Miss Shepard noted that when the patient had only a single food deficiency, it was in the majority of cases a vitamin B deficiency. No practicing nutritionist or dietician will be surprised by this finding. The vitamin C deficiencies are discriminatory; they effect the poor who can't afford orange juice. But the vitamin B deficiencies are democratic: they affect almost everybody who, since about 1890, has been eating refrained white flour and refined white sugar."
"The insufficient ingestion of vitamin B1," he writes, "is a common food fault, due mainly to the extensive use of vitamin-poor or vitamin-less carbohydrate foods, such as polished rice, white flour and sugar. It has to be remembered in this connection that the more carbohydrate eaten the more vitamin B1 is required. The effects of its inadequate provision are loss of appetite, impaired digestion, decreed motility of the stomach, sluggish bowel action, impaired growth of the young during the lactating period consequent on deficiency in the mother's milk, deranged functioning of the adrenal glands (possibly a cause of distressing dreams), nervousness, loss of weight and virgour, and fatigue. In infants there may be stiffness of the arms and legs … fretfulness and pallor. This vitamin has an important relation to the secretion of milk, much more of it being needed during the lactation period than at other times. Its abundant richest natural source is dried brewer's yeast. Rice-polishings, bran and wheat-germ oil are all good sources of it, as are whole cereal grains."
To be continued …. FLOUR MILLING AND BREAD
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