Since auto-intoxication is now held to be the cause of many of the most serious diseases of humanity, too much stress cannot be laid upon the immediate necessity of looking into the question of diet and removing those foods which are responsible for the cause of ill health.
In the case of heart trouble and high blood pressure, with the accompanying deterioration of other organs, Dr. Bishop has found from prolonged observation that the offending substance most often appears in meat, eggs, fish and meat stock soups, but is not the same in all cases.
One has only to read the morning paper to note the number of men and women, unfortunately most often those living at high pressure in solving some of the problems of our complex civilization, who are cut down without warning. One must be irresponsive indeed not to be impressed by the fact that something is radically wrong in our present mode of life.
In a double sense, the way to a man's heart is by the food he is given, and the more elaborate the food, the more quickly does his heart succumb to the strain put upon it. So it falls upon the women to meet this condition, and without delay.
The insidiousness of auto-intoxication is that it runs on for some time without showing any outward effect, so that when the crash comes the years of slow poisoning must be counteracted in a few days, and the tragic part of it is, so often, it is too late.
The design of this book is to meet these conditions, and to bring before the public an assortment of attractive recipes to compensate the epicure for the loss of those dishes which long habit and an increasingly jaded appetite demand. In its preparation much valuable material has been derived from the bulletins issued on the subject by the Department of Agriculture.
The bulletin on cheese explains from the result of scientific experiment the desirability of giving cheese an important place in one's diet. In Jonson's time, cheese was used as we use meat now, for the principal dish of the meal, but it has come to be used as a relish or side dish. And when Nature rebels against a hearty meal of proteins with cheese added, we say complacently that it was the cheese that caused the trouble, and relegate it to the list of indigestibles.
The Government report has exploded the fallacy, putting this nutritious food in its proper place, instead of an addition to a menu already heavy with proteins.
So one need not, like Nebuchadnezzar, subsist on grass alone just because meat has been condemned, for there are many delicious dishes to take its place.
A vegetable gelatine has been put on the market, which is much more delicate than the old-fashioned animal gelatine and has not the objectionable odor. There are also vegetable and nut oils to be used instead of animal fat of doubtful purity, for shortening and frying. Egg, white of egg and chicken dishes have been added at the end of the book to be at hand if they may be added to the menu.
I am indebted for many of the recipes to my friends and to patients of Dr. Bishop who have been kind enough to share with us the result of their successful experience. Also to Dr. C. F. Langworthy, expert in charge of Nutrition Investigation of the United States Department of Agriculture, who has allowed portions of his charts to be used and recipes from the bulletins. I am under especial obligation to Miss Lenna Frances Cooper, Head Dietitian of the Battle Creek Sanitarium for recipes published in "The New Cookery."
Maria McIlvaine Gillmore. New York, 1914.